It didn’t take long for online sleuths to identify the man behind the shootings at Northern Illinois University yesterday. Early this morning, before the police or the Associated Press released his name, online sleuths identified the 27-year-old man as Stephen P. Kazmierczak. Online, he went by “Steve Kaz,” “Kazmier,” and “StatisticsGrad.”
Working from there, a few blogs went to work at discovering his online accounts and other trails he’s left online. Here’s what we know so far, and I’ll be updating this entry throughout the day as I find more.
As mentioned in several news articles, he was the vice-president of the school’s Academic Criminal Justice Association. Their executive officers page lists one of his email addresses, email@example.com. Searching for that email address shows some discussion list activity from 2004 related to his work, but nothing recent.
Steve served as an undergrad teaching aid for Sociology 388 (corrections) and 488 (juvenile delinquency) in spring, 2004. He has strong interests in justice reform and, as an older sociology/criminal justice major, he brings experience and ideas to the group.
My name is Steve Kazmierczak, and I’m a 3rd year student here at NIU. During my sophomore year I served as an aid for the SOCI170 web-board and last semester, I was fortunate to have the opportunity to be a team leader for SOCI488-Juvenile Delinquency. Since attending NIU, I’ve worked very hard as a student, and I know that I would be able to forth the same effort as an officer of the ACA. I feel that I’m committed to social justice, and if elected as treasurer I promise to serve the NIU chapter of the ACA to the
best of my ability.
name: Kazmierczak Steven Phillip
pretty_name: Steven Phillip Kazmierczak
sudent_department_name: School of Social Work
student_program_name: MSW:Social Work -UIUC
student_level_description: Graduate – Urbana-Champaign
student_major_name: Social Work
phone: (815) 508-2416
office_address: 1207 W. Oregon, M/C 140, Urbana, IL 61801
title: ACADEMIC HOURLY
department: School of Social Work
type: person phone student staff
Here’s a very short video of Stephen in class, taken by a professor in January 2004.
True Crime Weblog also discovered that he had problems with Paypal in this PaypalSucks thread from March 2007. He wrote, “Somebody please help me out, as I am desperate. I need this money to survive, as I am a poor graduate student just trying to make it by, which is why I started using Ebay in the first place, (to supplement the income I made through an assistantship).”
On a few sites, anonymous commenters that reportedly knew Kazmierczak have stepped forward to tell their stories. These are mostly anonymous, so it’s impossible to verify their accuracy.
From Odd Culture, posted today:
I knew this kid, friend of a friend type deal. He was odd, quiet always gave me a creepy vibe, but then a lot of people give me that so I didn’t think anything of it. Last I remember seeing him was in early jan. he showed me his tattoo’s. They were all graphic an gory, but thats what guys like as tattoos. One was the doll from the Saw movies. I found that a little weird, why would a guy this age have a tattoo of some terrifying doll that signified nothing but a crazy serial killer. It scared me. But whatever floats your boat I thought. Then they started talking about his guns, he didn’t bring it up, but just sat there and said a few things here and there jokingly, but quiet. I immediately thought why in the hell does this kid have a gun? He doesn’t look like a hunter and didn’t live anywhere I would consider dangerous enough for a gun, let alone two. The only thing I could think of is that he needed to prove something to himself or to someone else, since he was tall and gangly, and didn’t look like he was mr popular. It’s scary knowing that I hung out with that kid, that I sat there and discussed these things with him. He is one of those guys that you just know something is wrong with him the first time you meet him, but he’s nice so you figure he is just a little odd. As for a motive goes, I do know that he had some issues with his sexuality, maybe it has something to do with that.
Also posted today on Odd Culture, by someone named “William”:
I can’t believe some of you, I grew up with Steve. I don’t know what happened after we graduated high school to put him down this path but the kid I grew up with was a decent kid. I sat and ate lunch with him from grade school on up, we were in the same classes.
No matter how terrible his last acts I can’t reconcile this with the adult I knew graduating high school, and the kid I grew up with.
In April 2006, Jim Schaffer posted a very long rant mentioning Kazmierczak on an Aphex Twin fan forum. Radar Online confirmed that Kazmierczak worked at the Elks Grove Pirates Cove children’s theme park in 1995, so this one’s definitely real.
steve motherfucking kazmierczak. yes thats exactly the problem here.
i was working at pirates cove in late 1995 and i was you know $4.50/hr child labor laws be damned and like i remember steve kazmierczak, the kind of kid who engaged in odd acts of fellatio with his dog, the kind of kid who’d go and masturbate in the bathroom while you were over at his house, the kind of person who injured kids on the train ride cuz he was mental and he shouldn’t be given domain over kids on little faux-traincars with an aluminum baseball bat… when steve fucking kazmierczak ran up to me in late 95 early 96 proudly boasting his brand new copy of “i care because you do” like he was finally in with the cool kids.
both me and my friend joe died a little bit that day.
This morning, an anonymous commenter on The Copycat Effect wrote:
I attended just about every position with Steve at NIU. My senior year he was my Teachers Assistant for a quantitative research methods course. I would have never expected Steve to become involved in such a massive tragedy. He was always very nice, helpful, and a scholar. It is really a shame that he went and did something like this.
According to this Chicago Tribune article, “[Kazmierczak] moved to Champaign with his girlfriend, also a graduate of NIU’s sociology program. The couple had both been officers in the school’s student chapter of the American Corrections Association.” The only other female member of the Academic Criminal Justice Association is Jessica Baty, the group’s Secretary.
So, Jessica Baty is almost certainly Kazmierczak’s girlfriend. The commenters also found this Myspace page belonging to Jessica, with an unpublished photo of the couple together. (I cached it, just in case.) Her profile is private, but currently has this status message: “Jessica is missing SK.”