Virginia Tech massacre documents exposed

A day after the university releases an archive to victims' families only, the student newspaper publishes thousands of the documents online.

Natalie Weinstein Former Senior Editor / News
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Natalie Weinstein

One day after Virginia Tech released thousands of documents solely to families of victims in last year's massacre, the university's student newspaper made them public.

On Thursday, the Collegiate Times posted the documents, which include e-mails sent from the account of gunman Seung-Hui Cho, who killed 32 fellow students and faculty members and then killed himself on April 16, 2007.

The nearly 14,000 pages also include the police report on the massacre, e-mails from faculty sent to fellow professors and to Cho, a 2005 harassment complaint against Cho, post-massacre clean-up plans, administration plans on how to present the tragedy to the public, and post-massacre fundraising advice.

According to The Washington Post, the newspaper's editor in chief, David Grant, said that no one hacked into the university's computers to access the documents. He would not say how they were obtained.

Families of the victims were given access to the records as part of a legal settlement to avoid lawsuits, according to the Associated Press. The university was expected to make the documents public in February

A Virginia Tech representative told the Post that the newspaper's publication of the documents was "disappointing" because the families didn't have time to absorb the material first.