Seung Hui Cho
16 April 2007 · Virginia Tech: 2007 · Blacksburg, VirginiaUSA


Desperate Identities: A Bio-Psycho-Social Analysis of Perpetrators of Mass Violence [24 pp, 482 Kb]

This article examines five school shooters and five perpetrators of other types of mass violence. The five school shooters are Eric Houston, Eric Harris, Seung Hui Cho, Adam Lanza, and Elliot Rodger. The other perpetrators are Timothy McVeigh, Clay Shrout, Anders Breivik, James Holmes, and Dylann Roof. The article was originally published in Criminology and Public Policy and is posted here with permission. 

Rampage School Shooters: A Typology [11 pp, 600 Kb]

This article appeared in the journal Aggression and Violent Behavior (published by Elsevier) and is reprinted with their permission. The article provides a brief overview of the scholarly literature on school shooters, followed by a presentation of my typology.

Original documents

Cho’s English Department E-mails [94 pp, 3.4 Mb]

This file contains e-mails to, from, and about Seung Hui Cho, as well as poetry and fiction of his and a statement from his family. The e-mails are from both before and after the attack (most from before) and are not in order.

FBI Virginia Tech Documents [101 pp, 2.63 Mb]
Legal and Mental Health Records of Seung Hui Cho [68 pp, 9.8 Mb]

The following documents include the records of three incidents that brought Cho to the attention of the university police in 2005, his subsequent court order for a mental health evaluation, and his mental health records. There is also the document of a speeding ticket he received shortly before the attack, a search warrant completed after the attack, as well as the court order following the attack for unsealing the audio record of his commitment hearing in 2005.

“Mr. Brownstone” [11 pp, 188 Kb]

This play was written by Seung Hui Cho while a student at Virginia Tech. The title is from a song by Guns 'N Roses and the play quotes the lyrics.

“Richard McBeef” [10 pp, 328 Kb]

This play was written by Seung Hui Cho while a student at Virginia Tech.

Seung Hui Cho’s Essay and Professor’s Letter [3 pp, 2.17 Mb]

In 2005 Cho wrote an essay and read it aloud in class, causing distress among the students and professor. This document includes the essay along with the professor’s letter to Cho in response to the essay.

Seung Hui Cho’s Fiction and Poetry [79 pp, 1.74 Mb]

This document contains short stories by Cho, along with his poem titled “a boy named LOSER.”

Seung Hui Cho’s “Manifesto” [4 pp, 42 Kb]

Cho sent what has been described as a “multimedia manifesto” to MSNBC on the day of his attack at Virginia Tech. This included 23 pages of photographs and text. This document contains the text. Cho identified himself in this document as Ax Ishmael, which is what was also found written on his arms in red ink (initially this was reported in the media as “Ax Ismail” or “Ismail’s Ax.”)

Official reports

Mass Shootings at Virginia Tech: Report of the Review Panel [260 pp, 17 Mb]

This is the official findings of the review panel from August 2007.

Virginia Tech: Addendum to the Official Report [210 pp, 4 Mb]

This report, released in November 2009, is a revised version of the original report.