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Teen Charged in Bomb Plot Wanted to Show 'I Wasn't a Wimp'

A Minnesota teenager accused of plotting to murder his family and blow up his high school told police in a chilling interview that he didn’t plan to live and wanted to be taken out “just to show I wasn’t a wimp.”

In audio recordings released Tuesday, John LaDue, 17, appeared calm as he described plans to set off bombs in his Waseca, Minnesota, school hallways.

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“I was not bullied at all,” he told the police. “I don’t think I’ve ever been bullied in my life. I have good parents. I live in a good town. I think I’m just really mentally ill. And no one’s noticed, and I’ve been trying to hide it.”

He wanted to kill his parents and his older sister, police have said.

“They did nothing wrong,” LaDue said, according to NBC affiliate KARE in Minneapolis. “I just want as many victims as possible.”

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The woman credited with stopping the attack was washing dishes when she said she saw LaDue cutting through her backyard to get to a storage facility. She said she watched him fiddle with the lock for 10 minutes.

She called the police, who found three fully functional bombs, bomb-making material, gunpowder, guns and ammunition in the storage locker in LaDue’s home south of Minneapolis.

Image: John LaDue arrives at Waseca County Courthouse on June 18.
John LaDue arrives at Waseca County Courthouse on June 18. kare11.com

LaDue was charged with four counts of first-degree attempted murder and six counts of possessing explosives. He has pleaded not guilty. A judge has sealed evidence, including his journal, which defense lawyers have said could prejudice a jury.

One of the few times in the police interview that LaDue’s voice wavered was when he described why he wanted to die.

“I really wanted to get out of this place,” he said.

The police detective asked: “Why is this place so bad?”

LaDue answered: “I don’t know. I don’t really care for it.”

— Erin McClam