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February 7, 2002
9:32 AM   Subscribe

Remember the 15 year old that crashed a cessna into a Florida building? His suicide note is up at the smoking gun, and apparently "Al Qaeda and other organizations have met with me several times to discuss the option of me joining" and he thought "Osama bin Laden is absolutely justified" in a screed that blasts US involvement with Israel. Kids today.
posted by mathowie (33 comments total)

 
Wow. Whatever happened to penmanship?
posted by ColdChef at 9:33 AM on February 7, 2002


creative kid...do you think he really believed all that stuff?
posted by th3ph17 at 9:39 AM on February 7, 2002


"You will pay--God help you--and I will make you pay!"

Did he ever! That window he flew into must have cost at least $200. And I'm sure the guy that worked in the office had to have his desk refinished. Osama is forever in your debt, young man.
posted by pardonyou? at 9:39 AM on February 7, 2002


Snarkiness aside, that's really sad. When someone so young feels that suicide is their only answer...
posted by ColdChef at 9:39 AM on February 7, 2002


Think he deserves a Darwin?
posted by signal at 9:44 AM on February 7, 2002


"I have prepared this statement in regards to the terrorist acts I am about to commit."

I like how he crossed out "terrorist". Maybe the kid had a future as a Reuters correspondent.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 9:46 AM on February 7, 2002


If Osama talked to and tried to recruit that kid, then I am the Queen of Sheba.
posted by aacheson at 9:53 AM on February 7, 2002


Doesn't look like the Super Bowl was blown up either, as he claimed it would be.
posted by jeffbarr at 9:53 AM on February 7, 2002


Anyone know any more about this kid - friends, hobbies, etc? I just remember seeing the initial story in the news and then it all going very quiet. I thought the media usually likes to do some in-depth psychological profiling in these 'good kids gone bad' cases.
posted by dlewis at 9:53 AM on February 7, 2002


the monstrous Israelis--who want nothing short of world domination!

This has got to be some kind of performance piece. I bet the kid bailed out, and is in hiding. Find him--then give him an NEA grant!
posted by Ty Webb at 9:55 AM on February 7, 2002


I thought the media usually likes to do some in-depth psychological profiling in these 'good kids gone bad' cases.

Yeah, where's the sendup in People Magazine of his love for video games? They've blamed everything else on Doom/Quake/Unreal, why not this kid too?
posted by mathowie at 9:59 AM on February 7, 2002


Ok, this is one of those totally unsupported claims, but I seem to remember both of his parents having been suicidal or depressed or had tried to kill themselves when they were younger or something like that.

Yeah, or something.

Metafilter detectives: get to work!
posted by lawtalkinguy at 10:01 AM on February 7, 2002


Oh wait. This is crazy - apparently his suicide may have been prompted by an acne treatment.
posted by dlewis at 10:02 AM on February 7, 2002


For once I don't have a smart-a** comment. I'm a mom....the whole scenario breaks my heart.

We nutcases are really good at hiding who we really are from our loved ones....this boy's mom probably really did think he was just a normal kid. What a way to find out otherwise.
posted by bunnyfire at 10:03 AM on February 7, 2002


I thought I recalled reading after that story about Accutane that none was found in his blood in the autopsy.
posted by briank at 10:13 AM on February 7, 2002


As I recall, the kid was on meds, which usually helps as its supposed to but sometimes has the tragic reverse effect of making the person have less regard for the consequences of their actions. (excellent article BTW, already posted here in an unrelated thread.)

To me the note seems to show that in this day and age, we are all media savvy enuf to devise a suicide plan that will safely vault to the front page news of the day. I find it curious that he chose to do it on a weekend afternoon when he must have known any office building would be all but deserted.

The kid was alienated, more than the average teen, to the point where he resorted to this. Imagine if he were your child.
posted by BentPenguin at 10:15 AM on February 7, 2002


Al Qaeda and other organizations have met with me several times to discuss the option of me joining

*coffbullshitcoff*

In one sentence he professes his admiration for bin Laden. And then he goes and he spills the beans about Osama's alleged plans for the superbowl. Sheesh, if he's gonna tell whoppers like that, at least he could lie consistently.

This is just a pathetic runt's last-ditch attempt to make the world think he was more important than he was. If he were an ordinary teen suicide, I could feel pity for him. But his actions threatened to harm others, and that's just pathetic.
posted by ratbastard at 10:17 AM on February 7, 2002


Nah, he wasn't on anything . I swear I heard something about his parents. Can't find it though.
posted by lawtalkinguy at 10:18 AM on February 7, 2002


"Yeah, where's the sendup in People Magazine of his love for video games? They've blamed everything else on Doom/Quake/Unreal, why not this kid too?"

those damned flight simulators. they need to be banned.
posted by jcterminal at 10:39 AM on February 7, 2002


Judging from the contents of that note, this isn't a case of "someone so young feeling that suicide is their only answer"; I think he just completely snapped. Depression and psychosis are two distinct medical diseases. For what it's worth, schizophrenia generally manifests itself starting right around his age, so it might have been that. And sadly, there are millions of parents out there whose methods of interactivity with their children would allow them to not notice the slowly growing symptoms of such a mental disease. But I'm just hypothesizing.
posted by aaron at 10:52 AM on February 7, 2002


" Anyone know any more about this kid - friends, hobbies, etc?"

Glad you asked.
This kid was an active member of the ...get this...Young Republicans.
Now you know why he wasn't covered extensively. Can't have that getting out. Might contradict Poppy Bush's assertion that only "liberal Marin County Hot Tubbers" are responsible for such deviants.
Now you also know why he might want to commit suicide. Too many internal contradictions...
posted by nofundy at 12:27 PM on February 7, 2002


If I ever write my own dictionary then that last paragraph about the "Super Bowl" will be the definition for 'Random'. It just comes out of nowhere and I can't tell if it's a threat, a warning or just an extra bit of fantasy that handily filled up the space on the paper.
posted by MUD at 12:29 PM on February 7, 2002


MUD: Not quite random.

The supposed plans for the Super Bowl came from Tom Clancy's The Sum of All Fears.

Terrorists find a missing Israeli nuclear bomb in Syria (lost in 1971), fix it up, and blow up the Super Bowl.
posted by o2b at 12:51 PM on February 7, 2002


That would have been so much better than Bono.
posted by dong_resin at 1:10 PM on February 7, 2002


The Accutane business is needless scaremongering (it's difficult to find a minor increase in suicide rates, when the patient population -- teenagers -- is already a peak suicide demographic).

One thing that the major media have almost completely overlooked is that Charles Bishop wasn't his birth name: his real family name is Bishara. Apparently he had an Arab father, though it's not clear when the name changed. That WND column, there, goes into speculation mode, but the name change was reported in a Tampa Bay newspaper at the time.

My personal take is that all the terrorism stuff in the suicide note is bogus. The psychological implications, though, are that he was somehow seeking to emulate or make up for his parental heritage. I think this makes a lot more sense than acne medicine, so I have no idea why it was played down, especially given the enormous attention paid to the family background of John Walker Lindh.
posted by dhartung at 1:25 PM on February 7, 2002


there was an article - i can't remember where - that quoted the kid's best friend as saying that he believed the kid threw in the bin-Laden/Al-Qaeda bit at the last minute because he wanted people to notice and remember his death. He wanted to go down "in a blaze of glory" (or notoriety), so to speak. the friend couldn't recall any prior demonstration of support or sympathy for Al-Qaeda.
posted by lizs at 2:15 PM on February 7, 2002


From the article Dhartung linked:

The lesson here is that lip-service can be deceiving. While many Muslims are hard-working, loyal Americans, some of the most vocally patriotic may not be.

Uh, when was that lesson learned?

The main lesson I have learned is that during crazy times, oddballs do odd things. Blaming it on his ethnic background, his acne medication, the lack of contact with his father etc, is a waste of time. Any of those reasons, or none of them, may have been a factor, but the rampant speculation (that dhartung's link ironically sets out to debunk at first) is not only lame but distasteful. The same goes for Walker-Lindh, who is dominating the headlines.

Meanwhile, the only major act of terrorism against American citizens to be thwarted has been relegated to the back pages with hardly a peep from the National papers/magazines.
posted by cell divide at 2:41 PM on February 7, 2002


The "terrorist connection" in this incident is a red herring. I remeber once sitting in a dive called the Villa in Stamford, CT sipping a beer. The grizzled old dude next to me spent an hour earnestly trying to convince me he was the Unabomber(this was before Kaczysnki's capture.)I was sorely tempted to take up a collection to buy him a nice tinfoil hat, but I thought better of it.
My point is, trying to figure out the motives of someone this far gone is pointless. If it wasn't Osama he would have referred to the Masons, the Trilateral Comission or the Vidalia County Onion Council. Just send your sympathies to his family and be done with it.
posted by jonmc at 4:47 PM on February 7, 2002


Last I heard (local news in Tampa) they were "checking his blood for levels of metals". IMHO the kid committed suicide. He reportedly told a friend a few days before that he would be on the Saturday news. He had no Accutane in his system. The family has issued a statement saying they do not support the beliefs he wrote about (what else would they say?). It was reported that authorities do not believe he had met with the Al Qaeda.
posted by RunsWithBandageScissors at 8:43 PM on February 7, 2002


Last I heard (local news in Tampa) they were "checking his blood for levels of metals". IMHO the kid committed suicide. He reportedly told a friend a few days before that he would be on the Saturday news. He had no Accutane in his system. The family has issued a statement saying they do not support the beliefs he wrote about (what else would they say?). It was reported that authorities do not believe he had met with the Al Qaeda.
posted by RunsWithBandageScissors at 8:47 PM on February 7, 2002


Charles Bishop's parents tried to commit suicide while living in Massachusetts in 1984 (i.e., before he was born). His father, Robert Bishara, a resident of Massachusetts, has been arrested for burglary, larceny, and driving offenses. Robert Bishara has never changed his name; he is of Arab Christian descent, and has never been out of the United States. Charles Bishop's mother, Julia Bishop, changed her name and her son's in the 1990s; according to one source, she changed the name during the Gulf War so her son wouldn't be teased at school. Charles Bishop had very little interaction with his father, at his mother's request.

There's been a lot of coverage of this in the St. Petersburg Times and the Boston Globe, both.
posted by Sidhedevil at 10:44 PM on February 7, 2002


By the way, isn't "Black Sunday" the Harris book where terrorists blow up the Super Bowl?
posted by Sidhedevil at 10:45 PM on February 7, 2002


the only major act of terrorism against American citizens to be thwarted

Really? That's the only one?
posted by syzygy at 3:48 AM on February 8, 2002


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