This morning, having trouble constructing an article to process my intense emotions about the Virginia tech shootings at NewTeeVee, I ended up cutting out most of the parts about television news and online video, feeling the real story was about mourners uniting using tools like Facebook. Eventually, the post became a better fit for our mothership site, GigaOM, where it was published this evening.
Now, video associated with the attacks has made its way online — footage killer Cho Seung-Hui captured of himself and snail-mailed to NBC in a “multimedia manifesto” between the two shootings. It’s riveting and appalling. Watching police swarm a school building with the sound of gunshots in the air was terrifying; this is a whole different level.
Not all of the footage has made it online. Dave Winer has written a petition asking that the videos be released in full. “It’s 2007, and it’s a decentralized world. We should all get a chance to see what’s on those videos,” he says.
According to NBC, the materials included a DVD with 27 QuickTime video files of about 10 minutes in total.
“You had a hundred billion chances and ways to have avoided today,” Cho says in one of the videos. “But you decided to spill my blood. You forced me into a corner and gave me only one option. The decision was yours. Now you have blood on your hands that will never wash off.”
I, for one, find Cho entirely unsympathetic. He apparently affiliated himself with the Columbine killers in writing that was mailed in the package. I know video is an especially compelling medium; I hope this clip is not.