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Minnesota High School Shooter's Interests May Have Foretold Tragedy

Jeff Weise, the 16 year-old Red Lake Reservation, MN youth responsible for Mondays deadly mass murder, seemed to model himself after the Columbine killers, said students who knew the boy from school. Like Klebold and Harris, Weise frequently wore combat boots with red laces - an allusion to blood.

Though some said they thought Weise seemed suicidal and that he had once stated, "That would be cool if I shot up the school," those who knew Weise dismissed the comment as just talk.

Minneapolis TV station WCCO-TV reported that Weise was obsessed with the obscure horror-core rapper Mars, particularly his song "Go Suicidal," which features the lyrics "no more pain, no more suffering, the dead ain't feeling nothing ... just put that pistol to your chin."

In addition to violent drawings reported by other students, Weise created a violent, blood-soaked Flash animated video that included an animated character shooting four people and blowing up a police car before committing suicide.

weise_flash.jpg


School Killer's Animated Terror [The Smoking Gun]
Minnesota High School Shooter Lived Troubled, Lonely Life [MTV]


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Comments (43)

I wonder, sometimes, if the... (Below threshold)
Synova:

I wonder, sometimes, if the violent drawings are like a psychic asking question that have a better chance than not of being true. You know, like... "You suffered a great disappointment as a small child" or something.

My son draws the most amazing panoramic explosions of carnage. I know it's from computer games, mostly. But it's all war and guns and blood. My dear daughter is very into Manga and draws blood and bondage and all sorts of things that very typically reflect pre-teen and teen ideas about what is edgy and profound. Her artist friends are very much the same. And when they write stories, they write what seems the most dramatic and important.

What the bloody hell is Syn... (Below threshold)
Insomniac:

What the bloody hell is Synova babbling about? Yes, teen angst is normal, and some darkness is expected, but obsession with violence, deviance and death is a serious problem. Where were this psychopath's parents when he was trolling Nazi sites and animating mass murder/suicide cartoons? Riddle me that one.

Insomniac,I don't kn... (Below threshold)
BurbankErnie:

Insomniac,
I don't know what happened to his Mother, but the kid watched his Dad commit suicide in a standoff with the local cop, who was his Grandad, the same one he killed. This was one fucked up kid.

An article linked by Drudge... (Below threshold)
BR:

An article linked by Drudge yesterday from news.yahoo.com had this:
"Relatives said his father committed suicide four years ago and that his mother was in a nursing home because of brain injuries following an auto accident."

So I assume he lived in his grandfather's home.

*****

There are now contradictory reports on whether he liked rap music or not:

Kevin's post above: "Minneapolis TV station WCCO-TV reported that Weise was obsessed with the obscure horror-core rapper Mars, particularly his song 'Go Suicidal'...."

Minnesota public radio reports:

"In one posting, he criticized interracial mixing on the reservation and slammed fellow Indian teens for listening to rap music. 'We have kids my age killing each other over things as simple as a fight, and it's because of the rap influence,' he wrote."


What to make of this?

Synova:Umm, I hope... (Below threshold)
-S-:

Synova:

Umm, I hope that you'll accept a bit of a suggestion from this concerned stranger, and that is that the content that you describe as monopolizing your children's drawings is not at all, not AT ALL, normal, acceptable, unnoteworthy (you express that your daughter's peers express similar content as if that makes it all O.K., while it does anything but, but indicates to the contrary that there is a group of persons displaying quite alarming psychology without parental/adult alarm, intervention).

The content that you discribe, whether adapted, learned, inspired by video games or peers is not at all, NOT AT ALL, usual or acceptable content and should be reconsidered along with your children's psychology as authors of that content. I'd suggest you consider speaking to a counselor, some person without any personal relationship with your family and then follow up on whatever you discover in that process because, to my view, what you describe that your children are drawing indicates that there are messages being expressed there that are failing to get through to you and to other adults in their environments.

The content you describe as... (Below threshold)
-S-:

The content you describe as being your daughter's drawings are not at all, NOT AT ALL, illustrative of "typical, pre-teen" issues.

I was drawing horses and landscapes at that age and painting portraits of revered authors I was discovering, just to provide some balance here.

Another sad example of how ... (Below threshold)
epador:

Another sad example of how "tolerance" of extreme behavior (touted so often by Hollywood and TV) is really ignoring societal responsibility and screams for help. You have the right idea, S. Just like we tolerate... well, don't get me started.

Burbank: roger that. I di... (Below threshold)
Insomniac:

Burbank: roger that. I didn't realize about the dad killing himself. Talk about traumatic. Still, it's bizarre that NOBODY apparently picked up on this kid's obvious sociopathic/psychopathic personality in any meaningful way.

One more thing. I'm with S... (Below threshold)
Insomniac:

One more thing. I'm with S on this: Synova, you need to get your kids some help. Like I said above, angst and a little darkness is one thing, obsession with brutality (especially sexual violence) is quite another. You should be on high alert, in my humble opinion.

"Still, it's bizarre that N... (Below threshold)
Master of None:

"Still, it's bizarre that NOBODY apparently picked up on this kid's obvious sociopathic/psychopathic personality in any meaningful way."

My understanding from listening to local news here in Minnesota was that the boy did receive psychiatric help on several occasions, and was removed from school and was being tutored at home by a school teacher because of his behavior. He had been investigated for making violent threats last year. I think only two things could have stopped this from happening. The boy should have been institutionalized, and the security guards should have had guns.

Insomniac "Where were this ... (Below threshold)
Synova:

Insomniac "Where were this psychopath's parents..."

And this is supposed to encourage me to put any faith at all in anything you say? The very earliest news reports included the information about his parents. Duh.

But, hey. If you all want kid's note-books gone through by the school psych and pre-emptive intervention taken for kids who display "calls for help" that's fine with me. My kids aren't in school. I mean, seriously... look at -S- reaction to what I wrote? Knowing nothing else at all, my kids are seriously disturbed and in need of intervention... and *that* is what I was blathering on about. We take a psychotic kid who has had a massively traumatic childhood and display some violent pictures he drew... and maybe a psychologist could explain why *those* pictures really are important, and certainly we've all watched television shows where they used artwork to examine the psyches of very small children, so that makes us experts, right?

So how many kids ever draw anything violent? Is a violent picture reason to be alarmed if a child is otherwise happy and well adjusted?

And *thank you* Master of None, for the infusion of common sense. There's no big mystery here. There's no need to search for ignored "calls for help." There's no desperate need to make sense out of what is senseless for fear that we'll miss the signs leading to the next aparently meek child who "snaps."

If anything would have been... (Below threshold)
Chrees:

If anything would have been done beyond what Master of None details happened, we would have another claim of Bushitler's fascist Amerikkka. 10 people would probably still be alive, however.

Yep, I glossed over a fact ... (Below threshold)
Insomniac:

Yep, I glossed over a fact while asking a standard rhetorical question. Darn, you got me there. However, your snottiness fails to address the point.

We aren't talking about a picture or two, we're talking about an apparent obsession with violence, far beyond what one expects in a typical teenager. This guy was obsessed. Your characterization about "some violent pictures" is grossly inaccurate and ignores the rest of the facts that have come to llight about Weise.

It's also highly disturbing that you speak of your own childrens' fascination with carnage and sexual violence with acceptance and even admiration. This indicates a serious lack of judgment and a disconnect from reality, which are far graver problems than missing a couple of details in a news story.

Jeff Weise had psychiatric ... (Below threshold)
BR:

Jeff Weise had psychiatric care? So the Ritalin question comes up again. Did he suddenly go off it like one of the Columbine killers?

From Novartis' own label for their Ritalin:

"Careful supervision is required during drug withdrawal, since severe depression as well as the effects of chronic over activity can be unmasked. Long-term follow-up may be required because of the patientís basic personality disturbances. Patients with an element of agitation may react adversely...."

BR -- I haven't read that h... (Below threshold)
Master of None:

BR -- I haven't read that he was on Ritalin, nor that he was diagnosed with ADD. Do you have any info on this?

Dear MasterofNone, these sc... (Below threshold)
BR:

Dear MasterofNone, these school shootings have had a pattern. I remembered reading that one of the Columbine shooters wanted to get into the military, but failed the test because of being on Ritalin. He then suddenly stopped taking it. Instead of qualifying for the military, he went on a shooting rampage.

If one Googles "Ritalin Suicide Mass Murder", 14,000 items show up. Here's the first one I just began reading: Banning Ritalin in Colorado:

"Ritalin is highly sought after by the drug-abusing population. According to Drug Abuse Warn Net (DAWN) it represents the greatest increase in drugs associated with abuse, and the highest number of suicides and emergency room admissions. Ritalin is classified as a schedule II, or most addictive drug, on par with cocaine, morphine, PCP and metamphetamines. The DEA has noted serious complications associated with Ritalin, including suicide, psychotic episodes and violent behavior. According to Washington Times [Insight magazine], “the common link in the recent phenomenon of high school shootings may be psychotropic drugs like Ritalin.” The International Journal of Addictions lists over 100 adverse reactions to Ritalin-paranoid psychosis, terror and paranoid delusions among them. Ritalin can have other serious side effects including disorientation of the central nervous system. It is an amphetamine, capable of inducing sudden cardiac arrest and death. Twelve year old Stephanie Hall of Canton, Ohio died the day after her Ritalin dose was increased..."

****

If someone could find out if he was on Ritalin or any other psych drug, and whether he stopped suddenly, it would be important in preventing such future events. I also wonder if his real name is "Jeff Weise" - odd for an American Indian to have a German name. If he has a different Am.Indian name, his school and medical records would be under another name, I suppose.

Missing a couple of details... (Below threshold)
Synova:

Missing a couple of details in a story isn't important when someone is acting like a know it all? Not that a lack of information seems to present a problem, hm?

The point I was attempting to make was that as disturbing as the picture posted *is* it can't be considered predictive of behavior and that we, as a society, risk putting undue significance on what may well... in an emotionally healthy person... simply be attempts at being edgy and profound or else just being "naughty" for the sake of doing something adults would frown upon or that would seem daring to friends.

Within the context of everything else that was going on with Weise a psychologist may find important information in the pictures. Outside of that context we risk going nutso in our need to make profound judgements on extremely limited information. We just watched it happen *right here*.

Or do you suppose that my brother-in-law's teachers were right to suspect him of devil worship because he was into D&D so long ago?

Ritalin is not indicated fo... (Below threshold)
Insomniac:

Ritalin is not indicated for depression. It's a central nervous system stimulant for ADD. Unless he was being treated for ADD, it's highly unlikely he was taking it.

Ritalin prescribing info

Let me amend that last post... (Below threshold)
Insomniac:

Let me amend that last post. It would be highly unlikely that he would be prescribed Ritalin.

His mother's name is Weise,... (Below threshold)
Master of None:

His mother's name is Weise, his father's name was Lussier.

At this point, we don't kno... (Below threshold)
BR:

At this point, we don't know which drug he was on, if any. It's not only Ritalin which has suicidal/homicidal side effects.

See section entitled A Little Known Fact: Withdrawal from Psychiatric Drugs Turn People Horrifically Violent:

"The fact that these drugs are a recipe for violence is obscured because frequently after a violent crime has been committed, psychiatrists or their allied organizations such as the pharmaceutical company-funded National Alliance for the Mentally Ill (NAMI), blame the offending person's violent behavior on his failure to continue his medication, but the truth is that violence is a documented side-effect of withdrawal from psychiatric drugs.

In 1995, a Danish medical study reported the following withdrawal symptoms from psychotropic drug dependence: 'Emotional changes: Fear, terror, panic, fear of insanity, failing self-confidence, restlessness, irritability, aggression, an urge to destroy and, in the worst cases, an urge to kill.' "

*****

Does anyone have a link a full list of suicides/homicides related to Ritalin, Prozac, etc.? It usually gets hushed up and secretly settled before trial, but I've noticed over the years that in the first 24-48 hours of these tragedies, the drug info briefly sees the light of day before it gets squelched.

Thanks, Master of None. Do... (Below threshold)
BR:

Thanks, Master of None. Do you have a link where you found the names?

It was in an article in the... (Below threshold)
Master of None:

It was in an article in the Minneapolis Star Tribune
HERE

Hi Insomniac - did you read... (Below threshold)
BR:

Hi Insomniac - did you read somewhere that he was diagnosed as having a depression? If he was put under psychiatric care after last year's episode of alleged threats of violence against schoolmates, Ritalin could have been prescribed on the basis of your link from Novartis' site:

"Ritalin is indicated... in children with a behavioural syndrome characterized by the following group of developmentally inappropriate symptoms: moderate-to-severe distractibility, short attention span, hyperactivity, emotional lability [changeable, unstable] and impulsivity...."

****

So, we need to know if he was under treatment, how long before the tragedy, if he was on psych drugs and/or street drugs, and if he suddenly stopped.

Synova, you keep attacking ... (Below threshold)
Insomniac:

Synova, you keep attacking positions that I have not taken. That's called a straw man fallacy, and it's very common among people who want to simultaneously dodge an issue and pretend they're clever.

I have not at any point argued that one picture is predictive of antisocial behavior. I have also not argued that playing D&D gives rise to a credible suspicion of devil worship. It is Weise's obsession with violence that shows something was very wrong.

You are being intellectually dishonest in your argument by failing to address the point that's been made. Or perhaps it's your own children's apparent fascination with extreme violence and sexual deviance that makes you uncomfortable addressing the subject head on?

The only thing that I've re... (Below threshold)
Master of None:

The only thing that I've read was that he was being treated for depression and on medication, and I think that info came from kids in his school, not from any official source.

BR - there is a report he w... (Below threshold)
Insomniac:

BR - there is a report he was taking antidepressants, and had attempted suicide, which led me to the conclusion he was suffering from depression. http://www.kansascity.com/mld/kansascity/news/nation/11220309.htm

4 million ticking bombs? (... (Below threshold)
BR:

4 million ticking bombs? (And that article was in 1996, wonder how many now?)

"In the U.S. alone, approximately 4 million children are currently on the psychiatric drug Ritalin, a drug which the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) places in the same category (a schedule ll drug) as opium, morphine and cocaine.

Psychotic episodes and violent behavior are associated with chronic Ritalin abuse. Ritalin is the amphetamine-like drug widely prescribed to children for the contrived mental disease, "Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder" (ADHD). Even Ritalin's manufacturer warns that "frank psychotic episodes can occur" with abusive use. And even the American Psychiatric Association's Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders lists the major complication of Ritalin withdrawal is suicide."

****
The Novartis site linked by Insomniac states ADHD was formerly called ADD.

Insomniac and Master of Non... (Below threshold)
BR:

Insomniac and Master of None, thanks for the links. I'll read them right away.

BR -- I'm not exactly sure ... (Below threshold)
Master of None:

BR -- I'm not exactly sure why you're posting information about Ritlan in this thread when there is no inidcation that he was taking it.

Insomniac, your link needs ... (Below threshold)
BR:

Insomniac, your link needs subscription. Can you type out its title, then I can Google for it elsewhere?

Master of None - because th... (Below threshold)
BR:

Master of None - because there has been a pattern in the past of school shootings connected to Ritalin and because in 1996 there were 4 million children on Ritalin. Insomniac has just found a report that he was on some kind of prescribed drug. So, I'm interested in that, and secondarily, which brand it was.

Insomniac, did the article ... (Below threshold)
BR:

Insomniac, did the article you read regarding Jeff Weise being on antidepressants state its source? Was it Michelle Kingbird, a friend of his? Or a different source?

Googling for "Jeff Weise antidepressant", there are now three, maybe more, other sites discussing this subject: here, here, and here.

Prozac: The <a href="http:... (Below threshold)
BR:

Prozac: The San Francisco Chronicle, 3/24/05 is reporting:

"'He was taking the antidepressant Prozac and at least once was hospitalized for suicidal tendencies,' said Gayle Downwind, a cultural coordinator at Red Lake Middle School, who taught Weise. It was not uncommon for Weise to spend at least one night a week at her home. 'He considered my house a safe place to be,' she said."

*****

Oh god, not another Prozac horror.

Jeff Weise - Draft Time Lin... (Below threshold)
BR:

Jeff Weise - Draft Time Line

Date unknown: "When Weise flunked eighth grade, he joined Downwind's special 'Learning Center' program at the school. 'He didn't function academically….' " [last sentence is a quote from Gayle Downwind, who taught Weise] (SF Chronicle 3/24/05).


April 04: Post by Todesengel on Apr 19th, 2004, 11:41pm
"…By the way, I'm being blamed for a threat on the school I attend because someone said they were going to shoot up the school on 4/20, Hitlers birthday, and just because I claim being a National Socialist, guess whom they've pinned?" (At Nazi site, linked by Kevin in his earlier post.)

May 04: Post by Todesengel on May 26th, 2004, 2:27am (at same link.)
"But the school threat passed and I was cleared as a suspect, I’m glad for that. I don’t much care for jail, I’ve never been there and I don’t plan on it."

June 04: "Last June, Weise was suicidal. John Dudley, a part-time bus driver for the Red Lake health center, was called at the time to transport Weise to the hospital in Thief River Falls, about 60 miles from the reservation." (SF Chronicle 3/24/05)

Dates ?: "'He was taking the antidepressant Prozac and at least once was hospitalized for suicidal tendencies,' said Gayle Downwind, a cultural coordinator at Red Lake Middle School, who taught Weise." (SF Chronicle 3/24/05)

******

So, if above is true, he became suicidal and was hospitalized in June 04 after the April-May 04 events at school when he was accused and cleared. So the question is, when was he taking and when did he stop taking Prozac? And was he on another prescribed drug before Prozac when he was in the special "Learning Center"?

Addition at top of Draft Ti... (Below threshold)
BR:

Addition at top of Draft Time Line:

Nov- Dec 03: Weise has violent dreams, perhaps drug-induced:

"...Lately I've been having some really strange dream's, they seem very realistic and filled with colour and sound's, they really are more realistic than dream's from like last month, but a few night's ago I had this dream where I saw this very evil, very creepy canine's face coming toward's me, and I heard someone say "Shoot!," either way everything went black and I could feel my whole body jerking and shaking, and while this was happening I could hear very loud and very distinct gunshot's, mostly machine gun fire... I found it very weird and woke up immediately after feeling a little disoriented..."(Posted by "Weise" "Freethinker" on 21-12-2003 at 04:13 AM

****

Not knowing the dates yet of his entering the special "Learning Center," I can't tell if this Nov-Dec 03 item is concurrent with it.

Found a partial list of sch... (Below threshold)
BR:

Found a partial list of school killings related to Prozac and Ritalin, at www.prozactruth.com/childrenkilling.htm.

Under the heading "A Few Examples of What Prozac and Ritalin Has Given Us," there is a link to this: (Read "e" for "3", it doesn't want to post otherwise.)

"The United States S 3cret S 3rvice and the Federal Bureau of Investigation have conducted their own assessment of school shootings. The reports were compiled in October and September of 2000, respectively.

What conclusions did the reports come up with? The S3 cret S3 rvice “National Threat Assessment Center” came up with the most conclusive findings. The FBI report is 39 pages longer and does not give any meaningful information.

The S 3cret S 3rvice document states, “Prior to the incident, nearly ¾ of the attackers either threatened to kill themselves, made suicidal gestures, or tried to kill themselves. More than half of the attackers had a history of feeling extremely depressed or desperate.”

So what is being overlooked here? Students are prescribed Ritalin, Prozac and other psychiatric medication simply because they can’t remain still in the classroom. Does it not stand to reason that odds favor the idea that these students were also under the influence of some psychiatric medication?"

***

Their main page lists individual school shooting incidents by children on Prozac and Ritalin.

The only one here who is fa... (Below threshold)
Synova:

The only one here who is fascinated with sexual deviance is you, Insomniac. I said nothing more shocking than "bondage" which to us jaded and worldly-wise types has certain meanings... like the subtext to catwoman's skin tight leather or a studded dog collar... that kids most often just don't *get*. So a picture that could reasonably be said to include elements of bondage might just be an anime angel in chains... signifying... an anime angel in chains?

Which is the main problem with getting bent out of shape about violent pictures. Taken out of the context of how the artist understands them they don't mean much.

"I have not at any point argued that one picture is predictive of antisocial behavior."

So how many is?

I didn't, after all, say anything about any *other* behavior, just pictures. So obviously pictures alone must be enough... so how many?

Synova, with respect, are y... (Below threshold)
RedWing:

Synova, with respect, are your children being given prescription drugs at school?

Synova, this will be my las... (Below threshold)
Insomniac:

Synova, this will be my last post addressed to you. Apparently you will not engage in an honest debate. You either argue against straw men or move the goal posts. This "gotcha" over you use of the term bondage is absurd. You chose to use the term, knowing full well that it connotes sexual deviance. Now you backtrack at the last minute to redefine it -- move the goalposts -- to try to escape the obvious conclusion that one would reach based on your own statements, and make a failed attempt to score rhetorical points. You still refuse to engage the issue at hand, despite multiple opportunities to do so, and set up the same straw man that I've already disavowed.

Accordingly, I'm not wasting any more time discussing this with you. I have no doubt you'll try to portray yourself as having won some kind of victory. In any event, I will remain concerned about you and your children, who seem to have some significant problems. I hope that you will figure out that ideas have consequences and some ideas are quite harmful, especially for children.

Just a thought or two for a... (Below threshold)
epador:

Just a thought or two for all you withdrawal-from-psychiatric-medication-causes-people-to-become-psychotic-killers-and-the-drug-companies-and-psychiatric-powerbrokers-are-in-a-big-conspiracy-to-hide-it-all theorists:
What about all the folks who go off these medications that don't become killers? How many of them are there proprotionally to the few alleged ones who have? Or is it the drug makes you psychotic so you do the bad things? Or is it both?
Or could it possibly be that a small proportion of folks who are disturbed enough to be treated for depression/ADHD, or whatever happen to be prone to such horrible behavior with or without the drugs?
How about all the really horrible things that drunks do while drunk or during withdrawal? I suspect that there is a lot more to be worried about as far as alcohol goes than Ritalin and Prozac combined. Did this kid ever drink alcohol?
I'd rather make fun of the oozers and creationists. This thread is just pathetic.

epador: for the record, I ... (Below threshold)
Insomniac:

epador: for the record, I don't subscribe to the antidepressants/anti-hyperactives cause kids to kill theory, largely because of what you already alluded to - what of all the kids who are taken off the medication who don't commit any acts of violence. Has it happened in a few cases? Possibly. Cause and effect? Doubtful.

<a href="http://michellemal... (Below threshold)
BR:

Michelle Malkin has further data obtained from other internet postings by Jeff Weise (dates unknown):

"I'm nothin' but your average Native American stoner. I'm mellow half the time, mostly natural, but mostly drug induced as well. I'm not a junkie, or an alcoholic, MJ is my gal' of choice. Enough about that though, I don't know why you're readin' this anyway. I'm gonna roll this joint so I'll c'ya later..."

_______

"Hobbies: Drawing. Listening to music. Chillin. Gettin high. Being a smart kid. Being a Native American National Socialist.

Latest News: On anti-depressants. Seeing a therapist... Thats about it, I got a brand new pair of cuts on my wrists that are gonna turn into beautiful scars some day."

_____




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