Psychologist: You Can’t Just Blame Parents For Waseca Plot
MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – A Minnesota teenager accused of plotting to kill his family and classmates told police he thinks he’s a sociopath.
Investigators recorded their questioning of 17-year-old John La Due after his arrest in April. In the nearly five-hour interview, La Due talked in detail about wanting to kill as many people as possible at his school in Waseca.
He told police he came from a good home and his parents had no idea about his plan.
Since we first played these recordings on WCCO-TV, we’ve seen a strong reaction from parents, scared because La Due was a social teenager, smart, musical and the son of parents he says are “great.”
So the question is: How could this happen?
In his statement to officers, La Due meticulously laid out his plan.
“Sometime before the end of the school year, my plan was to steal a recycling bin from the school and take one of the pressure cookers I made and put it in the hallway and blow it up during passing period time.”
La Due said if officers wouldn’t have busted his storage unit full of supplies, he would have acted soon.
“I wanted it to be in April, because April’s my favorite month, because that’s…the month that all the really bad tragedies happen.”
La Due said he was going to bomb and shoot up his high school after killing his parents. He cited Columbine killer Eric Harris as his hero.
Dr. Cheryl Beme, a family psychologist with Allina Health Clinics, listened to part of those recordings.
“There can be admiration of these events with people who tend to not be in touch with social norms, and that’s what we’re seeing here,” she said, adding: “It’s very worrisome…What is this young man’s sense of remorse? Does he have a sense of remorse? What is going on with his conscience? Clearly, something is awry.”
In the recordings, La Due was open in saying that he had fun entertaining thoughts of injuring and maiming people.
“Showing people that I am dominant over them, and stuff like that,” he said.
Bemel said parents can do everything right, but there are some people who defy norms, whether it’s just bad thoughts or cruel intentions.
“Is he making this up? We don’t know. What we do know is that there is something gravely wrong,” she said.
La Due is now going through psychiatric evaluations. He’s pleaded not guilty to attempted murder charges. His defense team says they want all charges dropped since he never pulled off the plan.
For concerned parents, Bemel says that it’s your right to be nosy, whether its keeping tabs on your kid’s computer, phone, money or time.