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In morbid plays, Cho's characters dreamed of killing

Story Highlights

• In one play, teen accuses stepfather of molesting him, killing his father
• In another, teens speak of hatred for their high school math teacher
• Cho's writing disturbed classmates, says student who took class with him
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(CNN) -- Classmates and a professor say writings by Cho Seung-Hui, an English major accused of the Virginia Tech killing spree, were so disturbing that they felt he needed help.

Lucinda Roy, the former chairwoman of the English Department, told CNN that one of Cho's creative writing professors brought his writings to her attention.

Roy was so disturbed by them she went to the police and counselors "and everywhere else, and they would say, but there's nothing explicit here. He's not actually saying he's going to kill someone." (Watch how the cause of Cho's rage could be physical Video)

"The threats seemed to be underneath the surface," she said. "They were not explicit and that was the difficulty the police had."

"My argument was that he seemed so disturbed that we needed to do something about this," Roy said.

In one of Cho's plays, titled "Richard McBeef," a teenage character named John accuses his stepfather of molesting him and of killing his father.

In one scene, John throws darts at a picture of his stepfather and rants: "I hate him. Must kill Dick. Must kill Dick. Dick must die."

At the end of the play, John tries to choke his stepfather with a "half-eaten banana cereal bar." Instead, his stepfather, "out of sheer desecrated hurt and anger," according to the stage directions, "lifts his large arms and swings a deadly blow at the 13-year-old boy." (Full script of "Richard McBeef"external link)

Full of scatological references and profane rants, Cho's writing disturbed his classmates, according to Stephanie Derry, a senior English major at Virginia Tech who took a playwriting class with Cho.

"His writing, the plays, were really morbid and grotesque," she told the Virginia Tech campus newspaper, The Collegiate.

In class, though, Derry recalled, Cho never said a word.

"His kind of writing was pretty peculiar, but when we asked him if he had any comments after we'd reviewed his work, he would just shrug and say nothing."

"He would sit by himself whenever possible, and didn't like talking to anyone," echoed Ian MacFarlane, a former classmate and current AOL employee, who provided copies of some of Cho's work.

"It was like he didn't want to be friends with anybody. One friend of mine tried to offer him some Halloween candy that she still had, but he slowly shook his head, refusing it. He just came to class every day and submitted his work on time...."

Cho's writing, when read in class, gave his classmates a glimpse into something they saw as disturbing. "When we read Cho's plays, it was like something out of a nightmare... The plays had really twisted, macabre violence... When the students gave reviews of his play in class, we were very careful with our words in case he decided to snap."

In another play by Cho, titled "Mr. Brownstone," three teenage characters -- including one again named John -- play slot machines in a casino and talk of their hatred of Mr. Brownstone, their high school math teacher.

"I wanna kill him," John says.

"I wanna watch him bleed the way he made us kids bleed," says Jane, one of the other characters.

At the end of the play, John wins $5 million in a slot machine and gets a kiss from both Jane and the third teenager, Joe. But Mr. Brownstone tells a casino official that the three of them are underage, and that the winnings are actually his. The casino official gives him the winning ticket and throws out the three teenagers. "You won't get away with this Brownstone" the three teenagers shout in unison, and then curse at him. (Full script of "Mr. Brownstone"external link)

"We always joked we were just waiting for him to do something, waiting to hear about something he did," his classmate Derry said. "But when I got the call it was Cho who had done this, I started crying. ...."

Police say Cho, 23, killed at least 30 people on the campus before killing himself.

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