To say that the individuals who carry out mass killings are mentally ill is obvious. But having said that, there are some characteristics that are common to many of them. For example, 97% of the mass murderers are male. A large number of them have problems with women—stalkers and wife-beaters are common characteristics.
Peter Odighizuwa, the killer at the Appalachian School of Law, fit much of the pattern. His hatred of women went so far as to rant and rave against women, including one incident where he pushed a professor from the podium and let go with an anti-female diatribe. He also beat his wife.
In addition to the above, his fellow students at the law school described him as being self-centered and boorish to the point that his paranoia was readily apparent. Those same students said when Peter’s name was mentioned word such as “irrational, paranoid, bizarre, psychotic, and violent” became synonymous with his name.
Students gave Peter Odighizuwa’s a nickname, “the shooter,” because they were feared he would bring a gun to school and start shooting. He once threatened the school librarian because she was running the vacuum cleaner. And, because of his verbal tirades, he was barred from going into the Student Services Office without a male escort—the women employees were afraid of him. And these are just a few of the warning signs.
Several days before Peter Odighizuwa went on a shooting rampage killing three and wounding three others, female faculty members (at an administrative meeting) asked the school’s President to hire campus security. According to court documents in Wise County, Virginia, school President Lucius Ellsworth responded, “You women and your hormones and your intuition … there is nothing to be afraid of … it will be ok.”
Several days later Odighizuwa gunned down student Angela Dales, Dean Anthony Sutin, and Professor Thomas Blackwell. He also wounded students Madeline Short, Rebecca Brown, and Stacey Bean.
Following the shooting, school officials denied they knew or had any warning that Peter Odighizuwa was violent. (To be continued)