April 19, 2007 — -- The videos of Seung-hui Cho, the man who fatally shot 32 people at Virginia Tech on Monday and then killed himself, shouldn't have been released because they don't offer the public any greater understanding of the gruesome crime, said Michael Welner, a forensic psychiatrist and ABC News consultant, on "Good Morning America" today.
"If anybody cares about the victims in Blacksburg and if anybody cares about their children, stop showing this video now. Take it off the Internet. Let it be relegated to YouTube," Welner said. "This is a social catastrophe. Showing the video is a social catastrophe."
During a pause in his killing spree Monday, Cho sent a package that included 43 photos, video clips and a letter to NBC. NBC received the package Wednesday.
The videos included Cho's rants on the reasoning behind the crimes he was presumably about to commit.
"Do you know what it feels like to be torched alive? Do you know what it feels like to be humiliated and impaled on a cross and left to bleed to death for your amusement? You have never felt a single ounce of pain in your whole lives. You have vandalized my heart, raped my soul and torched my conscience," Cho said in the videos.
Welner believes that instead of offering insight, these videos merely offer validation of delusional behavior.
"I think that's very important for the viewing audience to understand. This is not him.These videos do not help us understand him. They distort him. He was meek. He was quiet. This is a PR tape of him trying to turn himself into a Quentin Tarantino character," Welner said. "This is precisely why this should not be released. Parents, you should cut the pictures out of the newspaper. Do not let your children see it. Take them out of the room when these videos are shown. Because he's paranoid and his agenda of blaming the rest of the world is unedited."
"There's nothing to learn from this except giving it validation. If this rambling showed up in an emergency room, my colleagues and I would listen carefully and, when we reflected that it was delusional, would go see the next patient and start the medication," he said. "This makes it sound like he was tormented. He wasn't."