PCR past banners Nolan's Pop Culture Review--now in our sixth calendar year!
PCR #262 (Vol. 6, No. 13) This edition is for the week of March 28--April 3, 2005.

Deadguy's Dementia

THIS WEEK'S MOVIE REVIEWS
"Sin City"
 by Mike Smith
DEADGUY'S DEMENTIA
The Minnesota School Shooting
 by Mike "Deadguy" Scott
ODDSERVATIONS
Blade Band Reunion Must Be Stopped!
 by Andy Lalino
MATT'S RAIL
The Return of Kolchak....Culture Club Threats
 by Matt Drinnenberg
MIKE'S RANT
Movie Notes....Terri Shiavo....Money For Matt....Why Yes, I Do Hate You....Passing On....Jaws: The Story, Part 12
 by Mike Smith
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The Minnesota School shooting.
Where does this story start, and where does it end?

A man in Minneapolis, Minnesota, decided to take his own life one day. The police arrived on the scene, including his father who was also a police officer, and they spent all day trying to convince him not to kill himself. They were unsuccessful and so on that day in July of 1997, he committed suicide.

The man was survived by his wife and his son. His wife is an alcoholic, and abuses her son until two years later when she ends up getting into a car accident after drinking with a friend. She survives, but a head injury has left her trying to learn to tie her shoes again, and she is moved into a nursing home. Jeff, her son, moved in with his paternal grandmother on an Ojibwa (Chippewa) Indian Reservation in Red Lake, Minnesota. Jeff resents the move, wishing he could be in the city with the friends he had there. His grandfather, the policeman, is living with a younger woman approximately the age of Jeff's mom.

Jeff goes to school with 300 other students on the Indian reservation in what's definately considered to be the bad part of town. He's a bright kid, with a strong imagination, but the events he has been through has cut him deeply.

Meanwhile, without his parents around, he's trying to identify himself, and does that by looking closely at American Indians he shares the reservation with. He's disappointed to note that despite the rich cultural background he shares with them, they seem more interested in black culture, and rap music. Many of his tribesmen can't even speak their native tongue.

Jeff looks at that as being an evil influence in the people around him. He begins to feel as though it interferes with his own attempt to identify with his Indian heritage. He just wishes that he could become untainted, AND fit in somewhere. He's never even liked Rap music.

I think it's around that time that he joined a band called '6six6' but I can't determine anything further about the band, not even what genre it was, although it's been said that he liked heavy metal.

Somewhere at this point, he decides to join an online Nazi organization.

This was a very unlikely move by a Native American, and when he introduced himself to the group, they were certainly surprised to see him there. He expressed his views to them, and asked if there was more he could do besides recruiting others. He was passionate about it, and it is perhaps very telling about the situation that he stopped posting on the board publically, and they stopped publically communicating with him. That's pure speculation though.

He simply doesn't fit in at school. He starts thinking along the lines of racial cleansing, and begins to follow Hitler's teachings. He dresses like one of the shooters from the Columbine shootings. He even made jokes with students saying things like: "That would be cool if I shot up the school". A short time later, while learning to make Flash™ animations, he made one called "Target Practice". It consisted of a gunman that shoots people and grenades a police car before shooting himself in the head. ( http://newgrounds.com/portal/view/195194, be sure to look at his profile and his comments as well as the reviews for the clip, although some of it contains coarse language).

He did like zombie films though...more specifically, one of his favorite movies was "Dawn of the Dead". He went online to a Zombie bulletin board forum and joined an ongoing zombie story creation series. He left with a post in February of last year claiming that things were getting crazy at home and that he might have to leave suddenly.

Something interesting about his Nazi posts though. He mentioned that there had been a school threat that he was blamed for, someone was supposed to "shoot up the school" on 4/20/04, Hitler's birthday. He was under scrutiny for it because the school was aware of his National Socialist interest. He may have been lying about this claim though, to make himself appear more persecuted or something to his Nazi website friends. His principal refused to comment on this issue when asked by the news media.

It may have been that they were concerned because he'd written a zombie story online that revolved around a high school invasion. The story included two characters that were dressed in all black, contained complaints about how security had tightened up after the Columbine incident, etc. ( writers coven website, Dec. 2003: http://p081.ezboard.com/fwriterscovenfrm8.showMessage?topicID=49.topic ) By itself, the story doesn't mean anything, but when you take elements of Jeff's life and put them together, they immediately show a sense of context with the rest of his life. As far as the story goes, it's interesting to note that his main character wasn't some kind of callous hardcore killer that sometimes show up in these types of stories. I think the character really represented Jeff, from the clothes he wore, to a certain amount of body weight sensitivity, to his hair style. It's also interesting to note that both of the main characters make reference to their mothers, and hint at their relationship with them, but there isn't even a hint that they had fathers. Although there is a bit of gore in the story, it's really not overly so. This story, like the many other (good) zombie stories out there focuses on a story of life, and survival, though tinged with a certain hopelessness, it doesn't focus on horrific death scenes.

His schoolmates say that he seemed like a pretty good guy, and friendly, though he was apparently still picked on, and didn't have many friends. They also said he was quiet, but one went so far as to say that he was terrorized by those that thought he was weird. He drew pictures of skeletons and talked about death all of the time. He dressed in combat boots with red laces, a big black trenchcoat, and wore black eyeliner.

Some time passes, and for some undisclosed reason, Jeff is taken out of school by the local school board, and put into a home school program. Apparently this was done for his benefit, considering that he was by this point 6 foot tall, 250 pounds, and had been held-back a couple of years, he was getting teased a bit about it. He attempted suicide with a razor, unsuccessfully, and was put on anti-depression medicine (Prozac). He also voluntarily entered into a mental health ward.

Weise posts his last change to his MSN member directory, under the name: Sltd. It reads like a final thoughts posting, though unlike some of the others in that there were no curse words or anything.

Then on March 21, 2005 at 16 years of age, he takes his grandfather's police-issue handguns, a shotgun, his grandfather's bulletproof vest and gunbelt. He shoots and kills his grandfather and his grandfather's girlfriend in their home. Then about 3:00PM he takes his grandfather's police car, and drives to his old school.

He get's out in front of the school, and fires two shotgun blasts into the air. Weise then approached the entry doors to the school, and the school's metal detectors. Two unarmed security guards are at their post. They see Weise approaching the four metalclad doors. Weise tried one door and found it locked, he tried the next two and as one guard (a female) got up from her desk and urged the other to run, Weise found the unlocked door and went in. Weise fired another shot into the air. The guard recognized Weise, and noticed two handguns at his waist only partially concealed by the billowing black trenchcoat. The guards are unarmed and not wearing bulletproof vests.

As the guard turns to run, she notices students running towards the front of the school to see where the shots are coming from. She goes to head them off and sees her partner still sitting at the desk, despite her yelling at him to run and protect the children.

The female guard started yelling at the kids, "Run! there's a guy with a gun here! Just run!" As she ran off to protect them, she radioed in, "There's a guy coming in the school and he's shooting and he has a gun." As they hurried to get out of the back of the school, the guard turned back and saw her partner getting up, going right towards Weise. She and the students hurried down the hallway and heard two more shots.

Presumably the guard had tried to talk Jeff into giving up, but no one will ever know for sure, though witnesses say that those two shots were the ones that took his life.

All hell broke loose as other shots were fired and Weise was catching up to the guard before turning off down a side hallway.

Weise chased a teacher and some students down a hallway, shooting and injuring the 62-year-old teacher who then reached the relative safety of a classroom with her students. Weise managed to get there anyway, shot/killed the teacher and killed other students in that classroom before roaming the halls, firing seemingly at random.

Teachers locked down their classrooms. Witness accounts say that Jeff was smiling and waving as he shot people. Perhaps it was sarcasm, but we'll probably never know.

He reportedly asked a student if the student believed in God before shooting him in the head. Children claimed they could hear people shouting at him by name, "No Jeff! No!"

Weise went for two girls, but a 15-year-old boy named Jeff May intervened and stabbed Weise in the side with a pencil. Weise shot him in the right cheek and the bullet lodged in his neck. Jeff May survived the attack but suffered a stroke and is unable to move his left side. It isn't known if he will recover, though he is currently able to write notes to his family, and can breathe on his own, which doctors say is a good sign.

One boy later claimed that Jeff had made eye contact with him. He thought he was sort of friends with Jeff, and was shocked when Jeff brought up the gun to shoot him. Someone else running past got in the way, and the boy escaped.

He shot and killed 5 students, 1 teacher and 1 security guard. He injured 7 students. Two of the wounded had been shot in the chest, one had a hip injury, and three (including Jeff May) were shot in head. One of the students with head injuries died in the hospital, another had undisclosed injuries.

Weise opened fire at four policemen that had entered the school to take him down, and one of the officers returned fire, though it's believed he missed his mark. Weise ran back into the classroom he'd been in earlier, and shot himself in the head. As he'd indicated in one of his posts on the Nazi website, he didn't like the prospect of jail.

When all was said and done, from the time he shot the guard to the time he shot himself, 10 minutes had elapsed.

Now families are mourning, and the families of the victims from Columbine feel as though their wounds have all been reopened. Several of the people from Columbine, including the mayor, intend to go up to Red Rock to help families up there begin the healing process.

A lot of people are clamoring that there were warning signs that shouldn't have been missed, but the reality is that a lot of what I've gleaned has been through internet research on his various postings around the internet. To those around him, he perhaps seemed a little strange, and a bit morbid, but it's not until you encounter his internet life that you get a feel for a boy calling for help.

To my count, I've found 5 different email addresses that he used, including two MSN accounts and 3 Hotmail accounts, I've found him to be using several different aliases too, each one led me to the next. It's relatively easy tracking something like that. His posts in general were honest, and fit the other information coming out, suggesting that he really did want someone to catch up with him. He had a couple of "about me" type homepages, and a weblog, in addition to several member pages that he filled out fairly thoroughly at some of the forums he visited.

The FBI is saying that it's hard to create a profile for a person who causes events like these because any descriptions of any signs they submit would represent a sizable chunk of the population. Not only that, but it might make people blind to other warning signs that someone might exhibit.

Many of my sources were Jeff Weise's various internet postings, aside from all of the details of the shooting itself, those were gleaned from several news sources, including MSNBC, CNN, The Smoking Gun, and the New York Times. The New York Times has the most complete article to date, though it seemed to contain some discrepancies with other known facts.

The timeline for this information (except for the shootings themselves) are blotchy at best. It's not known for sure what the absolute order of things were. There is also information that the FBI is currently withholding until their investigation is complete.

Jeff Weise Timeline
1997 - Father committed suicide
1999 - Mother's car accident
Dec. 2003 - "Zombie story" writers coven
Mar. 2004 - started Nazi postings
Apr. 2004 - school threat
June 2004 - after suicide attempt, verlassen4_20@yahoo.com Profile - reference to band website.. deadlink
July 2004 - Last Nazi Posting
Sept 2004 - "America.. love it or leave it" quote
Oct. 2004 - "target practice"
Dec. 2004 - weblog started ( www.livejournal.com/users/weise/ )
Jan. 2005 - Weblog ended
Mar. 16, 2005 - final cry for help - (http://members.msn.com/default.msnw?guids=5aXX8tO9KEjnWANMWs749Y3cD1rJr6hljzJEOsRSwhw35eWkLkp0NoeYk3WWt6I7Do)
Mar. 21, 2005 - school shooting

While looking at the things he posted, I was drawn to the fact that it didn't appear that he had any idea he'd be a killer one day. Yes, there was quite a bit of racial prosecution resentment, but the following quote is about as bad as he got in dealings with others (his member pages are different). This is from a review on an anti-gun Flash video he viewed, in his own words: -- "A country founded on the deaths of millions of Native Americans, a country built on the deaths of innocents. A country forged from a holocaust greater than that of the Jews. Adolf Hitler supposedly killed 6 million innocent Jews in its death camps and ghettos, Christopher Columbus is responsible for the deaths of over 8 million Native Americans. Which one has his own holiday? On the subject of guns, one day I'll gladly buy my sons (once I have them) assault rifles, pistols, shotguns, rifles, whatever. It's my right as an "American." God bless America, for killing billions of people world wide. Love it or leave it, you've got no choice. :)" --

It appears that (according to his weblog) that somewhere in December of 2004, he was dealt a large blow that he was having difficulty coping with. At the beginning of the weblog, there's a sense of a fresh start and new beginnings, but by the second post, he's angry about life in general, and belittling himself for trying to make a new start for himself.

On some of the forums he was quite friendly and polite to the other folks there. So at what point did that change to TRUE murderous intent?

Was he plotting and planning since the middle of last year? Or was he merely on a path that took him to that point perhaps a month prior to carrying it out? In September, according to the post I quoted above, he still intended to have children of his own one day. Notice he didn't say "if" he had kids..

Did he know he was becoming a monster? Was that the plan?

Will we ever know?

In any event, I found it quite interesting to hop around to his various posts around the internet and submit these links for you to look at, if you wish, to get a peek into the mind of a very troubled young man who turned into a murderer. Some of these links will go bad quickly, I initially had more, but upon rechecking them, I've found that a lot of his posts have been removed.

There is a webblog where a lot of the information and links are being copied and added to the site, if you're interested, it's certainly a good resource for these events. He apparently started a little late to catch some of the earlier stuff, but I think folks are feeding him the missing stuff from their own downloads: http://blogumentary.typepad.com/chuck/2005/03/red_lake_massac.html

I'd be remiss if I didn't also add this site too, where more info can be found (I'm Deadguy on there): http://www.allthingszombie.com/forums/showthread.php?t=3321&page=2&pp=15

Finally, the Zombie forums he used to frequent have removed his membership data and removed the posts he made, but have added a thread of conversation which includes several thought-provoking mature views on what their concerns are as having "rubbed elbows" with someone that snapped like this: http://bobturkee.com/ROTD/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=198&postdays=0&postorder=asc&start=0



"Deadguy's Dementia" is ©2005 by Mike "Deadguy" Scott.  Webpage design by Nolan B. Canova.  The "Deadguy's Dementia" header graphic and background tile are creations of Mike Scott.  All contents of Nolan's Pop Culture Review are ©2005 by Nolan B. Canova.