The son of parents who left a life of poverty in South Korea to run a dry-cleaning business and raise their children in Virginia, Cho turned his venom on people of privilege in the U.S.
"You had everything you wanted. Your Mercedes wasn't enough, you brats? Your golden necklaces weren't enough, you snobs? Your trust fund wasn't enough?"
He adds, "Thanks to you, I die like Jesus Christ, who inspired generations of the weak and the defenseless people."
It appears Cho spent some time putting the package together, said NBC News President Steve Capus. The shooter broke the video down into snippets that were embedded paragraph by paragraph into the main document.
In about a dozen photos, Capus said, Cho aims handguns at the camera that are "consistent with what we've heard about the guns in this incident."
Other photos show Cho holding a knife or a hammer. Some are of hollow-point bullets lined up on a table. In another, he points a gun at his head.
In the written text, Cho likens himself to "Eric and Dylan." Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold were the teenage shooters who carried out the 1999 massacre at Columbine High School in Colorado, killing 12 students and one instructor before taking their own lives.
Police and university officials said Wednesday that after the two women complained that Cho was stalking them, an unidentified acquaintance of his called authorities to express concern that Cho might be suicidal.
According to student Patrick Song, 21, one of the women was Christina Lilick. "I just remember she was very concerned that he was contacting her," he said.
Lilick could not be reached for comment Wednesday.
But a message attributed to her that was left on Song's Face book.com page reads, in reference to Cho and the shootings: "the first thought that ran through my head that geez, please dont let it be him.... and sure enough, look who it turned out to be. i'm ok, and i hope you and everyone else you know is too."
University police questioned Cho in November and December 2005 after one woman said he tried to contact her by phone and in person, and a second woman said he sent her instant messages.
On Dec. 13 of that year, campus police again talked to Cho. They obtained a temporary detention order based on his voluntary evaluation session with a local mental health counselor. He was evaluated at Carilion Saint Albans, a private mental health facility in nearby Christiansburg, Va. According to records from that examination, Cho was "alleged to be mentally ill."
A physician assessment noted that "he denies suicidal ideation. He does not acknowledge symptoms of a thought disorder. His insight and judgment are normal."
Because Cho told them he had no plans or hallucinations about killing himself of others, he was held for 24 hours and then released on a court order recommending that he volunteer for counseling. Cho apparently never sought help.
Asked why Cho was not more closely monitored or asked to leave school, university Police Chief Flinchum said Cho had made no threats and was not violent. He said that police knew about Cho's bizarre writings for an English course, but that those too "did not express any threatening intention or allude to any criminal activity. No criminal violation had taken place."
Police said neither of the women who complained about Cho was among his shooting victims.
Gun purchases questioned
Some gun-control advocates and mental health experts on Wednesday questioned why Cho was able to purchase two handguns after having been declared mentally ill.
Authorities said that although Cho may have been extremely troubled, he was legally permitted to buy the guns because there was no record in his background check of him being involuntarily committed to a mental institution. In Virginia and many other states, even if someone voluntarily commits himself to a mental institution, he may still be able to purchase guns when he gets out.
Kristen Rand, legislative director for the Violence Policy Center, said that regardless of whether Cho was voluntarily or involuntarily committed, the judge's finding in the temporary detention order that he was mentally ill should have been enough to block the gun purchases. "Based on the determination that he was a danger to himself and to others, he should have been precluded from buying a gun," Rand said.
According to Virginia's Firearms Purchase Eligibility Test, a person who answers "yes" to any of a number of questions may be prohibited from purchasing or possessing a firearm. One of them asks whether the potential buyer has "ever been adjudicated legally incompetent, mentally incapacitated, or been involuntarily committed to a mental institution."