Connor Betts, the 24-year-old man officials say shot and killed nine people and injured 26 others on a crowded street in Dayton, OH early Sunday morning, allegedly kept a “rape, kill, and dismember” list in high school. He was briefly suspended, his classmates say, but ended up returning to school the following year.
According to the Daily Beast, Betts, who graduated from Bellbrook High School in 2013, carried around a notebook with the names of over a dozen classmates he wanted to “rape or kill,” the former often targeting girls who’d rejected him and the latter aimed at “any guy that was competition or was seen as a threat.” Classmate Jessica Masseth told the Daily Beast Betts texted her that she was on the list:
Masseth, who said she was “not one of the popular girls,” was shocked when she started to get Betts’ texts naming her as one of the girls on his “rape list.” The texts, she said, made it seem like Betts had a “God complex mixed with ‘Iwantattention.’”
Masseth said she doesn’t even remember having a full conversation with him.
“In the texts, and on the lists, he talked about destruction and dismemberment. I mean how did the police not know he was going to do something like what he did this weekend?” she said. “Everyone knew he was not right.”
Other classmates recalled Betts’s list, in addition to other troubling threats of violence he made in school. One former classmate, who wished to remain anonymous, told CNN that “[h]e loved to look at you and pretend to shoot with guns, guns with his hands.” Another told the Associated Press, “Most people avoided him. He would say shocking things just to get a reaction. He enjoyed making people feel scared.”
Regarding the rape and kill list, Masseth alerted her mother, prompting a police investigation. Betts was suspended, but eventually returned to school. “He basically got a slap on the wrist,” Masseth told the Daily Beast.“If he was only held accountable, this shooting would have never happened because he wouldn’t have been able to buy any firearms.”