Kip Kinkel and the Thurston High School Shooting | Part Three

(Continued from part two

He left some homemade bombs around the house and left a note on the coffee table which read ''I just got two felonies on my head, my parents can't take that. It would destroy them. The embarrassment would be too much for them. They couldn't live with themselves. My head just doesn't work right. God damn these voices inside my head. I have to kill people. I have no other choice''.

As morning approached (May 21st 1998), he dressed for school. He loaded up the Glock pistol, filled a gym bag with ammunition, taped two bullets to his chest and a knife around his ankle.

 He put on a long stone coloured trench coat and wore a hat with the logo 'NIN' which was from one of his favourite bands 'Nine Inch Nails'.

Kip was 15 years old. He took his gym bag and got into his parents car and drove to Thurston High School.

He arrived at the school at 7:45am and parked the car about two blocks from the school and jogged to the campus. He then entered the patio area where he fired two shots, one which killed student Ben Walker and wounded another student. He then went to the cafeteria where he knew where most of the kids would be as they'd go there every morning before class. Whilst in the cafeteria he fired the last remaining 48 rounds from his rifle, wounding 24 students and killing 17 year old Mikael Nickolauson.

When Kip's gun ran out of ammunition a group of seven students led by Jacob Ryker pounced on Kip and got him to the ground, during the scuffle, Kip reached for his Glock which was attached to his belt and fired again once more before the students wrestled the gun from him. Jacob was wounded by the shot from this gun but continued to restrain Kip with the other students till the police arrived and arrested Kip.

[Jacob Ryker was later awarded the 'Boyscout Of America' Honor medal with crossed arms for his bravery.]

Kip fired a total of 50 rounds, 37 of which struck students and killed two. The students who were wounded that day made a full recovery of their injuries.
Whilst in police custody, Kip grabbed the knife that he had taped to his ankle and pounced on a police officer shouting ''Just kill me, shoot me''. The police officer subdued him with pepper spray.

Kip told police officers that he wanted to commit suicide after killing his parents but couldn't bring himself to do it.

Whilst Kip was being questioned by the police their colleagues travelled to the Kinkel residence and found the bodies of Bill and Faith Kinkel as Kip had left them with a sheet covering each of their bodies, the music was still playing and there was homemade bombs and ammunition scattered around the house. They also found Kip's note laying on the coffee table.

Reporters were everywhere and people who went to school with Kip gave interviews describing him as 'strange and morbid'. They said that he would tell the class how to make bombs and said that he wanted to join the army so that he would know what it was like to kill people.

Whilst Kip was in custody being questioned by police officers he was emotional and talked about 'voices' inside his head. The recording is quite harrowing but you can listen to it: here

On the 24th September 1999 (three days before Jury selection was set to take place) Kip Kinkel pleaded guilty to murder and attempted murder, forgoing the possibility of being acquitted by reason of insanity.

In November of 1999, Kip was sentenced to 111 years in prison without the possibility of parole. At the sentencing he apologised to the court for everything that he had done.
Later on after everything had happened and Kip was imprisoned, it was revealed by psychologists that he exhibited signs of Paranoid Schizophrenia and had expressed to his doctors at 12 years old that he was hearing voices in his head and was suffering from hallucinations and delusions. 

Kip was difficult to diagnose when he was younger because he hid his symptoms for fear of being labelled abnormal. 

During discussions with psychiatrists and the police, Kip said that he felt that voices in his head were a punishment from God. He said that he had 3 types of voices in his head which he described as A, B and C. He explained that A would tell him to do evil things. B would repeat negative things like ''You're not good enough'' over and over again and C would echo both A and B. 

In June 2007, Kip wanted a new trial because he believed that his mental state wasn't taken into consideration the first time round. Two psychiatrists both agreed that he had shown signs of Paranoid Schizophrenia and there was the history of severe mental illness on both sides of his family. 

In August of 2007 he was denied a new trial .

On the 12th of January 2011, Oregon Court Of Appeals supported the trial court judgement denying a new trial. 

Kip has appealed his sentence in both federal and state courts. In federal court he said that his guilty plea should not have been accepted without a proper mental health evaluation beforehand. 

In 2018, Kip had tried to have his sentenced reduced due to his crimes being committed as a youth and his mental health difficulties but this was rejected by the court. His lawyer says there is a possibility that Kip will appeal this decision.

Kip Kinkel is currently incarcerated in Oregon State prison in Salem.

Thank you for checking out my posts on the Kip Kinkel case, if you haven't done so, please check out my previous true crime posts:

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