Ex-Va. Tech official had gunman's mental records
2009 07 23

From: news.yahoo.com/

The Virginia Tech gunman's missing mental-health records have been found at the home of a former university counseling official more than two years after the bloodbath — a discovery that angered victims' families struggling to understand how the killer fell through the cracks so disastrously.

The belated emergence of Seung-Hui Cho's file, a development disclosed in a memo obtained Wednesday by The Associated Press, represents another embarrassing lapse in the case and raises questions about how such potentially explosive evidence could be lost for so long.

"Deception comes to my mind in my first response," said Suzanne Grimes, whose son Kevin Sterne was wounded. "It gives me the impression, 'What else are they hiding?'"

The contents of the file have not been made public, and Gov. Tim Kaine said it is unclear why Dr. Robert C. Miller, former director of the campus clinic where Cho was counseled because of his disturbing behavior, took the records home more than a year before Cho killed 32 people and committed suicide on April 16, 2007.

Because Miller brought the file to his attorney's attention and it was not found by law enforcement, its discovery calls into question the thoroughness of the criminal investigation and the findings of a commission appointed by the governor. The commission never interviewed Miller.

Victims' families want to know whether the file contains warning signs that could have prevented the nation's deadliest shooting rampage.

"Would things have been different if we had this information? What information is in those records?" asked Lori Haas, whose daughter Emily was wounded in the shootings.

Miller, 54, declined to comment when reached by telephone at his private practice.

State officials said they would release the records publicly as soon as possible, either by getting consent from Cho's estate or through a subpoena. The medical records are protected under state privacy laws.

Miller told his attorney about Cho's file last Thursday, said Mark E. Rubin, the governor's chief legal counsel. According to a university memo shared with victims' families, Miller took the records for Cho and several other students home around the time he left his job at the center in 2006.

After the massacre, the counseling center conducted an exhaustive search for the records in 2007, and Miller told investigators at the time that he didn't know where they were, university spokesman Mark Owczarski said.

Virginia State Police are investigating whether a criminal act was committed, spokeswoman Corinne Geller said. Kaine said it was illegal to remove records from the center.

The governor said he was dismayed that it took two years to find the records.

"That is part of the investigation that I am very interested in and, of course, I'm very concerned about that," Kaine said.

The families of two of the dead were already claiming that Miller withheld troubling information about Cho. A lawsuit they filed in April claims Miller was told by Cho's English professors about his disturbing behavior and by the school's residential director that Cho had a history of erratic behavior and suicidal thoughts and had "blades" in his room.

The lawsuit claims Miller never passed that information on to either of the therapists from the counseling center who dealt with Cho during three 45-minute triage sessions in 2005.

Notes of the warnings to Miller or those made by the therapists concerning the three meetings were never found by investigators. It is unclear if those are part of the recovered records.

"Why would he take any student mental health records to his home at any time, and why that student?" said Robert T. Hall, an attorney for the two families. "It certainly is a question of whether there is more to the Seung-Hui Cho mental health history than we've been told."

The Virginia Tech Review Panel appointed by Kaine interviewed more than 200 people. The leader of that investigation, former Virginia State Police Superintendent Gerald Massengill, said Wednesday that investigators interviewed Miller's successor at the clinic, but not Miller.

Massengill said Cho's records could be critical to understanding the rampage and "should give us a better understanding of what actions the university did or did not take."

After the massacre, the panel faulted school officials for waiting two hours to warn students that Cho had killed two students in a dormitory. By the time the warning went out, Cho was chaining shut the doors to a classroom building, where he killed 30 students and teachers before shooting himself as police closed in.

Some have also faulted the university for not responding more decisively to warning signs from Cho, including his increasingly sullen behavior and twisted, violence-filled classroom writings. Cho also managed to buy two guns despite his history of mental illness.

In a video tirade he sent to NBC on the day of the massacre, the 23-year-old Cho railed against "snobs" and rich "brats."

Source: news.yahoo.com



Related Articles
“Ismail Ax” and the Latest Mind-Controlled Assassin
Virginia School Shooting: Another Government Black-Op?
Chicago Tribune: Cho Seung Hui, Danger signs festered below aloof surface
When the Wind Blows - Symbolism of Virginia Tech Massacre
Sources: Feds Ordered VA Police To Stand Down
Virginia Tech Shooting 'Oddities'
Seung-Hui Cho Was a Mind Controlled Assassin
Queen 'shocked' at Va. shootings; set to visit Virginia May 3-4
33 Dead in Virginia Tech Shootings, At Least 24 Injured


Latest News from our Front Page

Magaluf bar where British girl was filmed performing sex acts on 24 men is shut down after police investigation into video
2014 07 26
Is this what the youth in Britain and Europe is spending their their energy, money, efforts and innocence on? The young girl, pictured, was lured into performing multiple sex acts after organisers offered a free drink although she thought a holiday was on offer* Council officials launched an official investigation after the video went viral Playhouse bar in Magaluf and entertainment ...
Prejudice is a Form of Common Sense - Hard-Wired Into the Human Brain, Says ASU Study
2014 07 26
Contrary to what most people believe, the tendency to be prejudiced is a form of common sense, hard-wired into the human brain through evolution as an adaptive response to protect our prehistoric ancestors from danger. So suggests a new study published by Arizona State University researchers in the May issue of the "Journal of Personality and Social Psychology," which contends that, ...
The State is a Bully
2014 07 24
In the history of Western philosophy and social theory, no really silly idea has been more successful than the theory of the social contract. It is in fact not a theory of the social contract. It is a theory of the political contract. It is the idea, promoted by Thomas Hobbes, John Locke, and Jean-Jacques Rousseau, that, at some point in ...
NATO Exercise in Ukraine Coincided with MH-17 Shoot-down
2014 07 24
Rapid Trident was omitted from the flurry of coverage on the shoot-down MH-17. From the U.S. Army in Europe website: Rapid Trident supports interoperability among Ukraine, the United States, NATO and Partnership for Peace member nations. The exercise helps prepare participants to operate successfully in a joint, multinational, integrated environment with host-nation support from civil and governmental agencies. ...
Warning of ’imminent’ terror attack in Norway
2014 07 24
Norwegians were warned Thursday of the concrete possibility of a terror attack occurring in that country at the hands of people with connections to an extremist group in Syria. A press conference was called in Oslo, Norway on Thursday where an announcement was made of a "possible concrete threat" to national security in that country from terrorists related to an extremist ...
More News »