Mass murderer Seung-Hui Cho has managed to do the near-impossible. Reaching out from his grave, Cho has forced the next-of-kin, survivors, and the rest of the world, to relive his monstrous crime of murdering 32 individuals at Virginia Tech University. Cho mailed 28 video and audio clips, 43 still photos, and a 1,800 word manifesto to NBC News in New York. Since the putrid package arrived yesterday, the world has been treated to a crazed version in pictures and sound of a twisted mind blaming the world for his rampage that took those precious young lives before Cho mercifully took his own.

The Chicago Tribune calls it “the dark side of so-called citizen journalism.” Cho apparently began preparing his own “eulogy” at least six days before the attacks. Some think that Cho’s multimedia manifesto is as offensive in its own way as the killings that preceded it. NBC’s decision to air the material came after NBC News president Steve Capus said his company had an obligation to give people a glimpse inside the mind of a killer.

But Capus and other network executives knew that NBC had a small window of time before the materials reached the other rival networks and the Internet. In fact, NBC had no way of knowing if Cho had mailed similar packages to ABC and CBS or had posted the material on one or more web sites. Many family members of the victims remain very upset with NBC. Some cancelled their plans to appear on NBC’s “Today” show. So far there has been no indication as to why Cho chose NBC for his manipulation of the media. Still unanswered by the network – where is the line between the public interest and being manipulated by a murderer.

Images of Cho were shown over and over on NBC in what some viewers said appeared to be a “continuous loop” of Cho in various militant poses. In one photo. He is shown facing the camera with an automatic pistol in each hand. Ironically, this is very close to what many of the victims saw for real in the final seconds of their lives. Cho also mentioned Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold, the two young men who killed 12 students at Columbine High School in Colorado in 1999. Cho called them “martyrs,” prompting a psychiatry professor at UCSF to say Cho’s formidable message, now aired worldwide, poses “a real danger of copycats.”

Cho, a South Korean immigrant, ranted against the luxuries enjoyed by Americans – ranging from Mercedes automobiles to jewelry and expensive liquor to “debaucheries of the rich.” The video and other materials solve one of the biggest mysteries about the massacre: what Cho did during the two-hour window between two separate attacks. He was at a postoffice, mailing the materials to NBC.

Today, university officials at Virginia Tech announced that the students murdered by Cho would be awarded their degrees posthumously during commencement ceremonies.

– Chase.Hamil

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