The Online Life of NIU Killer Stephen Kazmierczak

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.

Academic

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 protected] Searching for that email address shows some discussion list activity from 2004 related to his work, but nothing recent.

Here’s his biography for his Vice-President position. (Via Steve Huff from True Crime Weblog.)

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.

The following information was retrieved from the University of Illinois – Urbana-Champaign’s student database before it was removed. (Found on Odd Culture.)

alias: skazmie2

name: Kazmierczak Steven Phillip

pretty_name: Steven Phillip Kazmierczak

email: [email protected]

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

The NIU staff is removing pages where he was mentioned, but you can see in the Google cache that he won the 2006 Dean’s Award and the Sociology Honors Society.

Here’s a very short video of Stephen in class, taken by a professor in January 2004.

Personal

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).”

Testimonials

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.

Updates

February 16: Some excellent digging by the commenters at True Crime Weblog revealed Kazmierczak’s Photobucket account. Inside, there’s a Get Well Soon card sent to “Jessica.”

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.”

February 17: An anonymous commenter below discovered this weblog from someone who lived next door to Kazmierczak while he was growing up. This entry and this entry are both fascinating reading.

47 thoughts on “The Online Life of NIU Killer Stephen Kazmierczak

  1. Maybe Aphex Twin will get blamed for it like Marilyn Manson got blamed for Columbine. How awesome would that be?

  2. “Then they started talking about his guns,”

    That’s BS, because he bought his guns the saturday before the shooting.

  3. Which one was he on: Effexor or Paxil? Either one causes huge withdrawal problems…

    When are we going to learn about these meds?

  4. People sometimes get emotionally disturbed. They get angry. They get despondent. If guns are readily available to those people, they are more likely to kill themselves and kill other people than if guns were not readily available to them. The people who see these mass shootings as a justification for a proliferation of guns are putting their political ideology ahead of common sense. More guns in the hands of angry and despondent people means MORE violence, not less.

  5. i don’t know what was wrong with this guy he does not looking to be a problem.i’m so sorry for those who were killed and for those who were wounded.i pray for all students at NIU.we need better securities at ours campuses and keep ours students safer.NIU students god bless you all.and god bless AMERICA.keep ours students safe.

  6. So how did the guy go from being a junior in high school in 2004 (according to the website blog) and a senior in 2005 (according to the LJ) to being 27 in 2008?!? He would be 21. You’ve seriously got the wrong guy! There must be plenty of “Steve Kaz*”s out there and this just doesn’t add up. Though the photo released looks like he’s closer to 21 than the reported 27.

  7. Do a search on “Effexor withdrawal” and you’ll see what caused him to go absolutely beserk!

    This stuff is WICKED!

  8. According to NIU campus Police there were 4 guns used. he could have easily had 2 guns months before he bought them on the 9th. Also, if he was a gradaute of 07 from NIU, he could have been 21 but if you look at NIU’s site, he was 27.

  9. cannot underestimate the importance of med withdrawal to this tragedy. SSRI’s are NOT what Big Pharma cranks them up to be.

    anyone looking for “why’s” would be wise to start w/the meds. He is not the first to go berserk and with SSRI’s like candy in America, most likely he’s not the last.

  10. I believe it about the meds. What I don’t understand is why do some people (I think most) try to commit suicide while others lash out like Steve did?

    Come to think of it..he did take himself out to but the fact remains he couldn’t go without taking

    others. I just don’t understand.

  11. The meds didn’t kill these people. The young man, according to the media, had some mental issues. If you don’t have any history with dealing with mentally ill then you really don’t have the knowledge to make any statements about them or how their meds affect them. Unless you’ve personally taken Effexor, Paxil, Cymbalta, Lexapro, Lamictal, Abilify or any other medication for mood or mental disorders then your statements are your own opinions.

    I have a son that has a mental illness with a mood disorder. I have seen FIRST HAND what it’s like to live with mental illness. It’s a living hell for the person going through it. I’d say it’s the same for me, but honestly, it totally breaks my heart! I’M not living it! I don’t know how it feels!

    As far as withdrawls or stopping meds. That’s all pretty much part and parcel with the whole mental/emotional illness realm. The Drs. change the patients meds. The patient, just like anyone who has to take meds on a regular basis ‘wax and wanes’ with taking them. Have you ever taken an antibiotic, felt better and forgotten to take it? It’s the same concept, only the illness you have is temporary. You’ll be better as soon as your meds are done. With mental illness, the illness is for LIFE, the meds are FOR LIFE. There IS NO ‘cure’.

    Am I taking up for this young man, definitely not! BUT what I am saying is this. We all need to be VERY CAREFUL about how we speak of mental illness when things like this happens. We blame the meds., the Drs. These are the very things that keep those of us with a mental illness ‘on track’. They allow my son a ‘normal’ life. If the attitude about mental illness becomes seen as ‘crazy maniacal gunmen shooting up things'(what seems to be the opinion at times). Then we are going to have bigger problems in this world than one or two ‘creepy’ gunmen shooting up college campuses. People are going to shy away from getting help or treatment. Help and treatment they desperately need. Help that we, as a society, need for them to get to be able to live as ‘normal’ a life as they can.

    Thank you for your time and please, please be careful about your thinking. Please don’t make this a ‘psychotic drug’ or ‘mental illness’ issue. It’s a shooting the occurred at NIU’s campus.

  12. It is obviously a result of mental issues, whatever the cause.

    I really enjoyed reading this blog. Unlike other blogs you really do spend time researching your posts. Thanks.

  13. There have been so many young people killing in the past month, who were seen as “normal”.

    You have to take into account, the mental health drugs which are prescribed.

    A man went into his workplace in Louisville, KY many years ago on ssri’s and killed many people. His family sued the drug maker. The drug maker lost, but there was a gag order on the settlement.

    I know of three teenagers who tried to kill themselves on Paxil.

    These drugs are dangerous and should only be used in conjunction with monthly therapy.

    http://www.drugawareness.org

  14. After years of frustration, therapists and doctors my teenage son is finally getting good help from a wonderful doctor that appears to understand the need for good mental health. He just started taking Prozac/therapy. His dad is afraid of him and I am heartbroken, but hopeful that medication can give him the normalcy that he craves so much. When these horrific acts occur it scares me, not only because of my son, but because of all the other people that need these meds for stability. Many of these people do not regularly take the meds much less get therapy with the meds because after a period of time they think they are better…but the rest of know the truth. Another scary aspect is the withdrawl side affects. This horrific act will hopefully bring the importance of mental health issues/treatment to the forefront and not add to the stigma already attached to mental health issues.

  15. I went to high school with this kid, did not know him hardly at all. I want to know what meds they poisoned him with. My buddy Chris killed himself while he was on Paxil. His docs told him to stop weed and that he was a druggie but then put him on lousy paxil when he was 16.

  16. The newspaper said he had cold medicine in his room … did anyone consider that he was in a DXM induced hallucination from cold medicine abuse?

  17. Stephen Kazmierczak had been taking Paxil and other antidepressants

    Following on from Columbine, Omaha, Finland, Virgina, another victim of antidepressants goes berzerk. When will these SSRI antidepressants be banned? Until they are, expect more mass killings in institutions of highee learning!

    ================

    DEKALB, Ill. (WLS) — The gunman was known as a quiet, polite, engaging student at NIU, but a darker side of Stephen Kazmierczak is now coming to light.

    Authorities have not figured out what motivated the man, described as a hardworking, award-winning former honor student by NIU faculty, to go on a shooting rampage that killed five students.

    Kazmierczak, 27, was treated for mental illness nine years ago. He was considered volatile, according to a staff member who worked at the facility at the time, and violent if he stopped taking the antidepressant and anti-anxiety pills prescribed for him. Including Paxil, it was medication he was supposed to still be taking and apparently stopped a couple of weeks ago. Shortly after Kazmierczak graduated from Elk Grove Village High School in 1998, his parents became unable to handle him, according to a woman who worked as a residential manager at a psychiatric treatment center for mentally and behaviorally troubled teenagers. Kazmierczak lived at the Mary Hill Home, 7356 N. Winchester, on Chicago’s Northwest Side and received psychiatric treatment for more than a year after he was diagnosed as mentally ill in the late 1990s. His parents sent him for treatment.

    “He was already on medication, but he was not taking it at home and would not follow instructions,” said Louise Gbadamashi, former manager of Thresholds, the company that ran the home. She said the first thing she thought when she learned the shooter was Kazmierczak was, “he didn’t take his meds. He was kind of quiet, kept to himself. He picked his friends, he was kind of passive aggressive. “He was a cutter,” said Gbadamashi. “He would cut himself. Then he would let you discover it. He wouldn’t tell you, he would roll up his sleeve and ask you a question, and you’d turn around and see it.” She said Kazmierczak’s expression rarely changed, so it was hard to tell if he was depressed. “He strikes out, and you have to really know him,” said Gbadamashi. “In his eye, you can see it. You can’t look at him like, ‘I’m angry, you’re going to know it.’ It’s just stoic, just stoic.” Officials at Thresholds declined to comment for this report. But a former patient

    who lived at the group home with Kazmierczak spoke to the I-Team.

    etc

    http://abclocal.go.com/wls/story?section=news/local&id=5959663

    You can see a video clip of Michael Moore, calling for a investigation of these drugs, as he now admits the evidence is good antidepressants were behind the Columbine killings:

    http://www.drugawareness.org/home.html

  18. Those medications are proably the most dangerous things we are facing in this society today. There is NO SUCH THING AS MENTAL ILLNESS. There are people with probles–yes, there are people in effed up situations–yes, but the toxins they are giving these poor people are ten times more dangerous then the original problem. People have no time to help take care of the REAL problem

    an dthe real problem is that society can be EXTREMELY stressful on some poor souls and that the strong should carry the weak, not fucking druo thier asses up on meds. I am truly disgusted that we treat our fellow brother and sisters worse than we would animals. the next time you want to put your child or family member on the newest “miracle drug” why don’t you try it first.

  19. Wow. A flickr searched revealed something rather poignant… A reply from one of the victim’s mothers to a photo of Steven Kazmierczak:

    “emace Pro User says:

    My daughter was murdered by this thing. Can you please explain to me why you have chosen to publish this and focus on giving him his glory instead of focusing on those that lost their lives against their wills? What possible purpose does this serve on a photo sharing web site? On second thought, please don’t answer – I’m sure that I wouldn’t understand your response. Please consider removing this photo.”

    Her photos and a write-up on the loss of her daughter can be found here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/emace/

    This just broke my heart.

  20. Andy, I’d be interested to read why you’re publishing details of his girlfriend. I feel that doing so is ethically questionable.

  21. What details? I’ve only published her name and a link to a previously-unpublished photo of them together. I don’t see any issues with that at all, since it’s certainly newsworthy. If the mainstream media had discovered her name first, they would’ve published it too. Already, there’s an article by The Daily Chronicle in Northern Illinois that mentions Jessica Baty.

  22. People seem to assume that they have a full account of the medications this guy was taking because of the supposed recollections of a blabbermouth former manager at a halfway house whose revelations, incidentally, would violate the law if she really was in the position to know what he was taking.

    In the discussion based on this limited, questionable information, there is a great deal of know-nothing focus on Paxil and Effexor withdrawal. I can almost guarantee you that this guy was on anti-psychotic medications, maybe a mood stabilizer and the anti-depressants only as ancillary medications. You don’t get institutionalized for aggressive behavior and end up treated only with anti-depressants. If there is any truth to his reported history of aggressive behavior, it was not controlled by anti-depressant medications– anti-depressants don’t have that effect. Anti-psychotics and mood stabilizers do have that effect and discontinuation of these almost surely accounts for his lapse into violence.

  23. I’d agree with Ted D that people are assuming the meds are SSRI’s. My first guess would not be on them, but rather mood stabilizers such as Lithium or anti-psychotic meds. They are the ones, in my opinion, that really mess you up if you don’t need to be on them.

  24. I’m on anti-depressant medicine. It is not because I can’t handle life. It’s because my body has an issue with serotonin. The brain is an organ. Depression causes physical side effects. Just as some people are diabetic and need insulin, others need medication to regulate chemicals in their brain. No amount of positive thinking or therapy can alter the chemicals in a brain. Medication allows me to lead a more normal life. I am more productive. I am more creative. I sleep better. I am not a zombie. I am not happy all of the time. I just feel what society calls normal. I like it that way. I’ve experienced withdrawals before. Why? Because I didn’t listen to my doctor who told me to never go off of them cold turkey. Withdrawals can be very hard, but it would never cause me to kill. Ever. Blaming this act on “the meds” is very ill-informed, disrespectful, and immature. It’s destructive to speak with the authority that only a doctor or one experienced can. Please stop spreading misinformation. If you want to give an opinion of credibility, please get properly educated on the matter and learn proper grammar and spelling. A lack of those things entirely discredits an argument.

  25. People interested in some cases of SSRI induced mania etc can go to this site:

    http://www.mcmanweb.com/article-19.htm

    eg:

    ‘Gemma (Oct 21, 2002): I was put onto Prozac earlier this year. i had been depressed for about a year previous, just feeling down and i had no confidence. within 4 days of taking the medication i was feeling spaced out and i couldn’t concentrate. i took a taxi miles from home and took 15 tablets, i still don’t know why. i ended up going to a strangers house and terrifying them by calling her a witch and not leaving. the police were called and although i can’t remember this i apparently acted like a wild animal. i was cuffed and forced into the car where i bit kicked and screamed. when i was taken to the cell, seeming to have calmed down they removed one cuff, i punched the female officer in the face and had to have my shoes and anything dangerous removed from me for their protection. in the morning i had a bad head injury from the restraint but i couldn’t remember a thing. i was charged and appeared in court. i stopped taking the pills immediately but i could still feel them affecting my body perhaps due to the large quantity i took. the evening after my arrest i took a paracetamol overdose and ended up in hospital. a few days later i cut into my wrist, using scissors and a stanley knife and played around with the tendons eventually cutting through them. i did all of this calmly and then took a taxi to hospital. eventually a week later i seemed to be back to my old self. a few months on i have now been prescribed Lustral US name Zoloft. it has been three days now and i feel spaced out but not much else. i am watching for signs of mania and i am warning my partner to watch me closer than ever. it’s a catch 22 you need the pills to make you better but its the very cure that could make you worse!’

    ….

    Gemma’s sister (Feb 3, 2003): I found out Gem was emailing this address from checking her hotmail account. Just thought I should let you know Gem died last week. The doctor prescribed Prozac AGAIN. We didn’t know she had a problem with this so encouraged her to take it. 9 days later she hung herself and left a note to tell us she was sorry but she couldn’t live with her head anymore. I guess she meant shed lost her mind in a way. She said she felt empty and lost, and the physical pain she felt killing herself was nothing compared to the mental strain of living. She said she knew Prozac would make it easy and in a way she thought it was God’s will that she was put on it again. I know this is only hearsay but I do know Gem was so strong before she started taking meds of any kind. Gradually they broke her down. I feel so low since she died to the point of understanding why she thought she needed tablets to cope. She’s given me a lesson in a way. I’m going to a counsellor for help, not a pharmacy! Good luck.

    etc

    SSRIS must be banned!

  26. For those who are commenting on any medication….Are any of you MD’s, psychiatrists more specifically, with any idea of what you are talking about regarding SSRI’s?

    If not, you really should stop the verbal diarrhea based on no real understanding of the medication, neuro-chemicals, or of the field of psychiatry.

  27. Effexor is a NON-SSRI, so people lumping that medication in with SSRIs are seriously uninformed.

    It is also a failure of logic to blame the medication on the actions of a person coming off it. Naturally if you have a mental disorder, and you come off your prescribed medication, the mental disorder is going to reassert itself.

    So the problem is not the medication, during the use of which the person does not act out in an aggressive or mentally ill fashion. It is the failure to take the prescribed medication causing a resurgence of the mental illness.

    Late 20s-early 30s is the classic age for serious mental illness symptoms to emerge. Blaming the medications for this event is absurd. Millions of people all around the globe take these medications with no mass killings being associated!

    No, I am not a fan of big Pharma, nor am I working for them in posting this, but I do have people with mental illness in my family, and let me tell you, they live in hell without medication. Knee-jerk reactions to events like this will not help stop them, they will do the opposite. If you are in a society where there is easy access to high powered weapons, you are going to have to accept these kinds of events. I’m sorry but that’s just a fact. And if you remove proper medication from the equation, there will be more of them.

  28. Lots of good comments here as we all try to make some sense of it all. Having just watched Michael Moore’ movie Sicko I naturally wonder about the meds this wack was taking. Why call him a wack? Look at what he did, meds or not!

    Now , on the topic of meds. Yes, some are needed and are used responsibly. Yes, many are not needed and are used irresponsibly. Many are abused. It is scary. One size does not fit all.

    However, a larger issue may be well described in a Bottom Line Book http://www.bottomlinesecrets.com which details out the abuse of meds by greedy medical establishments. It is really, really scary. My heart goes out to all the victims and their families. I live in Illinois, close enough to this to feel it hit home. One of the dead went to H.S. really close. I have a son in college. This is all madness. And all sadness. And there is no quick fix.

    We have kids way over the top on savage video games. I have a girl freind with a 16 year old boy who spends a lot of time on video games and rap music. I asked him how the music makes him feel. He said , “angry, like I want to punch someone”. He has asked me to take him to a shooting range! That is never going to happen!

    We have gore on

    top of gore in the Saw type movies. We have a serious cycle of drugs perscribed for one thing causing more problems which get more drugs which cause more problems. I would really like to know exactly what drugs this wack was on , in what dosages. And I would really pray that people in power in the medical profession take serious note. While I believe every problem has a solution, this one is not easy or quick. Yet, as a society, we can address it. And to not do so is criminal. I tell my kids, “How do you eat an elephant?” (Don’t worry, I love animals!) The answer is – One Bite at a Time. This problem is an elephant. I hope we start eating and do not stop till it is solved.

    Maybe all the stuff we have been corn fed about how great this and that are and how terrible are the other things – maybe that is all a crok. Maybe we better take a global look at places where this stuff does not happen and look deeper at the values, leadership and lifestyles there. Maybe we need to change some things so our grandkids and great grandkids have a better life – not more cars and more things – but better quality of life and human interactions.

  29. For those of you who think SSRIs AND drugs like Effexor, which is also an antidepressant are safe, you may like to read the following:

    ‘Withdrawal reactions associated with (Effexor/Efexor) venlafaxine.

    Parker G, Blennerhassett J.

    http://www.effexorfx.freeuk.com/index.htm

    University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia.

    OBJECTIVE: The aim of this paper is to describe discontinuation syndromes associated with abrupt and tapered withdrawal fo venlafaxine, and to document that withdrawal symptoms may occur after missing a single dose.

    CLINICAL PICTURE: We report on two patients prescribed venlafaxine. One developed a broad range of serious side effects after reaching a dose of 300 mg a day, and a severe withdrawal syndrome (including hallucinations) during a slow taper regime. The second had severe discontinuation symptoms during and aborting a slow taper regime, and described withdrawal responses after missing a single dose of venlafaxine.

    etc

    http://www.namiscc.org/Research/2002/Effexor.htm

    and

    http://www.breggin.com/

    Dr Breggin is the leading expert on SSRI effects.

    on Effexor NOT being ssri:

    ‘Serotonin Syndrome is a major problem with both SSRI’s and SNRI’s. Even though effexor is not a SSRI, but a SNRI, both are extremely similar in problems brought on. Some people have suffered from irreversible brain damage’

    http://www.dr-bob.org/babble/20030325/msgs/212530.html

    and read this:

    http://justiceseekers.com/html/effexor-suicide-cases.htm

    Yes, as with SSRIs, Effexor can induce suicide.

  30. Those of us who knew Steve all agree that there are typical “Steve-like elements” present in his rampage. For example, if Steve was still alive he would have prided himself on the fact that the bomb squad was called out to investigate his glued duffle bag. Steve was deffinately a drama queen. Consider the theatrics of how he walked up on the stage from behind a screen and shot at everyone. Typical Steve. If you also knew Steve you would probably also agree that there was no motive for his actions other then the fact that he thought that it was cool. COnsider the facts, Steve did a little too much in touch with reality in order take the insanity plea for this one.

  31. I dated Steve for about a month and a half around Halloween of 2007 and continued to email with him up until a couple weeks before the tragedy at NIU. He was a great guy, and literally the last person I would ever envision doing something so horrific. He was so polite and resspectful, even showing up for our second date with a dozen roses and movies. This is truely a tragic loss both for the victims and their familys as well as for Steve’s family and friends. It was an unforeseeable act and no one can place blame on anyone or anything until a motive is proven.

  32. Let’s do a little math, shall we, about the Elk Grove Kiddie Rides?

    Kazmierczak (incidentally a more common name than you think, and Steve a typical Slavic name as well) was how old in 1995?

    Old enough to be entrusted with operating rides? Old enough to be judged as an older teen?

    He’s 27 in 2008, which makes him born in either 1981 or 1980. That would make him 14 or 15 in 1995. Now is it logical that he would be allowed under any laws of any state to operate kiddie rides at under 16 years old?

    It’s possible he WAS a little creep in his freshman or sophomore year of high school, but is this really the kid the writer is describing? Couldn’t it be mistaken identity.

    You know what is odd about Jessica Baty? For a media-savvy person of the modern age, she doesn’t seem to have any trail on the internet until this incident. And she is so photogenic too. No vanity shots? No cool websites? The other Jessica Baty isn’t her.

  33. in response to the most recent post – yes, the amusement park in question is a kiddie park, the “rides” are not like carnival rides, and yes, the park district hires 14 and 15 year olds to run the rides and watch the kids. The train ride was little cars where the kids pedaled with their hands. The attendants did use baseball bats to push a stuck car out from a tunnel.

    I think it’s easy to say, after the fact, “I knew there was something weird about him,” and feel like you predicted this to happen. But you didn’t. Every teen boy in that age group is a little weird in one way or another.

    This isn’t about withdrawal from medication. the guy had a psychotic break.

  34. Also the original poster of that “kiddie rides” comment was tracked back to someone who did indeed know him so it was referring to this SK.

  35. I was in Cole Hall when the shooting took place. Had anyone heard that he had taught a class in Cole 101 when he was a grad student? I had seen the syllabus online at one point, but I can’t find it anymore. Please continue the updates, I appreciate the information. 🙂

    Catie

  36. Rumor is that he used to work at NIU Police as a “Huskie Patrol” worker (late night guard/student escort services). Chief Grady never mentioned that now, did he?

  37. I just have one question to everyone here… It’s been some time now since this has happened, but I know time doesn’t cure the wounds (and I know what I’m saying). For the families of the victims, life will never be the same… I’m recently writing my masters thesis on school shootings and analyzing the problem of gun access in the States. I’m looking for an answer to the question:why? And I am almost positive I won’t find it, because it is so compound… it’s not the first time I have heard of the meds being the reason of mass shootings…I’m not an expert here to judge whether these people should or not take this stuff, but my one question is: did this guy have a normal family, a mom, a dad, friends he could talk with, layout his problems? As far as I know, that helps out a lot, definitely more than than just “taking a pill”. What I mean is that all these troubles, “mental illnesses” occur for some reason and I am sure that lack of acceptance would be one of them…

    So maybe we start thinking about being more open, friendly to each other and eager to help out, and not only go and say” hey, I knew the guy was weird….”

    But that’s just my opinion.

    God bless the Families of the Victims of all the senseless acts of horror!!

  38. I was friends with Steve for a few years from like 98-01 when he went to the army.

    I was in a place called Thresholds with him and almost everyone there was taking medications.

    But even though it had been like 7 years since i had seen Steve , i was kind of surprised he had killed other people.

    I always thought he would kill himself one day, or at most kill someone close to him then himself, but not mass murder.

    Looking back it makes sense now, but i never thought he would actually do it.

    I’ve read online that people where surprised and didn’t think he had it in him. But to me thats more surprising then that he did it.

    I knew him when the Columbine thing happened, and he had things to say about it that i won’t talk about.

    I’ll just say he started wearing a black trench coat.

    I don’t really know who he became after he joined the army but the person he was before he joined the army was egotistical and probably had depression and Schizophrenia but wasn’t really capable of doing what he did in 2008.

    I was surprised he was even accepted in the army at all.

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