Brandon McInerney: 'I Wanted To Kill Him'

6a00d8341c730253ef014e899c56ff970d-800wi Brandon McInerney reportedly told a prison psychologist that he obsessed over shooting gay classmate Lawrence King.

Via the Los Angeles Times:

For McInerney, there had been months of pressure to do better in school from his abusive, methamphetamine-addicted father. And now, there was this strange remark from this strange boy -- a comment that McInerney later described as “superdisgusting.”

“I sat and I thought about it over and over,” he told psychologist Douglas Hoagland months after he shot King in a computer lab at E.O. Green Junior High in Oxnard. “It didn’t calm me down. It made me more angry. All I could think about was I wanted to kill him.”

McInerney’s internal monologue came out Monday in a Chatsworth courtroom as a prosecutor tried to shake the testimony of Hoagland, an expert for the defense in McInerney’s murder trial.

In addition to showing how anti-gay sentiment can fester, this trial also highlights why our nation needs to do more to assess and treat mental illness. The fact that McInerney had no where to go for his misguided hate highlights the dearth of treatment and awareness here.

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  1. @JUST_A_GUY
    I have no sympathy for killers. You don't know me and you shouldn't even judge.
    So, it would have been okay if he had shot a straight guy?
    So, you are right! Let's kill him, right? Violence with violence right? Eye for an eye? This is the right way to solve the problems in this world?
    Let's send our youngs in Iraq to kill everybody, right? This is the ONLY way to stop terrosism?!
    Sure starts some riots, go in the streets, start shooting everybody. Seriously!

    And I don't think this case is not comparable to Jeffrey Dahmer at all. LITTLE KIWI, he was a monster, he hate people for God sake!

    And, I am just saying!

    Posted by: justme | Aug 16, 2011 1:30:45 PM


  2. Okay, Yes McInerny killed King. McInerny was taught hate. He was ALSO taught to respect and that killing is wrong too! He still made a choice to kill.

    Posted by: craig in portland | Aug 16, 2011 1:32:25 PM


  3. The author of this article in the L.A. Times FRAMED the story to be sympathetic to killer McInerney. The person who summarized it on Tollroad mimicked that tone. (Is Andy on vacation??)

    The REAL issue is bias against LGBT kids and the bogus legal justification that it's ok to kill a gay kid because you can claim effectively "mental instability," i.e. that your biases against gay people are understandable and PROTECTED. Even when it's clearly premeditated murder.

    Messed up.

    Posted by: just_a_guy | Aug 16, 2011 1:36:29 PM


  4. @ THEMILKMAN, up here in the sane and rational country known as CANADA we have actual talks about LGBT Diversity in the classroom.

    As in, teachers and educators sit and talk with students about LGBT people, about their LGBT Classmates, and actual LGBT people come in to talk about their lives.

    The problem is not "the teachers" - the problem is the American education system, which is muzzled by bigots. Oh, sure. Parents will freak out about LGBT discussions in classrooms. But you know what? The parents who freak out are the parents of the kids that are THE PROBLEM.

    Canada has woken up to this. Time for the US to do the same.

    Posted by: Little Kiwi | Aug 16, 2011 1:38:42 PM


  5. Firstly, Brandon McInerney is no Dahmer. It is an insult to both King's memory and the victims of Dahmer to compare the two, IMHO.

    But you want to talk about justice? What is justice for Lawrence King?

    Putting away his killer: Check

    Then...?

    I don't disagree with any of you. When I read this story, I cried. I saw part of myself in King. He took the same unabashed, loud and proud stance I took to get me through the worst of times, and I thank the stars every day that I made it out alive. I feared death at the hands of a person who is now locked up for killing someone else. This hit home for me hard, which is why I feel so strongly about it personally.

    But what is justice? It isn't a simple question and will not be satisfied with simple answers. I can sit here and cry and let my heart bleed for King, but what does it do (PS I do it anyway)? Little Kiwi hit the nail on head (minus the accusatory statement aimed at JH) when zie wrote:

    "society and the system failed both boys. it failed Lawrence by not promoting a culture that celebrates diversity, and it failed McInerney by shaping him into a monster with no feeling."

    Yes, society, of which we are all active members.

    Most of what I am reading now seems like reactionary, pitchfork and torches mob mentality, and it just irked me. Honestly, I don't know what conversation I wished we were having, but I just can't feel good about any of this.

    Posted by: Jesus | Aug 16, 2011 1:41:50 PM


  6. I don't think McInerney is much like Dahmer. Dahmer had what seemed to be a fairly normal upbringing, although he showed signs of behavioral abnormality at a very early age. It seems to me that McInerney was turned into a pit bull of sorts; a kid that inherited hatred from an unstable upbringing. And of course where there's hatred, it's often directed at gays or those perceived as gay.

    I think it's too late for McInerney...perhaps a lengthy jail stint will help reverse the danger he continues to pose to society. While I have sympathy for he or any child who is royally ruined by his guardian(s), we just cannot risk having this boy loose in society to kill again.

    Posted by: Bruno | Aug 16, 2011 1:44:39 PM


  7. And by mental illness he wasn't just depressed or a little confused, he was homicidal, (and had direct access to a gun, which is another issue this story should be highlighting.)

    Posted by: Mike | Aug 16, 2011 1:45:39 PM


  8. @Jesus, that's great, you've got Stockholm syndrome.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stockholm_syndrome

    And so many gay people are still SOO oppressed in their lives that they LATCH HOLD OF defending their persecutors AS A WAY to get through their lives, to make sense of it all.

    It's time to stand up, folks. It's time to stop blaming yourself for others' unjustifiable hatred of you.

    ANd it's time to stand up for victims like Lawrence King.


    We need to be strong enough to not fall over ourselves to defend the bullies: what kind of life is THAT?! Even if it feels like it makes life easier in the short-term, what kind of life IS it...

    I say face your people's enemies down with a straight-forward and honest gaze. Falling prey to their claimed justifications for murder of your people is ASKING for them to mind-F*** you, something people like the Bachman's have made a BUSINESS and CAREER of.

    No, peeps.

    There is justifiable RAGE against the atrocity committed on Lawrence King.

    If you don't feel it, check yourself: WHy DON'T you? Do you consider him subhuman??! (Just like the haters do and want you to, too?!)

    Posted by: just_a_guy | Aug 16, 2011 1:50:57 PM


  9. Agree with Jesus!

    Posted by: justme | Aug 16, 2011 1:55:36 PM


  10. Who is defending bullies?? I am simply pointing out the fact that we cannot continue to dehumanize people, even people we consider our enemies! That's how humanism works!

    "Not cool. This McInerney trial says something about the the state of providing a safe safe for young lgbt students. If McInerney gets off easy, hateful parents will be pressing their kids to mimic McInerney unconscionable actions. This is big."

    Really? I mean, I'm all about letting the legal system, as stilted and broken as it can sometimes be, carry out justice because that is how it works in this country, but you can't be serious. Making an example of one person doesn't necessarily mean that others will not do the same exact thing. I guess little Brandon is too young to remember Russell Henderson and Aaron McKinney.

    Do I sympathize with King? NO DOUBT

    Do I blame people like myself who are out, open, and defiantly queer: NO, and I will continue to walk through Times Square holding another man's hand and being as out and proud as I want to be, no matter how many people tell me they want me to bite a curb, or punch me, or kick me, or hit me, or whatever it is because god damn if I'm going out, I'm going out because I was standing up for myself.

    Should McInerney face the consequences of his actions, up to and including a lengthy prison sentence that will surely cause him greater mental stress and separate him from his friends and family, or even the few people that love and care about him (because he is, after all, a PERSON like the rest of us): ABSO-F*CKING-LUTELY

    Don't get it twisted, okay? I'm pretty sure no one here sympathizes with someone who would kill someone in cold blood for expressing themselves as a queer person, so can the hostility.

    And Guy, please don't try to diagnose people. You don't know me, or probably many other people who are responding contrary to your opinion, so don't pretend like you do. Of course I feel rage, otherwise I probably wouldn't spend so much time typing these long responses, but I'm more concerned about controlling it than letting it control me. It's a powerful tool, when it's used the right way.

    Crikey

    Posted by: Jesus | Aug 16, 2011 1:58:08 PM


  11. @Jesus, LOL. This wasn't an unworthy dialogue to have. We don't fully disagree with each other, but I wanted to make the call-for-justice-for-King outlook CLEAR...cuz I just feel like it's getting lost in the shuffle...even here on TR.

    Posted by: just_a_guy | Aug 16, 2011 2:04:57 PM


  12. Little Kiwi has the right idea. oxo

    Posted by: lewlew | Aug 16, 2011 2:35:16 PM


  13. I just want to say that I will never feel sorry for anyone who uses violence against another human being. The murderer should be prosecuted and punished. He did it. He confessed. I will go all "Rodney King Riot" in the streets if this guy gets off with anything but first degree murder. He went there that day with the intention of killing King. That is a fact. If a jury feels pity for him and gives him anything less, it will be a huge miscarriage of justice.

    Posted by: Michael | Aug 16, 2011 2:40:36 PM


  14. @Li'l Kiwi - I would go a titch further... the problem isn't the educational system. The problem is the bigotry and deeply sex-phobic culture of the United States. The problem is us. We should be able to talk about sex openly and honestly in the classroom, but you and I both know that this is never, ever, ever, ever going to happen. Not here. That ship sailed once the Mayflower docked. All those Puritans... we never had a chance. And with the addition of a population that not only doesn't support education but actively disdains it... well then... I'm not sure what more we can do.

    Glad you've made such great strides in Canada.

    Posted by: The Milkman | Aug 16, 2011 2:43:38 PM


  15. @Michael, can I just highlight two things you just said?

    "I just want to say that I will never feel sorry for anyone who uses violence against another human being."

    and

    "I will go all "Rodney King Riot" in the streets if this guy gets off with anything but first degree murder."

    Which is it?

    Posted by: NaughtyLola | Aug 16, 2011 3:08:03 PM


  16. So...

    Gawker's coverage of this issue beat out niche-player TR, yes? Is TR losing it's edge?!

    http://gawker.com/5830022/gay-teen-now-being-blamed-for-his-own-murder

    Posted by: just_a_guy | Aug 16, 2011 3:26:20 PM


  17. Brandon McInerney is a minor and his trial is a disgraceful sop thrown to America's growing guilt over its history of anti-gay bigotry. It's not so much too little too late as it is simply wrong.

    Heterosexuals too often reproduce will all the forethought of yeast, and near as I can tell, our culture gives our schools a funding priority on par with weeding highway medians. His parents should be facing a jury, not their son, and every one of us should be considering how our actions and inactions led to this, including the fact that we do not as a society hold parents responsible for rearing the children they choose to have.

    A majority of the comments here and elsewhere demonstrate nothing beyond a mindless primate lust for revenge. It's unsurprising that the idiocracy can't conceive a distinction between justice and vengeance, but as a community, LGBTQ people must demand more of ourselves.

    Nothing can change the fact that the life of one young person is over. How will justice be served by destroying another? While we witch hunt McInerney, the problems which led inevitably to his actions go unaddressed.

    Posted by: Bryan | Aug 16, 2011 4:42:03 PM


  18. Oh, my, this is such hypocrisy--but it's so American.

    If Brian McInerney's name was Raheem Johnson from South Central LA or the Bronx you people who have so much compassion would be calling him a savage and a product of his "culture". You'd be saying, "he was old enough to know what he was doing."

    And of course, if Lawrence King looked like Brian McInerney many here would have far more sympathy for his assasinated soul.


    Too many Ameicans (Gay, Straight, whatever the f.ck ever) are just hypocrites.

    President Rick Perry is on his way!

    Posted by: Derrick from Philly | Aug 16, 2011 5:03:41 PM


  19. Bryan wrote "Nothing can change the fact that the life of one young person is over. How will justice be served by destroying another? While we witch hunt McInerney, the problems which led inevitably to his actions go unaddressed."

    This 14-year-old planned and carried out an execution. McInerney could have lured Lawrence King to some secluded spot and shot him. He could have found him in the bathroom and shot him. He chose to kill him in front of witnesses. This was classic.

    Karen Franklin studied the motivations of such perpetrators. (See the link below) McInerney was defending social norms with his act. He was restoring his environment to what he believed was its natural state -- gay free. He didn't shoot King because of his unhappy home life. He shot King because Lawrence was an offense to him, a blight, and that blight had to be removed.

    You expect us to feel sorry for this killer?

    http://www.apa.org/about/gr/issues/lgbt/anti-gay.aspx

    Posted by: Not Bryan | Aug 16, 2011 5:28:49 PM


  20. I'm really sick of this blame the victim crap. Do I feel bad for McInerney for his horrible home life? Yeah. But he needs to pay for what he did. And like David said not only did he kill Lawrence, the other kids in that class room are going to live with this nightmare forever. Let's hope something is done to help them deal with this.

    Posted by: Astro Boy | Aug 16, 2011 6:34:39 PM


  21. Mary, but we have a lot of moral absolutists commenting on this post! I'm proud to say that I don't think this is a simple issue.

    Posted by: scott | Aug 16, 2011 7:25:48 PM


  22. A child killed a child. I can't believe anyone would think that's comparable to an adult killing an adult, much less a Jeffrey Dahmer-like situation.

    Count me among those who think his father and Nazi older brother should also be on trial.

    Posted by: Paul R | Aug 17, 2011 5:56:52 AM


  23. Brandon McInerney turned 14 two weeks before this shooting. Are we to ignore biology? A 13-14 year old brain is very underdeveloped in the most relevant way related to his actions. Was what he did right? Of course not, was he old enough to fully process the consequences of his actions? Science says no. Had this happened two weeks earlier we wouldn't be on this blog. Brandon would have been tried as the youth that he was at the time, where the court takes into account age, background, mental development, etc. when making their decisions.

    Larry King did not deserve to die that is clear, but the same society failed him too. Do you know that Larry was not in the custody of his parents? That he had been removed from his home along with his brother and was living at a group home? There was lack of guidance and issues in his upbringing as well. Junior High School is not like High School or College. Dress codes are in place for a reason, there was even a uniform policy. Any distracting clothing whether it be a football jersey, South Park T-shirt, or pants below the butt, are not permitted. Not permitted because of the age and immaturity level of the students. It was irresponsible for the school to allow Larry to dress the way he did. His brother even begged the school to do something for fear of what might happen, but because the issue was related to this childs sexuality, they did nothing. Sexual harrassment is also not permitted so the school failed there as well. If Brandon was making derrogitority remarks to Larry, he should have been disciplined, but so too should have been Larry. However, again because of the pressure to be "fair" they were unfair. I believe the goal is to treat all people the same, not allow any group to harrass any other, but to expect this enlightened, mature behavior to exist in a Middle School is unrealistic.

    IMO it is the school who failed both of these children. Had proper proceedure been followed, I believe this incident would not have happened. Regardless, two lives have been destroyed, forever and if you think that trying youth offenders as adults will make everyone get along or act as a deterrant, you are sadly mistaken.

    Drive drunk as an adult and kill someone, not murder. But here there are such large political motivations behind these elected officials, that they want to put this boy away forever. Feels like vengence, not justice to me.

    FYI: my son is gay, and when he came out in high school it was my job to tell him the real about society and the ugly truth about gay bashing. I monitored his actions and behaviors to keep him safe. I did not allow him to be a target for the ignorant. Yet in still he now faces harrassment in college. The ignorant are everywhere. I encourage him to be a proud and good man. Not to worry about a label that in time I pray will not have to be worn. Gay or straight, black, white or brown, be a proud human being on this earth.

    Posted by: Anita Tucker | Aug 17, 2011 8:22:09 AM


  24. Death to Brandon McInernazi and all hate criminals.

    Posted by: Attmay | Aug 17, 2011 4:09:53 PM


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