Three notes: Source says Romando purchased gun, left letters

In the wake of the alleged August 28 murder-suicide that took the lives of four members of an Albemarle County family, a source claims police told him that the late 19-year-old suspect, Noah Philip Romando, appears to have been thinking about taking his own life for at least two weeks prior to the slayings, and that he had obtained a handgun just days before.

"After my website was named in news stories, I contacted police," says Zach Schroeder, the 36-year-old creator of the Satanic International Network, the social networking site for so-called satanists that 2011 Albemarle High grad Noah Romando allegedly frequented.

According to Schroeder, an Albemarle County Police Detective called him back on Tuesday, September 4, and told him that Romando left behind a pair of suicide notes addressed to his family. The apparently undelivered notes, dated about two weeks before the incident, were found only after Romando took his own life and those of his mother, Beth Walton, and his two younger siblings, 16-year-old Lily Romando and 14-year-old Andrew Romando.

A third note, Schroeder says he was told, was dated the day of the massacre and was more ominously addressed only to his father, Peter Romando, who did not live at the house and who was physically unharmed. Schroeder says the detective, Bill Underwood, did not reveal the content of the notes.

UVA affiliated forensic psychiatrist Andy Thomson says the existence of suicide notes is always significant to an investigation, as the documents suggest premeditation and can often help determine motive.

Schroeder claims that the detective also revealed that Romando purchased a handgun three days before the slayings. According to an affidavit, in addition to a 10/22 hunting rifle removed from the home, a handgun of unidentified caliber was found in proximity of the deceased male, presumed to be Noah Romando.

Albemarle Police spokesperson Carter Johnson declined to comment on Schroeder's claims, citing the ongoing investigation, and Peter Romando has not responded to a reporter's request for comment.

The owner of a local gun store, however, says if Noah Romando purchased a handgun from a licensed dealer, he did so illegally.

"You have to be 21, and you need a government-issued ID, and a second back-up– something that shows the same address," says Bobby Leval, owner of Carterfield's Sporting Supplies store on Monticello Road.

If state rules on gun sales are clear for licensed dealers, who must check IDs and run a criminal background check on any would-be purchaser, Leval says an easy– and legal– way exists to buy a handgun. All that's required is a willing seller and a buyer who's at least 18 and not a felon.

"The law says that you cannot knowingly transfer a gun to a prohibited person," says Mike Campbell, spokesperson for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the federal agency that regulates guns.

Campbell confirms that sellers in such private transactions are not required to know anything about the purchaser's mental state or to research a would-be buyer's criminal background. Furthermore, there's no central gun registry that would allow a gun to be tracked once it leaves the original purchaser's hands.

If a gun is used in a crime, store owner Leval says, the ATF can track it through the manufacturer's serial number– but only to the point of sale from a licensed dealer. Once it is sold privately, it essentially disappears. The estimated 270 million guns in private possession in the U.S., according to global gun tracking nonprofit, ranks this country at number one in the world in gun possession, with a rate of more than 88 guns per 100 people.

In addition to offering information about the notes and the alleged gun purchase, Schroeder also provides details about the teen's involvement on the Satanic International Network site, which Romando first joined, according to Schroeder, in September 2011.

A San Diego-based sushi chef, Schroeder says he started the social networking site as a hobby in 2009 and says that despite over 4,000 registered users, it doesn't generate revenue. He suggests that Romando signed up after watching Schroeder's YouTube channel, which features the Californian discoursing on various topics including homosexuality (he has no problem with it) and drugs and prostitution (he believes both should be legalized).

In one video, Schroeder offers his opinion on the best way to die– a bullet to the back of the head– and his frustration with the world's booming population.

"You know who needs to die? People..." Schroeder tells the camera in another video. "If I could just push a button and eliminate 50 percent of the people, I would."

Schroeder says he and Romando shared the same video chatrooms with other participants for "more than dozens of hours" over the nine months or so that Romando remained active.

"He never showed any signs of mental distress, never talked about depression or anything out of the normal," says Schroeder. "We'd just sit around, drink some beers, just bullsh*t. It wasn't anything that would strike you as abnormal."

As for Romando's "Noah8" profile, at which he describes his gender as "beast," Schroeder explains that new members are offered a humorous multiple-choice list to the gender questions as humorous alternatives to the standard "male" and "female." By choosing "beast" instead of other options (which include "poop flinging chimp" and  "alien" in addition to several derogatory terms for women), Romando could be seen to have chosen one of the least offensive alternatives.

Schroeder also says he doubts Romando took Satanism seriously.

"I don't really think he had an interest," says Schroeder, offering words that seem to support Romando's friends' claims, that the former Charlottesville Catholic School student and Church of the Incarnation congregant must have participated in a satanic website primarily as a curiosity.

"I think he watched a couple of my videos and wanted to come and chill and hang out," says Schroeder, expressing frustration that Satanism is easily misunderstood.

"It's atheistic," says Schroeder, who contends that Satanists don't actually believe in the devil– or in gods.

"We believe in indulgence, self-preservation, and individuality," says Schroeder, noting that Satanism "doesn't promote violence or hatred."

That's a position echoed by the high priestess of the Church of Satan, which continues to promote the teachings of the late founder, Anton Szander LaVey

"We don't condone unwarranted violence," says Magistra Peggy Nadramia, pointing a reporter to an essay on satanic honor and integrity posted on the organization's website.

Schroeder says he contacted police in a civic-minded offer to assist in the investigation, acknowledging that while "satanists aren't the nicest people," he was surprised and upset by Romando's alleged actions.

"I have no clue why Noah did what he did," says Schroeder. "I saw no signs leading up to it."


Such an unimaginable tragedy... Now that we know more about Noah's benign involvement with SIN, I suspect the next mammoth round of comments will focus on gun control. And rightly so.

"it was'nt anything that would strike you as abnormal" said the satanist website developer that wanted to eliminate the 50% of the worlds population with a bullet to the back of the head

First off this has absolutely NOTHING to do with satanism or the SIN website... where did a 19 year old purchase/acquire 2 guns in your precious little hick town, is the big question. No guns, no tragedy. Period.

Yeah, 312 million American citizens should have to give up their right to possess firearms and protect their property and families just because some person went off the deep end. That makes a lot of sense, voltron callahan.

Cars kill more people than guns. No cars, no tragedy. Period.

Cars don't kill people. People kill people.

hey moron, I said nothing about giving up any rights, now did I? You should learn how to read, not read into things. I'm all for owning guns LEGALY! You are a gasbag.

So is this article about gun control, satanism, or about the ongoing investigation into the Romando murder-suicide? Kinda hard to tell.

Chouva, I agree with you. This website developer/sushi chef is just a little too weird himself to be offering a psychological profile of Romando. And I would have to say that I can't really believe the friends who think that this was just a passing curiosity. If you are curious, you visit a site a couple of times, you don't go back to it repeatedly for close to a year. This was a troubled young man, but unfortunately no one saw it.

voltron callahan, you need to read up on and study the gun laws. It is not against the law for a 19 year old to own and possess firearms. He simply could not purchase a handgun from a federally licensed dealer until he's 21 years of age.

This was a tragic event. And what is even more tragic was how the Satanic International Network handled it. People from the Cult of Cthulhu handled this tragedy far maturely.

I just wanted to extend my sympathy to the family and friends of Noah. He had friends at SIN as well (in case the idiots and trolls were somehow clueless to that). It's hard to see a tragedy play out like this, questions abound but few answers are ever found.

SIN is like an internet community and doesn't police its users actions offline. They do what they do. Noah participated mostly in chat leaving little beyond his profile available for others to see, the trail is thin to say the least.

However, I am really proud of the way the administration, moderaters and Zach has handled a situation like this. Struck with grief but still willing to speak to the media, still answering questions that are thrown at them.

Thanks to The Hook for allowing Zach to have some commentary in this article. I know how easy it could be to continue with a sensationalist angle. It shows y'all have some respect for the people that are living after somehow being touched by Noah's brief life.


well, seems there was a hand gun involved, now, huh? Like I said, I'm not for more gun control, some people just need more self-control

So? A handgun was involved. Doesn't make it an illegal handgun.

ยง 18.2-308.7. Possession or transportation of certain firearms by persons under the age of 18; penalty.

It shall be unlawful for any person under 18 years of age to knowingly and intentionally possess or transport a handgun or assault firearm anywhere in the Commonwealth.

This section shall not apply to:

1. Any person (i) while in his home or on his property; (ii) while in the home or on the property of his parent, grandparent, or legal guardian; or (iii) while on the property of another who has provided prior permission, and with the prior permission of his parent or legal guardian if the person has the landowner's written permission on his person while on such property;

Let's see... according to Zach, satanists are "not nice" and he wants to kill 50% of humans... aaaaannnnndddd... we are going to believe whatever he says? Just sayin'. Seems like a freak to me, not to be trusted.

Rather unprofessional in my opinion of the police leaking out details of their murder enquiry to random members of the public. Also, why is SIN continuing to get involved in a case that they claim has nothing to do with them?

Just to address an inaccurate portrayal of Satanism, the majority of Satanists worship Satan as a literal entity, it just happens that those that are atheistically inclined hang out in SIN.

Chicken Taco, if you keep up with all the off-the-wall conspiracy theories circulating out here about Obama, he's planning on doing the same thing. He has had large federal prison camps built all over the country and will herd up Americans and do the unthinkable.

It is fact that these prison camps are indeed being built. They sit empty right now, even though currently staffed by federal employees. We can't use the name of the person who gassed millions to death here, this reply will not post here if I do. And nobody ever though he could get by with what he did. But, he did. Could it ever happen again? Are Satanists the only ones who feel the world population needs to be thinned out a little? What are these prison camps going to be used for?

Personally I feel Hook is allowing SIN to turn this tragedy into a freak show. Nobody in SIN knew Noah or his family in real life, few of them care about him or what he did. Giving SIN publicity over something they claim has nothing much to do with them is playing in to the hands of publicity seeking Satanists, and confusing the facts of a terrible community tragedy.

I agree with Mabuzz and Chicken Taco.

I love how Zach wants to kill half of the human race, and how their satanist users at SIN immaturely revel in death imagery, but when one of their members actually kills people, they react to this as if something horrible has happened.

well. we're both speculating at this point... only time will tell, I suppose

Gasbag, they're all Luciferians at the top. Of course real Luciferians don't tell you they're Luciferians because it would get in the way of their practicing Luciferiansim, which involves killing and destroying and degrading everything that is wholesome and good in this world. The Luciferians in control of society go by the name "Christians" not only because they have to in order to remain free and alive but also because they hate Christians and want the world to associate their out-in-the-open evil with Christianity so that they might turn them from Christ and give their souls over to the devil.

@ Somebody
I am a Luciferian, and to my knowledge none of us have ever been associated with murder, we respect life too much. The delusion is put around that there is an Illuminati trying to bring about a New World Order, in truth this is a fiction. It is easier to blame a fictional group of people than accept personal responsibility for individual or world problems.

Yo I'm Like Rastafari just sayin' and I feel better knowing that some people really do know the truth. Sweet so like Yay satan I guess.

I cannot help but wonder if this young man in his own twisted thought process took his Mother and Siblings "with him" in a perceived effort to protect them .

Nothing adds up in this one .


The only thing that adds up in this case is that Satanic International Network handled this all wrong. They joked about it first, then talked about the cool publicity it would bring them. Then all of their admins trolled a comment thread here to make the issue be about them and not the actual incident that happened.

it's a shame this has turned out to be about some "religious" or "beliefs" crap. Thanks hook for trivialising the horrific deaths of innocent people by writing a story about the involvement of "satanism" because some distraught teenager had a profile on some juvenile "satanist" web site. This paper is a joke. Don't you freakn' people remember the West Memphis 3? Apparently not, it's obvious you don't do your research. As for the rest of you folks blathering on about it. You're morons. Look at the real issue here.

So, what SSRI's was he on?

The real issue here is not any crime itself. This is clear if you read Courtney's post. The real issue here is that Zach and his SIN network and thus Satanism has everything to do with Noah. Just exactly how, we may never know. But I trust Courtney will tell us in the next installment.

Well, as I mentioned before, I'd be real interested in finding out more about Noah's relationship with his father (who is divorced from mom) and the new hubby. These factors would hold many more clues that his meanderings on SIN.

The silly San Diego sushi sap who founded SIN is kind of pathetic...talking about "sitting around having a couple of beers" on a video chatroom. Can our sushi boy say "loner?"

Look, even an earlier Hook article had psych experts (one at UVa, if I recall) expounding on the insignificance of hanging out on websites versus the importance of family connections and relationships; I believe (and we are all just throwing doody at the wall here) that those will be more important than some drop out on another coast trying to weave in and out of Noah's psyche.

Finally, I too am surprised at the detective divulging this to someone on the phone merely because their website was included in some articles on the story. But, they're the pros.

R.I.P.: Ofc. Danny Faulkner, PPD

"Schroeder says he contacted police in a civic-minded offer to assist in the investigation"
I laughed at reading this. Zach Schroeder is hardly a civic-minded personality, and that is hardly a good trait to have for a Satanist, who all are supposed to be rebels against society.

"He never showed any signs of mental distress, never talked about depression or anything out of the normal," says Schroeder. "We'd just sit around, drink some beers, just bullsh*t. It wasn't anything that would strike you as abnormal."

The above comment makes no sense to me at all. Are they sitting around drinking beer on the chatline or in person? If so, why is a 19 year old sitting around drinking beer?
Many things are not right about this whole picture!

'We' just sit around drinking. Anyone who wants to drink. We talk about current events with each other, we share banter and stories. Movies, music and books.
'We' often talk about the news, recently Noah has been pretty hot topic. But so has Smokey's beer hat and Unholyroller's 'I <3 BERLIN' t-shirt.

The thing is, Zach is right. There are too many people. I am not going to prance about my own statements. I will tell you straight.


In fact, people do die. 100% of them. We can't feed the world population as it is. Do you want to know something? I would feel no guilt or remorse killing half of he worlds population, none for pushing that button. Fuck, they are going to die anyway; lighten up. I would surely rather die because someone pushed a button, painless, quick, bang. The sound of thunder. It all goes cold and quiet. Where am ...
Sounds much better than starving to death. But hey, you'r all welcome to you opinions, as am I. You only base them on your own ego and id, your own thoughts about yourself and how you wish others to view you. Your perception and view on right and wrong can be whatever your life experiences and your cranial capacity allow.

Noah murdered people. He must have felt justified or he wouldn't have done it. Who are you to judge him? Do you want me to judge you? Who am I to judge you?

His reasons are not your problem, as yours to him and both of your to I.

Your perception on the world is a nice, warm, fluffy and beautiful pool of piss. You're busy lying to yourselves, tonic-abstinence and naive rhetoric.

Maybe you shouldn't have asked.

@People Need to Die...Yeah, who are we to judge him? Anarchy, man! Let's squat. G.G. Allin rules! Pathetic, adolescent drivel. The Cliche Library called and said the punk/teenage angst section cliches you withdrew are overdue; please return them.

BTW, master debater, the world population can easily be fed if we wanted to. Don't travel that silly road in your rationalization of "all must die and it is better by the bullet than starving to death." Ugh.

R.I.P.: Alistair Crowley

I don't believe in anarchy.
Oh, they called? Tell them I returned them just a week ago. There must have been a mix up somewhere for I got a call for a Mr. Cobwebbed Old Conservative. You haven't been keeping up your payments on your monocle and pipe, your interest rates are outdated on your payments and they wish to discuss the new order of things to come.

World population, easily fed?
Okay, so we can feed them now. What happens when all the healthy humans that we feed now, breed over a generation or two? Well then we have more people, much more than the way we are currently going. Even now people are not dying fast enough.
Then we face the problem.
World population, yes it can be fed; sustained, no.

So the devil made another human kill another human. Nothing god hasn't done. If you really want to judge him; do so. Do so with the full knowledge that every time you openly judge another human, there will be others judging you. In this case, it's your open 'writ' of my id. I don't care about you, nor your opinion.

What does any of this have to do with you, what makes you care so much?

Notice Rainier hasn't killed anybody. Yet.

Notice nobody from the has not killed anyone and the users there are not drunks. Just sayin... "By their fruits ye shall judge them."

@ Rainer
Who are you to judge that people should die? Technology has the answers to resolve all human problems if applied with creativity and wisdom. We can populate the planet Mars if we wanted to, all it takes is the will and the ability to pool global resources. Instead everyone is self centered, creating new ways to kill, planning new wars to grab other nations resources.

It is never good idea to wish for something when you lack the wisdom of what that entails. If a large proportion of the world population dies, it will be due to global breakdown, which if you have been watching the news is starting to happen. Everything you take for granted: internet, cheap easy access to food, clean water, doctors, welfare, fuel and electricity will be gone. In place will be martial law, and forget all your rights, you will have none.

Some people are unable to handle the world we live in and they kill themselves, rather selfishly also taking others unwillingly with them in death. They no longer suffer, for the living, the world is going to get harsher.

When I read some of the rants by Rainer, it almost seems as though he/she justifies the actions Noah took. If this is the sort of "Chat" over beers they have on the SIN website, it would make sense that Noah would in some twisted way, justify his need to take the life of his family and his own. Apparently such dismal views of life warrents eliminating 50% of the human race, this kid (and yes, at 18, he is still very much a kid) believed his actions were just. The true shame of all of this is that he didn't take his life alone. He took it a step further and made the choice of life for his family his decision.

Which begs the question, Rainer, if you think the world is overpopulated, why are you still here? The fact that you haven't put the gun to your head yet shows you still value life (at least yours). Quite a bit of hypocrisy if you ask me.

Being a member of the site and personally knowing the owner. I have to ask what does Satanism play with this man' murdering and killing himself? The "sushi chef" who I have talked with and known for a few weeks also has nothing to do with this man's actions. The guy is just a beer drinking player who likes to have fun and that's pretty much it.

The direct connection of SIN to the death of Noah (pending further info from the police) appears to be zero. There are those that raised the possibility that what is said on SIN may have had an impact on an unstable young mind like Noah.

The enthusiastic devotion that SIN members and its owner have lavished on this murder-suicide is probably due to the number one interest of members to have drama, which is a symptom of the dull useless lives they have.

Zach Schroeder has been blocked from posting on this article. Ironic, seeing how the article mentions him over and over.Zach offered information unknown to THE HOOK and he got banned from posting replies. I did speak with Zach and this is what he had to say.

" The people posting on this article by the name of slybaby(aka Alison Jones) and Mabuz are both previous users on my network Satanic International Network. Both have good reasons to spread lies and paint myself and my network in a negative light. I kicked both of them off my network. They are my detractors and follow me around the internet. They both have a serious grudge against me ( Zach) and are using this tragic event as a means to tarnish my name and public image.

I am dissapointed in THE HOOK for posting information about me without my permission. Yes,it is all public information. But,they had to dig for it. And THE HOOK devulged information that was irelavent to the Noah report.