Tapes show Kinkel's return to scene of Oregon school shooting
From Correspondent Greg Lefevre
January 21, 2000
SPRINGFIELD, Oregon (CNN) -- Just hours after he killed his parents and two classmates and wounded 25 others, a visibly stunned Kip Kinkel returned with detectives to the scene of the carnage at Thurston High School in Springfield, Oregon.
"Can you tell us what happened," police ask on May 21, 1998.
In videotapes released by police Thursday, Kinkel is nearly inaudible. "I just started shooting," he says.
His hands shackled at his waist and with a police jacket draped over his slumping shoulders, Kinkel is walked through the cafeteria.
"Are you still shooting the .22 rifle at this point?" police ask at one spot in the room.
"Yes," he answers
Did he know who he was shooting? No, the teen-ager said.
In nine minutes of tape, Kinkel is disconsolate, with no outward sign of the demons he said drove him to kill four people.
Detective Al Warthen points to some of Kinkel's weapons, including a semiautomatic rifle and a pistol.
"Is this stuff you brought?" the detective asks.
"Yes," the teen-ager says.
"Is that your backpack?"
His demeanor is a sharp contrast to the deadly violence Kinkel had perpetrated.
Warthen asks, "Why did you do this?"
"I had no other choice," said Kinkel.
"You had no other choice, OK," said the detective. "Did any of these students upset you?"
Police say the 15-year-old had been read his Miranda rights, but Kinkel did not yet have an attorney.
A lawyer hired later fought to keep the tape from being used in court, but lost.
The day before the tape was shot, Warthen had dealt with Kinkel when the youngster brought a gun to school.
Later that day, Warthen released Kinkel to his father, Bill Kinkel, who scolded the boy on how he had embarrassed the family.
In a tearful, ranting confession conducted before the videotape, Kinkel told police he killed his parents to spare them the shame.
"I didn't want to. I love my dad; that's why I had to," Kinkel says in an audiotape of the police interview.
"You love him, so that's why you had to kill him?" he is asked.
"Yes," he answered.
"Goddamn these voice inside my head!" Kinkel screams on the tape.
Kinkel's family had wrestled for several years with the boy's obsession with guns and explosives. They put him in therapy at one time.
Doctors called by Kinkel's defense team testified at his sentencing hearing that they found Kinkel to be a paranoid schizophrenic driven to kill by hallucinations. They said he could be treated, but there was no certainty he could be cured.
Joyce Naffziger, a private investigator, also testified that she found frequent cases of mental illness -- including schizophrenia -- in Kinkel's extended family. Four out of five first cousins on Kinkel's mother's side had been institutionalized, she said.
Kinkel pleaded guilty to four counts of murder and 26 counts of attempted murder last fall.
Now at age 17, he is serving a 112-year sentence at a state juvenile facility near Portland, Oregon.
Victims tell Kinkel they don't believe voices made him kill
Oregon Health Sciences University
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