'I wonder how many people I will kill': Inside the journal and mind of Ethan Crumbley

Posted at 10:52 PM, Feb 28, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-28 22:52:07-05

(WXYZ) — His own words, his own handwriting, inside the journal found minutes after the Oxford High School shooting on Nov. 30 allows mental health experts to get into the mind of 15-year-old Ethan Crumbley.

Crime scene photos from inside a restroom where the shooting started show the gun, the backpack and the journal. It has two dozen pages. Two pages are open in the photo.

The handwritten lines include:

I wonder how many people I will kill 
I will tell some friends to not come to school the day of the shooting 
I have lost every hope of life 
Help me 

Dr. Gerald Shiener, a psychiatrist tells 7 Action News, “They're looking to get stopped because they know they can't stop themselves. And these notations are screaming for some kind of help.”

Crumbley is charged as an adult with murder and attempted murder.

Being only 15 is important too," Shiener said. "Because he's 15. He can't put it into words, but he can write it down. He can leave little hints, and he can show people that something, something is happening with him.”

Additional messages written in the journal are:

I wonder what life in prison will be like. 
I have nothing left 
I will continue shooting people until police block the hallway.  I will then surrender to them and plead guilty to life in prison.   

“He knows that in prison, he's going to get four walls to contain them and he's going to have external controls because that's what he needs,” Shiener continued.

Oakland County Circuit Court Judge Kwame Rowe will be ruling whether Crumbley remains locked up in the county jail or is allowed to be moved to juvenile detention as requested by defense attorneys. They have also filed a notice of an insanity defense.

“The prosecution will say this shows that he can appreciate that what he's doing wrong because he's thinking about going to prison. And when it's used, it's only effective in a very small portion of cases,” Shiener said.

The ruling on where Crumbley will be locked up is expected this week. His case will then be on hold for a couple of months until he can get the testing for the insanity defense.