It is easy to be unhappy with the headlines in the New York Post. Today is no different - "Sick Homages From A Student of Psychos" - but reporter Jill Culora did an excellent job getting all her facts correct after she interviewed me for this story:
Virginia Tech killer Cho Seung-Hui plagiarized other school-shooting psychos in a twisted show of one-upmanship. He used the Internet to research and learn from infamous school killers, including Columbine HS's Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold, Duane Morrison of Bailey, Colo., and Kimveer Gill of Montreal, experts said.
In photos he sent to NBC News, Cho is seen wearing a black baseball cap backward, just as Harris wore in published images.
In others, Cho strikes poses disturbingly similar to those of Gill - who posted photos of himself online before his rampage last September at Montreal's Dawson College that killed one student and injured a dozen.
Gill's profile on the social-networking site VampireFreaks.com shows him pointing a pistol at the camera while holding a hunting knife in his right hand, just as Cho did his photos.
During his death spree, Cho chained doors closed - as Morrison did last year, when he held female students hostage at Platte Canyon HS and killed one. Cho mentioned "martyrs" Harris and Klebold in his videotaped manifesto.
"Cho was an empty vessel and he poured himself full from images off the [cable news and] Internet - the culture of Columbine, Dawson College and terrorism," said Loren Coleman, an expert on school shootings and author of The Copycat Effect.
"There's a psychological process that these shooters appear to be competing for the highest body count."Jill Culora, New York Post, Sunday, April 22, 2007.