Motives in the Latest Campus Shooting…

… this one at at Purdue, where a teaching assistant sought out and shot a fellow teaching assistant to death, are unknown. Both worked for an engineering school professor. The killer apparently walked calmly to the classroom where he knew the victim would be, shot him multiple times, and then walked around a bit, waiting to be arrested.

Let us speculate.

The dead man was dating a woman the killer wanted to date.

The dead man was impressing the professor more than the killer was, and this enraged the killer.

The victim had ridiculed or put down the shooter in some way.

The victim and the shooter had had an earlier altercation, and this was payback.

The killer is a psychopath. (Very unlikely. They either kill themselves after they finish killing, or, like Amy Bishop, they drop the gun in a trash bin and proceed to go out to dinner with their husband. Bishop considered herself far too clever ever to be caught.)


UPDATE: Hints begin to emerge:

[B]oth a Purdue professor who worked with him and a Purdue student say he could be rude and disliked being told he was wrong…

Purdue Professor Thomas Talavage describes Cousins as intense and aggressive about his projects. He says Cousins “didn’t like to be told he was wrong.”

UD is reminded of another university workplace murder: Annie Le’s killing at Yale. Some of the people who knew her murderer, who worked with Le, “described him as a ‘control freak’ who was competitive in sports, compulsive about his work habits and controlling in his romantic relationships.”

Madison Holleran.

Madison Holleran, a beautiful, smart, athletically gifted nineteen year old U Penn freshman, killed herself last Friday. She jumped from the top of a parking garage in downtown Philadelphia.

Already the story has appeared in Time magazine, and lots of other media outlets.

Holleran’s is the sort of suicide that gets attention.

It gets singled out because it’s a big shock. Unless there was a suicide note (right now it looks as if there wasn’t), this one was a real stunner. An extremely young woman with absolutely everything going for her (that’s how it looked, anyway) and with nothing we know of signalling depression does this thing.

In almost every case like Holleran’s I’ve covered on this blog, there was prior evidence (sometimes a little; sometimes a lot) of mental unbalance. Sometimes there was a note; sometimes a recent cryptic note on a Facebook page now made sense.

Frequently these deaths were – like Holleran’s – first-year students, which suggests that something in the transition to a new school, a new life, triggered the trouble.

In any case, the particular peril you’re in when you’re young and depressed is impulsivity – the pull toward the sudden jump. Go here for an extract from a New York Times article about youth, depression, impulsivity, and suicide. And here for a more lengthy discussion of the subject.


UPDATE: As her father tells it, it does indeed seem to have been stress over a new school, new pressures. She had been seriously depressed. And she did leave a note.

“It’s done, ended, the fraternity members can continue to lock people in a basement.”

For a moment there, it looked as if a disgruntled ex-member was going to fuck with Sigma Alpha Epsilon’s kill ratio. But no worries.

Details on the latest fraternal means…

… of humiliating and battering to death nineteen year olds.


You understand the primitive sadism at the heart of many fraternities when this sort of story breaks, when the media doesn’t yet have all the information, but knows that a college student has been ritualistically killed.

[A Baruch College freshman died in the hospital after having been] at a Tunkhannock Township [Pennsylvania] residence… [About] 30 members of the New York City Pi Delta Psi fraternity had traveled there for the weekend. [The freshman,] one of four pledges to the fraternity, was allegedly injured early Sunday morning in a ritual in the yard of the residence, which is about 30 miles north of Allentown.

Ritual, ritual, ritual — what might that be?

Look no farther than Florida A&M. Last year, their marching band beat a band member to death in a hazing ritual. If UD had to guess (we’ll see if she’s right when the police report comes out), she’d say the fine folks at Pi Delta Psi simply beat the kid to death.

“We may all have lower IQs…”

Miss Ole Miss gets it said.

Some wag placed a recent official Ole Miss ad just below her YouTube. LOL.


(“Sweetheart, William Faulkner drank enough whiskey to float Oxford.” — From the article’s comment thread.)

Curses! Foiled again.

The now-legendary three Saudi med students who sued the University of Ottawa for $156 million dollars because it dismissed them from its neurosurgery program (poor performance, though the Saudis claim discrimination) have now had their latest appeal rejected by Ontario’s highest court. I assume there are still other places they can go to keep appealing; and I assume with each appeal they will raise their ransom demand by a few hundred million. It’s one to watch.

“First and foremost, we never want to blame a victim, but that being said this is a really good example why, first of all, being intoxicated to that state is dangerous,” Lovicott said. ”Second of all, removing yourself from your surroundings and being on your cellphone is dangerous.”

The world’s most diplomatic police spokesperson turns his attention to the woman at the University of Wisconsin who got wasted and then waited until very late at night to cross a busy street while texting.

Let those who worry that American students are becoming…

… Adderall-dependent lumps watch this.


Update: Okay, so he plagiarized it.

Update, American Ivy League

“There’s been a lot of turnover [of staff] in the Dean of the College and other offices . . . and fraternities have been left somewhat to their own devices,” [one Dartmouth observer] said. “It’s become a bit of a ‘Lord of the Flies’ situation.

Thursday Night in Iowa City

A dispatch from America’s Number One Party School.

Tennessee Tragedy: From Butt-Chug to Butt-Plug

Despite Alexander Broughton’s ongoing legal effort to clear his fraternity’s name (see the famous video of Broughton and his attorney at the link), the University of Tennessee has shut down Pi Kappa Alpha — a significant setback for wine enemaists at UT. (Scroll down for background.)

Broader reforms have come to all UT frats in the wake of the butt-chugging incident, including mandated live-in house directors. “With friends like these,” said Marilee Studevort, vice-president of student life, “you don’t need enemas.”

Okay, I made up that last thing.

“She also told them Shirasaki had dumped all his used keyboards and his computer out in a country field when he found out police were investigating him.”

I dunno. UD likes this bucolic/high tech image, this meld of Outer Lafayette and a crop of keyboards…

But as ye sow so shall ye reap. This grotesque dumping is what you’re reduced to when you’ve been caught breaking into your professors’ offices and into their computers and changing the grades you got in their courses.

F grades were changed to As or Bs, Cs were changed to As, and even As were changed to A-plusses.

What the hell. Go all the way.


If this sort of thing catches on, maybe some local farm can advertise itself as a keyboard dump. Set aside a field. Charge twenty dollars a keyboard.

Oh, c’mon.

College hijinks, people!

Just like over in Richmond.

Why is there something wrong rather than …


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