Subscriber Services
Subscriber Services
Complete Forecast
Search  Recent News  Archives  Web   for    
  •  Breaking News
  •  Columnists
  •  Consumer News
  •  Iraq
  •  Local/Region
  •  Lottery
  •  Nation
  •  Obituaries
  •  Politics/Elections
  •  Photos
  •  News projects
  •  Readers' Representative
  •  Weather
  •  Weird News
  •  Who To Call
  •  World

Back to Home >  News >


  email this    print this   
Posted on Thu, Mar. 24, 2005

Troubling Internet postings clash with family's view of a happy Weise

Pioneer Press

Kim DesJarlait wondered Wednesday how the nephew she knew as polite and happy when he lived in the Twin Cities could have killed nine people and himself on a northern reservation.

Cyberspace confessionals attributed to Jeff Weise provided answers dating back to the supposedly happy childhood he found almost too painful to address.

One posting claimed that before she suffered a debilitating injury in a car crash, Weise's mother struck him often "with anything she could get her hands on," drank excessively and told him his birth was "a mistake."

"She would say so many things that its hard to deal with them or think of them without crying," the teen wrote before the Red Lake rampage.

As authorities try to figure out why Weise turned violent, the Internet offered possible clues — in contrast to his aunt's impressions.

While many postings were attributed to Weise or e-mail addresses friends said he used, the anonymity of the Internet does allow one person to use another's name. However, the postings linked to Weise appear consistent in content, style and language, and they contain personal data confirmed through other means.

"16 years of accumulated rage suppressed by nothing more than brief glimpses of hope, which have all but faded to black," he wrote in an undated personal biography on one Web site. "I can feel the urges within slipping through the cracks, the leash I can no longer hold…."

With so many dark postings surfacing and being attributed to Weise, FBI spokesman Paul McCabe said the agency is aware of their potential importance in helping understand a mass murderer's frame of mind.

McCabe, who is based in Minneapolis, said the agency will subpoena the records of Internet service providers to authenticate or disprove authorship.

"Anyone can post anything under any name they want," McCabe said, explaining that the FBI nevertheless is interested in the content of any postings that can be verified as coming from Weise.

A computer animation attributed to Weise was posted Wednesday on TheSmokingGun. com. It shows a person with an automatic rifle shooting two people in the head and a third in the chest before blowing up a squad car with a grenade and then shooting what appears to be a Ku Klux Klan member in the head.

The animated shooter then puts the barrel of a handgun in his mouth and pulls the trigger as the screen turns red and the clip ends with the closing credit screen. Bright red blood splashes across the black-and-white drawings, which are accompanied by the sounds of gunfire and an explosion.

The Web site said the Flash animation first was posted last October on a popular multimedia Web site.

Though the teen's slide toward violence was apparent in comments he made and the drawings he showed to classmates, his aunt puzzled over when and why he lost his way.

"Jeff was a really good kid," DesJarlait said in an interview. "I felt that he was a bright kid. He loved to draw. He loved to play video games. He loved to go out and eat. He was a really polite kid. Any time he wanted something or needed something, he always asked for it."

Weise was acquainted with pain and sorrow. His father, Darryl "Baby Dash" Lussier, committed suicide in 1997, and his mother, Joanne Weise, was left brain-damaged by a car accident in 1999.

At the time of the accident, Jeff Weise was living with his mother and two aunts in Shakopee. Afterward, his mother divorced and went into an assisted-living facility. The boy moved back to the Red Lake reservation to live with relatives, DesJarlait said.

DesJarlait said she had wanted Jeff Weise to stay with her family in Shakopee.

"It was never explained to us what was going on," she said. "All we knew was he was going back to Red Lake and going to stay with his grandparents."

She said she saw the boy later during short visits and "he didn't seem like he had changed."

"That's why I just don't understand what happened when he headed to Red Lake," she said. "It had to be that he didn't want to be there. He did not feel like he fit in."

Shelda Lussier, Weise's grandmother, told KMSP-TV that reports about the boy being disturbed and a loner were not true, though she said he did suffer from depression. Weise lived with Shelda Lussier, the station reported.

"He did not do all of the things that they said. He didn't listen to heavy metal music," she said. "He was not kicked out of school. He was on a Homebound program through his own choice."

In an online posting last year, Weise said he was on antidepressants.

The antidepressant was Prozac, said Gayle Downwind, a cultural coordinator at Red Lake Middle School, who taught Weise. It was not uncommon for him to spend at least one night a week at her home.

"He considered my house a safe place to be," she said.

Weise also wrote that he was seeing a therapist and had attempted suicide by slitting his wrists. He said the cuts "are gonna turn into beautiful scars some day."

Such journals and discussion board entries were sometimes thoughtful, often cryptic and only occasionally hopeful. One thing permeated all the writings: a great, weighty darkness.

"I sacrifice no more for others, part of me has f—-ing died and I hate this s—t," read a Jan. 27 entry. "I'm living every mans nightmare and that single fact alone is kicking my ass, I really must be f—-ing worthless. …"

The writings show a youth who seemed to revel in his anger and trouble. When he did reveal details, they were riveting. The administrator of an online forum catering to zombie lore posted some undated excerpts of private messages he said were from Weise.

One referred to the traffic accident that left Weise's mother brain-damaged.

"My mom got drunk one night and wrecked her car and had to relearn how to tie her shoes, I was too young to fight back or too young to stick up for myself without getting struck down when this was happening."

Another addressed life as if it were a dead-end street in a bad neighborhood: "I'm nothin' but your average Native American stoner," it said. "I'm mellow half the time, mostly natural, but mostly drug induced as well. I'm not a junkie, or an alcoholic, MJ is my gal' of choice. Enough about that though, I don't know why you're reading this anyway. I'm gonna roll this joint so I'll c'ya later…."

A private message on the zombie-related site said: "I have friends, but I'm basically a loner inside a group of loners. Most of my friends don't know the real me, I've never shared my past with anyone, and I've never talked about it with anyone. I'm excluded from anything and everything they do, I'm never invited, I don't even know why they consider me a friend or I them…."

Entries in his online journal, "Thoughts of a Dreamer," provide a sense of someone on a mental slide; even the photo chosen to adorn the journal was of Nirvana, whose founder, Kurt Cobain, committed suicide in 1994.

The first entry, written Dec. 14, introduces "my new journal, in which I will put my thoughts down to words. My view on the days past events and whatnot, my two cents on the world in general."

Weise invited readers to visit a message board for the band he played in, named 6sik6. He played guitar, but it could not immediately be determined if 6sik6 got beyond garage-band dreams.

"We haven't heard of the band, and we have heard of most local bands," said Larry Overbeek, who runs Overbeek Electronics and Music in Bemidji, a half-hour's drive south of the Red Lake reservation where Weise lived.

The next journal entry, dated Jan. 4, alludes to suicide, and Weise says he regrets not doing it sooner.

"I'm starting to regret sticking around," he said. "I should've taken the razor blade express last time around…. Well, whatever, man. Maybe they've got another shuttle comin' around sometime soon?"

An autobiography on a Web site that was last updated in June included this entry from Weise under "Latest News:"

"On antidepressants. Seeing a therapist… ."

Favorite hobbies were listed as "Drawing, Listening to Music. Chillin. Getting high. Being a smart kid. Being a Native American National Socialist."

In another journal, Weise's depression bleeds through.

"The instrument of my resurrection was supposed to be freedom," said his Jan. 4 entry. "But there isn't an open sky or endless field to be found where I reside, nor is there light or salvation to be discovered. Right about now, I feel as low as I ever have. I don't think it's a big secret why, really. My biggest disappointment and downfall came from what was supposed to be the one thing to lift me from the grave I'm continually digging for myself. Nah, never. Only the worthy are saved, y'know."

His last journal entry, posted at 9:37 a.m. on Jan. 27, offers a cryptic example or two of what he's seen.

"Always expecting change when I know nothing ever changes. I've seen mothers choose their man over their own flesh and blood, I've seen others choose alcohol over friendship."

Drawings made at school and online activity suggested he was a neo-Nazi, to which DesJarlait expressed surprise.

"That's just coming out of the blue," she said. "That's not how he was raised."

In many of the online biographical sketches, the authors are asked to provide their favorite quotes. In one destined for review by the FBI in its investigation of Weise, Adolf Hitler was quoted:

"The law of existence requires uninterrupted killing … So that the better may live."

The other was from Erich Maria Remarque's World War I novel, "All Quiet on the Western Front." It is uttered by the story's narrator, Paul Baumer, a private in the German Army:

"We are little flames, poorly sheltered by frail walls against the storm of dissolution and madness, in which we flicker and sometimes almost go out."

The Washington Post and the Associated Press contributed to this article. David Hanners can be reached at or 651-228-5551. Beth Silver can be reached at or 612-338-6516.

  email this    print this