Virginia Tech Gunman Emails Made Public

Dennis Faas's picture

Emails written by Virginia Tech gunman Seung-Hui Cho have been released to the media via the school's own newspaper, the Collegiate Times. The messages make up just one part of a the nearly 14,000 documents related to the slayings made available last week.

It's been a year and a half since the violence at Virginia Tech. A calm has finally settled over the campus, but most students, professors, and staff still struggle to imagine what could have possibly led Cho, the gunman responsible for the deaths of 32 other students, to embark on such a deadly, vicious rampage.

The massive store of documents include emails between Cho and his professors, a harassment complaint filed against the gunman in 2005, university plans to help students recover from the tragedy, administration strategies for publicizing the massacre, and ideas for raising funds and restoring the school's name in the wake of the April 16, 2007 event. (Source:

David Grant, editor of the Collegiate Times, would not divulge exactly how the student newspaper acquired the sensitive documents, but he did deny that there was any unscrupulous hacking involved. The documents were made available to members of the victims' families as a way to prevent further lawsuits against the school. According to reports, those documents were not meant to be available to the public until February of next year.

Virginia Tech doesn't seem to be very impressed with the Collegiate Times' behavior on this matter. A representative scolded the Times for making the documents public well ahead of their planned date and for not being sensitive to the feelings of those families most affected by the massacre.

Although the documents give no indication that Cho was capable of such violence, they do reveal that he was the subject of discussion amongst some members of the university's English faculty. Emails between several professors give the impression that faculty knew something was very different about Cho, even very worrisome.

"He is extremely visible, and if you... have dealt with him, you know that he is not simply shy and quiet -- there is something else going on," said one academic. (Source:

Unfortunately, it's impossible to bring back those bright, young students who lost their lives last year, but with the help of technology and some tough investigative work, it might be possible to identify warning signs in the near or distant future.

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