25 Years After School Massacre, Kentucky Killer Still Hears Voices

On Tuesday, a parole-seeking killer admitted that voices similar to the ones that urged him to open fire at his high school in Kentucky 25 years ago still haunt his mind.

Michael Carneal, a 14-year-old freshman at Heath High School, shot and murdered three of his classmates in a pre-class prayer group in December 1997, wounding five more.

25 Years After School Massacre, Kentucky Killer Still Hears Voices
25 Years After School Massacre, Kentucky Killer Still Hears Voices

Carneal told a judge that he had been “hearing in my head to do certain things,” adding, “but I should have understood that stealing guns… was going to lead to something bad.”

Carneal, who is now eligible for parole, has said he regrets his actions and has sought help for his mental illness, but he continues to be haunted by demons.

Two days previously, he admitted that the voices had urged him to commit suicide by jumping from the steps.

In the meeting, Ladeidra Jones, the chair of the Parole Board, stated that Carneal’s mental health prognosis is “bad” and that he still has paranoid ideas with violent imagery.

Carneal explained to the board that he is now able to disregard the voices and images, neither of which have prompted him to take any action in a long time.

It’s not necessary for it to be a huge deal, he emphasized. Everything you do has an effect on someone. Maybe you’re hauling something around or just listening to someone. In the future, I hope to make a positive impact through my work.

Carneal was given the maximum possible term for his age, which was life in jail, but he was assured of a chance at parole after 25 years.

Since the two-member panel could not agree, they sent Carneal’s case to the full state board, which will meet on Monday to determine whether to approve his parole, table it for further consideration, or rule that he must serve out the remainder of his life behind bars.