Dark Knight Shooter's Diary Finally Opened

Sane or insane? Both sides say diary helps case
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted May 27, 2015 4:30 AM CDT
Updated May 27, 2015 5:03 AM CDT
Trial Finally Opens Dark Knight Shooter's Diary
In this July 23, 2012, photo, James E. Holmes appears in Arapahoe County District Court in Centennial, Colo.   (AP Photo/Denver Post, RJ Sangosti, Pool, File)

Was James Holmes in the grip of madness when he massacred 12 moviegoers in 2012, or had he coldly planned the rampage for months? Both sides in the Dark Knight shooter's trial say the gunman's diary helps their case, and on Tuesday, prosecutors entered it into evidence and gave jurors copies. Holmes mailed the diary to his psychiatrist along with $400 in burned $20s just hours before the shooting, reports the New York Times. In its pages, Holmes planned the Aurora movie theater attack meticulously, even listing the pros and cons of attacking different theaters within the complex, taking factors like sightlines and numbers of exits into account; he estimated the police response time (3 minutes), the Denver Post reports. Victims should be chosen at random because of "the cruel twists of fate," he wrote.

But the diary also contains strange symbols and equations about infinity, as well as long entries on the morality of killing and on his struggle with mental illness, the Post reports. Holmes filled seven pages with "Why?" written over and over again, before answering: "The message is there is no message." "Most fools will misinterpret correlation for causation, naming relationship and work failures as causes," he wrote. "Both were expediting catalysts, not the reason." The president of the Colorado Criminal Defense Bar tells the Times that both sides in the trial will probably spend a long time dealing with the diary, which he describes as an unusual case of a defendant giving a jury a "journal of what is going on in his head in the months, weeks, and days before." (Read more James Holmes stories.)

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