April 11th, 2008
06:48 PM ET

Campus Rage: Mom saw warning signs in son

It started with an e-mail. In fact, it was the last of more than 600 e-mails CNN received in the wake of the Northern Illinois University shootings on Valentine’s Day. But this one stood out to me.


A frustrated and clearly anguished mother of a teenager was telling us she could relate to the massacre. That’s because her own son planned a school shooting when he was a high school junior in Idaho.

I immediately contacted Elaine Sonnen and spoke to her for at least an hour. I was immediately fascinated by her story - she saw the warning signs in her son, Richard, and was able to stop him from killing his classmates. But she still worried that he could be violent if he stopped taking his medication.

Still, there was little she could do because he was now over 18 and living on his own. She wanted to talk, but we knew the story would not be complete without hearing from Richard himself.

“Do you think he would talk to us?” I asked her. She agreed to call him and find out.


February 18th, 2008
03:40 PM ET

University Shooter's Girlfriend: 'I couldn't believe it'

Program note: Tonight on 360°, CNN Special Investigations Unit Correspondent Abbie Boudreau has the second part of her exclusive interview with the girlfriend of Northern Illinois University shooter Steven Kazmierczak.


Jessica Baty said her boyfriend, Steven Kazmierczak, gave no warning of the shooting rampage at NIU.

WONDER LAKE, Illinois –
The girlfriend of the gunman who killed five people and then himself at Northern Illinois University last Thursday told CNN there was "no indication he was planning something."

"He wasn't erratic. He wasn't delusional. He was Steve; he was normal," Jessica Baty tearfully said in an exclusive interview.

Baty, 28, said she dated Steven Kazmierczak off and on for two years and had most recently been living with him.


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