ABC News gets the Columbine effect right, then gets it very wrong


Please watch the following video from ABC News in its entirety. You can also watch it at their website.

This was a segment by correspondent Pierre Thomas for ABC News’ This Week With George Stephanopoulos. I thought Mr. Thomas did a great job at first discussing the copycat shootings that were inspired by Columbine. It said all the right things without glorifying the guilty. I greatly appreciated how it was pointed out that a lot of the shootings had to deal with mental illness. I wish they would have said something to make seeking mental health treatment less stigmatized but it’s a start. Then at about the 4:12 mark it goes completely off the rails.

At that point Mr. Thomas interviews one Dillon Cossey. Cossey pleaded guilty in 2007 to plotting an attack against Plymouth-Whitemarsh High School at the age of 14. At this point in the interview the bullying trope is brought out. It’s like there’s a mandate for all American media that if you’re talking about school shootings you have to mention bullying in the piece whether it’s factual or not. If Cossey was bullied it didn’t happen at the school he was attending at the time because Cossey was being home-schooled at the time of his arrest.

Another thing that should have been brought up about how to stop some of these shootings is parenting. I would say just about all the shootings that were committed by juveniles could have been prevented if the parents just paid closer attention to their kids, stopped trying to be their friend instead of their parent, and having a modicum of common sense. If your kid has an unhealthy obsession with mass murderers it’s not ‘just a phase’. It means they are in need of psychiatric help. As an example of what not to do we’ll go back to Dillon Cossey. His parents were both arrested after his arrest because they were the ones who bought him a .22-caliber handgun, a .22-caliber rifle and a 9-millimeter semiautomatic rifle.

You get an E for effort ABC News. Maybe next time how about a little more fact checking and a little less dissemination of misinformation?

Michele Cossey sentenced

Pa. mom sentenced for helping son get weapons:

Michele Cossey, the mother of Dillon Cossey, was sentenced to four months in prison and five years probation. If you’ll recall Dillon Cossey was arrested for plotting an attack against Plymouth-Whitemarsh High School outside of Philadelphia even though he was home schooled. Michele Cossey bought her underage son one of the guns that he planned on using.

Even after Dillon Cossey was sentenced his mom still showed spoiling tendencies by smuggling fast food into her son while he was in detention.

For once I’m actually glad to see a parent being held responsible for allowing their kid to plot a school attack.

Dillon Cossey improving, Mom not so much

Judge praises school plotter, criticizes mother:

At a hearing for would be school shooter Dillon Cossey Montgomery County Court Judge Paul Tressler had some words of encouragement to Dillon.

Tressler, who initially did not recognize the teen, was effusive in his praise of the boy’s progress, especially his weight loss of 73 pounds, down from 305 pounds a year ago. He took a request for a home visit from the boy’s attorney, J. David Farrell, under advisement.

“You’ve done well,” the judge said. “I see you going home – you’ve earned it.”

If you’ll remember Dillon Cossey was the home-schooled kid from outside of Philadelphia who plotted to attack Plymouth-Whitemarsh High School. He also had contact with Pekka Eric Auvinen of the Jokela massacre in Finland but that’s neither here nor there. Also if you’ll recall, Cossey’s mother, Michele Cossey, provided her son with some of the guns he planned to use. Judge Tressler did not have such kind words for her.

Tressler said that although he was pleased with Dillon Cossey’s evaluations, he echoed the concerns of prosecutor Sharon Giamporcaro, chief of the juvenile division, about his mother.

“His major problem is sitting right over there – that lady in blue,” the judge said, looking at Michele Cossey, 47. “You have destroyed this kid. . . . Until I trust you – and I do not at this point – he will not come home to you.”

Visibly upset, Michele Cossey raised her hand, hoping to speak.

“This isn’t a school – just keep quiet,” the judge responded.

Can I get an OH SNAP?

It seems that Michele Cossey had continued her spoiling ways by bringing Dillon food while he was in detention. She’s been told that if she does it again she will be barred from seeing her son for a month.

I’m glad to see a parent being held responsible for once for actions that emotionally damaged their child.

Finnish school shooters may have had contact

Finland school shooters likely had contact: Police:

Police in Finland are saying that it’s more than likely that Jokela shooter Pekka-Eric Auvinen and Kauhajoki shooter Matti Saari have had some form of contact. Police note that Saari had purchased the gun he used in his spree in Jokela.

It was also confirmed after his arrest that Pennsylvania school shooting plotter Dillon Cossey also had contact with Auvinen prior to his killing spree.

This why I think sites like MySpace, LiveJournal, and YouTube need to clamp down on the school shooting tribute groups. It’s obviously they’re now networking and feeding off of each other.

Michele Cossey pleads guilty

Student’s mother pleads guilty in plot at Plymouth Whitemarsh High School:

Michele Cossey pleaded guilty in court yesterday to charges of endangering the welfare of children. Cossey was arrested for supplying her son, Dillon Cossey, with illegal firearms that she purchased.

Dillon Cossey was arrested last year for plotting an attack against Plymouth-Whitemarsh High School outside of Philadelphia even though he had been home schooled for over a year.

A sentencing date has not been set yet.

Michele Cossey to take plea

Potential plea in high school shooting plot case:

Do you remember the name Michele Cossey? She’s the 47-year-old ‘mother’ who supplied firearms to her teenage son Dillon who was going to use them to attack Plymouth-Whitemarsh High School in Pennsylvania.

In case you don’t remember let the article refresh your memory…

Even while knowing that her son was troubled, Cossey bought him three guns – a 9 mm semiautomatic rifle, a .22-caliber rifle and a .22-caliber handgun – and the makings for live grenades including inert grenades, gunpowder and BB pellets, according to the criminal complaint.

Police found the 9 mm rifle with laser scope and seven homemade grenades, four of which were live, along with numerous air and BB guns, knives and Columbine-related materials, in Cossey’s son’s bedroom on the night of Oct. 10, 2007, when they searched the home.

Also she was home-schooling Dillon in the 18 months prior to his arrest.

Anyway it looks like she’ll be entering into a plea agreement as early as Monday.

Michele Cossey has been charged with endangering the welfare of children, unlawful transfer of firearms, possession of a firearm by a minor, corruption of minors and recklessly endangering another.

No word yet on any of the details of the plea. If she gets away with no jail time then it will be a victory for criminal parenting.

Dillon Cossey's mom to undergo psych exam

Mother of attack plot teen to be evaluated:

The Mother of Dillon Cossey, Michele Cossey and the woman who supplied him with the guns, has been court ordered to undergo a psych eval. Michele Cossey’s attorney declined to say the reason he requested the evaluation. The prosecutors did not object to the defense’s request.

Personally I don’t think she’s crazy, she’s just a bad parent.

Cossey tipster sentenced

Former hero in Cossey case gets probation:

Lew Bennett III was the teen who turned in Dillon Cossey for plotting against Plymouth Whitemarsh High School. Then Bennett along with some other teens broke into the Cossey’s home to steal some of the Cossey’s property.

Bennett and his cohorts were sentenced to probation…

At yesterday’s juvenile disposition hearing, the equivalent of an adult sentencing, the three learned that as a condition of their probation, they will have to attend a residential camp, perform 50 hours of community service, pay a fine, and make restitution. Bennett and one teen will attend the camp for two weekends, the other teen will have to attend for one weekend.

In addition, they are subject to a curfew, and must write a letter of apology, submit to random drug and alcohol testing, and attend individual and family counseling.

I’m disappointed that the suspects didn’t receive anytime in detention for their crimes. I think community service and apology letters will do no good in teaching these kids a lesson.

Dillon Cossey tipster arrested

Strange Twist In Foiled Montco ‘Plot-To-Kill’:

Remember how the kid that turned Dillon Cossey in was heralded as a hero? Well, not so much anymore. It seems that he’s a little criminal in his own right.

That teen and two of his friends were arrested for breaking into the Cossey’s home.

Does this mean Dillon Cossey is innocent, not on your life. Just because the kid that turned him in is also a criminal it doesn’t mean that his testimony wasn’t accurate. Not to mention all the other corroborating evidence in that case.

But I guess it’s true what they say. There really is no honor among thieves.

Father of Dillon Cossey jailed

Father of boy who planned school attack is jailed:

Frank Cossey, father of would be home schooled school shooter Dillon Cossey, has been jailed. He violated his parole when he failed a drug test.

Cossey the elder was convicted of manslaughter back in the 80’s and had attempted to buy a rifle for his son by lying on the application stating he had no previous convictions.