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Seung-Hui's Madness

Born a quiet boy who said very little, few really knew Seung-hui Cho at all. His father was about 38 and his mother, 28, when he was born. His sister Sun is two years older than him.

His mother wished he spoke more, and would give anything to hear him talk and misbehave, rather than him be quiet and obedient.

But rather than expose the family to censure by seeking help from doctors, she prayed that Seung-hui would talk more.

So moving to America seemed like the next best thing.

However, it didn't turn out like that, because Seung-hui never said much as a kid. And because he was never examined by a child psychiatrist we don't know if he was mildly autistic or a rare case of childhood schizophrenia.

It is said that schizophrenia is prevalent when one parent is older than 32 when a child is born. This is because it is a genetic disease. However, there may be an environmental cofactor in that when a parent is more than 25 years older than a child, difficulty in communication increases. This may be because of a combination of cognitive delay and evolution of language i.e. children tend to use code words (slang) and use language in innovative ways, widening the generation gap.

Even in high school he was quiet, and was bullied for speaking English with an accent and having a deep voice. This is when Seung-hui's madness first appeared.

To try to get Seung out of his shell, his parents enrolled him at Virginia Tech.

In his junior year, Mr. Cho told his then-roommates that he had a girlfriend. Her name was Jelly. She was a supermodel who lived in outer space and traveled by spaceship, and she existed only in the dimension of his imagination.

When Andy Koch, one of his roommates, returned to their suite one day, Mr. Cho shooed him away. He told him Jelly was there. He said she called him Spanky. SpankyJelly became his instant-message screen name.

Cho had a fantasy girl. Definitely, a sign of schizophrenia.

His junior-year roommates mostly ignored him because he was so withdrawn. If he said something, it was weird. During Thanksgiving break, Mr. Koch recalled, Mr. Cho called him to report that he was vacationing in North Carolina with Vladimir Putin, the Russian president; Mr. Cho said he had grown up with him in Moscow.

Ok, now he has Mr. Putin as a friend, and lived in Moscow. Definitely not living in the real world.

Sometimes Mr. Cho introduced himself as “Question Mark,” saying it was the persona of a man who lived on Mars and journeyed to Jupiter. On the sign-in sheet of a literature class, he simply scribbled a question mark instead of his name.

OK, then now that everyone knew of his fantasy world, and predicted he'd be a shooter, then it doesn't explain the complacency by concerned citizens.

And in the end, after seeing him talk on TV, a pastor stated that this is not the Seung-hui Cho he knew.

Original post: April 22, 2007 2220H
Update posted: March 11, 2013 0045H

Mental Health Report of Seung-hui Cho:

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