Red Flags Before A Killing Spree

Red Flags

Earlier today I briefly combed the web for background information on Jared Loughner, the alleged gunman who murdered six people and critically injured Rep. Gabrielle Giffords in Tucson. He shot 13 other people as well.

Here’s what I was looking for, because it is almost always there: definite warning signs that he was going to do something like this.

We forensic psychology students have dissected similar cases, and almost without exception, there is some rant posted on a social networking site, some odd reg flag behavior, or some letter that signals that the suspect is at their boiling point.

Many people are dissatisfied with the government. Many people own guns. Those are not red flags in and of themselves, and I am very pro-Second Amendment because of my own life being threatened with firearms.

I mean the illogical diatribes, the specific threats to harm individuals, the mentally irrational hatred that surges through the subject before they go on a killing spree. Sometimes they appear to be saying goodbye.

This article from The Australian is exactly what I expected to find. I’ll post the link and text below.

If you know of someone who is engaging in this type of behavior, please, contact the authorities. Don’t try to decide on your own if the person is actually capable of carrying out their threats or not. You alerting the police to someone’s creepy Facebook posts or veiled death threats could save lives.


Suspect posted rants on YouTube
From: The Australian January 10, 2011 12:00AM

The chief suspect in the shooting rampage was a community college student who posted rambling messages on YouTube from his parents’ home in a quiet, working-class area.
Last night authorities were unclear whether Jared Lee Loughner, 22, who was arrested at the scene, had a clear political agenda, or was merely a mentally unbalanced young man, perhaps spurred by what the sheriff called “the vitriol that comes out of certain mouths . . . about tearing down the government”.

Pima County Sheriff Clarence W. Dupnik said Loughner had “a troubled past” and was known to the police after a number of disruptions at his community college. He had remained mostly silent during a day of questioning.

The sheriff said authorities were “not convinced that he acted alone”. A white male in his 50s, who was seen at the scene of the crime, was a “person of interest” and was still being sought.

Authorities said Loughner had recently purchased the Glock semi-automatic pistol used in the shootings.

He had recently posted five messages in a slide presentation on YouTube. The topics included a proposal for a new world currency and references to the number of illiterate people in “District 8”, his congressional district and the one represented by Ms Giffords.

One message, apparently posted in the past fortnight, was labelled “My Final Thoughts: Jared Lee Loughner!” In the disjointed missive, he says he “can’t trust the current government because of the ratifications: the government is implying mind control and brainwash on the people by controlling grammar”.

He concludes with: “No! I won’t pay debt with a currency that’s not backed by gold and silver! No! I won’t trust in God!”

Loughner describes himself in the third person as “a US military recruit at MEPS (Military Entrance Processing Station) in Phoenix”. CNN reported that Loughner had applied for the military but had been rejected.

On his MySpace page, Loughner described his “favourite interest” as reading and said he had studied grammar and “conscience dreams”. Among the books he listed as his favourites were Animal Farm, The Wizard of Oz, Gulliver’s Travels, Mein Kampf and Plato’s Meno.

“Every time I saw him he was by himself,” said Bert Escovar, 71, a neighbour.

Lynda Sorenson, who had taught Loughner at the community college, told the Arizona Daily Star he was “obviously very disturbed. He disrupted class frequently with nonsensical outbursts,” she said.

High school classmate Grant Wiens, 22, said Loughner seemed to be “floating through life” and “doing his own thing”.

In October 2007, Loughner was cited in Pima County for possession of drug paraphernalia.


Update, 1/11/11: Worldnet Daily’s Drew Zahn posted this piece that lists further red flags in Jared Loughner’s behavior. His mug shot is all over the news now, and I find it extremely disturbing. When I saw it I wondered, “is there a human being left in there?” Zahn’s article sheds some more light on what led up to this mass murder.

It is also being reported that Loughner worked for Giffords’ campaign twice, and she may have even been aware of his YouTube channel.

Look behind the eyes of Jared Loughner
Investigations reveal shooter’s toxic mix of drugs, occult activity, radical politics
Posted: January 10, 2011
6:39 pm Eastern

By Drew Zahn
© 2011 WorldNetDaily

22-year-old Jared Lee Loughner is in police custody, accused of opening fire into a crowd in Tucson, Ariz., killing six and critically wounding Democratic U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords.

Thousands of news reports have described him as “troubled,” “disturbed” or a “loner.”

Loughner’s YouTube and MySpace accounts give clues to his thoughts, but mostly contain disjointed, rambling diatribes about illiteracy, the government, mind control and “conscience dreaming.”

But what else is known about the background of Loughner?

He lived with his parents – who have yet to speak to the media – the Associated Press reports, “in a middle-class neighborhood lined with desert landscaping and palm trees” about five minutes from the scene of the shooting. Neighbors reportedly described him as walking his dog, wearing a hooded sweatshirt, listening to heavy metal on his iPod and keeping to himself.

The more America learns about the accused assassin, however, the more disturbing the picture of this “disturbed” young man becomes.

Occult activity

An article by the AP describes Loughner as “an ardent atheist, he began to characterize people as sheep whose free will was being sapped by the government and the monotony of modern life.”

Loughner’s high school classmate, Grant Wiens, further told the London Telegraph, “Sometimes religion was brought up or drugs. He smoked pot, I don’t know how regularly. And he wasn’t too keen on religion, from what I could tell.”

Another friend told the AP that Loughner had fallen into a “nihilistic rut.”

Indeed, Lougher’s YouTube channel includes a video in which he posted the words, “No! I won’t trust in God!”

But when a New York Daily News photographer investigated Loughner’s back yard, he discovered something startling. Hidden within a camouflage enclosure was what the newspaper described as “a sinister shrine” with “a chilling occult dimension.”

Photos reveal a pot filled with blackened, shriveled oranges, topped with the replica of a glaringly white, human skull. The scene also includes a trio of ceremonial candles and potting soil, elements experts told the paper are featured in the ceremonies of a number of occult groups.

Drugs and alcohol

Further investigations have also revealed Loughner had a history of problems with mind-altering substances.

According to an AP report, “For a time, Loughner drank heavily, to the point of poisoning himself, [his high school friends] said. Once, during school lunch break as a junior, he downed so much tequila that he came back to class, within five minutes passed out cold, had to be rushed to the hospital and ‘almost died,’ one friend said.”

Arizona court records further show that in October 2007, Loughner was charged with possession of drug paraphernalia.

A military official in Washington – speaking to the AP on condition of anonymity – said that the Army had rejected Loughner’s attempt to enlist in 2008 because he had failed a drug test.

And Caitie Parker, one of the first to claim to know Loughner and a classmate of his at both Mountain View High School in Tucson and Pima Community College, mentioned in a series of tweets not only Loughner’s episode with alcohol poisoning in 2006, but also called him a “pot head.”

Those same “friends” who spoke to the AP also reported Loughner’s cannabis use, telling the news service that they smoked marijuana together every day, and when they weren’t going to concerts or watching movies they talked about the meaning of life and dabbled in conspiracy theories.

Political radicalism

Much has been made in the media of what may have politically motivated Loughner to open fire on a U.S. representative and the federal judge who was killed in the shooting.

Some have speculated that Loughner’s anti-government rants, published on his YouTube site, may identify the accused killer as a tea-party-type activist.

As WND reported, however, his classmate Caitie Parker wrote of Lougher, “As I knew him he was left wing, quite liberal and oddly obsessed with the 2012 prophecy.”

Loughner also listed on his YouTube channel among his favorite books Karl Marx’s “The Communist Manifesto” and Adolf Hitler’s “Mein Kampf,” casting further doubt on the notion that he was an angered tea-party type.

One of the high school friends who spoke to the AP reportedly paused when asked if he considered Loughner a Republican or Democrat.

“Is there a radical party? It went beyond that, it wasn’t left or right,” the friend said.

Indeed, Loughner’s almost incoherent political ramblings were evident on his YouTube channel, where he ranted against the B.C./A.D. dating system, the government “controlling” grammar, terrorism, “treasonous laws,” money not based on the gold or silver standard, and the phrase “In God We Trust” on currency. He also “favorited” a video of a flag burning.

“I don’t think his ideology is anything coherent,” said Trent Humphries, co-founder of the Tucson Tea Party. “I just think he was a very, very disturbed individual.”

Warning signs

Loughner’s unusual ideas and erratic behavior caught the attention of both fellow students and school officials.

“He made a lot of the people really uncomfortable, especially the girls in the class,” said Steven Cates, who attended an advanced poetry writing class with Loughner at Pima Community College last spring.

Another poetry student, Don Coorough, told the AP, “He appeared to be to me an emotional cripple or an emotional child. … He lacked compassion, he lacked understanding and he lacked an ability to connect.”

And yet another, Lynda Sorenson, wrote in an email about Loughner, quoted by the Washington Post, “We have a mentally unstable person in the class that scares the living crap out of me. He is one of those whose picture you see on the news, after he has come into class with an automatic weapon. Everyone interviewed would say, ‘Yeah, he was in my math class and he was really weird.’ I sit by the door with my purse handy. If you see it on the news one night, know that I got out fast.”

Pima Community College has since issued a statement about Loughner, explaining, “From February to September 2010, Loughner had five contacts with PCC police for classroom and library disruptions,” incidents which eventually led to Loughner leaving the school.

The college claims it told Loughner that if he wanted to return, he was required to “obtain a mental health clearance indicating, in the opinion of a mental health professional, his presence at the college does not present a danger to himself or others.”


©2011 H. Hiatt/ All articles/posts on this blog are copyrighted original material that may not be reproduced in part or whole in any electronic or printed medium without prior permission from H. Hiatt/

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