Understanding Kip Kinkel: The Killer at Thurston High

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The lives of everyone in the town of Springfield Oregon changed on May 21st of 1998. A quiet boy named Kip Kinkel became known as “The Killer at Thurston High” after killing both of his parents, murdering two classmates, and severely injuring 24 others. There are many factors in the 15 year old boy’s life that led up to the horrific events that occurred on that day. The same factors that influenced the tragedy in occurring could have very easily insured that it never happened to begin with.

On May 20th of 1998 Kip Kinkel was suspended from Thurston High for possession of a gun in his locker. He purchased the gun from a classmate, however another student that had heard about the sale taking place, notified employees of the school who then contacted the police and had them investigate. Kip was taken into custody to the police station and then sent home with his father. No-one can be exactly sure what transpired between Kip and his father on the ride home or after getting to the house. After getting back, he took one of his guns, shot his father in the back of the head, killing him on the spot. He moved his father’s body into the bathroom and then covered him with a sheet. He waited throughout the day for his mother to come home. When his mother finally pulled into the driveway and began walking into the house, he killed her as well. He shot her five times in the head, and once in the heart.

The next day he put on a trench coat, gathered multiple guns, bullets, a knife and drove his parents’ vehicle to school. He ran into a friend in the hallway before the horrific even and told him to leave. Right afterward, the shooting spree began. Kip shot his classmate, Ben Walker in the head and then went into the cafeteria...

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...that a handful of therapy sessions were not enough to put him back on the right track, Kip Kinkel was a walking time bomb. I feel bad for him because no-one truthfully understood. Yes, the choices that he made in the end were the wrong ones. He changed the lives of many in such a negative way, that it can never be resolved. But was it really any wonder that the kid felt anyone else deserved a better life then what he had?

Works Cited

Michael Kirk and Peter J. Boyer. (2000, January 18). The killer at Thurston High. May 5, 2010, by FrontLine:

The Killer at Thurston High. Retrieved May 5, 2010, from FrontLine:

Schaefer, R. T. (2008). Sociology. New york: Mcgraw-Hill.

McSkimming. (unknown date). What is Sociology.
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