An Article Tangent off the Topic "Plays Written by..."

An Article Tangent off the Topic "Plays Written by..."
April 18th, 2007  

Topic: An Article Tangent off the Topic "Plays Written by..."

An Article Tangent off the Topic "Plays Written by..."
There was another big story about his writings, I'll post part of it here.

Anyone looking for clues into the deranged mind of Virginia Tech English major and mass murderer Seung-hui Cho need look no further than the dark and twisted creative writing that police were told about years ago.

In the fall of 2005, Lucinda Roy, co-director of Virginia Tech's creative writing program, was alerted by Cho's poetry professor that Cho's poems were disturbingly angry and violent.

Roy reached out to Cho and became alarmed herself. "I've been teaching for 22 years, and there've only been a couple of times when I thought that this is a really, really worrying thing," Roy says today. "And this was one of them."

Roy removed Cho from class and tutored him, occasionally fearing for her own safety. "I was hoping that by taking him out of the classroom I'd help maybe to avoid something that could be catastrophic," she says. "I kept saying to him, 'Please go to counseling. I will take you over to counseling myself,' because he was so depressed but apparently I was told you can't force someone to go to counseling. Even though I called counseling trying to get everyone to force him to go over, their hands were tied."

Eventually his behavior and disturbing writings prompted her to contact authorities.

"The threats seemed to be underneath the surface. They were not explicit," she recalled. "And that was the difficulty that the police had. I would go to the police and to the counselors and to student affairs and everywhere else, and they would say, 'There's nothing explicit here. He's not actually saying he's going to kill someone.' And my argument was he seemed so disturbed anyway that we needed to do something about this."

'Misery' in His Plays

Roy wasn't the only one so disturbed. Writing on AOL today, former Cho writing classmate Ian MacFarlane recalled that when he and his classmates read Cho's plays, "it was like something out of a nightmare. The plays had really twisted, macabre violence." When the students gave reviews of his play in class, we were very careful with our words in case he decided to snap."

"It's very clear that he's has some experience with molestation. There's many references to **** sexuality," says criminologist Suzanne Lea, who analyzed the plays for ABC News. "There's definitely a revenge fantasy in there."

Bu Lea says violent writing alone is not necessarily a warning sign of future criminal activity.

"I think the writings are definitely a clue, but you have to look more at the broader context," says Lea. "You have to look at the person and their behavior. Are they isolated? Are they connected to other kids? Is this person relating well with his peers?"

Unfortunately for Virginia Tech, authorities are only seriously beginning that analysis of Cho now.


Don't get me wrong, I am in no way on this guy's side, but that was so sad to read.

Some people are able to handle bad things that have been done to them, and some people are just not. After all, you can only hit a dog so many times before they turn mean.

It's a heart breaking situation all around. It's too bad help wasn't given to him (or forced). Many lives could have been saved, perhaps even his own if someone had cared enough to reach out like his teacher.

April 19th, 2007  
Some of the kids in his classes DID try but he turned them away. He was broken long before he got to Uni. The neighbors have been quoted saying he was ALWAYS quiet and extremely introverted, not even responding with a gesture or facial cue when greeted with friendly hellos. Knowing the problem that many people from Asian cultures have with seeking help with something like this I would not be surprised if he had something along the lines of a personality disorder or autism but his family would ignore it rather than treat it. I deal with this crap on a weekly basis here. The parents think it is better to ignore the problem and pretend their child doesn't have dyslexia or ADD than treat it. They think it will "go away" as they get older. They are afraid of the stigma of having a "defective child". And the teacher tried but didn't push it. I would have taken him to the ER and told them that he had expressed to me "homicidal ideations" and he would have been commited for a psych eval on the spot. That's the LAW.

Similar Topics
Army chaplain gets Article 15 for adultery