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Another Would-be School Shooter

John on June 5, 2008 at 2:53 pm

His name is Russell James Frantom and he’s only 16. He was arrested in April after leaving comments on a My Space page praising Harris and Klebold (the Columbine killers). His locker was searched and police found a notebook full of statements like these:

04/16/08 – I wish I could start feeling normal. I wish I could shoot up the school and get away with it and still get my national recognition. That’s how much I hate most of these people here. I hate them divinely.

04/18/08 – I could kill anyone without feeling bad because society sucks.

Just prior to his arrest he’d begun planning an actual shooting spree with an accomplice he met on my space. The accomplice was 33 year old Lee Billi. The pair had already set a date, it was going to be September 11, because that date was already “iconic.”

Whether they would have gone through with the plan is anyone’s guess, but many of the signs are there. Neighbors described Frantom as a strange loner. He was fond of making crude You Tube videos including this one where he films himself vandalizing a Target bathroom (including drawing a swastika, which fits the mold).

He also has the requisite fascination with the Columbine killers and with “natural selection.” For those not familiar with it, this is not a reference to Darwin’s theory of evolution, at least not in a scientific sense. This is a code word adopted by fans of the Columbine killers who imagine themselves as helping evolution along by ridding the world of the weak and stupid. It’s a kind of murderous social Darwinism which has been adopted by at least two previous school shooters including Pekka-Eric Auvinen. And as you can seen in this image from his My Space page Russell seems to be quite familiar with the concept.

Related: In an update to this post, would be school shooter Ryan Schallenberger got an unlikely gift from a group of students at the school he planned to attack. Schallenberger who said after he was arrested that he wanted to “kill Jesus” received a new Bible with notes of encouragement from his former fellow students:

Chesterfield High senior Parker Anderson initially brought the Bible to school.

“It was kind of me and my mother’s idea. She mentioned it to me, and I thought about it for a day or two …,” he said. “When we wrote in it, we wrote stuff like ‘God loves you no matter what unconditionally,’ stuff like that.

Anderson said getting fellow students to sign the Bible for Schallenberger wasn’t an easy task.

“A couple of them at school, they’re still kind of iffy about it,” he said. “When it comes down to it, we did it, we gave it to him.”

Anderson said he and his fellow students who signed the Bible hope this demonstration of compassion could change everything for Schallenberger.

“If he doesn’t believe in God, maybe he’ll take the time and read it, and it will change his life,” Anderson said.

These kids did a good thing. Here’s hoping it helps.

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Category: Crime & the Law |

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