Virginia Tech Gunman Mailed Video Rant Before Murderous Rampage; Court Records Show Killer Was Ruled a Danger in 2005

Mass murderer Cho Seung-Hui coldly reached out from the grave Wednesday night in a rambling video rant broadcast by NBC News in which the Virginia Tech gunman blames everyone — including Jesus — for "forcing" him to carry out the bloody slaughter that left 32 students and faculty dead.

Cho apparently took time out Monday morning — possibly after killing two students in a campus dorm room — so he could pose for self portraits and put together a multi-media manifesto that he then took to the post office and mailed to NBC News in New York City.

The package contained an assortment of video, photo and written documents put together by Cho, the FBI said. In addition to the video, NBC News said the package contained 29 photos he apparently took of himself, 11 of which show him posing with handguns. There also was an 1,800-word written document.

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In the video broadcast Wednesday night, the mad gunman calmly, but in a voice filled with anger, said, "When the time came I did it, I had to."

And, in a closeup shot, Cho utters the chilling words: "Jesus loves crucifying me."

"You have vandalized my heart, raped my soul and torched my conscience," he said into the camera, looking down occasionally to read from his manifesto. "You thought it was one pathetic boy's life you were extinguishing. Thanks to you, I die like Jesus Christ, to inspire generations of the weak and the defenseless people."

"I could have fled, I will no longer run," Cho said.

And then, in a possible indication that he made the recording after the dorm killings and two hours before the murders of 30 others in a campus classroom building, this confession:

"The time came and I did it. ... I had to do what I did."

"But now I am no longer running. If not for me, for my children and my brothers and sisters that you (expletive). I did it for them."

The 23-year-old spoke in a harsh monotone as he rambled: "You had a hundred billion chances and ways to have avoided today. 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."

He then took aim at his college classmates.

"Your Mercedes wasn't enough, you brats," said Cho, a South Korean immigrant whose parents work at a dry cleaners in Centreville, Va., a Washington suburb. "Your golden necklaces weren't enough you snobs. Your trust funds wasn't enough. Your vodka and cognac wasn't enough. All your debaucheries weren't enough. Those weren't enough to fulfill your hedonistic needs. You had everything."

Cho grinned in some sections of his video. Leaning against a car window, his black baseball cap worn backwards, he almost looked like a normal college student.

Then, there were the photos — of him grimly pointing two guns at the camera, holding a gun to his temple, wielding a hammer with two hands.

And, always, the anger flowed.

Cho also made references to the Columbine High School massacre and made a dedication to the teenage killers, "martyrs like Eric and Dylan."

One of the still photos in the package shows Cho angrily posing in a black shirt, tan ammo vest and a black baseball cap turned backward — with an automatic gun in each outstretched black-gloved hand.

• Click here to see photos of the video and pictures Cho sent to NBC.

FBI sources told FOX News that a preliminary examination of the package shows the documents contain wording that is very similar to the notes that were reported to have been found in Cho's dorm room.

FBI officials said they were concerned that NBC was not the only news organization to receive a package from Cho, but they had no evidence at the time that he sent anything to anyone else.

The package was sent by overnight delivery but did not arrive at NBC until Wednesday morning. It had apparently been delayed because it had the wrong ZIP code, NBC said.

An alert postal employee brought the package to NBC's attention after noticing the Blacksburg return address and a name similar to the words reportedly found scrawled in red ink on Cho's arm after the bloodbath, "Ismail Ax," NBC said.

The special delivery envelope bore a Postal Service stamp showing that it had been mailed at a Virginia post office at 9:01 a.m. Monday, about an hour and 45 minutes after Cho first opened fire and killed two students in a campus dorm.

That would explain one of the biggest mysteries about the massacre: Where the gunman was and what he did during that two-hour window between the first burst of gunfire at a high-rise dorm, and the second attack, at a classroom building.

State police, meanwhile, revealed that in December 2005, Cho was declared "mentally ill and in need of hospitalization" and posed "an imminent danger," according to a temporary detention order issued by a Virginia district court.

In November and December 2005, two women complained to campus police that they had received calls and computer messages from Cho, but they considered the messages "annoying," not threatening, and neither pressed charges, Virginia Tech Police Chief Wendell Flinchum said.

Neither woman was among the victims in the massacre, police said.

Around the same time, one of Cho's professors informally shared some concerns about the young man's writings, but no official report was filed, Flinchum said.

The chief said he was not aware of any other contact between Cho and police after those episodes.

Court documents show that on Dec. 13, 2005, a Montgomery County District Court judge ordered Cho undergo mental evaluation at Carilion St. Albans Hospital.

The judge issued an order temporary detention order on the grounds that Cho was "mentally ill and in need of hospitalization, and presents an imminent danger to self or others as mental illness, or is seriously mentally ill as to be substantially unable to care for self, and is incapable of volunteering or unwilling to volunteer for treatment."

The order, obtained by FOX News, also includes findings from a Dec. 14 physician's examination that, briefly, shows a patient who is "flat and mood is depressed. He denies suicidal intentions. He does not acknowledge symptoms of a thought disorder. His insight and judgment are normal."

A box on the order is checked as follows: "Presents an imminent danger to himself as a result of mental illness." The very next box, which is not checked, reads: "Presents an imminent danger to others as a result of mental illness."

The next day, according to court records, a special justice approved outpatient treatment for Cho.

Court papers indicate Cho was free to leave as of Dec. 14. Virginia Tech spokesman Larry Hincker said Cho had been continually enrolled at Tech and never took a leave of absence.

A spokesman for Carilion St. Albans would not comment Wednesday.

After the first stalking incident, police referred Cho to the university's disciplinary system, Flinchum said.

But Ed Spencer, assistant vice president of student affairs, would not comment on any disciplinary proceedings, saying federal law protects students' medical privacy even after death. In any case, Cho remained enrolled up until his death.

The disclosures about Cho's past run-ins with authorities added to the rapidly growing list of warning signs that appeared well before 23-year-old student Cho went on his rampage. Among other things, Cho's twisted, violence-filled writings and sullen, vacant-eyed demeanor had disturbed professors and students so much that he was removed from one English class and was repeatedly urged to get counseling.

Campus police on Wednesday applied for search warrants for Cho's medical records from the campus health center and an off-campus facility. "It is reasonable to believe that the medical records may provide evidence of motive, intent and designs," investigators said in court papers.

Police searched Cho's dorm room and recovered, among other items, two computers, books, notebooks, a digital camera, and a chain and combination lock, according to documents. The front doors of Norris Hall, the classroom building where most of the victims died, had been chained shut from the inside during the rampage.

Fourteen people remained hospitalized Wednesday.

Cho's roommates and professors portrayed him as a creepy, solitary figure who rarely even made eye contact with his roommates, much less speak to them. They said they were never told he was suicidal.

His bizarre behavior became even less predictable in recent weeks, roommate Karan Grewal said. Grewal had pulled an all-nighter on homework the day of the shootings and saw Cho at around 5 a.m., although Cho didn't look him in the eye.

"Nothing seemed out of the ordinary, it seemed he had just woken up," Grewal told FOX News.

Grewal said Cho was "totally alone" every day, and never spoke to family or friends on the phone or via the Internet. He did spend a lot of time on the computer writing, however, Grewal said. But he would never talk to his roommates.

"He never showed anger on his face. Whenever I tried to talk to him, he would just sit there and ignore me, as if I was invisible," Grewal said. "He just sat there staring through space most of the time ... he showed no emotion ever."

Grewal said he and his other suitemates didn't even know Cho's major, or that he had a sister. They thought he was a business major and was surprised to find out after the shooting he was studying English, since they assumed his English wasn't very good, and that was why he never spoke.

Grewal said he would have made more of an effort to get to know Cho had he known of his social and mental problems.

"I tried to be friends with him but after multiple attempts and he showed no interest, I thought he just wanted to be lonely," Grewal said. "If I was told before he was depressed or suicidal, I definitely would have kept an eye open ... I definitely would have tried harder to be his friend or know a little bit better."

Authorities said he left a rambling note raging against women, religion and rich kids. News reports said that Cho, a South Korean immigrant who came to the U.S. as a boy and whose parents worked at a dry cleaners, may have been taking medication for depression.

Professors and classmates were alarmed by his class writings — pages filled with twisted, violence-drenched writing.

"It was not bad poetry. It was intimidating," poet Nikki Giovanni, one of his professors, told CNN.

"I know we're talking about a youngster, but troubled youngsters get drunk and jump off buildings," she said. "There was something mean about this boy. It was the meanness — I've taught troubled youngsters and crazy people — it was the meanness that bothered me. It was a really mean streak."

Giovanni said her students were so unnerved by Cho's behavior, including taking pictures of them with his cell phone, that some stopped coming to class and she had security check on her room. She eventually had him taken out of her class, after threatening to quit if he wasn't removed.

Lucinda Roy, a co-director of creative writing at Virginia Tech, said she tutored Cho after that. She said she tried to get him into counseling in late 2005 but he always refused.

"He was so distant and so lonely," she told ABC's "Good Morning America" Wednesday. "It was almost like talking to a hole, as though he wasn't there most of the time. He wore sunglasses and his hat very low so it was hard to see his face."

Roy also said she arranged to use a code word with her assistant to call police if she ever felt threatened by Cho, but she said she never used it.

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FOX News' Catherine Herridge and The Associated Press contributed to this report.