WaPo reports on some "troubling incidents" in Romney's past, particularly a 1965 attack on a fellow student during Romney's senior year of high school at Cranbrook:
John Lauber, a soft-spoken new student one year behind Romney, was perpetually teased for his nonconformity and presumed homosexuality. Now he was walking around the all-boys school with bleached-blond hair that draped over one eye, and Romney wasn't having it.
"He can't look like that. That's wrong. Just look at him!" an incensed Romney told Matthew Friedemann, his close friend in the Stevens Hall dorm, according to Friedemann's recollection. Mitt, the teenage son of Michigan Gov. George Romney, kept complaining about Lauber's look, Friedemann recalled.
A few days later, Friedemann entered Stevens Hall off the school's collegiate quad to find Romney marching out of his own room ahead of a prep school posse shouting about their plan to cut Lauber's hair. Friedemann followed them to a nearby room where they came upon Lauber, tackled him and pinned him to the ground. As Lauber, his eyes filling with tears, screamed for help, Romney repeatedly clipped his hair with a pair of scissors.
The incident was recalled similarly by five students, who gave their accounts independently of one another.
One participant, who later apologized to the victim, called the incident "vicious...a senseless, stupid, idiotic thing to do" to Lauber, who was "terrified." Three decades later, Lauber responded to another classmate's apology for participating in the attack: "It was horrible. It's something I have thought about a lot since then."
Romney's campaign spokeswoman Andrea Saul claims that Romney "has no memory of participating in these incidents," which--like many of his claims--strains credibility.
ABC News has more details on the vicious--although brief--assault that Romney is shrugging off as one of a series of unremarkable "pranks" and "dumb things:"
One former classmate and old friend of Romney's - who refused to be identified by name - said there are "a lot of guys" who went to Cranbrook who have "really negative memories" of Romney's behavior in the dorms, behavior this classmate describes as "evil" and "like Lord of the Flies."
The classmate believes Romney is lying when he claims to not remember it.
"It makes these fellows [who have owned up to it] very remorseful. For [Romney] not to remember it? It doesn't ring true. How could the fellow with the scissors forget it?"