“Scott Thorpe turned his house into a fortress in preparation for the FBI assault that was a figment of his ever-more paranoid delusions,” the Sacramento Bee is reporting.
“He draped tarps over his windows so no one could spy on him, stowed guns in each room, kept gas masks and night-vision binoculars at the ready and hesitated to talk by phone for fear the FBI was listening.
“Laura Wilcox, the 1999 valedictorian at Nevada Union High School, was home for winter break from Haverford College, where she was a sophomore and running for co-president of the student body.
“She hoped to spend spring break in Paris and was earning extra money by filling in for a week as a receptionist at the Nevada County Department of Behavioral Health, where she had worked the summer before.
“On Jan. 10, 2001, Thorpe arrived for an appointment at the county agency, which was housed in an old morgue and hospital on the outskirts of Nevada City, produced a 9 mm handgun and began firing.
“By the time he finished, three people were dead and dozens of lives were changed forever.
“Variations on that day have been repeated countless times since, at a strip mall in Tucson, an intersection in Chico, in front of a Fullerton bus depot, in the forest outside Fort Bragg, where a father’s plea for help for his mentally ill son was not heeded.
“The theme is common: severe mental illness, combined with laws that are written to protect civil liberties and ignore the reality that nobody chooses to be psychotic. Too often, those laws permit authorities and the rest of us to abdicate responsibility to help people who are incapable of helping themselves.
“The department that purported to offer care to Thorpe was frayed and underfunded. The psychiatrist who treated him failed to respond to warnings. But the response in the aftermath of the killings was extraordinary.
The rest of the article is here.