CHARGES: Waseca teen's notebook reveals murder plot - KMSP-TV

CHARGES: Waseca teen's notebook reveals plot to murder family, attack schools

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WASECA, Minn. (KMSP) -

Police in Waseca, Minn. believe they have stopped what would have been an “unimaginable tragedy.” They arrested a 17-year-old just weeks away from carrying out a plan to murder his family and attack his school with explosives.

Police said the Hartley Elementary School playground, where explosives were found last month, was basically a testing ground for 17-year-old John LaDue. The terrifying part is police admit -- with his detailed 180-page journal and plan – the teenager could have pulled it off.


According to the criminal complaint, LaDue started making his plan way back in July, to first kill his family then set a fire outside of town to divert authorities. He then planned to attack Waseca Junior and Senior High School by setting off numerous bombs during the lunch hour.

He didn't plan to stop there, with plans to kill the school liaison officer and as many students as possible.

“Crazy that there's actually kids out in Waseca schools threatening to kill other kids and blow up schools and all that other stuff,” Waseca resident Damian Hanks said. “I'm speechless hearing about it.”

We talked to LaDue’s best friend, Eddie Persell, who has gone to the gun range with him, but never suspected a thing.

“It's unfortunate he had to be thinking that way. I hope he gets the help he needs,” Persell said. “He’s a real close friend of mine. He's real smart. He has a lot of things going for him, unfortunately he took a wrong path, I guess.”


At a press conference Thursday, Waseca police admitted the only reason LaDue is under arrest is because someone saw him go inside a rented storage unit on Tuesday evening and thought it looked suspicious.

“This case is a classic case of people doing the right things and calling police when things seem out of place,” Waseca Police Captain Kris Markeson said. “By doing the right thing unimaginable tragedy has been prevented.”

LaDue apparently admitted to being responsible for the explosives found at Hartley Elementary School last month.


Plus, during a search of his home this week, investigators found numerous guns, ammunition, pipe bombs, a pressure cooker and gun powder -- everything needed to carry out this attack within the next couple of weeks.

John LaDue has been charged with 4 counts of attempted first-degree murder, 6 counts of possessing explosive devices and 2 counts of first-degree criminal damage to property.

The big question is: Could there be other people involved? At this point, police say no, but the sense in Thursday’s very crowded news conference is not everyone is satisfied.

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