. "3. Bad Things Happen in Good Communities: The Rampage Shooting in Edinboro, Pennsylvania, and Its Aftermath." Deadly Lessons: Understanding Lethal School Violence. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press, 2003.
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Deadly Lessons: Understanding Lethal School Violence
cution and grandeur” and is in need of long-term inpatient treatment with medication.
Andrew was average in size at 5′8″ and 125 lbs. According to Sadoff, while Andrew said he enjoyed football and soccer, he was not particularly athletic. He had worn glasses since second grade and talked of getting contacts to change his image. He also wanted to get stronger by lifting weights, noting that, when trying to work for his father in the landscaping business, he was unable to do some of the physical work due to his lack of strength. Andrew was not under a doctor’s treatment and did not take any medications.
Andrew struggled academically, with his grades slipping year by year until he was getting mostly Ds and Fs in eighth grade. In a local newspaper article, one of Andrew’s long-time friends said that Andrew’s parents had grounded him a few weeks before because his grades had fallen. Andrew liked to read, and Stephen King was one of his favorite authors. Like other boys, he watched television and played computer games.
Andrew’s taste in music ran to heavy metal, with Marilyn Manson and Nine Inch Nails being among his favorite bands. Indeed, a friend had given Andrew the nickname Satan because he was such an avid fan of Marilyn Manson’s dark and angry music. Andrew told Sadoff that he didn’t like the nickname. The Wurst family is Catholic. Andrew attended religious classes but didn’t go to church, explaining to Sadoff that he questioned the existence of God because of all the suffering in the world. He said he didn’t believe in Satan either, noting that without God there can be no Satan.
Andrew informed Sadoff that he frequently drank whiskey or vodka with orange juice, getting a “buzz,” but not drunk. In eighth grade, he began to use marijuana occasionally, which he said made his body go numb. Several classmates told police that Andrew had bragged constantly about his drug use in recent months. According to the police complaint, Andrew was in possession of a “small amount of marijuana” at the time of the shooting, which he later told Sadoff he had bought for $80 to split up later with a friend. According to Andrew, he did not drink or use marijuana the night of the shooting. Urine and blood tests conducted by police investigators found no evidence of cannabinoids.
Andrew had briefly dated a classmate until about three months before the shooting, when she called him on the telephone to end their relationship. About this, Sadoff wrote, “He said he really didn’t care, but maybe just a little bit.” Clearly, the relationship meant something to Andrew. After school, when he was alone, Andrew would call the girl and talk at length with her, racking up expensive long-distance telephone bills. Andrew told Sadoff that he had never had sex with her and seemed uncomfortable talking about the subject.