The Life of Cho Seung-Hui
Posted by shadmia on April 20, 2007
Cho Seung-Hui was born in South Korea. His mother, Kim Hyang-im and his father, Sung-tae were from two different backgrounds. She was from a well-educated family of North Korean landowners, who had been forced to flee without possessions during the Korean war; he was from a poor family in the south, but had made enough money to marry by working in Saudi Arabia for 10 years on construction sites and oil fields. He was 10 years her senior. Cho’s mother was forced into an arranged marriage with his father.
As Hyang-im was 29 – a late age for a woman to find a husband in South Korea – Her father told her she had to accept the proposal. “She didn’t want to marry, but she gave in,” said Yong-soon (her Aunt). “Her husband was not fit for her. But she always followed and obeyed him. She never fought him, though sometimes I wish she had done.” No one in the family recalls any violent behaviour from Cho or his parents that might have hinted at the carnage to come.
Cho’s maternal grandfather said even as a young child Cho was not like other grandchildren and would never come running to him. “The boy was so different from his super-intelligent older sister. His extreme shyness worried his parents. I thought he might be deaf and dumb.” Cho “didn’t talk much when he was young. He was very quiet, but he didn’t display any peculiarities to suggest he may have problems,” Kim(An Uncle) said. “We were concerned about him being too quiet and encouraged him to talk more.” Soon after they got to America, Cho was diagnosed as being clinically withdrawn. It amazes me that he ever made it into university. I guess he must have had some mental problems from birth.” Even though his parents worried about him because he was shy and withdrawn Cho was always well behaved.
His reluctance to talk and socialize ostracized Cho in High school and he was often ridiculed. Chris Davids, who graduated with Cho from Westfield in 2003 recalled once when they were in English class:
The teacher had the students read aloud and, when it was Cho’s turn, he looked down in silence before being threatened with failing to complete the year if he did not speak. He then read in an odd, deep voice “like he had something in his mouth”, Mr Davids said. “As soon as he started reading, the whole class started laughing and saying, ‘Go back to China’.”
Stephanie Roberts, 22, who was also in Cho’s year at Westfield, said she would occasionally greet him in school, but he did not respond. “There were just some people who were really mean to him and they would push him down and laugh at him,” she said. “He didn’t speak English really well and they would really make fun of him.”
When Cho started college, at Virginia Tech, his mother took his dormitory mates to one side to explain about her son’s unusual character and implored them to help. She was worried that he spent all his time in his room, lost in a world of video games.
Christina Lilick, another former Westfield pupil studying at Virginia Tech, told friends that she had been stalked on campus and a question mark had been scrawled on the notice board on her door. Cho was known as “the question mark kid” by fellow English students after he insisted he be called “question mark” in classes and on his page on the Facebook website.
Back in Seoul, the family are worried that they had not heard from Cho’s parents since the killings. They have wondered if things might have been different had they been able to bring the boy out of his shell. “I just wish he would have talked,” says Yong-soon. “There is an old saying in Korea that people who won’t talk will end up killing themselves. That is what happens when the resentment builds up.”
The resentment that built up in Cho Seung-Hui caused the deaths of 32 people whose hopes, dreams and future will never be realised. MSNBC has a profile of each person murdered by Cho. These are people that have been taken from this life prematurely. No-one knows how much potential has been lost and unless these people happen to be your family members or friends, no-one knows how much sadness and despair Cho has caused so many people. Profiles of the Victims in Virginia Tech Massacre
Below is a video compilation of Cho Seung-Hui and his victims