Horror: NY cello student is shot dead off campus

Horror: NY cello student is shot dead off campus


norman lebrecht

February 20, 2022

A music student at the State University of New York Potsdam (SUNY) has been found dead with gunshot wounds not far from the campus.

Elizabeth Howell, 21, played cello in the Crane Symphony Orchestra and was studying for a music education degree. She was due to graduate this year.


A man named as Michael J. Snow, 31, was arrested yesterday and charged with second degree murder.

It is not yet known if there was prior contact between him and Beth.

SUNY has cancelled all classes tomorrow as a mark of respect.

Our hearts go out to her parents and family.




  • Henry williams says:

    Bring back capital punishment.

    • Brettermeier says:

      “Bring back capital punishment.”

      I hear it’s popular in Afghanistan these days, too. Can’t be that bad if the Taliban think it’s cool, right?

      • Anon says:

        I like to take a cup of tea in the afternoon. Afternoon tea is quite popular in Afghanistan these days too. Can’t be that bad if the Taliban think it’s cool, right?

        • Brettermeier says:

          “I like to take a cup of tea in the afternoon. Afternoon tea is quite popular in Afghanistan these days too. Can’t be that bad if the Taliban think it’s cool, right?”

          Now, let’s examine why your comment is pants:

          1. Active vs. passive

          You don’t seem to understand the basic concept of active and passive.

          Active: If you’d hit yourself, that’s probably your choice (a good one, I might add): You’re actively hitting yourself.

          Passive: If someone else would hit you, it’s their choice (a good one, I might add). You’re passively getting hit by someone.

          2. Repeatable actions vs. non-repeatable actions

          Drinking tea = Repeatable action. You can do this more than once.

          Drinking tea in the UK with your fellow ex-KGB friend = Non-repeatable action.

          3. Basic human needs vs. Basic psycho needs

          Drinking = Basic human need

          Killing people = Basic psycho need

          Btw., if you think that drinking tea is like killing people, you should seek professional help.


        • Genius Repairman says:

          I think it must be evil to drink tea in the afternoon if the Taliban do it.

      • Althea T-H says:

        What do you regard as ‘cool’?

        Letting people out after 8 years, so that they can go and murder someone else?

        That is what happened here in the UK, with the Monckton case.

        Or do you prefer building up more national debt by overusing Chinese lending banks, in order to fund long prison sentences?

        Every decision has consequences of one kind or another.

      • Sue Sonata Form says:

        I’m all for getting rid of capital punishment so serious offenders can enjoy the benefits of leniency, have a chance of ‘rehabilitation’ and then ply their trades back on the streets once they’re ‘rehabilitated’. Now THAT’S a civilized society, right there.

        • marcus says:

          So what do you do with those few who are so far beyond the pale they are never coming out? Would it not be kinder to execute them rather then banging them up for decades in an entirely pointless life?

      • Colin says:

        In future, I suggest that you make it clear for the readers whenever you are being ironic(al).

      • BigSir says:

        Throwing gays off of a building is a little different that capital punishment in the US

      • Genius Repairman says:

        I am not in favour of capital punishment either, but your argument about it being used by the Taliban is not the strongest point you could have used. Japan is a democracy and some of them like whaling. Does that make whaling a good thing?

        • Brettermeier says:

          “not the strongest point you could have used”

          Of course not. But how could we have otherwise witnessed self-described “civilized” and/or “educated” people compare the death penalty to their afternoon tea?

          You tell me.

          • Bone says:

            Presumably it was an ironic comment. Any intelligent person would hopeful know that the commenter(s) – including yourself – are being hyperbolic.

    • Bill says:

      Bring back gun control like they have in every other civilized country.

      • Tom Phillips says:

        Unfortunately the U.S. is NOT a civilized country so I only disagree with your use of the term “every other”.

        • Bone says:

          Where I live the US seems quite civilized. But it is not a lib stronghold; most households have guns; majority of population hasn’t been to jail; and most are content to let folks go about their business without inflicting opinions on them. It ain’t paradise, but we call it home.

          • Bill says:

            Actually, most households do not have guns, most guns are held by about 25% of the population and the vast majority of Americans want some sort of reasonable gun control; easily checked facts. But our bought and paid for congress and Supreme Court say otherwise.

      • Been there done that says:

        When was there ever gun control in the US?

    • Peter San Diego says:

      There’s no evidence that capital punishment is an effective deterrent. Compulsory background checks prior to gun purchase, on the other hand, might help.

    • Maria says:

      What a stupid thing to say as a solution – punish by killing another human being!

    • Genius Repairman says:

      I feel your anger. Such a disgusting thing to happen. If capital punishment reduced murder rates then I would see a case for it. Otherwise just lock him up for good.

  • Sue Sonata Form says:

    Absolutely ghastly!!

  • CRogers says:

    It’s just all too horrible for words…….

    • V.Lind says:

      And all too common in the US.

      • Bone says:

        Parts of the US, anyway. Definitely need to keep your head on a swivel if you travel to certain areas.

      • Tim says:

        A shithole country indeed, full of Bubbas and Karens who think that either policing language, or coalescing around a Mussolini-like figure, is the answer. The US has become a rich joke! a horrible, wealthy inequal rich joke full of guns!

        • Anon says:

          Tim, if that is true, why do so many poor people (and minorities) from other countries want to try so hard to come to the USA? They deeply desire to come to the USA to experience systemic racism and inequality?
          I think not.

          • Greg says:

            They come here because they know they will get taxpayer-subsidized freebies and won’t be held accountable by the rule of law. As long as they don’t land in a Dem stronghold like NYC or Chicago they may even avoid being beaten on the street or shot.

  • MWnyc says:

    To be clear, in case there’s any confusion, Potsdam, NY is a small college town (fewer than 20,000 people) waaaaaay up near the Canadian border, about 350 miles/560 kilometers from NYC.

  • Sharon says:

    I stand corrected. I wrongly assumed because this guy was charged with murder in the second degree that the murder may have been accidental. Apparently it was not