The Serial is a suspenseful audio storytelling podcast that explores different and dramatic scenarios for each of their episodes. Investigator and journalist, Sarah Koenig, hosted the podcast and she presents….
Every Year there is a reported deathly school shooting around the world. Every year it is the same story about how a frustrated teen takes out his anger on the fellow students at school. In the next upcoming paragraphs I will digress on The Killer at Thurston High’s actions through Psychology, Sociology and Anthropology. Kip Kinkel had psychological problems at a young age. His family went to live in Spain for a year; this is where the problems began. Kip was only in the first grade and he was just learning English and since he was able to speak just in English, he would have difficulties understanding his Spanish teacher.
Kip’s frustration came from his past language experiences, and also the never-ending weight on him of living up to the Kinkel name. It was way too much for a preteen like Kip to be involved with. He had the all-American: “perfect family”, if you will, but in his mind he did not feel welcomed.
Kip thought of himself as the imperfect son, his sister on the other hand was athletic, smart, and well known by almost everyone in their community.
The Kinkel parents were highly respected because of their field of a teaching career. This all left Kip down and depressed during most periods of his life. On May 21, Kinkel had been suspended for bringing a firearm to school the previous day, the suspension day came and Kip reacted by driving his father’s car to school. The 15 year old was covered by a trench coat with a 9-mm Glock and a 22-calibur pistol hidden underneath. Kip Kinkel opened fire in the cafeteria of Thurston High School in Springfield Oregon, killing two students and injuring as many as 20 others. The explanations of his actions are indescribable. From a sociologist stand point, how Kip reacted towards weapons would be a major factor to keep in mind. In this case Kip resolved many of his solutions by either firing guns that he’d gotten from his father, or by detonating home-made explosives. This shows how Kip Kinkel deals with his emotions on the inside.
After the crisis at Thurston High school, the sheriff’s deputies went to the Kinkel residence. There they found loud music playing in the main living room and the rotten smell of decaying bodies. During the confession tape of Kip Kinkel, he said that he loved his parents dearly, and that he “had to do it”. The deputies found the body of William P. Kinkel, 59 covered by a sheet in the first floor bathroom. Kip’s mother Faith M. Kinkel, 57 was found later in the garage also covered by a white sheet. An anthropologist could only describe the purpose of the blaring music being played. Kip grew up listening to a lot of violent music, watching many death related movies, and also just becoming inflicted by the social media around him. Kip Kinkel felt that he had to do what he did in order to achieve bliss.
These anthropological factors had a big influence on all of the actions that Kip pursued. In my opinion, this entire turn of deathly events could only be controlled through Kip Kinkel’s personal and psychological mind. As it was stated before, Kip grew up feeling that he was unwelcome and always alone in his life. This made him very frustrated and upset with himself, thus resulting in his aggressive solutions, (firearms and explosives). So if Kip grew up believing that he was a good kid, and that he could actually achieve other things that other people could do, he wouldn’t have been the Killer at Thurston High.
In conclusion, the fact that Kipland Kinkel was raised in a different country and held back a grade made him a frustrated child right from the start. He was also an all American kid, who was raised around heavy firearms and this impacted his decisions to express his emotions violently. The final point that describes Kip’s actions is how he always listened to aggressive and shallow music, which resulted in him being more deep and dark, and also made him feel like he needed to do the things he did in order to move on. So the story of Kipland Kinkel is an older one, but keep in mind that something like this could happen anywhere!