Kip Kinkel, age 15
Kip murdered his father and mother in their home. The next day, he went to school and committed a rampage shooting in which he killed two peers and wounded 25 others. A psychologist for the defense reported that Kip had a psychotic disorder with major paranoid symptoms that may have been severe enough to indicate early-onset schizophrenia (Lieberman, 2006). Lieberman summarized the psychologist’s testimony, noting several of Kip’s delusions. Kip was convinced that the Chinese were going to invade the United States. In order to prepare for this, Kip reportedly stored explosives in his home (explosives were found in the home following the shootings). Kip also believed that Disney was taking over the world, and apparently was convinced that the Disney dollar would have a picture of Mickey Mouse on it. Kip thought that perhaps the government had placed a computer chip in his head, and this chip broadcast the voices he heard. He also believed there was a man in the neighborhood who wanted to harm him; Kip was so afraid of him that he reportedly bought a gun to defend himself. There is no evidence of any such man in the area. Kip reportedly had auditory hallucinations that began in sixth grade with three voices (Lieberman, 2006). The voices made derogatory comments to him, told him to hurt people, and sometimes spoke to each other about Kip. Though the voices were said to have scared and upset him, he reportedly was too embarrassed to tell anyone about them. There is school documentation that prior to the shooting Kip burst out in class with the comment “God damn these voices inside my head!” (Lieberman, 2006, p. 141) After the killings, Kip reported that he heard voices telling him to kill his father, as well as to kill people at school.
The Kinkel family had multiple cases of mental illness, - including schizophrenia. Numerous relatives had been institutionalized, and some had exhibited suicidal or homicidal behavior (Lieberman, 2006).
When Kip was apprehended and questioned by the police, he was in a state of extreme distress. He was distraught over what he had done, but could not explain why he had done it, other than that he had to or because the voices told him to. Kip was neither an abused child nor a psychopath. He came from a family with significant mental illness on both sides, and experienced the early onset of schizophrenia.
- From the report Rampage School Shooters - A Typology, by Peter Langman, Ph.D.