In the aftermath of one of the worst mass murders in Seattle’s history, there remains a gap between the Kyle Huff known to friends and family in Whitefish, where he grew up, and the Huff who shot six people to death at a post-rave house party in Seattle early last Saturday, before killing himself.
Despite every appearance that the crime had been planned, Seattle police say that even Huff’s twin brother, who lived with him in a Seattle apartment, was shocked by the murders. Given that his own twin didn’t know what Huff intended, it’s not surprising that Huff’s darker side was unknown to those who had contact with him in Whitefish, which he left for Seattle five years ago.
Whitefish High School principal Kent Paulson says when he first heard Huff’s name, he couldn’t recall a face to match it, even though Huff graduated from a class of just 180.
“I think that kind tells it all,” says Paulson.
Paulson was vice-principal in 1996, when Huff graduated, which put him in constant contact with students who had discipline problems.
“I can tell you that Kyle was not in my office,” he says.
The only trouble Huff apparently ever got into was in 2000, when he shot a life-sized statue of a moose, part of a public art exhibition in Whitefish. Huff was convicted of a misdemeanor and required to pay fines and serve 50 hours community service. The guns used to vandalize the statue were returned to him after the incident. They were the same guns police found at the Seattle crime scene.
Inquiries made by various media to his former Whitefish employer, teachers, his Seattle landlord and friends in both Whitefish and Seattle have turned up the same description of Huff: A quiet gentle, teddy-bear-like man.
Huff’s mother, Mary Kay Huff, who lives in Bigfork, has apparently granted just one interview, to Mike Potter, editor of the Whitefish Free Press. Huff reportedly said, “At this point I don’t know what to think…we didn’t see this coming.”