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Wednesday, May 20, 1998County: Lane
Disposition: Not Charged
Person of Interest: Kip Kinkel
15 year old Kinkel bragged to fellow students about torturing animals. He also had a fascination with guns and a quick temper that led him to be expelled from school twice in on week for acts of violence against fellow students. His classmates voted him "Most Likely to Start World War III".
He murdered both of his parents, then went on to his high school to open fire on his classmates, killing 2 and injuring 22. Police also found five sophisticated explosive devices (bombs) in his home.
At the time of his arrest, Kip Kinkel had a knife taped to his leg and lunged at a police offers before being subdued with pepper spay.
A freshman at Thurston High School in Springfield, Oregon, Kinkel took a semiautomatic rifle, 2 handguns and a backpack loaded with ammunitions to school, firing 51 rounds of ammunition at his classmates. Kinkel has been charged with 4 counts of aggravated murder and is being held at the Skipworth Juvenile Detention Center in Eugene Oregon. He will be prosecuted as an adult but under Oregon law, he is too young to face the death penalty.
Based on interviews with neighbors, who knew the Kinkel family, there were signs that pointed to something wrong with Kip Kinkel long before the shooting. Kinkel had been suspended from school arrested after being caught with a stolen gun on school grounds just the day before the shooting.
Kinkel plea-bargained just 3 days before he was to go on trial. He pleaded guilty to four counts of murder and 26 of attempted murder. Under the agreement, he will get a total of 25 years for the murders. Prosecutors have recommended 7 1/2 years for each attempted murder count for the 25 students he wounded and a detective he attacked with a knife. The judge will decide whether those sentences will be tacked onto the end of the 25-year sentence. Update - Kinkel's received 101 years in prison without the chance of parole
Because Kinkel was 15 at the time of the slayings, he could not have faced the death penalty.
Kinkel was an obsessive gun enthusiast, but not a hunter. According to friends, he did have a history of animal abuse that further included decapitating cats, dissecting live squirrels and blowing up cows. Once schoolmate recounted that Kinkel would often go into graphic detail about "how he'd cut animals open with hunting knives".
- U.S. News
- CBS news
- The Humane Society of the United States
- Face the Nation - TV program
- The Associated Press
- Reuters News
- The Cable News Network
- The Nashua Telegraph
- The Doris Day Animal League
Note: Classifications and other fields should not be used to determine what specific charges the suspect is facing or was convicted of - they are for research and statistical purposes only. The case report and subsequent updates outline the specific charges. Charges referenced in the original case report may be modified throughout the course of the investigation or trial, so case updates, when available, should always be considered the most accurate reflection of charges.
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