Skip to comments.Father apologizes for son's actions (OU bombing, includes timeline)
Posted on 10/09/2005 8:56:49 AM PDT by MizSterious
Father apologizes for son's actions
By Nolan Clay and Ty McMahan
The father of a University of Oklahoma student who died in a bombing has apologized for the actions of his son.
"I truly hang my head," the father, Joel Hinrichs Jr., said from Colorado Springs, Colo.
Joel "Joe" Henry Hinrichs III, an engineering student, died Oct. 1 when a bomb went off outside the football stadium during the second quarter of OU's night game against Kansas State.
The FBI and OU are treating the bombing as a suicide by a troubled loner, rather than a failed terrorist attack.
"I feel obligated to apologize to everyone whose inconvenience has increased, or had worse things happen to them, due to Joe III," the father told The Oklahoman.
He said he wanted to specifically apologize to the Muslim students who were shackled and questioned during the investigation, apartment residents who had to be evacuated, and "the hundreds of thousands of future OU sporting event attendees who will now endure even more rigorous, restrictive search and carry restrictions."
The dead student, 21, was remembered last week as depressed and so mesmerized with bombs that he bought artillery shells on eBay.
Hinrichs started at OU in the fall of 2002 after being a National Merit Scholar at Wasson High School in Colorado Springs.
He was so depressed his second semester at OU that he had trouble going to class and underwent counseling, his father said.
He dropped out in 2003-2004 and worked doing inventories at night, the father said. He returned but lost a scholarship because of his grades.
"Internally, he suffered from both depression and an utter lack of hope in his own future," said the father.
"He could tell that other people were relating around him and even trying to relate to him. He could not relate back. ... My guess is that ... was very close to the root of his problem."
Early warning signs?
The father said his son had been depressed at times in high school, too.
The younger Hinrichs built a bomb out of match heads in an empty tube at age 13 or 14, his father said.
"He was hiding around the corner. It made a loud noise and he brought the broken, open CO2 cartridge to me and had this look of awe in his eyes," he said.
The younger Hinrichs also regularly bought inert artillery shells over eBay, his father said.
"Like all little boys, he has an interest in things that go bang. ... He just took it a little farther than most. ... He showed them to me, 'Look at this, dad,'" he said.
He got in trouble at the end of the eighth grade in Illinois for bringing a 3-foot metal handle to school, The Oklahoman confirmed.
The younger Hinrichs spent six weeks on house arrest, wearing an ankle bracelet, and then spent ninth grade in an alternative school.
Still, there were few outward signs he was suicidal. His last e-mail to his father, Sept. 14, was about his father's offer of a Subaru to drive.
"Does the Subaru get good mileage? I guess we'll cross that bridge when we come to it," the younger Hinrichs wrote.
OU President David Boren described the student as a loner with emotional difficulties and personal problems. Classmates said he was different and had been struggling again with his grades.
"He was really quiet, didn't really interact with any of the other students," said Garrett Jones, a Tulsa junior who had engineering classes with Hinrichs.
Jones, 21, said Hinrichs was different in his manner and clothing.
"He wore this little green vest all the time. It was really weird. ... You could look around in a classroom and be able to pick this guy out that he was a little unusual," Jones said.
Another classmate, junior Andrew House, told the OU student newspaper: "He seemed like he was a nice kid. He didn't seem troubled at all. Some people might have thought he was weird, because he knew a lot about ammunition and stuff like that."
Members of an OU organization of engineers, architects and scientists said Hinrichs was quiet, reserved and not very involved in the group.
"The guy liked guns and ammo and he said something about trying to buy some ammo. That's just what he liked," said Paul Lawson, executive director of the Triangle Fraternity, who visited the OU chapter last week.
At meetings, Hinrichs talked about his struggles and successes in class, a new job, trouble sleeping and a road trip to Las Vegas, according to minutes.
He also talked about "missing ammo," building a catapult and carving a club with a pocket knife, according to minutes.
He had his own Web site. It read: "This is Joe Hinrichs' website. He currently doesn't have anything to put on it, but it does exist and it is here."
Officials have said investigators do not believe the student was trying to get inside the stadium or had any help. His father said the FBI told him his son made the bomb out of hydrogen peroxide, a common disinfectant.
Ping to some more propaganda--I don't think this has been posted yet. I did a search and didn't find it.
I feel sorry for the parents. They had an emotionally distrubed son; who committed suicide. If that alone weren't bad enough, he did it in a manner that got world-wide recognition; and added humiliation to the grief his parents have to suffer.
I have to give credit where it is due; his father sounds like an honorable man. He has swallowed his grief, long enough to explain the situation to the public. Not many in his situation would have the backbone he has shown.
Again, I hope and pray these parents can forgive what their son has done.
And the spin just spins along.
His father seems an odd fellow--some of the first words out of his mouth in an earlier interview were, "It wasn't a political act!" Seems really strange, and something I've never heard from a grieving father talking about a child's suicide before.
Odd way to commit suicide, in any event.
This story is about to go the way of the LAX shooting, I'm afraid.
I thought this was going to be an interview with George Herbert Walker Bush about Harriet Miers, David Souter, and Supreme Court nominations.
Eyewitnesses (I think some were ticket-takers) said he did. He wasn't caught on camera trying to enter--but then again, he wasn't caught on camera blowing himself up, either. Depending on the angle of the cameras, etc., they might have missed him.
Also note that they've beefed up security at not only college games, but highschool games too--and odd thing to do if this is just a "suicide."
That part is in code. ;)
It's outrageous, but that's sure how they're trying to steer this story.
Good question. At least I had the sense to avoid telling my parents!
I totally agree with you!
Hey, ding ding ding!! What do I win??? Look at this post :
Posted by teenyelliott to I'm ALL Right!
On News/Activism 10/05/2005 8:49:19 PM CDT · 165 of 1,428
Well, I'm sure he was just a real quiet kid who always kept to himself. No one ever imagined he'd do anything like this. (insert video of fat, toothless neighbor here)
Could a reason for the comment possibly be that 90% of America was automatically assuming that it was a politically motivated attempted suicide bombing?
How about a BARF ALERT?
1. Hinrich tried to obtain ammonium nitrate to commit a private act of suicide.He had to settle for a different kind of explosive, but his intentions were to only kill himself.
2.More than 250 eyewitnesses did not see a missil rising from ground to air to meet up and blow flight 800 out of the sky killing hundreds.
3.There was no 3rd Terrorist involved at the Murrah Building bombing , despite many sources who saw him.
Ron Brown, though a perfect 45 caliber hole found in his skull was only a serendipidous finding.
Fact is I do think I can believe the FBI in these matters. They ask us to believe the unbelievable.