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Introduction   Previous school violence   Media coverage   Reaction

In His Own Words

Before his shooting rampage, Seung-Hui Cho created a multimedia manifesto. He sent the package to NBC's New York headquarters by post in the hours between the two attacks. NBC received it and aired selections of the material on its networks. It was widely criticised for doing so.

Manifesto Contents

Cho's manifesto included a 23-page written statement, 43 photos, and 27 video clips. Many of the photos showed Cho brandishing the weapons, pointing them at the camera or at himself. Others showed lines of bullets or Cho with a hammer or knife. In his videos and writings he blamed the world: "You had a hundred billion chances and ways to have avoided today." He continued, "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." He likened himself to Jesus Christ, excoriated the wealthy, and referenced "martyrs like Eric and Dylan," the Columbine shooters.

Mainstream Media Show Manifesto

NBC received Cho's package on Wednesday, 18 April. The return address said it came from "A. Ishmael." The network gave it to the police, but decided to air selections of the footage. Once NBC released the material, all major American news outlets followed suit. Other media outlets around the world used the photos that Cho took, running them on front pages of newspapers.

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