I just read this intriguing passage about the video package that the Virginia Tech killer mailed to NBC during his rampage:
Mr. Cho apparently returned to his room after the first shootings to assemble the package, which seemed to have been put together over six days, NBC News reported. The return address was “A. Ishmael,” similar to the cryptic phrase “Ismael Ax” that was found written on his arm.
Of course, it’s dangerous to overanalyze the mind of the mentally ill, but it occurs to me he was an English major and may’ve read Moby Dick during his studies. The book’s main characters are the obssessive Captain Ahab and the narrator, Ishmael (“Call me Ishmael.”) I wonder if ‘A. Ishmael’ might’ve referred to the novel which depicts a gargantuan mortal struggle between the ship’s captain and crew and a Leviathan whale. The struggle, of course, ends in the deaths of the whale and Ahab; but the great being doesn’t go down without a fight and takes some of his pursuers, including Ahab, with him during the great battle. There is something of a noble and heroic struggle that might’ve appealed to someone looking to place his personal demons in a literary context.
I may be stretching it, but who knows?