amok

Mom, ich hab dir niemals sagen können, wie unglücklich ich war. Ich wusste, du hättest mir nicht helfen können, dein Leben war ja auch so schon schwer genug. Es tut mir wirklich sehr Leid, dass ich dir so einen großen Schmerz zufügen muss, aber ich hoffe, dass du in ein oder zwei Jahren darüber hinwegkommen wirst. Vielleicht solltest du einfach wegziehen und deinen Namen ändern und ein neues Kind bekommen. Fang noch mal von vorne an. Ich wünschte, ich könnte dabei mitmachen, aber ich kann jetzt einfach nicht mehr zurück.
—  Auszug aus Garys Abschiedsbrief (Ich knall euch ab, Morton Rhue)
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The Erfurt massacre was a school massacre that occurred on 26 April 2002 at the Gutenberg-Gymnasium (Secondary School) in the Thuringia State capital Erfurt, Germany. The gunman, 19-year-old expelled student Robert Steinhäuser, shot and killed 16 people: 13 staff members, two students, and one police officer, before committing suicide. Steinhäuser used two weapons which are visible in the images above, one being a Glock 17 Semi Automatic Pistol (This was the main / only weapon he used for the attack) and also had a Mossberg 590 Mariner pump action shotgun (This was unusable during the shooting due to an error in reassembling the weapon by Steinhäuser before the shooting).  The massacre led to the development of a codeword that could be broadcast over the public address system to warn teachers of a shooting. “Mrs Koma is coming”, which is “amok” spelled backwards, was later used at the Winnenden school shooting to alert teachers to that attack.

These are miscellaneous crime scene photos. the last three photos are of the direct area where the shooter Robert Steinhäuser committed suicide. These last three photos have the shooters body visible in all three and even part of his head in the final image.  

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To combine two of my passions, I decided to make a compilation of TV shows and movies related to mass murder! The following focus solely on random and/or public incidents, so basically just no familicides. All of the descriptions were taken from Wikipedia or IMDb.

School Shooting TV Shows:

Millenium Episode Teotwawki (1998)

“Frank and Emma search for answers when a gunman fires upon high school students.”    

Third Watch Episode …And Zeus Wept (2001)

“Sully takes Tatiana to meet his mother, and offers her a way to get her Green Card. A kid takes a gun into his high school. Faith has a physical exam.”          

Rebus Episode Question of Blood (2006)

“Detective Inspector John Rebus and his sidekick DS Siobhan Clarke are called to investigate a shooting at a local college.”

Numb3rs Episode Dark Matter (2006)

“Charlie helps the team solve how many shooters there were in a school massacre.”          

American Horror Story Episode Piggy Piggy (2011)

“At Westfield High School in 1994, a shooter enters the school and begins killing students.”

Utopia Series 1, Episode 3 (2013)

“The group feel the full weight of The Network’s power as Grant is framed for a mass murder at his school.“

19-2 Episode School (2015)

“In the season two premiere, the entire squad is involved in an intensely tragic school shooting which profoundly impacts their lives.”  

School Shooting/ School Revenge Movies:

If…. (1968)

“In this allegorical story, a revolution led by pupil Mick Travis takes place at an old established private school in England.”         

The Deadly Tower (1975)

“The infamous story of Charles Whitman, ‘America’s favourite sniper’ (in Stephen King’s words), is told here once again.”          

Massacre at Central High (1976)

“Maimed by bullies at a California high school, a new student (Derrel Maury) engineers acts of revenge.”

Heathers (1988)

“In order to get out of the snobby clique that is destroying her good-girl reputation, an intelligent teen teams up with a dark sociopath in a plot to kill the cool kids.” 

Murder of Innocence (1993)

“Newlywed Laurie Wade finds her marriage, and eventually the rest of her life, shattered by her deep-rooted psychotic behavior.” Based on Laurie Dann.

Hostage High (1997)

“An armed man with a grudge against a former teacher holds students hostage at his high school.” Based on Eric Houston.

Duck! The Carbine High Massacre (1999)

“Two bullied high-school students fight back against their oppressors in a hail of bullets and blood.”

Bang Bang You’re Dead (2002)

“A teacher suggests a student take the lead role in a play, despite the teen’s earlier threat to blow up the school.”

Home Room (2002)

“A high school shooting has repercussions on the town and students.”

Heart of America (2002)

“Armed high school students plot a shooting spree that they plan to unleash at the school moments after the final bell on the last day of the school year.”

Zero Day (2003)

“Two troubled adolescents chronicle the events that ultimately lead up to a terrifying assault on their school.”

Elephant (2003)

“Several ordinary high school students go through their daily routine as two others prepare for something more malevolent.”            

American Yearbook (2004)

“Will is the kid-next-door, but is relentlessly terrorized by school bullies. Then the mysterious Chance eventually convinces Will that they should get a gun and take the bullies out: pull a Columbine.”            

The Only Way (2004)

“Devon Browning is viewed as an outcast and is a victim of physical and emotional abuse from his classmates. After a tragic death in his family, his life begins to fall off course. He eventually seeks revenge by bringing a gun to school and opening fire on his classmates.”

Dawn Anna (2005)

“The true story of a single mom who overcomes many of life’s obstacles.” Based on Lauren Townsend’s mother.

Killers by Nature (2005)

“B-movie stalwart Eric Spudic directs this story about two bullied high school misfits who exact deadly revenge on those former classmates who did them wrong.”            

Ekskul (2006)

“A high school student who is constantly bullied at school and abused by parents at home, had enough and took several other students hostage.”

State’s Evidence (2006)

“When 16-year-old Scott Byers decided to bring a camcorder to school, none of his schoolmates ever imagined what was to come.”

The Life Before Her Eyes (2007)

“As the 15th anniversary of a fatal high school shooting approaches, former pupil Diana McFee is haunted by memories of the tragedy.“

Klass (2007)

“An average guy of an Estonian high-school decides to defend his bullied classmate. This starts war between him and the informal leader of the class. As teenagers’ honour is a touchy thing, everything ends in bloodshed.”            

Polytechnique (2009)

“A dramatization of the Montreal Massacre of 1989 where several female engineering students were murdered by an unstable misogynist.” Based on Marc Lepine.

April Showers (2009)

“A survivor (Kelly Blatz) of a high-school shooting tries to come to terms with the horrors he witnessed, along with the loss of his best friend.”

The Final (2010)

“A group of high school outcasts get revenge on the students that torment them.”

Amish Grace (2010)

“A grieving woman copes with the loss of her daughter after a gunman kills Amish schoolgirls in Pennsylvania.” Based on Charles Carl Roberts.”

Beautiful Boy (2010)

“A married couple on the verge of separation are leveled by the news their 18-year-old son committed a mass shooting at his college, then took his own life.”

We Need to Talk About Kevin (2011)

“Kevin’s mother struggles to love her strange child, despite the increasingly vicious things he says and does as he grows up. But Kevin is just getting started, and his final act will be beyond anything anyone imagined.”          

Nothing Can Touch Me (2011)

“The outsider Katrine survives a school shooting and is the only one to see who the shooter is. The hunt for the boy begins, and slowly Katrine realizes that she has more in common with him than any of her other classmates.”            

Pivot Point (2011)

“A psychological drama that follows four high schoolers down a dark ride.”

An American Terror (2012)

“A group of friends hatch a plan to get revenge on the bullies who have been tormenting them.”

Blackbird (2012)

“An alienated teenager’s posturing online threat ignites a firestorm of fear in a small community.”            

Hello Herman (2012)

“Set in the not so distant future, in Any Town USA, sixteen year old Herman Howards makes a fateful decision.”

White Rabbit (2013)

“A bullied high school student starts having visions of a rabbit that he killed when he was a kid, soon putting him in a state where his imagination threatens to cause him to carry out violent acts.”          

Staudamm (2013)

“Roman has to travel to a small village in Bavaria, in order to get some files from a local police station. These files keep records about a high school massacre committed by a student a year ago.”

The Dirties (2013)

“Two best friends are filming a comedy about getting revenge on the bullies at their high school. One of them isn’t joking.”            

Rudderless (2014)

“After a grieving father finds a box of demo tapes made by his now-dead son, he forms a band in hope of finding some peace.”

Almost Mercy (2015)

“Jackson and Emily aren’t like the other kids. Two burgeoning sociopaths on the brink of total meltdown. Ticking time bombs seeking revenge. Who will unravel first?”            

Natural Selection (2015)

“While attending a new high school, a teen’s budding friendship with a fellow student leads to harsh consequences.”

Some Kind of Hate (2015)

“A bullied teenager is sent to a reform school where he accidentally summons the spirit of a girl, herself a victim of bullying, who takes vengeance on his tormentors.”

Ditch Party (2016)

“Five students trap themselves in the basement of their high school during an all-out assault on students and faculty, all at the hands of one disturbed student geared with guns and explosives.”         

Mass/Spree Murder TV Shows:

Cold Case Episode Rampage (2006)

“A 1995 mall shooting spree, in which two teenagers killed and wounded several people before committing suicide, is reopened when it is found that there may be a third person involved.”            

Criminal Minds Episode Elephant’s Memory (2008)

“When a spree killing begins in a small Texas town, Reid’s identification with the killer may endanger the girl with him, and cause Reid to put his own life in jeopardy.”

CSI Episode The Fallen (2014)

“A teenage boy shoots up LVPD headquarters and then holds Russell and one of his shooting victims hostage.”          

Mass/ Spree Murder Movies:

Targets (1968)

“An elderly horror-film star, while making a personal appearance at a drive-in theatre, confronts a psychotic Vietnam War veteran who’s turned into a mass-murdering sniper.”          

Why Does Herr R. Run Amok? (1970)

“Herr R. throws a dinner party for his boss and colleagues, but is humiliated when a toast he proposes falls flat. As his days repeat the same boring routine, Herr R.’s unhappiness grows.”

Two-Minute Warning (1976)

“A psychotic sniper plans a massive killing spree in a Los Angeles football stadium during a major championship game.”

Bloody Wednesday (1987)

“A mechanic who lives alone and sees a psychiatrist gets hold of a machine gun and opens fire in a coffee shop.”

The Fisher King (1991)

“A former radio DJ, suicidally despondent because of a terrible mistake he made, finds redemption in helping a deranged homeless man who was an unwitting victim of that mistake.”            

Stalking Laura (1993)

“A Silicon Valley engineer (Brooke Shields) cannot escape a co-worker (Richard Thomas) who has become obsessed with her.” Based on Richard Farley.

Falling Down (1993)

“A borderline personality disordered defense worker frustrated with the various flaws he sees in society, begins to psychotically and violently lash out against them.”

Amoklauf (1994)

“Excerpts of the life of a waiter who, living alone and isolated from the outside world developed an abysmal hatred of his fellow man.”

Tag der Abrechnung - Der Amokläufer von Euskirchen (1994)

“This movie depicts the story of Erwin Makolajczyk, a psychopath who killed 9 people in a courtroom on the 9th of March 1994.”

Charming Billy (1999)

“Billy Starkman is a seemingly ordinary man living in a small Midwestern town who one day wakes up, murders his family, climbs a rural water tower with a high-powered hunting rifle and begins shooting innocent people.”

Out of the Blue (2006)

“Based on the Aramoana Massacre that occurred on 13 November and 14 November 1990.” Perpetrated by David Gray.

He Was a Quiet Man (2007)

“A frustrated office worker becomes a reluctant hero after saving a woman’s life.”

Satanas (2007)

“Based on the spree killing committed by Campo Elías Delgado that took place in Bogotá in 1986.”

Le Banquet (2008)

“A bloody drama and an apocalyptic vision of the universities, and more generally of Québec society.”          

Fragments (2008)

“A group of strangers form a unique relationship with each other after surviving a random shooting at a Los Angeles diner.”      

Rampage (2009)

“A frustrated young man dons body armor and executes random strangers.”

22 Mei (2010)

“A bomb explodes in a shopping mall. Sam the security agent tries to save the victims, but at the end he runs off. Later he encounters all the people he saved. They all think that somehow he is responsible for what happened.”

Odd Thomas (2013)

“In a California desert town, a short-order cook with clairvoyant abilities encounters a mysterious man with a link to dark, threatening forces.”         

Mall (2014)

“The lives of five disaffected suburbanites come together in a shopping mall after a shooting spree.”

Rampage: Capital Punishment (2014)

“Bill Williamson hatches a plan to exact revenge on the rich while ripping Washington apart.”

Amok: Hansi geht’s gut (2014)

“Lorenz, a middle-aged accountant living a monotonous life, goes on a violent rampage after a promotion triggers buried memories.”

I, Olga Hepnarová (2016)

Based on the female Czech mass murderer.

Rampage: President Down (2016)

“Bill Williamson returns to bring down the president of the United States and his Secret Service detail.”

A Synthesizer to play Radiohead

Originally written in response to the following question, this should serve to answer any synthesizer recommendation inquiries. 

Hello man, amazing work here! I was wondering What synth I could buy to pin down some of their most characteristic synth sounds (Let Down, Everything In It’s Right Place, Identikit, Staircase, Myxomatosis, Airbag’s “Martenot” [Korg prophecy]). I guess it would be the Prophet 08 but is there some other DSI cheaper ooption. Thanks :D

Thom and Jonny with a Sequential Circuits Prophet 5, Roland Juno-60, and Moog MiniMoog Voyager PE druing the recording of A Moon Shaped Pool. They also used their Dave Smith Instruments Prophet 08 and a Sequential Circuits Prophet 10 during the same sessions.

The synth on Let Down is a ZX Spectrum Computer. Everything in its Right Place is a Sequential Circuits Prophet 5. Staircase was a DSI Prophet 08. The bass on Climbing Up The Walls is an original Novation Bass Station, the bass on All I Need is Nigel’s Prophet 5, and the bass on Lotus Flower is a vintage MiniMoog Model D. The bass sound on Myxomatosis is a resonant monosynth layered with Colin’s fuzzy (Lovetone Big Cheese) bass guitar. The pads on Myxomatosis are a web of polysynths and chorus’d string-synthesizers (best heard 2:07-2:25, and in the last few seconds). Identikits “Broken hearts” section features synths panned left and right, probably a mixture of Prophets. The synthy choir on Motion Picture Soundtrack is a combination of Mellotron and ondes Martenot. Idioteque’s “synth” is a sample of a piece (Mild und Leise by Paul Lansky) created a room-sized IBM super-computer. The “synth” near the end of 15 Step is Ed’s Autoharp run through his pedalboard. As you note, the Martenot-like synth on Airbag (and Climbing Up The Walls) is a Korg Prophecy.

Thom and Jonny with an ARP 2600, a Roland SH101, and a Clavia Nord Lead 3 during the recording of In Rainbows.

It should be clear that no single synth can come close to replicating all of Radiohead’s synth sounds, or even their most distinctive.

First, there’s the fact that Radiohead have used a wide range of instruments over the years. Many synths (monophonic ones) are used only for bass sounds, while others (polyphonic) are used only for chordal textures. Others (string synthesizers, vintage samplers) are in different classes altogether. While most are subtractive synthesizers and have similar architecture, most have very distinctive filters. For example, the Bass Station, Roland SH-101 (used during the In Rainbows sessions), and MiniMoog Model D are all similar mono synths, but their filters sound radically different. By far the most significant factor in a subtractive synthesizer’s tone is the tone of its filter: regardless of how many oscillators, waveforms, envelopes, and extra features a synth offers, it will always sound like its filter. (This is part of why eurorack is so appealing: you can build a single synth with multiple filters cloned from vintage synths).

But even a digital synth with multiple filter emulations will have trouble replicating many of Radiohead’s “synth” sounds, because they often consist of other instruments layered with synthesizers, such as on Myxomatosis. And that doesn’t even cover the synthy sounds which they’ve sampled or created with other means.

Ed and Phil at Nigel’s old “The Hospital” studio during the recording of In Rainbows. On the right is an ARP 2600, while the stand on the right holds (from top to bottom) an Analogue Systems The Spawn and RS-15 Cabinet, a Korg MS-10, a Sequential Circuits Prophet 5, a PPG Wave 2.2/2.3, and an E-MU Emulator II. The RS15 Cabinet contains an RS200 Sequencer, an RS150 Seq/Switch, an RS340 Gate Delay, and an RS370 Polyphonic Harmonic Generator with RS375 Expander.

That said, Radiohead have used synths by one designer far more than any others: Dave Smith. Between the Prophet 5 and Prophet 08 (plus the Tetras which Thom and Jonny used 2012-2013), his synths have been on more tracks than those from any other brand or designer. While the filter on the Prophet 5 differs somewhat from the Prophet 08 and Tetra, the designs are similar and all use Curtis chips. As such, any one of these synths can do a pretty decent job of replicating the others.

The Actual Recommendations:

You’ll never pin down most of their most characteristic sounds with a single synthesizer, but you will be able to pin down the largest number of their sounds using a Dave Smith Instruments or Sequential Circuits synthesizer. The DSI Mopho X4 is a Prophet ‘08 with half the voices, but added sub-oscillators. The DSI Tetra (discontinued, but readily available on the used market) is the keyboard-less equivalent.

Jonny playing the old Sequential Circuits Prophet 5 during the recording of Man of War in 1998.

The one catch is that Radiohead almost exclusively use DSI and Sequential Circuits synths for polyphonic sounds (All I Need being an exception). The members of Radiohead generally use other synths for bass. For the past six or so years, Thom and Jonny have mainly used a MiniMoog when working with Radiohead. With Atoms for Peace, Thom and Nigel almost exclusively used an old Korg MS20 (best heard on Ingenue). Radiohead also had a Korg MS10 in studio during the recording of In Rainbows. And of course, Jonny has his modular synthesizers for monophonic (as well as polyphonic and rhythmic) sounds.

A good monophonic partner for a DSI polysynth would be the Korg MS20 mini. The MS20 mini is a relatively inexpensive monosynth capably of both traditional synth bass and lead sounds as well as experimental effects. Its pair of filters (high and lowpass) have a lot of character and are capable of smooth bass and intense modulation, and its pathway opens you up to modular synthesis. In fact, if you’re not too concerned with chordal textures, the MS20 would probably be a better starter synthesizer.

Nigel’s synth setup for the 2013 Atoms for Peace tour reflects the keyboards played by Thom and him during the recording of AMOK: DSI Prophet ‘08 for pads, Korg MS20 for bass and leads. The Roland A500 PRO MIDI controller above the Prophet is primarily used to trigger sampled string synthesizers for songs from The Eraser.

Ich habe in den 18 Jahren meines Lebens erfahren müssen, das man nur glücklich werden kann, wenn man sich der Masse fügt, der Gesellschaft anpasst. Aber das konnte und wollte ich nicht. Ich bin frei! Niemand darf in mein Leben eingreifen, und tut er es doch hat er die Konsequenzen zu tragen! Kein Politiker hat das Recht Gesetze zu erlassen, die mir Dinge verbieten, kein Bulle hat das Recht mir meine Waffe wegzunehmen, schon gar nicht während er seine am Gürtel trägt
—  Bastian B. (Amokläufer von Emsdetten)