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"Light, or Salvation"...The Redlake School Massacre
Links added 3/23/05:
In addition to postings on websites associated with certain "hate groups" (link takes you to a Newswire story about Weise and those websites), Jeff Weise, the 17-year-old school shooter from Redlake, Minnesota, had a Livejournal.Thoughts of a Dreamer. [Google news search for Jeff Weise]. It appears that yesterday, March 21, 2005, Jeff killed his grandparents, then took his grandfather's police cruiser and police-issued weapons to his school, where he killed 7 others - 5 students, 2 staff members, and ultimately, himself.
If LJ remains true to form, they will do what they did after it was discovered Rachelle Waterman, the Alaska honor student who plotted the murder of her mom Lori, had a LiveJournal [Google Search], and yank the thing, so go now.
If you look at the user info page you'll see Jeff's choice quote - the quote many choose to sum up who they think they are, "Liberate your mind, bitch."
It's only a few entries, but already the LJ pile-on has begun (LiveJournal disabled the comments - 3/23/05). That's when other Livejournalers discover an infamous journalist among their number and immediately begin the barrage of pithy, pissy, angry, sick commentary.
Or just odd comments, like the following by 'anonymous' (again, comments disabled by LJ, 3/23/05):
"...In part, I feel more pity for you, Weise, in comparison with the victims whose lives you took, along with your own. People are ignorant, and it takes more than willpower to overcome. It takes a message. Something that people will relate to. Something that will open minds to different points of view. Something that brings about change. I hope your journey was not in vain. Perhaps something positive will come about this, instead of the usual media blaming it on violence in society. Perhaps people will feel more sympathetic and realize your ideals, instead of ignorantly stereotpying (sic) them. Perhaps you will have brought about a change. Perhaps..."
Okay. It's probably good that person was anonymous, because multiple readings of the comment only serve to underscore the idea that the writer was a bit disturbed in their own right.
Reading some of these comments it's hard to not recall what I was feeling when posting actively on BTK Strangler-related [Google search] message boards; such things can attract people every bit as twisted and hollowed-out as the subject of the board, or in this case, the joural-writer.
I wasn't going to write about this case, as to me it was another sad brick in a wall. It becomes less of a surprise all the time that nowadays more angry teens seem to go ahead and make that leap into unfettered homicidal violence. The added feature of Weise having, as is characteristic of many murderous teens lately, an online presence, was enough to make me pay closer attention.
What struck me in writing this entry though was the correlation I saw between Jeff Weise and Rachelle Waterman. Something about smart kids, teens, in out-of-the-way, wintry places. Redlake Minnesota is not far from the Canadian border, a famously wintry area, and Waterman's home in Craig Alaska was similar...small, isolated, snowbound. It almost feels like the isolation eats it's way into the souls of these kids, souls that were probably already more hollowed-out than not, and renders within a permanent, living sense of purgatory. Weise, for his part, acted out the mass-murderer's typical ritual; most mass killings of this type are suicides by angry males. They have simply decided to settle scores and/or make statements before they go. Waterman felt the answer was probably matricide - the removal of her mother as a perceived controlling factor would bring her a sense of freedom.
Jeff Weise's words seem the most appropriate to end with though. His acts, and the acts of the other teens who make the news this way, are ultimately testimonies to what it really means to end without light, or salvation.
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Just wondering, was Jeff Weise on any kind of anti-depressant drugs like all of the other school shooters?
very intersting find Steve, thanks - the suicide rate is higher the farther north you go, Scandanavia, etc. I think it's the lack of light as well as the cold and isolation
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