Steven Kazmierczak didn’t leave a note before his deadly February shooting spree at Northern Illinois University, nor clues to his motivations on his computer or cell phone. But in essays for graduate-school applications, the Chicago Tribune reports, the future killer writes extensively about his life and his mental problems—including a stint in a group home.
Far from a picture of a repressed future killer, Kazmierczak comes across as a success story. Though he felt “victimized” in his adolescence, he was eventually inspired by a social worker to help people with similar problems. “I view myself as being able to relate to those … that are in need of direction,” he wrote. “Everyone … may need someone to rely on.”