Updated 04/07/2009 08:47 AM
Farewell Letter Mailed To Newschannel Before Binghamton Massacre
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Jiverly Wong, the Vietnamese immigrant who killed 13 people before taking his own life in an upstate New York immigration assistance center on Friday, appears to rail against imaginary tormentors in a farewell letter authorities believe he mailed just prior to the massacre.
The letter was mailed, along with Wong's driver's license, his gun permit and several photos of himself, to NY1's sister station, News 10 Now in Syracuse, in the hours before Wong walked into the American Civic Association in Binghamton and opened fire in one of the worse massacres in the state's history.
The materials were released by the newschannel Monday.
The two-page handwritten letter, neatly written in sometimes-broken English, begins: "I am Jiverly Wong shooting the people."
The writer describes being stalked for 18 years by what he calls "undercover cops" who he said used chemicals on him, spread rumors about him and later snuck into his home and touched him as he slept.
"Many time from 1990 to 1997 at the day time cop would exploit unknown English and went to my house knock the door for harass," it says.
Associates say Wong was sensitive about his English language skills.
The writer says his tormentor would try chase him in his car and later caused him to relocated several times and lose his job.
He claims that on 32 occasions, police drove their cars in front of him, then hit the brakes, trying to make him crash.
Diana Falkenbach, the Director of Forensic Psychology at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, said Monday that the letter suggested Wong was desperate to act upon his situation.
"He wasn't sure exactly what he was going to do, but he felt the need to do something,” said Falkenbach. “And maybe that was time he was trying to plan what he was going to do, or decided the extent to which he needed to get people back ... He is clearly upset. He clearly feels threatened."
The letter finishes with the writer saying he cannot accept his "poor life," and indicates his desire to kill himself and at least two other people.
"Cop bring about this shooting, cop must be responsible," the letter concludes. "And you have a nice day."
The letter also includes such polite phrases as "Please continue second page" and "First I want to say sorry I know a little English."
The package received by News 10 Now also included three photos of a smiling Wong posing in a kitchen with handguns, as well as the photographic negatives. Also included were his original driver's license and the permit for a handgun believed to have been used in the shooting.
The letter was postmarked on the date of the massacre but dated March 18, indicating that Wong may have been planning the massacre for weeks beforehand.
News 10 Now handed over the two-page letter and the other contents of the envelope to the FBI.
The shootings occurred at an immigration assistance center where Wong had taken English classes until the first week of March. On Friday afternoon he barricaded the building's back door with his car, then walked in the front door shooting.
It was the nation's deadliest shooting since the 2007 massacre of 32 people at Virginia Tech by disgruntled student Seung-Hui Cho.
Falkenbach said that although Wong's letter contained no specific evidence to indicate why he targeted fellow English-language students, there are nevertheless similarities between the two gunmen.
"You've got the sending of pictures, the message that they were trying to send," said Falkenbach. "You also have the feeling of delusional thinking, hallucinations, some sort of psychotic process."
However she said that it may be impossible to pinpoint exactly what made Wong snap.
"When we have this sort of person with us in the hospital, or in a prison setting, we can control things a lot better, take a look at much more specific areas in their life," said Falkenbach. "In this case, we're going backwards and just trying to put together the pieces."
Wong's family is "very sorry for all the victims and their families," his sister said in an interview on NBC's "Today" show Monday morning, according to the Associated Press.
Wong's sister said Wong had recently lost his job at a vacuum cleaner manufacturer, and appeared depressed about that and his poor English skills. However she said her younger brother kept his feelings to himself.
The sister said she had "occasional communications" with Wong but that they hadn't lived together for 20 years.
Associates of Wong, an avid gun collector, said that since losing his job he had spent much of his time at the firing range and the gym.
A law enforcement official told the New York Times on Monday that police found another brief note at Wong's home after the shootings, reportedly suggesting that more messages might come.