So far, most of the video aired has Cho speaking quietly, his tone close to regret. But in one snippet Cho's tone is venomous, and he is wearing the clothes he died in. "You forced me into a corner and gave me only one option," he snarls. "The decision was yours. Now you have blood on your hands that will never wash off."
A couple of same-day thoughts:
•Fascinating. Macabre, but much more than that -- you can see the flat affect he displayed in December 2005, behavior that led to a temporary detention order on the shooter. Seeing his deranged mind helps explain the insanity of his last acts.
•We'd like to see it all, but NBC News is engaged in a display of public hand-wringing: what to air? what to keep secret? will publicizing this encourage others like Cho? It's all very nauseating. NBC News isn't supposed to be in the business of suppressing information from the public. You get an exclusive on a big-ass story, you run with it.
Full disclosure of what Cho sent to NBC News should be viewed through the Theodore Kaczynski prism. The New York Times and the Washington Post printed Kaczynski's 35,000-word "manifesto," and his brother recognized the disturbed writing style. The Unabomber was caught. By posting all of the Cho material, NBC would provide a unique opportunity for mass study of a mass murderer.
•Cho is the Charles Whitman of our time. Like Cho, Whitman killed two people, then paused before beginning a bloodier rampage. Like Cho, Whitman left a note, some of it written between killing sprees.
Unlike Cho, Whitman seemed to want to understand why he was becoming a killer. From Whitman's note:
I don't quite understand what it is that compels me to type this letter. Perhaps it is to leave some vague reason for the actions I have recently performed. I don't really understand myself these days. I am supposed to be an average reasonable and intelligent young man. However, lately (I can't recall when it started) I have been a victim of many unusual and irrational thoughts.
I didn't have to do it. I could have left. I could have fled. But now I am no longer running ... You have vandalized my heart, raped my soul and torched my conscience. You thought it was one pathetic boy’s life you were extinguishing. Thanks to you, I die like Jesus Christ, to inspire generations of the weak and the defenseless people.