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Some background on Richard Machado

Richard Machado was born in El Salvador. When his parents moved to California, he went through the required process to become a naturalized citizen of the US. His parents were hard workers and pushed him to succeed in college. He was the first person in his family to attend a college--his other three brothers worked at regular blue collar jobs.

Machado found the academic work at the University of California, Irvine (UCI), to be more difficult than he had expected. He was failing in several of his classes, and he felt that part of the problem was that many Asian students had entered UCI and raised the grading curve too high for him to succeed

On November 16 of 1995, Machado sent an e-mail threat to the campus newspaper at UCI (the New University Paper) using his roommate’s computer. The e-mail said "On Monday, November 20, All new u people will die." The editors and most of the staff at the newspaper were Asian. When the e-mail was traced back to the computer, Machado's roommate told the campus police that he sent the message as a joke. He thought that by doing this, the police would be satisfied and would no longer bother them. The investigation was dropped at that time.

That spring, Machado's eldest brother was murdered by an armed robber. This had a devastating effect on him, and he was severely depressed. As a result, his grades dropped even lower and he was dismissed from school in June for academic failure. But he was too ashamed to tell his parents. All that summer, he continued to get rides to the university from a brother, and pretended to be attending classes.

It was the week before the Fall term actually started that Machado walked into the computer lab and composed and sent his e-mail threatening Asians.