When Macky Alston screened his latest film, “The Killer Within” at the Full Frame Documentary Film Festival on April 14, it couldn’t have gone better. Alston was not only honored to screen his film at the festival, but also ecstatic to be back in his childhood home, Durham.
But then two days later, on April 16, college student Seung-Hui Cho shot and killed 32 people at Virginia Tech. Then he killed himself. After that, Alston’s film began to resonate more with people who saw it, mainly because the movie deals with another campus shooting.
“Within” tells the story of Bob Bechtel, a University of Arizona psychology professor who decides to come clean to his family, his friends and his students about a 50-year-old secret. Back at Swarthmore College, he murdered fellow student Francis Strozier, with a .22-caliber rifle bullet to the head.
Even more shocking was Bechtel’s original plan: He was going to kill all 250 people in the dormitory. If he hadn’t stopped at Strozier and immediately turned himself in, it might have become the most murderous rampage in U.S history.