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The NIU Gunman: Hatred-type Stuff

John on February 17, 2008 at 2:01 pm

I’ve been reading all the stories about the NIU guman. Over the last couple days a picture has begun to emerge of who Steven Kazmierczak was and what drove him to this latest school shooting rampage.

At first, there was only confusion. Kasmierczak seemed to be a good student with a clean background. His undergraduate GPA was reportedly 4.0. But then the details of a troubled past began to come out. He had joined the army in 2001 but been discharged in less than a year due to unspecified problems. He spent time in a psychiatric treatment center after he became “unruly” during his high school years. Unruly is a pretty mild way to put it. Kasmierczak was involved with Satanism and White Power and according to a friend became engaged in “hatred-type stuff.”

These problems seemed to diminish as he pursued an advanced degree in social work but there were still signs. He took a job with the prison system and just a few weeks later failed to show up for work. He was fired. He appears to have simply never returned to his job.

He is also said to have had a troubled relationship with his girlfriend. According to some accounts he “pushed her around.” The relationship may have ended in December fueling his decline but the details are still sketchy.

What is certain is that over the past six months Kasmierczak’s fascination with violence, satanism and guns seems to have resurfaced. He had himself tattooed with the images below only recently.

The pentegram of course has other meanings than satanism, but given Kasmierczak’s history of interest in Satanism I think it’s a safe bet that’s what he had in mind. The other arm shows the character from the sadistic Saw films with bleeding cuts in the background. Significantly, Kasmierczak was known to cut himself during his psychiatric stay.

According to the chief of police investigating this, Kasmierczak recently went off his meds and was increasingly erratic. No word what those meds were or what he was being treated for, but I think its safe to assume it was for psychiatric illness. One wonders why the doctor who prescribed him medication was not concerned by the appearance of such grisly tattoos.

The police say that Kasmierczak left no suicide note. However they did seize a laptop from a motel where he had stayed just prior to the shootings. No doubt they will find some interesting information on the drive.

There is one interesting bit of information which has only appeared in British papers. Supposedly, Kasmierczak wore a black trenchcoat during his rampage. If so, that might be significant. The trenchcoat (if in fact he wore one) would tie him to numerous other school shooters, starting with the Columbine killers.

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Category: Crime & the Law |

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