In the next part of the Fort Mill Sun’s reporting on the Aug. 31 murder on Main Street, we reprint the suicide note sent from James Vinton to wife Bevin and friend Neal Woodrow.
In the email obtained by Fort Mill Police, James explains his actions and emotions leading up to the fatal shooting of his mother-in-law Deborah Buchanan and attempted murder of sister-in-law Crispin Metcalf inside the H&R Block on Main Street in Fort Mill. He killed himself after the shooting.
The letter provides key insight into the mind of a killer, someone who had no business with access to weapons as he was prepared to undergo psychiatric treatment for mental illness the next day.
His lengthy letter contains minimal editing. Any errors are those of the author. It does contain some obscenities and may seem disturbing to some. Here is the email:
“I’m an organ donor. Please use all my body parts you can for donation or research. You have my full consent.
We live in an age where the Moral can find no recompense in the Legal. I have always tried to live by the motto: know thyself. I have my personal motto. I know what is honorable and right from wrong with the moral courage to stand up for it.
My wife wants to take my Freedom because she believes I am mentally unwell. I am a rational atheist scientist. I am completely of sound mind and higher moral character than most. My Freedom is not something I am willing to risk.
Neal understands my morals and ethics and can best explain those better than (most) people. I hereby name Neal Woodrow the executor of my will. No funerals and no religious services at all, no matter what! If they want a viewing please do a memorial service outside and make sure I have my guns with my urn and a couple science books and my necklace. I would like a bag pipper if possible and some queens Anne lace flowers. No suits, just normal clothes. Preferably something to piss religious people off. Maybe at a bar.
Please take of Belvin lone Vinton the best you can. She needs to move on and find someone who will treat her like her family wants. She’s never leaving them anyway.
Please cremate me after they harvest as many organs as possible. I want my ashes mixed with my pets and buried in a tree pod. I always like the Appalachian mountains but as long as it’s in a forest that’s fine. The stone should say. Here lies James Alexander Vinton. Descendant of the First settlers, Veterans of the French Indian War, the Revolutionary War, the War of 1812, the Civil War, WWI, WWII, Korean War and the Vietnam War. Scientists. A John Wayne picture of V for Vendetta piece wouldn’t hurt my feelings.
Clean up the house and sell it so an account can be set up to take care of Bevin. All the things that I have that belong to my side of the family get returned to my dad, Bruce Howard Vinton and mother, Patricia Louise Vinton. All my science can be divided among those that actually want it. My sister and brother get nothing as they deserve nothing. They both chose their cowardly significant others over their brother, so they can live with that. Do not let them sell my books. If no one wants them, donate them. Please finish the RC car for my dad.
I have cost my parents a lot of money. I don’t want to go back to nursing school. I don’t have the money to repay them. I want to go to USC and do genetic counseling but I have changed my mind on them so many times. Even now that I learned and now know from my doctor I shouldn’t continue in the nursing program. My brother was right, I’m not a normal person. I’m a drain and an embarrassment to the family. I’m sorry. I just tried to live my life true to myself but I continually let people influence me away from what I knew in my gut to be right, especially my parents. If I had to do it all over again I wouldn’t have not listened to anyone and lived my life how I wanted. No college until I was ready, no vet school, no nursing school. Stayed in academia and got my MS and PhD.
I don’t want the PTSD of my Veterinary years. I don’t want the memories and the trauma associated with it anymore.
I hope all the people I have helped along the way get into great careers and have happy lives. It’s just not much of a life living this way.
We don’t need people like me. I’m a fighter and no one cares what’s right. Only what is profitable. Ross and Queens were the biggest disappointment of my life, They killed my spirit. If that’s a vet or nurses, I have no desire to be one. Also explains why nurses were such a pain in the ass in emergency vet situations.
Apparently my brain can’t handle the world without drugs. That’s not much of a life, at least not now I want to live. Where unethical teaching of incorrect scientific information is allowed and there is no care to correct it. Both places felt like a diploma mill. What kind of University risks the lives of their students for money?
If I don’t finish nursing school I lose my family. If I finish nursing school they will most likely kick me out due to my comorbidities or kill my spirt.
The solution seems clear. Especially since I’m not looking forward to the coming biological changes. I wish I got to do more and see more. But we must all travel the paths we pick.
There is no such thing as free will and people have a lack of respect for all living things much less humans. I agree with you my friend, consciousness has to be a property of matter. This was my decision. I understand others have to live with it, get over it. Budda said it best, Life is suffering. (General statement) You didn’t seem to care when I was struggling. Just called me crazy. I came to this decision when I realized I don’t want to be a part of a world where I’m crazy and there are sane cowards dishonorable liars thieves are legal and acceptable.
Almost all the people I call friends are cowards. There is no law or physical barrier that would prevent me from getting to my family or friends, however the same cannot be said in return. According to them, they have too much to lose. Like every person who ever fought injustice didn’t have something to lose. Cowards.
I sincerely hope for a better future for the people that give me hope. You know who you are. I will miss all my professors and highly educated friends as well as the salt of the earth intelligence from others. The simple fact is we should have the right to decide when a person doesn’t want to do this anymore. It’s not a mental condition. It is a data driven conclusion after almost 40 years of collecting data. If someone with John Wayne morals tells you, if you do x, I will kill you. Then you do x. I will find you, someday. Unfortunately, I’m not allowed to be myself. They deserve to be shot or hung. They dishonored Brian and myself. And the day of reckoning is vastly approaching. You bunch of liar’s, thief’s, and immoral piece’s of shit.
I will see you in hell you son of a bitch.
I tried 5 strip of LSD and 8 grams of shrooms. Still can’t fix what the medications have done to my neuronal cortex.
You understand the philosophy. Can’t bring myself to give up my freedom to people that I don’t think are smarter than I am and less likely to use science.
PS if we shadows have offend, think but this and all will be mend. You fucked with the wrong person.
PSS Deborah Buchanan you’re damed right I did everything. My only regret is not killing all of your family except Bevin.“
End of Part 2.
NOTE: While this series focuses on the results of the police investigation, we would like to continue to remember the victim. If you have any memories or stories to share about victim Deborah Buchanan, please email it to: [email protected]
Also, please send any photos you would like to share.