Talk:Kip Kinkel

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Censorship of name[edit]

An anon has removed the name of one of the students involved in the Thurston High School shooting three times in the past few weeks.[1] [2] [3] All three of these edits have come from Eugene (which of course neighbors Springfield, the town Thurston is in). I'm fairly certain that the person removing the name is someone close to the student. The third edit made by the anon is far more acceptable than the first two and is the current version. Should I leave the name out or should I include it? Does anyone have any thoughts? Pablo Talk | Contributions 21:21, 27 July 2007 (UTC)

On one hand, (DELETED) was nearly a victim. On the other, he chose to act heroically. I wouldn't think it would be a problem for him to be named as he is presented quite positively. The only thing that makes me wonder why someone would delete it would be if it weren't accurate, or such publicity being against some belief. If it's well cited, I'd favor leaving it in. —EncMstr 21:43, 27 July 2007 (UTC)

(edit conflict) The name of that student was widely reported in the news and can be easily sourced, so I don't think the inclusion of the name is a matter of invasion of privacy. I don't see any reason the name should be left out, but on the other hand, does knowing the name of the student (who I would assume is not notable on his own) enhance the knowledge of the subject? He was hailed as a hero at the time, and his actions probably saved many lives. (Perhaps the anon does not want his name forever connected with Kinkel's? Understandable, but unavoidable, I think.) Does WP:BIO have any guidelines on the matter? Reading further, there is some controversy about claims the student's National Rifle Association training is what allowed him to take quick action. So maybe the anon has an anti-NRA bias? Ultimately unless the inclusion of the name violates some policy, or someone can produce a logical argument for the removal of the name, I think the article should be reverted. But I don't like like letting unexplained anon deletions stand, personally. Katr67 21:46, 27 July 2007 (UTC)

WP:BIO doesn't have anything, but WP:BLP#Privacy of names is relevant. Per this guideline, "Editors should take particular care when considering whether inclusion of the names of private, living individuals who are not directly involved in an article's topic adds significant value." So, the relevant question is: Is it valuable to include the name? I'm having a tough time deciding whether it does or not. Pablo Talk | Contributions 01:59, 28 July 2007 (UTC)

certainly an anon deletion can get one to wondering, but on the other hand there are a lot of young survivors who likely would like to get on with their lives and become known for somethingother than being surviors, just as many have come home from wars and never spoken of what they did, even though they performed many heroic acts. I don't see the names of survivors as necessary to an article. I wouldn't make an issue of itRvannatta 03:59, 28 July 2007 (UTC)

I agree with Rvannatta. There is no significant difference in the quality of the article one way or the other; I would say err on the side of caution, assume the person does not want his name included, honor that desire. The use of the term "censorship" is an exaggeration; we are not the government, nor do we control the media. The name is out; whether or not it is included in Wikipedia is a small matter compared to a a deliberate effort to suppress information from all outlets (which is what censorship is.) -Pete 19:09, 28 July 2007 (UTC)
Yes, I'm leaning toward letting the deletion stand at this point, as I seem to recall a bit in the WP:BIO guidelines somewhere about looking at certain anonymous edits to bios as possible attempts by the subject to remove his or her name that should be honored as good faith rather than as vandalism. I'm too lazy to look up the relevant guideline right now, but that's the gist of it. It all boils down to: Is the article about Kinkel enhanced by including the names of the other students? Probably not. It's an encyclopedia article, not a news article. As such, it should give an overview of the subject, and those wanting more information can certainly find it on the Internet. Katr67 19:47, 28 July 2007 (UTC)
I agree. Let's leave the name out. Pablo Talk | Contributions 19:50, 28 July 2007 (UTC)
I also agree about the name. I put it in accidentally a month back because I hadn't read this talk page (oops). This person is well known among Boy Scouts even to this day, having received the highest honor that they have. But that doesn't necessarily mean the name should be here of all places. However, why was the comment that he survived removed? The sentence kinds of leaves the reader hanging. Legitimus (talk) 19:58, 8 January 2008 (UTC)
Sorry, I had looked at your changes, saw the student's name, and just reverted them all. Sloppy of me. Feel free to add back some of that stuff, especially the fact it was 5 Scouts, not 4, since the ref backs that up. Though in reading the article, the context seems to indicate the student survived (it wasn't like he was awarded posthumously), but if you think it's important to emphasize, find a way to write it that isn't redundant. Thanks for asking. Katr67 (talk) 20:18, 8 January 2008 (UTC)

One outside view. While I don't feel too strongly about including the name, the relevant paragraphs are a little confusing and could probably be better worded.

  • My first thought when reading this (after the name had been redacted) was "whose brother?" Kips? The problem with this paragraph and the other in the section is that the constant use of "student" (when there was 25 injured all together) can all blend together. There needs to be a better identifier to keep the narrative going without the reader having to stop or go look at the sources to try and figure out who did what. If there is a better solution then using the name I'm all for it but the status quo isn't very appealing.AgneCheese/Wine 18:20, 29 July 2007 (UTC)
Yes, I had that confusion as well. I think the level of detail of "who is whose brother" is not needed - especially given that there seems to be consensus around leaving exact names out. Referring to everyone as simply a "student," and Kip as "Kip," seems like the best way to keep it from getting overly confusing. -Pete 18:36, 29 July 2007 (UTC)
To an extent I disagree here. I think as a reader it is a very natural compulsion to want to "know what's going on" and be able to at least follow along with the narrative. You don't need "exact detail" as to names but there should be enough detail to be able to distinguish "student A" from "student B" and so off. Kip vs 25 other "students" all jumbled in together is not doing a service to the reader-especially when there are students within this mass doing individual acts that merit mention in the article. If they just simply sat there and got shot then "Kip shot 25 students" would suffice. But if the narrative is going into the level of detail to distinguish individual acts then we need a better way of identifying those individuals.AgneCheese/Wine 18:55, 29 July 2007 (UTC)

I think Jake Ryker's name is a useful addition to the article since he was, after all, the student who disarmed the shooter. He ought to be at least as notable as those students who died (and are named in the article). He also attended a national convention of the NRA[4], so it doesn't look like he just wants to throw this incident and his part in it down the memory hole. —Preceding unsigned comment added by SURIV (talkcontribs) 15:34, 10 February 2008 (UTC)

Pop culture/Manson[edit]

I am moving this section and a random comment in reaction to it here:

References in pop culture[edit]

Some of the lyrics in the Marilyn Manson song "The Reflecting God" are said to be based on Kinkel. Manson has been named as a possible influence on Kinkel.[1]

This would make Manson a psychic, because Reflecting God, on the album Antichrist Superstar, came out two years before the Thurston High shooting.
  1. ^ Hebert, James (2001-04-10). ""Bad Rap? With an accusing finger being pointed at their music, some students examine what songs are saying to them"". The San Diego Union-Tribune.  Check date values in: |date= (help);

So, A) Is the Manson influence on Kinkel true? B) Is the Kinkel influence on Manson true? C) Does this matter at all? (in other words, is this encyclopedic and worthy of inclusion or is it just {{toomuchtrivia}}? Katr67 21:17, 11 October 2007 (UTC)

The anon that added the commentary is correct. The song came out two years before the shooting. Either the source I provided was incorrect or I read it wrong (I'm pretty careful about not misrepresenting sources, so the former is probably the case). However, if sources can be provided that suggest Manson was an influence on Kinkel, we could add a sentence or two to the article. Either way, the article is probably better without a pop culture section. Pablo Talk | Contributions 20:15, 16 October 2007 (UTC)

Current Picture?[edit]

Anyone have a current picture? --House Boy 22:03, 21 October 2007 (UTC)

Strapping Bullets to Chest?[edit]

"It was reported that he had two bullets strapped to his chest at the time of the shooting, in order to end his life; however, he was never able to use them."

How does that work? (talk) 07:25, 15 December 2007 (UTC)

It just means that he would have loaded those bullets inot his glock and shot himself once his other bullets ran out. He kept them seperate so that he woudln't accidently use up all his rounds in the heat of the moment. Kairos (talk) 07:49, 30 December 2007 (UTC)

Contradictory Casualties[edit]

Toward the top of the page it says 24 students were wounded, but down toward the bottom it says 25. Which is it? Heatsketch (talk) 23:42, 11 February 2008 (UTC)

I'd say, it's neither, nor. To quote this New York Times article:
In September, Mr. Kinkel confessed to killing his parents, Bill and Faith Kinkel, as well as 16-year-old Ben Walker and Mikael Nickolauson, 17, both students at Thurston High School in Springfield, Ore., on May 21, 1998. He also confessed to wounding 22 students, shooting at three others, and attacking a detective after his arrest.(Lord Gøn (talk) 20:57, 14 December 2008 (UTC))

The uncredited students.[edit]

Well, I tried editing to fix this, but it's already been undone, so I'm starting up a thread here.

The current article states that there were five students involved in stopping Kip Kinkel durring the shooting, but there were seven in total credited with this. When the article was reverted, it included a new reference, to a BSA article relating to five students. The BSA article mentions only five, however, because those five were Boy Scouts, while the other two were not.

The final two are frequently left out of accounts. They are Joshua Pearson (Who even suffered a gunshot wound from the 9mm pistol while aiding in disarming Kinkel), and Travis Weaver (Who secured the primary weapon, the rifle).

In the immediate aftermath, neither of the two were credited by the media. However, in the days afterward, the full story came out, particularly at the urging of several of the five credited students. Still, references are scarce, and one significant reason why Wikipedia, being the most commonly referenced site for information on the subject, should have it right.

Slideshow of the Thurston Memorial, crediting seven students with stopping Kinkel (You'll have to increase the image size and advance to one of the pictures of the plaques stating this):

Article on the dedication of the Thurston Memorial, including crediting seven students:

One source, naming both the "forgotten" students: (Incedentally, while it notes the same seven students were awarded a "hero fund" gathered in appreciation after the event, it also includes a segment about another student striking Kinkel and disarming his rifle, after Kip held the gun to his head and clicked "three times". No other witness has reported seeing this, any witnesses to Kinkel pulling the trigger three times to no effect stated it was put to the head of a girl on the ground (For example, Joshua Ryker: ), and all witnesses stated that the gun was knocked out of Kinkel's hand by Jacob Ryker (Same article, for example), and it appears he was not credited in any official manner, such as the Memorial.)

And just for good measure, another article noting Joshua Pearson's involvement, including being wounded in the process of assisting:

This really needs to be kept correct. PhoenixDragon69 (talk) 14:34, 24 February 2008 (UTC)

Thanks for updating the article. If you check the page history, you will see I reverted your changes not because I didn't believe you, but because the original source cited didn't back up the facts you added. Thanks for explanation above, but as I often say, you don't have to tell us about this on the talk page, simply show in the article, using citations to reliable sources what the story actually is, perhaps explaining contradictory information as needed. Your more recent additions, however, seem to have corrected the story using adequate citations. You may wish to note that, per the thread above, a consensus was reached that the name of the most prominent student to have helped stop the shooting was to be left out of the article. Perhaps it is time to revisit that consensus, but until a new consensus is reached it's probably better to leave the student's name out of the article. Katr67 (talk) 21:45, 24 February 2008 (UTC)
I know, I just figured it would be best to fully explain the changes, which seemed a bit out-of-place in the main article. A large problem here is that the news articles rarely ever have consensus. Articles quote one, two, five, and seven students involved, they have events happening in different orders, and just generally make it hard to accurately cite information because two legitimate news sources might have completely contradictory claims. Also, I should note that it doesn't seem that a consensus was reached, as the name was present in the article before my alterations. And I should point out that the assumption it's being done "for him" or by someone "close" to him simply because it comes from a neighboring town (As presented by many of the entries above) is rather flawed. Many in the area feel strongly about it, after all. PhoenixDragon69 (talk) 03:05, 25 February 2008 (UTC)

Not a teenager[edit]

Born in 1982, Kinkel stopped being a teenager in 2001. He's currently 27. The intro describes him as an "American teenager." I ommitted the word "teenager" from this description. (talk) 22:18, 4 January 2010 (UTC)

Negative view of Psychologist[edit]

There seems to be an unnecessarily negative view regarding Jeffrey Hicks' performance in treating Kip. The article says "[Hicks] had seen Kinkel for nine sessions, after which the boy's parents terminated the therapy." Look at how the previous sentence, "Jeffrey Hicks, the only psychologist who had treated Kinkel before the shootings, said that he was in satisfactory mental health" (which needs a source, by the way) pits the reader against Hicks. I think it is fair to mention that Hicks had diagnosed Kinkel with manic depression (or some variant thereof), and had prescribed Prozac to Kinkel, after which Kinkel seemed to improve. This improvement caused the parents to terminate the therapy, but only because they believed that Kip was on the mend and did not need further help.

Here's a timeline from PBS. It has a lot of information regarding Kinkel's treatment prior to the event, and a lot of it appears to be valuable information:

Someone might want to reword that "satisfactory mental health" comment. The PBS source above claims that "Hicks found no evidence of a thought disorder or psychosis. He diagnosed Kip with Major Depressive Disorder and concluded that 'Kip had difficulty with learning in school, had difficulty managing anger, some angry acting out and depression.'" To me, "satisfactory" means healthy, so for lack of further evidence, perhaps that sentence should be toned down.

I apologize for my lack of formality or proactivity regarding this.Pfhortipfhy (talk) 01:00, 20 October 2010 (UTC)

Infobox, sensitivty[edit]

The infobox bothers me. Especially listing his weapons. It seems a little too much like a collectors card from a role-playing game, listing "key stats". I'm also concerned by the "count" of fatalities and injuries, basically listing "kills." Is this a standard template for mass/serial killers? Is anybody else concerned that it glorifies violence? Noloop (talk) 17:47, 27 August 2011 (UTC)

It's common, it's part of the template, which seems to deal with a bad issue in a plain and uncensored way, which is in keeping with the way things are done on Wikipedia. It's probably worth discussing with the Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Criminal Biography/Serial Killer task force. tedder (talk) 18:30, 27 August 2011 (UTC)
I started a discussion at the Village Pump (before I saw your reply). [5] Noloop (talk) 18:34, 27 August 2011 (UTC)
No problem. Either of those places are perfectly fine- it seemed a little too wide of a discussion for this talk page. tedder (talk) 18:39, 27 August 2011 (UTC)

Preoccupation with firearms[edit]

The article seems overly preoccupied with firearms, naming makes and models in ridiculous detail. Yet, it says nothing about Kinkel being under the influence of psychotropic drugs at the time of the murders. He was reportedly taking Prozac and Ritalin and had been attending "anger management" classes. The weapons have nothing to do with someone going on a killing rampage; a person's mental state is far more important, and is hardly discussed. Why? — QuicksilverT @ 21:00, 12 December 2012 (UTC)

Why is not mentioned that he is Jewish?[edit]

I find nothing about his religion in the article, why? -- (talk) 12:42, 15 December 2012 (UTC)

Why is it important? ElKevbo (talk) 18:53, 15 December 2012 (UTC)


A quote from this article - "During the morning, he also played the song "Liebestod" from the soundtrack of Romeo + Juliet repeatedly. It was still playing when the police arrived at the residence."[1]

1 - Liebestod is from Tristan and Isolde, not Romeo and Juliet. 2 - The link to R & J takes you to the movie w Leonardo di Caprio, which I suppose doesn't matter b/c it's the wrong opera. 3 - The [1] reference takes the reader to a link from a PBS special about the event. There is no mention of that or any other song playing in the PBS story. So I have to wonder where you got this information since the source you reference is inadequate. I'm sure you worked hard on this piece but I have to wonder what else is factually inaccurate. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Joe Heff (talkcontribs) 02:32, 1 March 2013 (UTC)

I rephrased and added to this paragraph with wikilinks for better clarity. I agree, the prior wording could lead one astray. The citation is in the Frontline article linked in the reference. It is in the chronology at 9:30 AM, when the parents bodies are found by police. Thanks. Fylbecatulous talk 23:19, 21 June 2013 (UTC)