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Release the Tennessee Shooter's Manifesto

Americans deserve the truth about the killings in Nashville.

(Photo by BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP via Getty Images)

The transgender-identifying person who killed six, including three children, at Covenant Elementary in Nashville last month, was a chatty gal. The New York Post reports that, after Audrey Hale was neutralized by Nashville cops Rex Engelbert and Michael Collazo, “Twenty journals, five laptops, a suicide note and various other notes written by Hale were seized from the house she shared with her parents as well as two memoirs, five Covenant School yearbooks and seven cellphones, according to a search warrant.”

That is quite an output for a twenty-eight-year-old. The shooter’s manifesto has sparked the interest of the public, and according to Rasmussen, nearly two-thirds of Americans want it to be released. Although Metro Nashville Police Department promised to release the documents after a review—at some indefinite date—the FBI has been dragging its feet, hesitating to publish the document due to alleged sensitive content. Those excuses still don’t explain why her autobiographical writings and diaries are unavailable. Metro Nashville Council Member Courtney Johnston, who has been in touch with the agency, is reported to have explained why the feds have not been planning to release it: “What I was told is, her manifesto was a blueprint on total destruction, and it was so, so detailed at the level of what she had planned... That document in the wrong person’s hands would be astronomically dangerous.”


Surely the gender-confused young woman’s ideas can’t be worse than Hitler’s, whose manifesto, Mein Kampf, is still accessible to Americans. Tens of millions died in wars that Hitler started, and he still has followers around the world and in this country. Still, on freedom-of-speech grounds, we don’t censor the book. If the reader thinks comparing random mass killers to Hitler is lazy, how about a closer side-by-side with the Unabomber, whose manifesto, as Elon Musk recently pointed out, was published?

Between 1978 and 1995, Ted Kaczynski waged a one-man bombing campaign, killing three Americans and injuring twenty-three. In 1995, the Washington Post printed Kaczynski’s entire 35,000-word treatise, Industrial Society and Its Future. To be sure, the essay was a bit of an extortion scheme by the math-professor-turned-environmentalist-terrorist—he promised to stop his campaign of violence if his work was published in leading newspapers. Attorney General Janet Reno and FBI Director Louis Freeh cleared the essay for publication to save lives, in hopes that someone would be able to identify the elusive Unabomber. After reading the essay, David Kaczynski immediately suspected his brother Ted and helped apprehend him.

The Unabomber was a lucid writer, and his manifesto—already aligned with much of American campus thought—was warmly received in the media. It was immediately apparent that the anarcho-environmentalist tract with psychological angles was no work of a madman. The writer Cynthia Ozick glamorized its author, suggesting he was an American Raskolnikov. The near-perfect combination of intellect and mystique helped to make Kaczynski an enduring media icon. I saw the manifesto passed around in the zine format on the Berkeley campus, where I lived at the time. Students, including conservative-leaning ones, found the work informative. It conformed to the anti-Enlightenment campus narrative, and many students believed his critique of late-20th-century liberalism was profound.

Following Kaczynski’s conviction, the essay has appeared in several anthologies. The Unabomber has gotten to spend his days in prison reading books and responding to letters. Did Janet Reno’s gamble pay off? Kaczynski hasn’t killed anyone since 1995, but he inspired generations of radicals, including Antifa. What is Antifa’s body count today?

Hale is no intellectual match for the mid-century mathematics prodigy. Her greatest accomplishments in her short lifetime were creating bad art and hiding menswear from her parents. I seriously doubt the mass shooter’s manifesto contains a “blueprint” for anything, let alone “total destruction.” We are told that Hale planned to murder more, but it is difficult to imagine that she left some kind of master plan that like-minded individuals could execute if only they lay their eyes on her text, with absolutely nothing the authorities could do to preempt it. Regardless, this raises an important question: who could these dangerous like-minded individuals be?


If Hale had co-conspirators and identified them in her writing, it would make sense for the FBI to hold off publication while the investigation is ongoing. But that's not what the FBI seems to be indicating. They are simply saying that the document contains high-risk information. They are also not saying that publicizing her words would make a martyr out of Hale. Today’s mass media is capable of great feats, like electing a man with unmistakable signs of dementia into the highest office in the land, but I doubt there is the will to lionize a run-of-the-mill art-school girl who killed six, including children.

Since the documents remain sealed, people naturally speculate. For one, because the shooting took place in the Christian school that the murderess attended in her childhood, there is talk of the murders being acts of anti-Christian terrorism. Her writings likely shed light on whether and how Hale was led to believe that her spiritual upbringing was the source of her misery. Additionally, the young woman’s essays can help the public understand how she began to identify as transgender. We may see what kind of mental health services she received, whether or not radical therapists exacerbated her illness, or even planted the seeds of her delusion.

This type of information could go a long way in preventing future mass shootings. In recent years, transsexuals killed many more people than, for instance, the Unabomber. Together with their allies, those unhappy with their sex often talk of “trans genocide,” usually in reference to the proposed refusal to grant access to desired cosmetic procedures, especially in the case of minors. Victimhood narratives of this type in and of themselves are a call for action—we are not going to sit there and allow genocide to take place right in our midst, are we?

Minnesota Lieutenant Governor Peggy Flanagan recently gave a speech in a “protect trans kids” t-shirt with the image of a machete. Clothing with similar messaging has been sold on Amazon. A trans-identified narcissist made a TikTok video threatening women who, hypothetically, do not want to share a bathroom with him. It is easy to suspect that Hale was similarly led to believe that she had to resort to violence because her existence was in danger.

Corporate media widely publicized Hale’s amateurish rendering of Jack Nicholson in the horror movie The Shining. I happen to like both horror and Jack Nicholson, so I don’t take an issue with the subject matter. I also don’t see how the story of an alcoholic writer stuck in a haunted hotel fits into the sex-mutilation mode of transgenderism. I only wish Hale would have drawn Nicholson in A Few Good Men, yelling “You can’t handle the truth!”

If speculations are wrong, if Hale was not part of a terror campaign against Christians, if psychiatrists and Big Pharma and the media—especially social media sites like Chinese-designed TikTok—had nothing to do with her radicalization, then the public deserves to know that, too.

Let us see Hale’s manifesto.