Watch CBSN Live

Kip Kinkel Tells His Tale

Newly released videotapes are shedding light on teen shooter Kip Kinkel.

Springfield, Ore. police have made public tapes of Kinkel recorded after his shooting rampage on May 21, 1998. Kinkel, now 17, is serving a 112-year sentence after pleading guilty to murdering his parents and two students at Thurston High School. 25 others at the school were wounded in the shootings.

CBS News Correspondent Vince Gonzales reports that just hours after the school shootings, Kinkel was forced to take police on a grisly tour of the crime scene at Thurston High and -- as a camera rolled -- explain what he did.

"Are you taking specific aim at the kids?" Kinkel is asked by police.

"No, I was just waving it (his gun) around," answered the teen.

In an audio confession, Kinkel tearfully described to police how he almost ended his life with a pistol after killing his parents at the family home the night before.

"I held my glock to my head and I wanted to kill myself, but I couldn't. I don't know why," said the teen.

Instead, Kinkel spent the night in the house with the bodies. The next morning, he headed for Thurston High School with a small arsenal.

"Why did you go to school and start shooting people?" police asked the teen.

"I had to. I had no other choice," he replied.

The teen might have killed more students if he hadn't been tackled. Investigators found all his weapons but one. At the police station, Kinkel tried to stab an officer with a knife he'd taped to his leg.

"I wanted you to shoot me," he told police. "I wanted to die."

The audio and video tapes aired on Portland TV stations Thursday night. They were broadcast earlier this week on the PBS documentary program Frontline.
In the documentary, a psychologist who treated the killer before the shooting spree said he warned that the teen should never be given any guns. The psychologist, Dr. Jeffrey Hicks, said Kinkel told him that his mother saw him as a good kid with bad habits while his father saw him as a bad kid with bad habits.

"He became tearful when he discussed his relationship with his father," Hicks wrote, adding Kinkel told him making explosives helped reduce his anger.

Friends of the Kinkels said they believed Kip just wore his parents down to the point that they bought guns for him -- or that his father gave him guns that he owned to try to establish some bond.

Sensing improvement in the teen after he began to get guns, Kinkel's parents ended his visits to the psychologist. Three months after that, they took him off the Prozac that had been prescribed for depression.

At his father's urging, Kinkel turned out for football, but at 120 pounds was frustrated. In his journal he wrote, "I don't know who I am. I want to be something I can never be."

The teen wrote that there were people he wanted to kill, but would not because he still had hope.

"As soon s my hope is gone, people die," he continued.

Kinkel eventually was caught with a loaded stolen pistol in his high school locker. Facing expulsion, he then went on his shooting rampage.

"I think he wanted to kill himself but he didn't have the guts to," said Kasey Guianen, a high school friend of Kip's. "He's such a little boy."

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.