Case Western killer motivated by troll

Biswanath Halder, the former student who killed one person and injured others in a shooting rampage at Case Western Reserve University last week, was motivated by an experience that will be well-familiar to webloggers: an abusive troll on his Web site.

As described in the court filings he published on his home page, Halder received the following guestbook entry:

Bizzy Halder is a moron. This guy makes a living out of creeping people out. From his fake hair, to his fake teeth, his whitey tighty shorts and pants, to his shit stained sweaters this guy is a LOON. He's been kicked out of every lab on campus and everyone makes fun of him. So let's not even talk about credibility. Don't listen to a word this guy says.

Though Halder may have been fully capable of descending into murderous rage on his own, the incident demonstrates one of the undocumented features of Web publishing: free anonymous abuse from lowlifes!

Comments

Umm...apparently this wasn't anonymous abuse, but an accurate description of Mr. Halder.

BTW, I thought it was funny to see Dave link to this after his pattern of abuse against people who dare to actually understand technical problems that his software is causing.

I hope you are not suggesting that a silly comment to someone's webpage is justification to go out and shoot people.

The man had serious issues and suggesting that this was a trigger for murder is disgusting.

As I said, Halder may have been fully capable of descending into murderous rage on his own.

However, we ought to be able to recognize the odiousness of the person at Case Western who contributed to his problems with that hateful bile on his Web site.

It takes a special breed of coward to torment someone with "serious issues" behind cover of anonymity.

Note that the guestbook entry is from 2000. I doubt that's what set Halder off.

Read the court documents. Halder was upset enough about the guestbook entry to make it the focus of his criminal complaint. The guy he was in the school building to shoot was the coworker he suspected of writing it.

No one could prove, either, that anyone at Case Western Reserve actually posted the comment. His website was very high profile and anyone could have posted the comment.

I should note that I am not a completely insensitive clod and that, yes, what was posted to his guestbook (and, as I hear, subsequently deleted by himself a short while later), as not a very nice thing to do. However, I believe we can all agree that many not-so-nice people write some not-so-nice things to guestbooks and even blog comment boxes daily.

In any regard, I apologize for haunting your blog and will return to my regularly scheduled lurking.

No need to apologize. It's possible that the comment came from outside of Case, but the specificity of the insult seems to suggest otherwise. That's what I found most remarkable about the incident -- receiving an anonymous insult from some stranger on the Web is bothersome; receiving one from someone who appears to know you face-to-face is a much bigger deal.

I just find it amusing that someone would go stark raving mad and shoot someone over something they SAID not to mention that it was said over the internet. Yes I am sick and sadistic and find this to be a very good reason not to mess with people over the internet. But I do also find the whole story pretty amusing. Call me sick but atleast I'm honest un-like the coward who would call me crazy and a "sick fuck" for thinking that it is indeed pretty funny. Honesty is the best policy.

I know the guy who wrote that. He truly IS obnoxious.

How do you know who wrote it? The person Biswanath Halder went after on his shooting rampage denies writing it, and I haven't seen any press to indicate that anyone else was identified.

Mr. Halder is evidently a very sick man. It is plain wrong to kill another over word. With that said, there are a lot of disturbed people in this world and the internet tends to bring them more to the forefront. The writer of the insulting comment aparentlyh knew that Mr. Halder was mentally ill and chose to bate him, knowing that there would be a response on Halder's part. Though Mr. Halder is a murderer, the person who set him off is his himself sick and in need of help. Perhaps the next time he'll not be so lucky.

Halder thought a computer lab help desk person wrote that, but it came out in the trial that the desk persons supervisor actually did. both he and his girlfriend took the fifth under oath as to who wrote it and who deleted the files on BH's site. I was an alternate on the trial. Halder was close to finding the right person, but did not until testimony in December '05.

halder went berserk after his cyber crime case against CWRU and S.M. was thrown out of court at the end of April '03, about 10 days before the May 9th shooting. he'd spent over two years trying to stop the harrassment legally, going to CWRU, Cleve Police, Univ Circle police, the Cleve Computer Crimes Task force and even the FBI. All abandonded the help as there was no proof that S.M. did anything to his life's work, the WWIN site. this is testimony and public knowledge from the trial.

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The real problem in cases like this is the internet itself. It allows people to gain a type of power they would otherwise never have in real life because they can hide behind a computer screen. Both sides in this case are guilty of it; the troll who mocked him and this psychopath who shot people. I am sure this Halder's life was a living hell every day he was alive, and he didn't need it from anyone else. Until we get rid of anonymity on the internet these things will keep happening.

P.S. What Halder did literally makes me physically ill, and I am glad he is in prison where he will receive real justice.

This guy gives Indians a really bad name. Indians are probably the most peaceful people out there... yet many people equate them to terrorists due to the fact that a lot of them look like middle easterners and arabs. You would probably never hear of an Indian terrorist yet this guy decided to arm himself to the teeth an screw it all up for the Indians out there by giving them a bad name. Plus he killed a guy who had his entire life ahead of him. Thanks Halder. I hope you get clobbered and loved on in prison.

The mean spirted coward, Chris Fenton should be Halder's prison mate, or at the very least someone should hack Fenton's site.

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"Reality" writes, "Both sides in this case are guilty of it; the troll who mocked him and this psychopath who shot people."

False. To suggest that anonymous insults are in the same moral ballpark as premeditated murder is to demean the value of Norman Wallace's too-short life. There is one guilty person, and only one: Halder. The last time I checked, adults were expected to brush name calling aside. Even children are taught that "sticks and stones [or firearms, in Halder's case] might break my bones, but names shall never hurt me."

That there is even a debate about the name-caller's moral debt is bizarre and cruel.

All of you who made fun of this guy provoked him to some degree. Wake up.

I have to agree wwith the Visitor's remark of June 30. Something written, anonymously or not, does not equate to the actions of pre-meditated murder which would have been multi-murder had he been more effective. I commiserate with people who are subjects of cruel and intolerant statements but one really must learn to ignore ignorance. We have those expectations of teenagers in high schiiol struggling to deal with bullies, why not the same expectations for a grown man? And it is indeed a shame that someone hacked his computer and deleted all his files but as a computer user myself, i surely know better than NOT to keep back-up files of all files and web pages. And one would wonder how someone supposedly as adept as he was not more careful in prtecting his computer from being hacked....

While I also agree with the 6/30 comments as well as the comment by LB that premeditated murder and name-calling are two completely different levels and cannot be equated, I would only like to add one personal belief to that. As a middle school teacher, I have to say this... we do not teach our students to "ignore" ignorance and bullies, etc...(as mentioned in the above post). We teach them to be courageous enough to step forward and assist those being bullied, not ignore it. We teach all students that their inappropriate behavior, whether physical or verbal abuse, is wrong and hurtful and they both are scarring forms of abuse. These middle school students, who are 12-15 years old, are taught to take responsibility for all types of inappropriate behavior done to our brothers/sisters on this Earth. Why should adults not have to take responsibility also??

Ref visitor's comment, "That there is even a debate about the name-caller's moral debt is bizarre and cruel." This is such an absolute and blind denial of reality that one cannot help but suspect that it was posted by one of those individuals who did provoke Halder and now is trying to avoid feeling guilty.

Unfortunately, I work with someone who could be pushed over the edge into unjustified violence. I don't like him and I wish I didn't work with him, but I would condemn anyone who harassed him or destroyed his work, and hold them in at least some partial fashion responsible if my unstable coworker did respond violently. Though the greater fault would surely be that of the perpetrator of actual physical violence, anyone who needlessly and childishly provoked him to such violence through acts of seemingly criminal cyber-vandalism, and then hid and refused to take any responsibility for those acts, would be justifiably beneath contempt and likely worthy of some punishment for their misdemeanors. But granted, their wrong would pale in comparison to premeditated murder.

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