With fake bloody bullet holes in his head and Virginia Tech polo shirt, Nathan Jones knew his Halloween costume this year was controversial, and he doesn't intend to apologize -- "never ever ever."
"I will die before I do," he said.
Jones (senior-biochemistry and molecular biology) said he and Jessica Maroclo (senior-psychology), who is listed as a Virginia resident in the Penn State student directory, went to a Halloween party this year under the impression that only a "small group" of friends would see their get-ups.
His wardrobe's inspiration, Jones said, was a "continuation of distaste" stemming from other costumes he had seen, including portrayals of the West Nickel Mines' Amish schoolhouse shooting victims and students gunned down at Columbine High School in 1999.
"A lot of people do crazy insensitive things," he said. "I knew what I was doing was sad. I did it for that reason. It was never meant to get out."
However, Jones said photos leaked through the pair's Facebook.com profiles have garnered national media attention. Facebook groups have contributed to a "mob mentality," which has he and Maroclo scared to go to class this week, despite conversations with Judicial Affairs. They have also reported three individuals to the Virginia Tech police for threats, he added.
State College Police Department Sgt. John Wilson said any reported threats would be investigated by the police and forwarded to Penn State's Office of Judicial Affairs for a separate hearing.
"A huge majority of my time has been spent removing my information from Web sites -- doing damage control," Jones said. "I would not show my face on the Virginia Tech campus now. They might actually murder me. Apparently, violence is the answer."
The detailed death threats from Virginia Tech students have been "endless," including plans to run over Maroclo with a bus and "put her teeth on the sidewalk and kick her head," Jones said. Maroclo received more than 35 e-mails, and Jones saw close to 100 Facebook messages last week, he said.
Jones said Maroclo met with Judicial Affairs to discuss the written "personal attacks."
"People have been telling me 'I'm going to lynch you ... ' That's sad," Maroclo wrote in an e-mail, citing several derogatory remarks. Maroclo declined further comment.
Jones said the Halloween photos escaped the strongest privacy setting on their Facebook.com profiles when a Virginia Tech senior and "high school enemy" of Maroclo's repasted and cut Jones out of a picture in the former Facebook group "Jessica Maroclo is a f------ bitch."
"It was never about the costumes," he said. "It was about a high school vendetta between two girls, and one girl finally found a way to get back at the other. That's why I was cropped out of the picture."
He said Facebook administrators later took down a few of the pictures and "browned out" Maroclo's face in the widely circulated photo of her wearing an orange Virginia Tech T-shirt with a bullet hole to the chest.
The Daily Collegian chose not to republish the photographs because of their graphic nature.
Jones said people in Facebook groups began contacting news agencies "left and right," including WSLS, a television station in Roanoke, Virginia.
In a WSLS interview Thursday, Jones said, "We are notorious and infamous in State College and very popular, so we have to do things that push the envelope ... we do it just for shock value."
Jones said he was "misled" by his interviewer, Lindsey Henley, and that it was never clear the interview would enter public airwaves.
Henley, a 2007 Virginia Tech graduate, said she made it clear that the call would be aired.
"The first thing I said is that I'm recording this conversation," Henley said. "I don't know what part of that he didn't understand. I think that's a cop-out personally. The next day he e-mailed me and said he would have chosen his words more carefully."
The pictures, however, were not aired because the station deemed them too graphic and insensitive to a community still grieving, Henley said.
Though unapologetic for the costume itself, Jones said he has apologized personally to those who were "authentically offended" and "close to the tragedy." He added that people should acknowledge "this has been blown way out of proportion."
"Students live in an ivory tower," he said. "The real world is a lot worse than these people realize. They are whining and crying, but there is a lot worse going on right now in our world than what happened at Virginia Tech.
"It wasn't even the first mass killing at a school," he added.
Despite his lack of remorse toward his "bad costume choice," Jones -- who said he has donned costumes depicting a gay Hitler and a gay Ku Klux Klan member -- said he would "never wear a costume like that again."