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Juan Ignacio Blanco

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Kipland P. KINKEL

 
 
 
 
 

 

 

 

 


A.K.A.: "Kip"
 
Classification: Homicide
Characteristics: Parricide - Juvenile (15) - School shooting
Number of victims: 4
Date of murders: May 21, 1998
Date of arrest: Same day
Date of birth: August 30, 1982
Victims profile: William, 59, and Faith Kinkel, 57 (his parents) / Mikael Nicholauson, 17, and Ben Walker, 16 (high school students)
Method of murder: Shooting (.22-caliber semiautomatic rifle)
Location: Springfield, Oregon, USA
Status: Sentenced to 111 years in prison without the possibility of parole on November 10, 1999
 
 

 
 
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After killing his parents at home, Kipland went to school and opened fire in a crowded school cafeteria, killing two classmates and critically wounding several others.

Was tackled by one of the students while reloading.


Oregon school rampage leaves 1 slain, 23 hurt

Boy's home yields 2 dead

The Arizona Republic

May 22, 1998

In a bloody and disturbingly familiar tragedy, a 15-year-old freshman suspended for having a gun returned Thursday and opened fire in a crowded school cafeteria, killing a classmate and critically wounding several others.

Two bodies believed to be those of his parents were later found in his home just north of Springfield, a working-class town of 51,000 people about 110 miles south of Portland.


Teen from good family had troubled side

The Commercial Appeal

May 22, 1998

His parents were popular teachers at Springfield's two high schools. His older sister is a college cheerleader who has won honors in national cheerleading competitions.

But Kipland Kinkel, known as "Kip,'' had a reputation of a different kind in the community where his family was so well-regarded. In his middle school yearbook, the freckle-faced boy was named "Most Likely to Start World War III.''


Boy, 15, fires wildly; student dies, 22 hurt

San Jose Mercury News

May 22, 1998

''God please save our children,'' read the makeshift sign posted outside Bob's Hamburgers, a popular hangout just down the street from Thurston High School, where a 15-year-old boy armed with three guns turned the school's crowded cafeteria into a shooting arcade Thursday morning.

One student was killed and 18 wounded before three older boys tackled freshman Kipland Kinkel and wrestled his guns away, police said. Four others were injured in the rush to flee.


Teen held in school shootings that killed 1, hurt 19 in Ore.

The assailant opened fire in the cafeteria

The Philadelphia Inquirer

May 22, 1998

A freckle-faced freshman, suspended Wednesday for having a gun at school, returned yesterday and allegedly opened fire in a high school cafeteria, killing one boy and wounding 19 people.

Kipland "Kip'' Kinkel, 15, was captured by classmates - at least one of them wounded - who wrestled him to the ground. Police, at his suggestion, checked his home, where they found the bodies of two adults. Officials did not identify them, but they were believed to be his parents, who were teachers.


Recurring tragedy: Oregon teen shoots up school, kills one

Wounds 19; parents found dead

The Commercial Appeal

May 22, 1998

In a bloody and disturbingly familiar tragedy, a 15-year-old student opened fire in a high school cafeteria Thursday, killing one person and wounding 19 a day after being suspended for bringing a gun to school.

About an hour after the shooting, police found two adults dead from gunfire at the boy's home. The dead, both teachers, were said by neighbors to be the boy's parents. Police would not confirm the identities, but the boy's grandmother did.


5 bombs found in boy's home

Parent's bodies removed; second student dies

The Miami Herald

May 23, 1998

A second student wounded in the shooting rampage at a Springfield high school died Friday. Police found at least five bombs at the home of Kipland Kinkel, the accused -- the last device as they were removing his mother's body.

Kinkel was charged Friday with four counts of murder -- his parents and the two students shot at the school Thursday.


School shooting claims 2nd life; bombs found in Ore. boy's home

The Commercial Appeal

May 23, 1998

A second student shot in Thursday's school rampage died Friday as police found at least five bombs at the teenage suspect's home, the last as they were removing his mother's body.

Kipland 'Kip' Kinkel, 15, appeared in court on four charges of aggravated murder in the killing of two high school students and his parents, William Kinkel, 59, and Faith Kinkel, 57.

Kip Kinkel, who had been suspended from Thurston High School the day before for having a gun in his locker, fired off 51 rounds.


A child leaves us in mourning

The Miami Herald

May 23, 1998

Kipland Kinkel, the only son of two schoolteachers, lived in a woodsy patch of America, in a three-story, A-frame house on a hill above a trout stream in Springfield, Oregon.

He dwelled far from the trenches of urban warfare, from the supposed front lines of America's killing fields, far from the gang wars, the drive-by shootings of the inner cities, the drug holes and their random violence. At 15, he is a citizen of that America where violent youth crime happens to someone else, someplace else.


Detained teenager reportedly attacked officer with hidden knife

The Boston Globe

May 24, 1998

SPRINGFIELD, Ore. -- After he was arrested in a school shooting rampage that left two classmates dead, Kipland P. Kinkel lunged at an officer with a knife that he smuggled into the police station, authorities said yesterday.

Kinkel, who is also charged in the shooting deaths of his parents, had a hunting knife taped to his leg that escaped notice when he was arrested following Thursday's cafeteria shooting at Thurston High School.


Father bought guns to channel boy's obsession, friends say

The Boston Globe

May 25, 1998

SPRINGFIELD, Ore. -- The guns that a boy allegedly used to kill his parents and two classmates were bought by his father in an attempt to redirect the teen's fascination with weapons into a supervised hobby, family friends said yesterday.

Kipland Kinkel's parents knew of his bomb-making fetish for at least a year before Thursday's shooting in a school cafeteria, they said. The 9mm Glock pistol and .22-caliber rifle Kinkel allegedly used were bought by his father, Bill Kinkel.


During pause in gunfir, wounded teen became a hero

The Boston Globe

May 25, 1998

EUGENE, Ore. -- With a bullet in his chest and his girlfriend bleeding at his feet, Jake Ryker stood up against a classmate who was spraying the high school cafeteria with gunfire and said: "That's enough.''

Ryker, a burly wrestler, said his chance to end Thursday's rampage came when the young shooter tried to fire his .22-caliber semiautomatic rifle with an empty clip.


Suspended student kills one in high school cafeteria; two dead at his home

SPRINGFIELD, Ore. -- In a rampage that has become frighteningly familiar, a student suspended for having a gun allegedly returned Thursday and opened fire on a crowded school cafeteria, killing a classmate and critically wounding several others.

Two bodies believed to be those of his parents were later found in his home just north of Springfield, a working-class town of 51,000 people about 110 miles south of Portland.

Shots rang out about 8 a.m. in the Thurston High School cafeteria, where up to 400 people were milling around before class. Witnesses said the 15-year-old suspect, dressed in a trench coat, ran through the cafeteria firing his rifle from the hip. Twenty-three students were injured, 19 hit by gunfire.

"He was swiveling back and forth, firing at everyone," said 16-year -old Jonathan Crawford.

"He just mowed 'em down," said another student, Michelle Calhoun. "It was just sort of happening in slow motion."

Around the gunman, bullets shattered the huge plate-glass windows and terrified students ran for cover and dived under tables, but the boy remained calm as the staccato gunfire was reduced to the click, click of empty chambers. One of those misfires came with the barrel point-blank at a student's head.

Finally, as he was trying to reload, 17-year-old wrestler Jake Ryker, despite gunshot wounds to his hand and chest, tackled the boy. Several others quickly piled on to end the terror.

"Just shoot me, shoot me now," one of the students, Ryker's brother Josh, quoted the boy as saying.

After the suspect was arrested, police said they followed up on his suggestion to check his house. There, they found the bodies of a man and a woman. Sheriff Jan Clements refused to confirm that they were the parents of the boy -- but said "there is no reason to believe they are not."

The parents, William P. Kinkel, 59, and Faith M. Kinkel, 57, were teachers. The father was retired from teaching Spanish at Thurston High. The mother taught Spanish at a nearby high school.

The dead student was identified as Mikael Nickolauson, 17, a junior who had just enlisted Monday in the Oregon National Guard.

Police identified the suspect as Kipland P. Kinkel, who had been arrested, suspended and released to his parents' custody a day earlier on a charge of possession of a stolen firearm. Police said he had been in trouble before for throwing rocks at cars from a highway overpass.

"He always said that it would be fun to kill someone and do stuff like that," said student Robbie Johnson. "Yesterday, he told a couple of people he was probably going to do something stupid today and get back at the people who had expelled him."

Thursday evening, police wary of the suspect's fascination with bombs, evacuated nearby homes as demolitions experts searched the Kinkel home for explosives, said Lane County sheriff's spokeswoman Sharon Biser.

Some students said the suspect once gave a talk in speech class about how to build a bomb and in middle school was voted "Most Likely to Start World War III."

Friend Tony McCowan told the CBS Evening News that Kinkel felt that his arrest brought shame to his parents.

"He was mad at himself," McCowan said. "He knew he got himself in a bad situation and he was kind of worried it would shame the family."

Another friend, Chrystie Cooper, 15, said Kinkel had recently been grounded for the upcoming summer for toilet-papering a house two weeks ago.

"He was a country boy -- he liked to blow things up," Cooper said. "But nothing like this."

Police said Kinkel parked a few blocks away, walked inside the cafeteria carrying a .22-caliber rifle, a .22-caliber handgun and a Glock handgun.

"We spoke to him afterward -- he was very calm," said police Capt. Jerry Smith. "His motive, what he was thinking about, what caused him to go there -- we've still got a long ways to go there."

Fourteen-year-old Aaron Keeney, also a friend, said Kinkel was taking the anti-depressant Prozac.

District Attorney Doug Harcleroad said the boy will be charged as an adult with murder. But because of his age, he cannot be given the death penalty if convicted.

Kinkel was first arrested Wednesday after the school got a tip that he was trying to buy a stolen handgun on campus. He and another boy were arrested and released to the custody of their parents. School Superintendent Jamon Kent said that at the time of suspended and officials were looking at whether he should be expelled.

"You don't make sense out of this. There is no sense to it," said wrestling coach Gary Bowden. "I think we ought to disarm. If this isn't a reason to, what is? I can flunk a kid and he can walk in and blow me away."

Several students said they thought the shooting was a gag related to student-body election day.

Stephani Quimby, 16, who was sitting one table away, said the shooter apparently focused on one table and drew his rifle from the hip.

"I thought it was fake. I had never heard a gun go off," she said. "It was like a movie and you were there. I felt so calm. I knew it was real when I saw him point the gun at someone and heard a girl yell, `Tressa!' I knew she wouldn't joke."

Stacy Compton, 15, said she was sitting at a table when the boy came in and "started going bananas" with the gun. She said she ducked under the table and her best friend got hit in the center of her forehead.

"It was like, I can't believe this is happening at my school," Stacy said.

The school of 1,350 students was shut down immediately after the shooting. Parents, many of them weeping and screaming, waited outside.

Five-hundred people filled the Springfield Lutheran Church for a Thursday evening vigil service where Pastor Zane Wilson lit candles and speakers read off the list of those who had been shot and injured.

"We pray that instead of crying ... we will create a world where our children can go to school and not be concerned about coming home again," Wilson said.

Because of a teacher work day, classes were not scheduled Friday, but 70 counselors will be on hand to help grieving students. Bob's Hamburger's down the street put up a sign: "God, please help us save our children."

Of the 23 people injured, 19 were hit by gunfire and the rest were hurt in the panic to flee the cafeteria. Five students were listed in critical condition Thursday night, with six in serious condition.

Several hours after the shooting, McKenzie-Willamette Hospital marketing director Lottie Duey said that one of those critically wounded had died at Sacred Heart Hospital. But later she said she was referring only to the initial fatality, and Sacred Heart officials confirmed that the report of two dead was unfounded.


Kipland Kinkel

May 21, 1998

A day after being expelled from school for bringing a gun to class -- 15-year-old Kipland Kinkel returned to Thurston High School in Springfield, Oregon, and opened fire in the cafeteria, killing two students and wounding 22 others.

The attack was brought to a halt by 17-year-old wrestling student, Jake Ryker, who despite being shot in the chest, tackled Kipland as he was reloading. Several others quickly piled on to pin the freckled-face rampager to the ground until police arrived.

The heroic Ryker was shot in the hand while trying to subdue the killer and is presently listed in guarded condition in a local hospital with another gunshot wound to the chest. When it was all over, 17-year-old Mikael Nickolauson was dead on the scene, and 16-year-old Ben Walker died in the hospital early the next day from wounds to the head.

The day before the rampage, Kip -- who was jokingly voted "Most Likely to Start World War III" in middle-school -- had been arrested, expelled from school and released to his parents' custody on a charge of possession of a stolen firearm.

Following the rampage, investigators found the parents dead in separate rooms of their suburban home. The parents, William P. Kinkel, 59, and Faith M. Kinkel, 57, were both teachers. The father was retired from teaching Spanish at Thurston High. The mother taught Spanish at a nearby high school. Investigators think Kip might have killed them separately the day before the rampage.

Bomb squad officials were called in after police searching the Kinkel home found five "sophisticated" bombs, 15 other inactive explosive devices, detailed bomb-making instructions, and various chemicals that could be used to make explosives. When the demolition experts where removing some of the explosives, one of the homemade devices was accidentally detonated. A fifth bomb was found by investigators when they tried to remove his mother's body. Authorities also found two Howitzer shell casings and a hand grenade.

The school shooting occurred just before 8 a.m. when up to 400 people were gathered in the cafeteria for a farewell ceremony for graduating seniors. Witnesses said they saw Kipland, dressed in a cream-colored trench coat, running through the cafeteria firing from the hip 51 rounds from his .22-caliber Ruger semiautomatic rifle.

He was also packing a .22-caliber Ruger semiautomatic handgun and a 9mm Glock semiautomatic pistol. In his backpack police found several fully loaded ammunition clips and an assortment of loose ammunition.

In retrospect Kip was nothing other than a budding psychopath. "He always said that it would be fun to kill someone and do stuff like that," said student Robbie Johnson. "Yesterday, he told a couple of people he was probably going to do something stupid today and get back at the people who had expelled him."

Kinkel allegedly gave a talk in speech class about how to build a bomb and bragged about torturing animals. According to Nissa Lund, 14, Kip told her he once stuffed lit firecrackers in a cat's mouth. Rachel Dawson, Kip's former girlfriend in middle school, said he boasted about shooting little cats. Clearly a serial-killer-in-the-making, Kip also talked about blowing up a cow. In a recent literature class Kip stood in the front of the room and read from his journal his plans of to "kill everybody." On the other hand, friends said when he was not busy with revenge fantasies, bombmaking and killing animals, Kip was a normal, boisterous, high school freshman who was into alternative rock bands like Nirvana and enjoyed playing guitar and football.

About a year ago, the Kinkels discovered Kip was downloading bomb-making instructions from the Internet and building bombs, said Kim Scott, a best friend of Kip's sister, Kristin. "They tried to discipline him and they tried to keep him from making more bombs, but at some point, Kristin said, they just pretty much had given up on being able to control him."

Friends of the family said the parents knew of the son's penchant for making bombs. Bill -- his father -- bought the guns used in the killings as a way to divert his son's obsession with weapons into a supervised hobby. They even hired an anger-management counselor who clearly had no success with the junior Charlie Manson.

Two days after the rampage, police disclosed that Kip had lunged at an officer in the police station with a hunting knife he had taped to his leg. When he arrived at the station the handcuffed freckle-faced killer was briefly placed in an interviewing room while his accompanying officer left to secure his weapon. When he returned, Kinkel attacked the officer with the knife and the officer pepper sprayed him.

With six instances of rampaging students in schools logged into the Archives, experts and psychologist are trying to explain this emerging phenomenon. In fact, they have coined a new term to classify this kind of schoolyard behavior: Intermittent Explosive Disorder. All occurences of IED seem to have taken place in predominantly white, semi-rural, middle-class school districts with no prior history of violent crime coupled with easy access to high-powered weapons. 

On November 2000 national elections Kinkel emerged as a central figure in the debate over an Oregon ballot measure that could reduce the sentences of thousands of inmates. "If Kip Kinkel is resentenced, I will be living in fear every day, along with my family and fellow victims, that if he is released he will hunt us all down," Jennifer Alldredge, a student wounded by Kinkel, wrote in the state's official voter guide.

The Republican candidate for attorney general is also featuring Kinkel in TV ads that accuse the incumbent of supporting the earlier guidelines, which theoretically could reduce Kinkel's 112-year prison sentence to one that frees him at 21.

State Representative Jo Ann Bowman, a leading repeal supporter, argued that opponents are using Kinkel as a scare tactic. Even if the ballot measure passes, she said, no judge would resentence Kinkel as a juvenile. "There's no way that anyone could kill four people and wound 25 without spending an extremely long time in prison," the Portland Democrat said.


Kipland Kinkel

15-year old Kipland "Kip" Kinkel was clearly a budding phsycopath. He seemed to be obsessed with guns and violence. He bragged about making bombs, even giving a lecture to his Literature class on how to make a pipe bomb. Young Kip also talked about killing and torturing animals. He said he shoved firecrackers into cat's mouths and skinned a squirrel alive. He even claimed to have blown up a cow.

Kip's parents, Bill and Faith Kinkel, tried everything to control their son.

They took him to anger management counceling. When Kip insisted that they buy a gun, his dad bought him a .22 caliber rifle, and then went to the shooting range for instruction. He hoped to turn his son's obsessions into a supervised hobby.

He also bought a Glock 9mm pistol and a Ruger .22 target pistol.

A few days before the shooting, Bill told his tennis partner that he was "pleased with Kip's progress" in controlling his anger. All that was changed, however, on May 20th, when Kip was discovered at school to have a stolen .32 caliber pistol in his locker. He was immediately suspended, and the police released him into his father's custody, who took him home. Kip faced certain expulsion.

Later that day, when a friend of his called, Bill Kinkel seemed "suprisingly upbeat" about working things out with his son. A few hours later, he would be dead from a gunshot wound to the back of the head. Kip's killing spree had begun. That evening, he shot his mother several times when she returned home from work. Later, when two of his friends called him, Kip seemed depressed and said "It's done, it's over." They had no idea what he meant.

The next day, at around 7:30 AM, Kip drove his parent's car to school, arriving there twenty minutes later. He enters the school cafeteria, where many students gather before class to socialize.

He whips out the .22 rifle he was concealing under his tan trench coat and opened fire. He was also packing the two hand guns, several loaded clips, and over 100 rounds of ammunition. The rifle was equipped with a 50-round clip, which Kip quickly emptied into the crowd of students.

Then, as he reached for the Glock, 17-year old Jakob Ryker, a star wrestler at the school, tackles Kip. The two boys struggle, and Kip manages to shoot Ryker in the finger. Still, Ryker subdues him, and about a half dozen other students help pin Kip to the ground. As they waited for the police to arrive, Kip pleaded, "Please, just shoot me."

THE AFTERMATH

17-year old Mikael Nickolauson was dead on the scene, and 16 year old Ben Walker died from injuries the next day. 22 other students were injured. Kip's trial is set for September 27th, where he faces 4 counts of aggravated murder. He is likely to spend the rest of his life behind bars.

Interesting bits

In his middle school's yearbook, Kip was jokingly voted "most likely to start World War III".

Kip had gotten in trouble with the law before; for throwing rocks at moving cars and for vandalism. According to friends, he also shoplifted regularly.

Just because he waisted his parents, that apparently doesn't mean he didn't love them. According to several sources, Kip said "I love you, Mom" before he blasted her.

And here's some quotes taken from a recent newpaper article.

"I had to be 100 percent... No one is perfect, though. Lots of times, life sucked. With my parents, if I didn't do the best, I was an embarrassment to my parents.''

"I knew people would be in cafeteria. I Just started shooting."

"Got the .22 rifle... Dad sitting at the bar ... So I (shot him),"

On Suicide: "Kind of want to do it out of spite so the DA (district attorney) can't convict me."


School Killing Survivor Dies Hunting

Oct. 12, 1999

EUGENE, Ore. (AP) - A teen-ager who survived a shooting spree last year at Thurston High School died in a hunting accident after being shot in the head by his 17-year-old brother, police said.

Richard Peek Jr., who was wounded during the May 1998 shootings that left two classmates dead, was killed Tuesday when Robert Peek's gun accidentally discharged, Lane County Sheriff Sgt. Byron Trapp said.

The brothers were deer hunting about 25 miles east of Eugene. Robert phoned for help, but his 19-year-old brother was pronounced dead at the scene. Robert was not injured.

The incident is under investigation, Trapp said.

Both brothers were in the Thurston High cafeteria in Springfield when gunman Kip Kinkel entered on May 21, 1998, and began firing a semiautomatic rifle.


Schools now face the unthinkable

November 11, 1998

By Lisa Popyk, Special to The Post

PEARL, Miss. - In this Bible-belt community, the only thing that runs deeper than the pain is the guilt.

The day one of its students walked into school, shooting to kill, a small- town tragedy unwittingly became a na tional crisis.

''This tears at the very heart and soul of every one of us,'' said Mississippi's Rankin County Sheriff Detective Greg Eklund. ''We don't want anyone else to go through what we have endured - and are enduring - here.''

Pearl's sense of responsibility is heightened because its shooting, which left two students dead and seven wounded, was the first of five consecu tive school tragedies to receive wide spread media attention - and spread a wave of fear across the country.

''It started here. We'd like the coun try to know we want it to stop here,'' Eklund said.

And so, Pearl residents have been try ing to turn their nightmare into a lesson learned for others.

When news broke that two young sters had opened fire hundreds of miles away in the small city of Jonesboro, Ark., activity stopped in Mississippi. Pearl officials immediately organized and hit the phones, offering an outpour ing of quick advice, support and com passion.

And when Springfield, Ore., followed on May 21, officials in Jonesboro also put their lives on hold and picked up the phones.

In between and ongoing, leaders from Pearl have been traveling to schools and communities across the country sharing their story and offering ideas on prevention.

They have banded with their counterparts in the other school shooting cities to try and answer the questions ''why'' and ''what can we do now?''

They've met in all-day sessions with the FBI, presidential panels and leading criminologists, sharing ideas, programs and pain.

Pearl Mayor Jimmy Foster, who met with President Clinton as part of a fed eral study of the tragedies, put it sim ply: ''We're all in this together. These are all our kids.''

Their message of preparation, cau tion and quick action is not falling on deaf ears. ''These incidents have provid ed a significant wake-up call for schools all across the country,'' said Ronald Ste phens, executive director of National School Safety Center. ''School officials from all over are calling us and saying: "we need to change the way we do busi ness.'''

In the last couple of years, Stephens has seen attendance at his national safe ty workshops grow from an average of 50 to 75 people per session to more than 1,200. Each of his 50 annual workshops has a waiting list that continues to grow.

''No one wants to turn their school into an armed camp, but they also want to make sure they're not sitting on tick ing time bombs,'' Stephens said.

Several districts already are adopting heightened security measures. In San Diego, county school officials have banned the use of school lockers, seeing them as key areas for students to hide contraband, such as weapons. Money set aside for locker repair and vandalism cleanup has been used to purchase more school books.

Other districts now allow only clear book bags. Meanwhile, schools in Mar shall County, Ky. - near Paducah where three students died in a 1997 shooting - have forbidden all book bags and backpacks, eliminating the need for teachers to search each satch el, said Superintendent Kenneth Sha dowen.

In Springfield, Mo., any kindergart ner through high school student heard making threats will be turned over to juvenile authorities and kept out of the classroom until evaluated by counsel ors.

Many other schools are trying to re vise budgets so they can hire police offi cers to patrol their hallways.

Dozens of school districts, Stephens said, are looking into or already setting up anonymous tip lines for students to phone in concerns to school authorities, similar to the one adopted by Cincin nati Public Schools five years ago.

Cincinnati added its tip line when of ficials began seeing a rise in gun sei zures on school property. The district also added a search team in 1994 that randomly checks lockers, students and classrooms for contraband.

''We're giving them the mind set that if you're going to bring something to school, we are going to find it. And you are going to jail and will be expelled from school,'' said district Security Chief Bob Morgan.

The year before the program was created, 15 guns were found on the grounds of district schools. Since then, officials have confiscated an average of two guns a year.

Several other schools are looking at yet another key recommendation from Pearl, Jonesboro and other cities: add classes on conflict resolution to the curriculum.

''We need to start in elementary school teaching children about crisis management. None of these kids had the emotional or mental brakes to stop themselves and each wanted to be stopped,'' said William Reisman, a crime consultant in Iowa who helped lead one of the meetings involving Pearl and other cities.

Several schools also are following the lead of Springfield, Ore., where high school officials have updated their security policy to include taking a closer look at the students themselves. Teachers now are required to report any paper, drawing or project that appears to focus on death and murder.

''We've always had a plan to try and identify suicidal kids. Now we're revamping that to look for signs of violence,'' said Don Stone, student services coordinator for Thurston High School. ''Our awareness is way up.''

In an effort to reassure parents and students in Pearl, school officials have sealed all but two key entrance and exit doors at the high school. Within the glass entries, a pair of teachers has been posted. They welcome everyone with a smile and a hello, but they are there to screen visitors.

A police cruiser is posted in the parking lot and circles the grounds periodically, checking for anything unusual.

Mississippi legislators also passed a law making it a capital crime to kill on school property. Dubbed ''Christy's Law'' for Christina Menefee, the first student killed in the shooting at Pearl High School, it was enacted three months after Luke Woodham opened fire.

And on Oct. 13, a national anti-crime group meeting in Washington, D.C. - Fight Crime: Invest in Kids - recommended after-school programs to supervise lonely, unattended youngsters.

''We have to begin the fight against violence in the high chair, because by the time we're watching the electric chair, it's too little, too late,'' said Sanford A. Newman, president of the group which includes 415 police officers, prosecutors and crime victims.

But some parents, like Melissa Hulett, remain uneasy. She is so shaken by the shooting in her hometown of Pearl that she plans to home-school her son Cory.

''It's just not safe anymore,'' she said. ''There's no telling what these kids will do. I don't want my son to have that kind of outside influence on him.''

She's not alone. From coast to coast, news of a gun found at school has been sending parents to their campuses in droves, pulling children out of class in mass panic. Even schools that already have survived the pain continue to worry.

''Will it happen again? Probably not,'' said Foster, mayor of Pearl. ''But everyone is thinking about it. The start of every new school year is always going to bother us to death. We're more careful, but we'll continue to live in fear.''

Tuesday, Woodham's friend Grant Boyette pleaded innocent in a Brandon, Miss., courtroom to a charge of being an accessory in the death of Mary Woodham, Luke's mother. Police believe Boyette masterminded the Oct. 1, 1977, school assault carried out by Woodham and was the head of a cult-like group to which Woodham belonged. Woodham is serving life for his mother's murder and the killings of two students. Boyette and Justin Sledge will separately face charges of being accessories in the school shootings.


'Zero guilt, zero remorse'

November 11, 1999

By Lisa Popyk, Special to The Post

SPRINGFIELD, Ore. - Kip Kinkel left his father's body on the cold tile of the bathroom floor, then reloaded his .22-caliber rifle. His mother would be home soon.

Watching out the front window for her Ford Explorer to pull into the long, winding driveway, Kip called up two friends to chat about the day's events.

Even from early childhood, Bill and Faith Kinkel knew there was something wrong with their son.

Raised in a warm, caring family, Kip's attention was pulled, almost from the start, to the dark and brutal. Even as a toddler, his unrelenting defiance challenged his parents' years of experience as teachers. Faith once confided in friends at a dinner party that when it suited his purposes, Kip would give in and follow the rules. He knew he'd be rewarded with positive attention, and he liked that. But when his mind was set, the word ''no'' had no meaning for Kip.

In a hushed whisper, Faith said she worried that her son had no conscience. On May 21, Kip surpassed even her darkest fears.

Armed with four weapons and a backpack full of ammunition, Kip finally had the last word.

That afternoon, the slight 15-year-old had been arrested for buying a gun at school. When the police sent him home, his father laid down the law.

Guns, bomb building, death talk and animal torture were not normal. Enough was enough. He called the Oregon National Guard, and asked about enrolling Kip in their youth boot camp. He was too late.

Upstairs, in his loft bedroom, Kip overheard his father's conversation and began loading his semiautomatic Ruger rifle. When he'd finished, Kip crept downstairs and behind his father. Silently, he took aim. A single, fatal bullet struck Bill Kinkel in the back of the head.

Kip dragged the body to the bathroom, then sat and waited for his mother to come home.

Police say he met her in the garage, looked his mother in the eyes and said: ''I love you.'' And then he fired, again.

Faith Kinkel, the patient Spanish teacher who lovingly referred to her son as ''lil angel,'' was found crumpled on the garage floor, her body riddled with multiple shots.

With his parents dead downstairs, Kip flipped on his favorite TV show, ''South Park.'' Later, police said, he wired his family's tidy, wood-nestled A-frame with a series of self-made explosives. And then he went to bed.

In the morning, he got dressed, reloaded the .22 he used to kill his father and the .22-caliber semiautomatic he'd used on his mother and grabbed his 9mm Glock. He taped a military hunting knife to his ankle, filled his backpack with ammunition and headed off in his mother's Ford Explorer for Thurston High School.

It had been there, in the hallway of his school, that Kip had been arrested the day before. His classmates had directed police, searching for a stolen .32 Beretta, to locker No. 781 - Kip's locker. As he was led away by police, Kip reportedly whispered, ''They'll get theirs.''

Less than 24 hours later, he returned to make good on his promise.

Kip entered the building, pulled the rifle from under his long coat and fired. Two students fell. Kip methodically continued down the hall to the cafeteria, where students gathered to study, talk or goof off before the first bell.

Reaching the entrance of the crowded room, Kip began firing. Children screamed and bodies fell, and Kip reloaded. Police say Kip fired 50 rounds from his rifle and then one more from his Glock before being wrestled down by other students.

Two were killed and 24 injured.

Later, police had to subdue Kip again at the police station when he pulled his knife on authorities.

As chilling and horrific as Kip's actions are, family friends and teachers say the most terrible knowledge is how hard his parents tried.

''They did everything right - tried everything. And it wasn't easy,'' said Berry Kessinger, a close family friend for nearly 20 years. ''He was an obnoxious kid. I knew right away that they were going to have a hard time with him.''

In a family of outgoing, overachievers who loved life, Kip was woefully out of place.

His father was the life of every party, ''everyone loved'' his mother and his sister was a high school valedictorian and cheerleader. Kip was timid and shy. Family friends describe him as overly sensitive, immature for his age and high strung.

Despite his parents' efforts to help Kip find his own niche, he never did. Instead, friends said, he seemed to decide that if he couldn't fit in, he really wouldn't fit in.

His academic struggles began immediately, in the first grade. Knowing he was a bright child, the Kinkels had him tested for dyslexia and then Attention Deficit Disorder. When tests for both proved negative, they tried helping him with his schoolwork and spending more time with him. They took him camping, hiking, mountain biking and sailing.

''They tried to get him involved in anything he showed an interest in,'' said Dennie Sperry, also a friend of 20 years to whom the Kinkels confided.

To help boost his self-confidence, the Kinkels signed Kip up for karate and football and tried to interest him in tennis, the sport his father loved. Bill even retired from full-time teaching in 1991 to spend more time with his son.

Nothing seemed to make a lasting impression.

''He constantly challenged everything,'' Kessinger said. ''I even wanted to take a swat at him.'' But the Kinkels never did. Instead, they just tried harder.

When he got in trouble at school for fighting, his parents had the school counselors work with him, plus enrolled the help of a private therapist who prescribed Ritalin and Prozac at various points in their sessions.

Throughout it all, Faith and Bill believed that if they kept trying, something would finally click. Be firm, keep him busy and keep his life structured, they thought. ''But Kip's interests (were) in other areas,'' Sperry said.

Specifically, violence, guns and bombs.

It began with television. The Kinkels confided in Sperry that they were becoming increasingly concerned about Kip's morbid fascination with excessively violent and bloody movies.

When a neighbor complained that Kip had been torturing her cat, Bill confronted his son. ''He denied it and, of course, there wasn't any proof. But, yes, Bill believed he did it,'' Kessinger said.

In school, Kip talked of killing animals, blowing up people and building bombs.

In English class, when he had to give a ''How To'' speech, Kip built a bomb for the class. At a classmate's birthday party, he used whipped cream to write ''Kill'' all over the driveway and presented, as his gift, a tool to break into cars.

By now, the family's concern was intensifying. An extremely private family that kept its problems behind closed doors, both Bill and Faith began turning to friends - even strangers - to share bits and pieces of their despair.

Bill ran into an Oregon State University professor at the airport. Dan Close was carrying a book on his field of specialty, violent and destructive behavior, and so Bill struck up a conversation. Tentatively, Bill began hinting at his personal torture at home. The conversation lasted more than two hours.

''He said if Kip wanted something, he would throw a tantrum and persist with unyielding, constant pressure until he got what he wanted,'' Close said.

One of Kip's recent pursuits had been a gun, and Bill obviously had been torn.

Bill gave in to the gun obsession, buying a .22-caliber semiautomatic rifle for Kip. ''Bill thought he'd be a kid with a new toy. Obsessed at first, but then he'd grow tired of it and move on to something else,'' Sperry said.

But Kip wasn't satisfied with one gun, now he wanted another one. A few months later, Bill gave in again, buying Kip a $400 9 mm Glock. This time, Bill set strict guidelines, allowing Kip to use the guns only in his father's presence and demanding that both take gun safety classes. Faith watched, and disapproved passionately.

When neighbors complained that Kip was shooting a gun in the backyard, Bill knew he'd made a mistake. Furious, he took the guns away.

Ten days before the shootings, Bill and Sperry played their usual game of tennis, followed by the usual ''get caught up'' session. ''I asked him how things were going. He smiled and said, "You know, things are getting better and I'm really happy about that. But, you know, we've still got some problems.'

''I took that to mean that things were improving,'' Sperry said. So did Bill and Faith Kinkel.

Five months after the killings, Kip awaits trial as an adult on four counts of aggravated murder, 26 counts of attempted aggravated murder and 24 counts of assault. To date, he still has shown no sign of remorse. According to a close family friend who knows Kip's counselor at Skipworth Juvenile Facility, the youth has ''shown zero guilt, zero remorse.''

 


Kipland Philip Kinkel (born August 30, 1982) is an American mass murderer who killed his parents and soon afterward perpetrated a school shooting at a Springfield, Oregon secondary school, killing two people and wounding twenty-five. He is currently serving a 111-year prison sentence, ineligible for parole until 2110.

Hidden guns

Kinkel had two of his own guns which he acquired illegally without his parents' knowledge: an old sawed-off shotgun and a .22 pistol. He had bought the guns years before the shootings, and he had kept them hidden in his room. His parents never found them.

Expulsion

On May 20, 1998, the day before the shooting, Kinkel was expelled from Thurston High School for being in possession of a handgun. Korey Ewert stole a gun from Scott Keeney, the father of one of his friends, and arranged to sell it to Kinkel the night before. The next day, Kinkel bought it from him for $110, a Beretta .32 pistol loaded with a 9 round magazine. Kinkel put the handgun in a paper bag and left it in his locker.

Scott Keeney soon discovered he was missing a handgun, and called the police to report it, and gave them a list of names of students he believed might have stolen the firearm. Kinkel's name was not on the list. When he was later pulled out of study hall and checked for weapons on his person, he reportedly looked one of the officers in the eye and said "Look, I'm gonna be square with you guys; the gun's in my locker". Kinkel was then arrested along with Korey Ewert, expelled, then released from police custody and driven home by his father Bill.

Murder of parents

Later that day at about 4:00 p.m., Kinkel got his father's Ruger semi-automatic pistol from his parents' room, loaded it, and proceeded into the kitchen where he shot his dad once in the back of the head as he was drinking coffee, killing him instantly.

He then waited for his mother to come home from work. When she did at about 6:00 p.m., Kinkel told her that he loved her then shot her repeatedly through the head and heart. Kinkel left his mother's body in the garage and dragged his father into the bathroom, where he locked the door. He also put a white sheet over both of the bodies.

His sister Kristen did not know of any of the events until after they had unfolded, as she was in Hawaii at the time for college. She would later provide insight into the lives of the Kinkels at home.

May 21: Shooting at Thurston High

On May 21, Kinkel drove his mother's Ford Explorer to his former high school. He wore a trenchcoat to hide the two pistols, hunting knife, and rifle;

Hunting Knife, strapped to his leg

9MM Glock 19 pistol

Ruger .22 Semi-Automatic Rifle(Before mentioned

Ruger .22 pistol

He left his mother's car outside the school and carried a backpack for his ammunition. He entered the hallway and fired two shots, one killing Ben Walker and the other wounding Ryan Atteberry. Kinkel then entered the cafeteria and fired the remaining 48 rounds from the 50-round clip in his rifle. He fired from the hip, walking across the cafeteria, wounding 24 students and killing Mikeal Nicholauson.

When his rifle ran out of ammunition and Kinkel began to reload, wounded student Jake Ryker tackled Kinkel, who attempted to kill Ryker with the Glock. He only managed to fire one shot before Ryker knocked the gun out of his hand. More students, including Jake's brother Josh, helped restrain Kinkel until the police arrived and arrested him.

Nicholauson died at the scene, and Walker died after being transported to the hospital and kept on life support until both of his parents arrived. The other students, including Jake Ryker (who was in critical condition), were also taken to the hospital with a variety of wounds

Arrest and Sentencing

Kinkel was arrested. When brought to the police station, he lunged at Al Warthen, a police officer, with his knife, screaming "Shoot me, kill me!". The officer sprayed Kinkel with pepper spray, thwarting his attack. Kinkel later said that he wanted to trick the officer into shooting him. When interviewed by Warthen, Kinkel repeated at least seven times that he had "no other choice" but to kill his parents, and at one point exclaimed "God damn it...these voices inside my head".

At his sentencing hearing the defense presented a number of experts in mental health in an effort to prove that Kinkel was mentally ill. The only psychologist who had seen Kinkel before the shootings maintained that he was in satisfactory mental health. However, he had only seen the psychologist for a total of 9 sessions, after which his parents felt that he had made satisfactory progress.

In any event, on September 24, 1999, three days before jury selection was set to begin, Kip pleaded guilty to murder and attempted murder, foregoing the possibility of being acquitted by reason of insanity.

In November, 1999 Kinkel was sentenced to more than 111 years in prison, without the possibility of parole. Kinkel serves his sentence at MacLaren Youth Correctional Facility, a correctional facility for boys, which is located in Woodburn, Oregon.

Victims

Kinkel Home

Bill Kinkel, by a single .22 shot to the back of the head

Faith Kinkel, by 6 .22 rounds to the head and chest

Thurston High School

Ben Walker, by a single .22 round to the head

Mikeal Nicholauson, injured by shots to the chest and thigh, and killed by a point blank bullet to the head.

Trivia

Kinkel was not taking any psychiatric medications at the time of the shooting. In fact he had previously been taking Prozac, which helped his depression, but stopped it after three months because his depression had improved.

Jake Ryker has been cited by the National Rifle Association and conservative media groups as "an example of NRA training put to good use."

In January 2004 a request for a new trial was filed based on claims that Kip's lawyers failed to properly pursue an insanity defense. A judge was expected to rule on that appeal within the year, but as of 2006, no motion has been given on the appeal.

Kip Kinkel is referenced in the Bizzy Bone song "Social Studies" where Bizzy admonishes him to "put these headphones on and let me murder you like you murdered your mom."

In Thurston High School, Kinkel fired 51 rounds, 50 being .22 bullets from the rifle, and one being from the 9mm Glock.

Kinkel was apparently a very big fan of the 1996 film William Shakespeare's Romeo + Juliet, and had the soundtrack on repeat when police entered the house after the shooting.

According to police, .22 bullets were strewn all over the living room.

According to Kinkel, he wanted to commit suicide after killing his parents, but couldn't bring himself to pull the trigger.

Kinkel never used the .22 pistol in the shootings.

Kinkel is referenced in the controversial Super Columbine Massacre RPG! when the shooters are about to commit suicide, the main character says something to the effect of "We're not going to surrender - we won't let them do to us what they did to Kip Kinkel," referencing Kinkel's 111-year sentence.

The Killer at Thurston High

In 2000, PBS aired a documentary called "Frontline: The Killer at Thurston High". The documentary looks into the life of Kinkel, including his depression and fascination with firearms.


Losing Hope: Kinkel's rampage ends in 112 year prison sentence

By Laura Barandes - CourtTV.com

November 11, 1999

When did he finally lose hope?

An Oregon judge sentenced 17-year-old Kip Kinkel Wednesday to nearly 112 years in prison, the equivalent of life without parole, for the Thurston High School shootings he carried out 18 months ago. With a final rap of the gavel, the fate of a young killer was put to rest even as the grisly scene of murder continues to play in the minds of his surviving victims.

Yet, as the sound of the gavel died in the courtroom, many questions still live on. Why did he do it?

Kip Kinkel, a 15-year-old high school freshman in the spring of 1998, felt alone and angry. Like so many young people his age, Kip was experiencing the dread of high school rejection from a girl he liked, and from other students in general.

"Hate drives me," Kip began in his journal. "I wish I was dead ... I am repulsive and few people know who I am." Kip wrote extensively about his loneliness, anger and confusion. Over and over he penned the words "I need help," because "my head just doesn't work right."

Kip's murderous impulses emerge in his journal before he decided to take any real action. What, if anything, held him back from going on his planned killing spree? "The one reason I don't: Hope," wrote Kip. "That tomorrow will be better."

"As soon as my hope is gone, people die."

Those demons lurking beneath the surface of Kip's young face would not stay quiet, and on May 20, 1998, he finally decided to share his personal nightmare with the world. Kip's hope was gone, and he was about to shake loose the hope of countless others.

Kip was expelled from school that day, ironically for having a stolen gun in his locker. He would later write: "I just got two felonies on my record. My parents can't take that. It would destroy them. The embarrassment would be too much for them. They couldn't live with themselves."

And so Kip killed them. His words are from a letter he left on the coffee table after shooting his father, Bill, in the head and then firing six bullets into his mother, Faith. Kip cleaned up after killing his father, according to prosecutors, and waited several hours for his mother to come home. He told her he loved her before pulling the trigger.

The next day, May 21, Kip walked into the Thurston High School cafeteria wearing a trench coat and armed with three guns and two knives. After telling one student he "should probably leave," Kinkel said he pulled out a .22-caliber semiautomatic rifle with a 50-round banana clip. He acknowledged these facts on a videotape played at his sentencing. Firing 50 rounds in 90 seconds, Kip claimed the lives of two students, Mikael Nickolauson and Ben Walker, and injured several others. He was subdued by several teenagers who tackled him to the ground.

In later testimony Detective Alan Warthen would describe how the young suspect was found to have extra bullets taped to his chest so he could kill himself and begged officers who questioned him: "Just kill me! Just shoot me!"

Initially, Kip pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity, but on Sept. 24, his defense decided to enter into a agreement with prosecutors. Kip would plead guilty to four charges of murder and 26 charges of attempted murder, just three days before his trial was set to begin with jury selection. Under the plea agreement, Kip faced a minimum of 25 years and a maximum of 220 years in prison.

"Because Mr. Kinkel is a juvenile the death penalty does not apply," said Lane County District Attorney Doug Harcleroad.

The possible drama of a jury trial paled in comparison to the horror that the victims and their community would have had to endure. "[Kip's] participation and agreement," said Lane County Circuit Judge Jack Mattison on Wednesday, "spared us the necessity of spending eight weeks or so of reliving the events of May 20 and 21."

However, sparing the community the trauma of a trial was not the main reason behind Kip's guilty plea. Fearing jurors would not take an insanity defense seriously, Kip's defense opted against a jury trial.

"We worried about jury scepticism of mental illness and about using it as a defense for criminal conduct," defense attorney Mark Sabitt told Court TV. Instead, Kip's defense chose to rely on the discretion of a judge who, in Sabitt's opinion, "could have more objective insight, a higher level of education and experience with the issue."

And so the case of the State of Oregon vs. Kipland Philip Kinkel went directly to sentencing. Although they had abandoned their insanity defense for Kip, attorneys Sabitt and Richard Mullen hoped that testimony from experts regarding Kinkel's mental condition would influence the judge's decision. This testimony included evidence that Kinkel's brain scan suggested schizophrenia, and that four out of five first cousins on his mother's side had been institutionalized.

Though the experts differed on a specific diagnosis for Kip, all agreed that at his young age, the disease is still emergent. Furthermore, said Sabitt, "Whatever he has, whether it's bipolar disorder or schizophrenia with paranoid effect, they are accompanied by psychotic episodes." In other words, the defense argued that Kip's mental illness had a profound effect on his behavior.

According to Sabitt, Faith Kinkel once took her son to a psychologist because she was alarmed at his violent thoughts and unhappiness, but a full psychological evaluation was never done.

"He was prescribed Prozac," said Sabitt, "but he and his parents decided he should stop taking it after a few months." Kip walked around with a potentially inflammatory, undiagnosed illness, the defense argued.

But prosecutors described Kip to the judge as a cold, dangerous and calculating killer. Assistant District Attorneys Kent Mortimore and Caren Tracy detailed the way that Kip planned his murder rampage. For example, said Mortimore, the defendant used an extremely quiet gun to kill his father and then cleaned up the mess in the kitchen; after he killed his mother, Kip talked normally on the phone for hours. Prosecutors also argued that the voices in Kip's head were a lie and attacked defense claims of mental illness.

The sentencing hearing finished testimony on Tuesday, with 50 people telling judge Mattison how Kip had irreparably altered their lives, that the voices in his head didn't exist, and that he should die in prison.

"I can't stand here and look at you without wanting to kill you," said Jacob Ryker, a student wounded in the attack. Ryker was touted as a hero for leading the effort to subdue Kinkel. "I don't care if you're sick, if you're insane, if you're crazy. I don't care," said Ryker, also testifying that he questions himself for "not pulling the trigger" and killing Kinkel.

"I hate you, I hate what you have done, I hate what I have become because of you," said Jennifer Alldredge, another victim. "I'm so tired of having all this run my life."

Unlike earlier in the hearing, when he hid his face or lay his head on the table when people described his crimes, Kinkel sat up Tuesday, apparently keeping a resolve recounted by his sister, Kristin, to listen to the victims. When people asked that he look at them, he complied.

The next morning, judge Mattison handed down his decision. "I guarantee you," began Mattison, "I am as nervous as anybody in this courtroom."

He sentenced Kip Kinkel to 111.67 years in prison: 25 years for the four murders and 40 additional months for each of 26 counts of attempted murder.

Suddenly, there was a commotion in the courtroom. "Someone call a doctor!" shouted a woman in the gallery. Mark Walker, whose son Ben was killed in the attack, collapsed in the courtroom when the sentence was read, and Mattison called for a recess.

Mattison explained that his decision was based on a section in the Oregon Constitution which had recently been changed. Originally, Article 1 Section 5 as adopted in 1859 read: "Laws for the punishment of crime shall be founded on the principles of reformation, and not of vindictive justice."

However, in 1996 the people of Oregon voted to change that section to the following: "Laws for the punishment of crimes shall be founded on these principles: the protection of society, personal responsibility, accountability for one's actions, and reformation."

This change, said Mattison, "was a clear statement that the protection of society in general was to be of more importance than the possible reformation or rehabilitation of any individual defendant."

Mattison felt that experts had not convinced him sufficiently that Kip would not be a future threat to society. He said there was no way to predict what advancements medical science might make to relieve Kip's problems and there was no way to know if Kip would responsibly follow his treatment.

The judge did say that if Kip devotes his life to being a model prisoner and medical achievements render his cure possible, "he may be able to make a credible case for gubernatorial clemency ... and seek a commutation or shortening of his sentence."

But the defense believes that Mattison's decision amounts to cruel and unusual punishment. "Although [the judge] considered the hierarchy," said Sabitt in reference to the protection of society, "he emphasized his opinion while inappropriately downplaying the potential for reformation." On this basis, "the case will be appealed," said Sabitt.

According to Sabitt, the defense will appeal on two grounds. First, that the judge's decision hinged on an incorrect interpretation of the Oregon Constitution. Second, that the Oregon Constitution itself, in downplaying the potential for rehabilitation, is "untrue" to the U.S. Constitution.

Also, said Sabitt, the notion that gubernatorial clemency is somehow a way out for Kip, should he prove himself, is slightly misleading. "Clemency in this kind of case is a real longshot," said Sabitt.

Meanwhile, Kip will be kept at the MacLaren Youth Correctional Facility, a state juvenile prison in Woodburn, Oregon. He must rely on the services of different court appointed public defenders for his appeal in Salem.

Even though the prosecution won its case, District Attorney Doug Harcleroad noted that there is little to celebrate. "While this prosecution was successful in doing what needed to be done namely forever protecting society from Mr. Kinkel, in addition to helping our victims to feel safe there are no winners in this incident," said Harcleroad.

Perhaps no one will ever know why Kip decided to destroy his life and the lives of so many others. In a short two days, he orphaned himself and rendered four parents survivors of their own children.

Even Kip himself may never understand what drove him to become a killer. "I absolutely loved my parents and had no reason to kill them," he said in his statement to the court. "I had no reason to dislike, kill, or try to kill anyone at Thurston."

What is known is that the effects of this tragedy will be felt for a long time and, above all, there is a feeling of immense waste. "There's a lot of potential this kid has that's never going to see the light of day," said Sabitt of his client. It is as true for Kip as for those he harmed.

Now everyone survivors, witnesses and a teenage convict must try once again to find hope.

 

 

 
 
 
 
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