Friday, September 16, 2005


Several years ago when defense attorneys argued that 17-year-old Kip Kinkel - who similarly entered his school on a shooting rampage - should not spend the rest of his life in prison, it was because Kinkel reportedly "heard voices" telling him to commit murders. During sentencing hearings Dr. Richard J. Konkol pointed out that "holes" in what is normally a smooth surface of Kinkel's brain reveal conditions consistent with schizophrenia. When defense attorney Mark Sabitt asked if this would make a person "more susceptible to a psychotic episode," Konkol responded, "I think it would."
Kinkel pleaded guilty to four counts of murder and 26 counts of attempted murder in the May 1998 shooting rampage in Springfield, Oregon. Kinkel's parents and two students at Thurston High School died as a result of the attack. 25 other students were wounded.
"My dad was sitting at the (breakfast) bar," said Kinkel, "The voices said, 'Shoot him.' I had no choice. The voices said I had no choice." Kinkel testified that after he killed his parents he was instructed by the voices to "Go to school and kill everybody."
Murderous voices first began speaking to Kinkel at age 12 when he got off the school bus and was looking at a bush. It said, "You need to kill everyone, everyone in the world." Kinkel believes the voices came from the devil, a satellite, or from a computer chip implanted in his head by the government.
Like Kinkel, Jeffrey Weise felt compelled to shed the blood of innocent people this week, and then to kill himself. How could such ideas enter the mind of a young boy? Notorious "Son of Sam" killer David Berkowitz claims "bloodthirsty voices" commanded him to kill. According to Berkowitz, a recent convert of Christianity, a 6,000-year-old demon named Sam communicated through his neighbor's black Labrador retriever instructing him to carry out the murders. Berkowitz was subsequently diagnosed as having paranoid schizophrenia, a disease in which the person often hears pejorative or threatening voices separate from their own. Both Kinkel and Berkowitz were known to read pornographic and violent depictures of torture and murder. It appears from the initial evidence that Weise enjoyed the ponderings of mass murderers as well.


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