BLACKSBURG, Va. – Midway through his murderous rampage, the Virginia Tech gunman went to the post office and mailed NBC a package containing photos and videos of him brandishing guns and delivering a snarling, profanity-laced tirade about rich “brats” and their “hedonistic needs.”
“You had a hundred billion chances and ways to have avoided today,” 23-year-old Cho Seung-Hui says in a harsh monotone. “But you decided to spill my blood. You forced me into a corner and gave me only one option. The decision was yours. Now you have blood on your hands that will never wash off.”
NBC said the package contained a rambling and often-incoherent, 1,800-word video manifesto, plus 43 photos, 11 of them showing him aiming handguns at the camera.
He repeatedly suggests he was picked on or otherwise hurt.
“You have vandalized my heart, raped my soul and torched my conscience,” he says, apparently reading from his manifesto. “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.”
The package arrived at NBC’s headquarters in New York two days after Cho killed 32 people and committed suicide in the deadliest one-man shooting rampage in modern U.S. history. It bore a Postal Service time stamp showing that it had been mailed at a Virginia post office at 9:01 a.m. Monday, about an hour and 45 minutes after Cho first opened fire.
That would help explain one of the biggest mysteries about the massacre: where the gunman was and what he did during that two-hour window between the first burst of gunfire, at a high-rise dorm, and the second fusillade, at a classroom building.
“Your Mercedes wasn’t enough, you brats,” says Cho, a South Korean immigrant whose parents work at a dry cleaners in surburban Washington. “Your golden necklaces weren’t enough, you snobs. Your trust funds wasn’t enough. Your vodka and cognac wasn’t enough. All your debaucheries weren’t enough. Those weren’t enough to fulfill your hedonistic needs. You had everything.”
Some of the pictures show him smiling; others show him frowning and snarling. Some depict him brandishing two weapons at a time, one in each hand. He wears a khaki-colored military-style vest, fingerless gloves, a black T-shirt, a backpack and a backwards, black baseball cap.