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Anorak | The Martyr And The Fame – Why Virginia Tech Killer Cho Seung-Hui Did It

The Martyr And The Fame – Why Virginia Tech Killer Cho Seung-Hui Did It

by | 19th, April 2007

memorial21.jpg“CRAZED killer Cho Seung-Hui poses with his weapons in a shocking photo sent to TV news chiefs DURING his university massacre.”

So says the Sun’s front page. After the cod tributes to the murdered, the paper leads with Seung-Hui and the headline: “TIME TO DIE.”

Cover you ears, eyes and mouth families of the victims as the Sun shows the “maniac” who brandishes his guns in a ready-made news package sent to American broadcaster NBC.

The Sun draws readers’ attention to the Walther .22 semi-automatic and 9mm Glock the “massacre madman” used to kill and maim.

What with spiralling levels of gun crime in the UK, readers need no telling which is which, only that these are Cho’s weapons of choice.

Cho is the Mirror’s front-page “KILLING MACHINE”. There are “MORE AMAZING PICTURES INSIDE”.

There’s “wild-eyed” Cho with a hammer. “The “callous killer” holds a knife to his throat. “IN HIS SIGHTS,” says a caption beneath a shot of Cho aiming a gun towards the camera.

“ARMED FOR A MASSACRE,” says the Mail’s front page. Once again Cho looms out. No head shots of the victims today. This is all about Cho.

“Words of mass murderer who retuned to his dorm after first shooting to pose for sickening self-justifying photographs,” writes the Mail’s teaser.

If sickening, why show them? Do we need to know? Do Mail readers need to be sickened?

The Express does feature the victims, albeit alongside the familiar shot of Cho aiming a weapon. Readers see Maxine Turner, Erin Peterson and Austin Cloyd. And Emily Hilscher, known to have been the fist to die, the girl Cho was believed to have been obsessed with.

But she did not date Cho. Hilscher’s close friend Tommy Pendleton says Emily was “not related to the shooter in any way”.

But now she is part of the story. Hilscher is part of the lead story that thanks to what the papers term a “madman” is now a thing shaped by Cho’s words and pictures.

“I’ll be a martyr like the Columbine two,” says the Mirror’s headline. “It hears Seung-Hui pay tribute to “martyrs” Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold. They wanted to be noticed and to show their power and contempt for what they saw as their inferiors. They killed 13 people at Columbine High School.

Their murderous spree formed the basis for an Oscar-winning film. Cho made his own movie…



Posted: 19th, April 2007 | In: Tabloids Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed: RSS 2.0 | TrackBack | Permalink