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Thread: Gunman wanted to punish Illinois university, report says.' By Jodi S. Cohen and Stacy St. Clair, LA

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    http://www.latimes.com/news/nationwo...,7069940.story

    http://www.niu.edu/feb14report/Feb14report.pdf 13 MB 322 pages

    Steven Kazmierczak killed five and wounded 21 at Northern Illinois University.


    Steven Kazmierczak wanted infamy. He wanted video-game-style bloodshed. And he wanted to punish Northern Illinois University, the "surrogate family" that had kept his demons at bay but had, he thought, abandoned him, according to a report on the 2008 shooting.

    In the 18 months leading up to Kazmierczak's lecture hall massacre, his mother died, he lost his job as a corrections officer and he became angry because he thought the university had de-emphasized his graduate program, leading him to transfer to another school, according to the 300-page report released by the university last week.

    It concludes that those and other events sent him into a tailspin and spurred the violent return of a mental illness that had been in remission while he was an undergraduate. Kazmierczak, who had fantasized about the destruction of himself and others, took his anger to campus on Valentine's Day 2008, killing five students and wounding 21 people.

    The report is, in part, the university's attempt to explain why Kazmierczak -- wearing a black T-shirt with the word "terrorist" printed over a picture of an assault rifle -- returned to his alma mater, kicked in the door to a lecture hall stage and shot dozens of rounds into the auditorium.

    Less than seven minutes into his ambush, he turned the gun on himself.

    For Kazmierczak, it was the ending he wanted. For the university, it was the beginning of a quest to explain the inexplicable.

    A newly released psychological profile contained in the report suggests that everything about the attack signified something in Kazmierczak's mind: the location, the date, the victims.

    The report offers the most detailed account to date of Kazmierczak's troubled life, including repeated suicide attempts that required hospitalization, unresolved conflicts with his parents stemming from their decision to institutionalize him, and interest in satanic rituals.

    The 27-page profile of Kazmierczak, written by a psychologist hired by the university, said the shooter had been diagnosed as a teenager with schizoaffective disorder, a disabling mental illness characterized by a combination of schizophrenia and a mood disorder such as manic depression.

    The profile suggests he increased the difficulty of his shooting spree as if it were a video game. When he had emptied the shotgun and walked into the audience with his handguns, he fired only at those who ran or ducked. Those who sat frozen in their seats, the easiest targets, were ignored.

    Kazmierczak, 27, didn't leave a suicide note. The hard drive of his computer has never been found. He tossed out his cellphone's memory card.

    During the time he was a standout undergraduate student, from 2002 to 2006, Kazmierczak was surrounded by the reassurance and praise he needed -- and was not plagued by mental illness for the first time in years.

    Described as the sociology department's "golden boy," he graduated with a 3.88 grade-point average, worked as a rare undergraduate teaching assistant and began pursuing a master's degree.

    But Kazmierczak became disenchanted after a change in department leadership. He transferred to the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, but kept in touch with colleagues until he was rebuked for an "unprofessional" and "inappropriate" attack against a former classmate on a sociology message board.

    Kazmierczak stopped visiting the site and lost one of his strongest ties to his so-called surrogate family, the profile said.

    The report suggests Kazmierczak selected Cole Hall for his shooting spree because of his familiarity with the auditorium. He took his first sociology class in the building, served as a teaching assistant there and spent hours in the nearby sociology offices.

    "By ending his life and the lives of other [students] there, Kazmierczak would have come full circle," the report said. "It was where he had flourished. Now it would be the setting for his grotesque end."

    He may have chosen Valentine's Day because it had been tied to some of his failures, the profile speculates. He returned home from the Army on Feb. 14, 2002, after being discharged for not disclosing past psychiatric problems. He took his corrections officer's exam on Feb. 14, 2007 -- then lost his dream job later that year.

    jscohen@tribune.com

    sstclair@tribune.com

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    OK, great. We know, after the fact, all the things that we think led up to his behavior.

    Wonderful job of finding the dots after the fact.

    Perhaps this information, along with the stuff we got on the University of Alabama killer, the Ft. Hood killer, and the Va Tech killer, and the Oklahoma City bomber, and the Unabomber, and Benedict Arnold, will help explain stuff. But it does not seem to be able to be used in a way that can predict or prevent stuff from happening.

    What I really want to know is who is out there seeing some dots lining up? Can we ever get past individual situational awareness and response to immediate situations to the point of appropriately (whatever that word comes to mean)dealing with the uncertainties of the human mind? Do we want to go that far? There's so great si-fi out there about executing kids who are predicted to grow up to become evil emperors.

    Otherwise, this profiling of dead killers is merely a mental exercise.

    stay safe.

    skidmark
    "He'll regret it to his dying day....if ever he lives that long."----The Quiet Man

    Because stupidity isn't a race, and everybody can win.

    "No matter how much contempt you have for the media in all this, you don't have enough"
    ----Allahpundit

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    skidmark wrote:
    But it does not seem to be able to be used in a way that can predict or prevent stuff from happening. ... What I really want to know is who is out there seeing some dots lining up?
    Oops...lunch calls. I'll add my response as an edit later.

    I can see the dots lining up. I can judge a book by its cover well enough that I haven't often wasted time getting to know one with a trite and tacky cover.


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    skidmark wrote:
    SNIP this profiling of dead killers is merely a mental exercise.
    And a marketing tool for the psychiatric industry.

    "See the plausible explanations we thunk up. Just give us more money and require people to take our tests and eat our drugs (for life). And we can maybe protect you from these evil-doers."
    I'll make you an offer: I will argue and fight for all of your rights, if you will do the same for me. That is the only way freedom can work. We have to respect all rights, all the time--and strive to win the rights of the other guy as much as for ourselves.

    If I am equal to another, how can I legitimately govern him without his express individual consent?

    There is no human being on earth I hate so much I would actually vote to inflict government upon him.

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    He, and the other idiots who committed these acts died COWARDS. No other way to put it.

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