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THE SPIRAL NOTEBOOK-Joyce and Stephen Singular

2017-01-04 | 🔗
On July 20, 2012, twelve people were killed and fifty-eight wounded at a mass shooting in a movie theater in Colorado. In 1999, thirteen kids at Columbine High School were murdered by their peers. In 2012, twenty children and seven adults were killed at Sandy Hook Elementary. Thirty-two were killed at Virginia Tech. Twelve killed at the Washington Navy Yard. In May 2014, after posting a YouTube video of ‘retribution” and lamenting a life of “loneliness, rejection, and unfulfilled desires,” a lone gunman killed six and wounded seven in Isla Vista. All of these acts of violence were committed by young men between the ages of eighteen and thirty.Mass violence committed by young people is now an epidemic. In the first fourteen school days of 2014, there were seven school shootings, compared to twenty-eight school shootings in all of 2013. New York Times-bestselling author Stephen Singular has often examined violence in America in his critically-acclaimed books. Here he has teamed with his wife Joyce for their most important work yet — one that investigates why America keeps producing twenty-something mass killers. Their reporting has produced the most comprehensive look at the Aurora shooting yet and draws upon the one group left out of the discussion of violence in America: the twenty-somethings themselves.While following the legal proceedings in the Aurora shooting, The Spiral Notebook is full of interviews with Generation Z, a group dogged by big pharma and anti-depressants and ADHD drugs, by a doomsday/apocalyptic mentality present since birth, and by an entertainment industry that has turned violence into parlor games. THE SPIRAL NOTEBOOK: The Aurora Theater Shooter and the Epidemic of Mass Violence by American Youth-Joyce and Stephen Singular.
This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
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You are now listening to true murder, the most shocking killers and true crime history and the authors that have written about Gacy, Bundy Dahmer, the night Stalker Dck every week, another fascinating author talking about the most shocking and infamous killer crime, history, room murder, with your host journalist and author Dan is a fancy good evening on July Twentieth, two thousand and twelve twelve p were killed in fifty eight wounded at a mass shooting in a movie theater in Colorado, in nineteen. Ninety nine thirteen kids at
online high school were murdered by their peers in twenty twelve the children and seven adults were killed at sandy hook. Elementary thirty two were key. LIVE Virginia Tech, twelve killed at the Washington Navy yard it made two thousand and fourteen after posting a youtube. Video of retribution and lamenting a life of loneliness rejection and unfilled desires. A lone gunman killed six in Woon did seven Anissa Levista. All of these acts of violence were committed by young men between the ages of eighteen and thirty. Mass violence committed by young people is now an epidemic in the first fourteen school days of forty
Two thousand and fourteen there were seven school shootings compared to twenty eight school shootings in all of twenty thirteen New York Times Bestselling author Steven Singular his often examined violence in American's critically. Acclaimed books here is teamed with his wife Joyce for their most important work, yet one that investigates why America keeps producing too. Need something mass killers. The reporting has produced the most comprehensive look at the Aurora Shootings yet and draws upon the one group that has been left out of discussions so far and that's the twenty somethings themselves. The spiral notebook follows:
legal proceedings in the Aurora shooting and it's full of interviews with generations, Z, a group Doggett by Big Pharma and anti depressants and aid, the h e h d drugs. My doomsday apocalyptic mentality present since birth, in by an entertainment into see that has turned violence into part of games the book they were featuring, the this evening is the spiral notebook, the Aurora, theater shooting and the epidemic of mass violence by american youth with my special guest, Joyce and Steven singular welcome to the program, and thank you very much for agreeing to this interview. Joyce and Steven singular. Thank you Dan for having us. Thank you very much Joyce and Steven for join
here today in the first program of twenty seventeen and again, we couldn't be discussing a more important case, an important cases as this phenomena that we are discussing this evening: mass shooting in America. Let's talk about again why this was important to you. It becomes very obvious for those of people read very first pages but tell us how it, how close to home this cases for the singular family. Well, we joyces a Denver native. I've lived here for more than three decades and in one thousand nine hundred and ninety nine, the Columbine massacre occured, which you alluded to a little bit earlier, our son, would have been five years old at that point and
we went out to Columbine when that happened and looked at that scene and all of the mourners, and it was very, very powerful, but it was about twenty miles or so here fifteen to twenty miles, probably which is quite close, and it sent shockwaves through the city but that happened in nineteen, ninety nine and then in twenty twelve when this happened in Aurora. This was in a theater that Joyce Ann Eric myself, somewhat less, but they had been in that theater many times watch many movies, and this is much closer lit. Really to our house- probably five, seven miles- something like that so it was literally closer and there had been a number of mass shootings between Columbine and this event so and
so the morning that that that that was being broadcast on the local news stations. I told Steve that we should probably drive over to the scene, to where they were during the examination for bombs at James Holmes, apartment, which is not very far from us. So we drove over there and then we talked to people is neighbors as they you know examining the apartment and then we went over to the theater site and we begin and with other journalists interviewing people that had been kept in a school that in the theater that night that had survived the shooting, but they bust 'em all over to a school, so they were up all night and then they let the survive. Others come out and we started in viewing people that had actually been in the theater that had witnessed what had gone on and that's when we decided to start
get into it more and we came home that day. After being at these scenes, we asked our son, who was home from his first semester of college. What did his friend think when these events happened, and we were rather surprised by what he said Steve. You want to continue yeah. He I mean the most format, saying that he said. Was you you don't understand, I grew up? I knew kids, who could have done something like this, Can we were the first sentence there? You don't know how. I grew up really took us aback because we've worked at home. Doing writing the whole time he was growing up. I mean. Not only did he have two parents, there were around all the time, but you know we were literally in the house all the time. How could we not know how he grew up so what he really meant by that was you don't really understand the social influences
and on me and on kids in my generation from from the time we were very, very young and so a lot of writing, you know, if you look at a mass killer use well, this is an aberrant, individual and less focus on the aberrations of that person. That applies in this case that we thought would happen. If you started to look at more of the aberrations of the society, why do we keep producing these same killers? over and over again the numbers you just alluded to an our son being that age, the age not very far from Holmes's age in the age of some of these other kids, have done this is really providing a doorway into that world. So that's where it all started. Yes, very interesting that you enlist your son to really add
the dimensions of understanding to this, because again things have changed and things do rapidly change. So let's talk about specifically the case that people have heard about, but, as you detail in great excuse dating detail about him parking, the Hyundai, Hatchback behind theater, nine and what he was wearing. If I could read it or you could list what exactly how he was equipped behind this movie theater and then talk about the police officers encounters him who at first believes that is a fellow officer responding to the the emergency calls to the theater itself. Yes, who is dressed and sort of two modes, I mean one was like someone dressed for combat. And the other was having so
of the year of a police officer. When the first officer on the scene arrived, I believe his name this, oh body when he arrived he glanced at home. She was leaning against his car right after the shootings and thought he was a fellow officer except the gas mask, didn't fit the standard issue, an he approached: homes and Anne told to hit to go on the ground and, and then he arrested him, but what was extremely striking to the officer was it homes offered nerve? assistance whatsoever he was totally relaxed. He did everything they ask him to do this officer arrested a number of people, for obviously over the his six years in law enforcement, and he couldn't when people are being arrested or being handled, they tend to stiffen up their muscles. Stiffen homes was experiencing this great sense of relief's and almost peace
and it it was a very unusual moment for the officer and for anyone else who showed up on that scene. So it the it's just that it goes to the sort of the notion that that he was in combat mode he'd watched movies like that, We watched a lot of video games of that nature and he was, really, he told some money buddy in the jail that night after his rest, that he felt that he was in a video YO game when he was actually doing the shooting. So it invokes all kinds of things that we would explore in the book about the video game, culture, violent entertainment, etc believe he was, he was had some music plane, Dini Steve in his ear. He had like some electronic music play ' real loud, real, harsh, music was played, Thing is here so that he could not. You know here the results of what he was doing. Is he stood in front of that audience? An open fire, so I mean he had completely
dehumanized himself in order to do this, which which of course is very interesting, 'cause. This was a you know, a very intelligent young man who was in the PA. The neuroscience program here at the University of Colorado, Anne he had you know so much potential and so much intelligence, and this is how it turned out. You put something this and pulling this and very, of course, very movie esque in that, when the police remove his gas mask e's, shock of orange hair and he says I'm the Joker and he is huge. These huge super huge pupils right. He had identified from what we understand with the character of the Joker, in that in that the first Batman movie in that particular series. I guess so he had one watch the movies obsessively leading up to the crime. He had actually called someone who made
jet trailer that sort of took off from that movie and he had just obviously thought of, about one of the details that many people don't know about was that he there's a scene in that movie where the Joker burns stacks and stacks of money to kind of make the point that society is, you know overly interested or obsessed with money, and then it doesn't really have that much value homes, mailed his own spiral notebook, he kept a spiral notebook which in itself is fascinating because it contained his thoughts and feelings leading up to the crime, and then he sent it to his psychiatrist at one the afternoon of the crime, but he put put these burnt twenty dollars bills in the end of spiral. Note so they would fall out when it was eventually open, making the connection with the Joker.
And sort of making a statement about the society that he felt he was living in well, getting back to the chaos and the mayhem at the movie complex, you write that there's two hundred and twenty three police officers from Denver in Aurora descending on this complex and at the same time, the arrest homes and ask him questions about explosives, and, if he's has any partners tell us about this or the unnerving scene, where one of the officers asked he has a partner. Yes, I mean he is asked. If he's the only one present, then he says no and then One of the officers says you have explosives, and this is what Joyce had referred to earlier and he says you Yes, I have explosive wired to detonate in my apartment,
and they said what what are they He said I ieds. These are improvised explosive devices, mostly found in Iraq and other places that America's been at war since two thousand and one so I mean one. Of the themes that we're sort of exploring in the whole book is that a lot of this violence is not occuring at a time of usefulness in american history, but a time when the United States been at war essentially for the last fifteen years. So there are some connections that are made there, but he I I think Joyce could talk about the impact of this on community she was in the courtroom, may be a little bit more than I was, but you think you know a guy opens fire literally. I think for twenty seven seconds. Thirty seconds, I believe, was the likely
amount of time that he was actually shooting. That brings two hundred and twenty three officers to the scene and then it it just the fact that this created on the community over the next three or four years was just incredible, but yeah the impact not only on the you know the victims, the survivors, the FE, families, but also on the first responders to the same. The people at the House, It also had to treat them. I mean it. The ripple effect is huge in a community when this type of event occurs, it did the damage that it that it inflicts is it's hard to put into words. Well, there were seventy people besides the twelve that were killed, there were ultimately the number was. Seventy who were injured. Number of those people came into the courtroom and testified in wheelchairs or income
Passat ated in some ways, and it was it was just. It was devastating to sit through an watch it, but but we felt that was something we needed to do to write the book. You talk about the the damage. So you cite this incredibly personal. Story of a woman named this officer going against protocol in transporting victims to the hospital, because he figures, it's just prudent to do that expedient, and so he in the backseat of you were you right. There's a a woman named, a pregnant woman named Ashley, Moser and she's bleeding heavily from shots to her head and chest, and her husband, Ian Sullivan and the police officers determined to get these people to the hospital despite them wanting to go back to look for their six year old daughter. This is an incredible example. All of the damage that you talked about. Can you tell us a little bit more about this again tragic story of just three
right? His wife is pregnant and bleeding profusely and e, and her husband is, Next to the police officer, who's driving and he says, you've got to go back and get my six year call daughter? I have to know she's, ok, an off sources. I can't do that. We have to get to the hospital and the guy says you have to do it and then he says no in an e and grabs the door handle and starts to jump out of this fast moving patrol car, Yasser grabs and hold them back in and says you know you, you can't do that. We have to try and save her life. Ultimately, what at and was that the six year old girl was killed and the woman miscarried so I mean again the you feel we felt compelled to sort of try and explore this tragedy.
And these other tragedies not because we think we have all the answers or anything but but just the field. What this does to a community. Is an overwhelming thing, and so our book is really an exploration of kind of trying to examine the whole social forces that cause these things and boil it down into the homes case. So. It's interesting to you write that one of the victims name Caleb. They rush to the University of Colorado Hospital where you say again: ironically, homes had been in graduate school just a few weeks earlier, Right what they had to use a variety of hospitals around Aurora and Denver, because so many victims and Yes, homes had been a student. There he'd actually been a very good student during the first semester,
obvious first year of graduate school, and then things began to deteriorate, but again there's so much irony and tragedy around the whole thing he was in a phd program. He was one of six students who was selected for from across the entire United States and He was around some very intelligent people. We interviewed his professors, one or two in particular, an We observed him fairly closely and they just didn't see what was unfolding, but beneath his surface they did say also that you know some of the people are quite nerdy in these types of programs and they might be a little eccentric, so they just attributed his behavior too being a little bit more of alone, search, standoffish, but extremely intelligent, and very good at what he did, but then we started noticing that his behavior was a social, awkward, especially in his presentations. He didn't he had
real hard time speaking in front of the group not not in the content, but just to make the distro jewel jokes. He would make an the inappropriate jokes and the lack of eye contact and then that's when they started kind of notice in in in in retrospect that his behavior was a little different and he is deteriorating in the second semester. That's probably one of the more interesting aspects of the whole story is that he he knew he needed help. He knew that he had problems, he was going to enter an experimental study on an get a functional mri that fall. That, I believe, would have looked at his brain, but at the last second, you know he decided to pull out then in the late winter of twenty twelve, he he sought out a therapist and begin to go to her and he he he was seeking help.
I mean that's one of the really poignant parts of this story and he was see king meaning and when you read his spiral, notebook which actually came out during- the trial. That's what you see so choice. How do you tell him about the therapist in part of it? Well, he started going to the therapist on the university campus and she began prescribing antidepressants, and I believe Zoloft was the main one and then she you know, then she prescribed more Zoloft and then she prescribed Even- more zoloft where she tripled his original dosage and he was on and then he was also taking other drugs to opioids and benzos benzos panzoid.
And also drinking and self medicating with other types of medications street drugs. So he just then getting more and more frustrated with his sessions. With this doctor Lynn Fenton at the university hospital. Eventually she pulled in one of her her superiors and they it was surprising to us that between the two of them they didn't recognize the signs that he was and because of that point he had actually said that he wanted to kill people a lot of people. Yes, that's true and and then she did make some call, contact with his mother, Arlene in California, in San Diego, but she didn't tell the other that he had actually stated that he wanted to kill people a lot of people because in court
his mother said. If I would have known that, I would have crawled on my hands and knees back to Colorado, so that was pretty shocking to us. He was I mean he was unlike some of these shooters. He was quite aware that he was troubled sump people. He went into neuroscience to study his own brain and figure out what was functioning in it there's a section in the book where it lives. Out of the most prominent mass shooters over the past decade or so, and the one thing they have in common is Well, having been on some of these on some of these same meds and I mean he was trying to make a connection with the therapist an explorer his own reality war and she just really didn't see. We have time for that
and gave him. You know the medications an it it did not. It did not help at all. Was there any legal option that she was available, one they did hear the talk of homicidal violence yeah, they did in Colorado the laws that, once you therapist makes that determination of danger to the self or this a public. You and hold them for a mandatory tory. Seventy two hours Ann. You know it retrospect. Obviously hindsight is two thousand and twenty, but we talk to a number of people who said that option should have been exercised. He was clearly disintegrating and then in early June he he did poorly on a test. And, and then four days later, he told the therapist that he wanted, that he was going to quit school
and so that sort of the dividing line in the whole narrative because- could she continue to have sessions with him or not after that, an after he. Made that announcement. She she couldn't do that, so he was on his own really for the first time, not in school, not connected to the therapist now studying, didn't, have a job and it just descended over the next five or six weeks and led to the crime. Also, importantly, that he had broken up with his girlfriend. He wasn't the type that it had many girlfriends and when did he did have when he was in school, had recently broken up with him. We have found It was some of these other mass shooters. There also seems to be some sort of masculinity and crisis type of factor going on as well rejection by women inability to have a functioning relationship with with
yep yeah, very true, but again, the the sort of point you can see in the story is that he who is trying to help himself, and he just couldn't find something there to you know that would Sistan, if it, if someone had or if something had it might have not happened this way. Wasn't he also interested in the study of schizophrenia? Yes, he he was he was interested in schizophrenia. He had, I believe, taken some class. Is in that again I I said he was again thinking about entering that. That study in the fall of two thousand and eleven, which would have
think examine some of those areas and he kept, I think when he went to the therapist. That's that's what he was looking for. He was looking for some real feedback at an emotional intellectual, spiritual level that would sort of connect, get him to himself and other people around him. I mean at the time the crime happened. It was so impersonal that it was just. It was absolutely shocking again. He confessed to somebody in the jail he just felt like he was in a video game and in that build up to the car in the last five weeks, or so he was watching one video game about eight hours a day he was drinking and he was just slow. Being further and further into this fantasy realm. Let's talk about what will go back to that, but let's go back to just jump to the he's arrested. You've got
a person that ends up being the guy that handles this case. A guy named Appel and there's another guy named MEL at two officers are about the question homes. Now they put as you right, they put paper bags on his hands to preserve the gunpowder residue for testing, and what does he do, which they've never seen before with these paper bags, and then they start asking some questions so this scene is very telling. I would think, tell us where you started right around like they they hand the bags on his hands are like little finger puppets and if we, if she cries especially when you sit through all the expert psychological testimony for both sides of the fence in the process. If it was an act or if He really was what you call a
I break a disassociative or a break from reality. Exactly So I'll do the trial. It was really hard to determine whether or not that way, calculated or whether that was the really happening, and I think even the experts couldn't really agree. Yeah the police officers had never seen anything like it. I mean they. Vitamin again. There was no resistance whatsoever of any kind up till that point and he started playing with these hand, puppets and then right after they began questioning him How about that? You know they. You have to read people their Miranda rights and say: do you want an attorney present and he he cut off the interview and said I want to exercise my sixth amendment rights and not that's not something a lot of people. You know who just been arrest say so sure that he is very intelligent. He was aware of certain things he just
Seem to have no emotional connection whatsoever to what he did, but his mind was still quite functional. Now this book incredibly goes back and forth between real examples. Past examples keeps you up with current events and then goes back to this delayed case. That's takes well over two years to get to one through the courts, with all the delays and as you right it's a historic case based on this, the insanity plea and based on confidentially of lawyer coffin in reality- and this makes you adjusted patient doctor apartment reality actually confidentiality between his psychiatrist an himself yeah. What responsibility did she play in that that that was part of the thing in the trial part of the issues? You also right here because again keep
up with current events. You say by the end of the year as as this case is, is delayed by the into the year. You have Adam Lanza and the sandy hook, elementary school shooting, and then you go from there and when you talk, statistics about eleven thousand a year gun homicides, thirty times the murder rate of France or Australia and about twelve times most countries tell us what you include in this book in terms of examples and what are some of the most profound statistics that you found other than the ones I decided. Well. I I think I have. I have a little statistical material here I mean you ill under the some of it, but I near the end of the book so we wrote to the
surrounding the phenomenon of mass shootings may be hard to absorb, but they're worth repeating in the 1960s. There was one Prominent school shooting the 1980s saw twenty seven of them. The 1990s had fifty eight and from two thousand two thousand and twelve. There were one hundred and two an increase of more than ten thousand, percent over fifty years. So clearly you know it's something that that had grown and than Sentence- and that is actually the the shooters were usually between about fifteen and twenty, so many of them were quite young, so to go back really to where we started with our son. I mean he said. You know. You need to look at several things in the culture that very prominent that they weren't around. As nearly you know, when you were growing up, you really don't understand my experience in the experience of young young people, my age,
any pointed at. He pointed it: video the video game, culture internet that he pointed at the internet and you know the things that young people can see on there. He pointed at at pharmaceutical drugs, which was really interesting, because if you go back a couple of minutes to what I was saying earlier. If you look at the home situation, it involves again a huge increase. In playing video games leading up to this Adam obsession with Flint Entertainment, which is something else already talked about it absolute, involves the use of those pharmaceuticals as opposed to you know getting some real therapy or real help. I also said you was telling us about the usage of drugs that treat, I think it's adderall.
Right for ADHD that you know, college students are trading amongst themselves to study for tests. So you know this. This is a all different world that the millennials are involved in then we's Baby boomers were yeah- and I mean again, he went in comparing himself to us. You know yeah, we grew up in the sixties, I mean we were attached to a number of social and political causes. Things that we really believed in things that were larger than ourselves, things that were occuring within a moral context and when he talked about their generation, I mean that just wasn't there. It just wasn't present in the same way, and it was just. It was very striking us to sort of make these comparisons and is sort of big below what he was really saying. And if you look at harms a spiral, notebook the one that he wrote and sent to a psychiatrist, it's all about trying
to find some meaning beyond himself, some some value in other people and in himself. So these things really did square up that our son told us about from the very beginning. Now you we didn't touch on gun culture itself, but the of course it's a big part of the story as well, and you talk about the the set. It's Pat said that this package that was tracked- and you also we will go back to he said that was explosives in his apartment. It was too dangerous to go there. They sent a robot in to to take a look, but ultimately they have to go back to homes. What happens with homes when they ask. When will these explosives, and is he any different than when he is a first arrested? And what is the result of this? Our interview with him about the x,
this is, and defusing of them potentially well. He seemed to be in some kind of a manic phase and he also apple night yeah. It been up all night why his pupils were so dilated. We never quite well. I thought that he had put it. Let me answer that, because in court I saw you know the photos of him as he was preparing to go to the shooting he was putting these black contacts in his eyes right and putting these very change. You know, put in his hair really weird and making himself look. Almost you know, devil, ish and taking selfies of himself like that. So I think he probably still had those black contacts in yes, so he he may have been rather manic. You know when he was first arrested, doing those things with his hands. The next afternoon I mean the bomb squad went to his apartment
and it was they felt it was too dangerous to do what what homes had planned on to happen was that he had music, very loud, raucous, mu except to go off at one hundred am the morning of the crime in his apartment is apartment, and then he thought. In the whole apartment was wired so that if the front door was pushed open, the whole thing with and they would not just blow up his apartment but the whole building he had napalm in there. He had numerous explosive device, This is an the music went off and away came upstairs and looked in the door, but for some reason she did not push it or catch it, so it never yeah the it that did not happen and when he spoke with the authorities that afternoon after his rest, he was much calmer and he was quite lucid and he told them how to defuse the bombs at all, so number that you know how
how do use plan got according to what he had originally wanted. That would have create the diversion so that allow law enforcement would have been drawn to that apartment scene is gonna, hadn't jammed that Ar Fi teen or whatever weapon. He had at the time that he was fired had jammed. He would have killed a lot more People and Woon did a lot more than he did yeah I mean This was a huge, huge distracted plan, the level of building with I I don't know Joyce what fifteen or twenty probably units apartments in it. Yes and then shoot more peep.
She said, I mean he was on a a path of mass destruction. No, when we talk about James Holmes, what happens with his rights as as being he knows, his sixth amendment rights, but to be able to question him about this explosives and, and the fuse meant tell us how they get around this and and and an obvious argument from the defense lawyer. Well, the the they felt the if the police filled, the investigators felt that he of that public safety issues overrode his Miranda rights of having an attorney present, as we said about three hundred, am that morning about two one: slash two hours,
after the event he asked for a lawyer to be present. He didn't get a lawyer at that time, so they put him in a cell and they brought him out and what the police essentially did was confused the public defender's office over the course of that day about where he was actually being held, so those lawyers couldn't show up to help him so that they could sit down with him and get this information out of him as quickly as possible about his apartment. They thought the entire thing was going to blow, and that was more important than that he should have a lawyer present. So defense lawyers, you know, jumped on that later on and said. Well, then, all the information he gave you can't be used against him. That was fought out. Core. But ultimately, of course, he did confess that doing all of this and then
who played insanity as a defense right now you talk about this, a bulkammo dot com. So, a few days before this cry, he simply went online. Tell us how easy it was to get what kind of ammunition he did! I said this or in other situations, but I've had Somebody charge a little something to my credit card or some little clip glitch in the credit card. Situa, and, and you get a call from visa or master or whomever, and they said somebody put a fifteen dollars charge on your credit card. Here was a guy ordering mass amounts of ammunition, six thousand rows, that one kind of ammunition all kinds of tactical gear guns, etc. Whole arsenal really to plan this current and it's
no ripples anywhere within you know the law enforcement system, so it raises a lot of questions about access to weapons like AR fifteens. That are, purely military weapons access to the how much ammunition spending all of that money and no red flags came up, so that you know it. It has produced some chain is in the laws in Colorado that make it somewhat harder to get guns so that that's been a positive result. Now tell me Joyce about the this touching scene or or shocking scene, where the media calls tracks down. Arlene. Homes, an and she's a nurse living near San, Diego
and how did she find out about this information? Tell us this exchange where she finds out that her son has been accused of well, I I believe somebody called her and told her what had happened and she said well. Yes, that sounds like my son, but they you know I think they were confused and people thought it to mean oh yeah. That sounds like him, because that's the kind of stuff that he does but that in court later she's. She clarified that she was just They called in the middle of the night and she was very confused as to what was going on for many I could tell from their familial relationship. It was look like they were very communicative family. The father was sort of like the same personality of James Holmes, kind of I mean not to say that they weren't loving, but not real, demonstrative sort of to themselves and.
Which is you know the very keen to court every day and they, and you could tell it was it- was heart wrenching. It was hard on the sisters. Well, James holds a younger sister and it tore the family apart, just just as much as it did the families. You know that experienced loss right and it it. It sounds simplest. But what's missing from the whole story? Is that some sort of human touch? You know that's what he was looking for when he went to the therapist's he's building up to commit the crime Buying all the ammunition, the guns making the plans, you know he sending it parents these emails. This is what I made for dinner. You know this is what I bought at the store, there's no there's just no connectedness there and his parents seem like very decent people, I'm
I'm watching them in court. His joy said the mother testified. They had no clue who their son was none whatsoever. An by the time they got a glimpse. It was far too late. He did get some help. Some you know help with therapist says he was growing up. So he was, he had some emotional problems. I don't think they had any idea to what extent right right, yeah what you talk about, but will you we we touched on pharmaceutical drug and I and I think, the gross over prescription and over reliance in over trusting of these pharmaceutical drugs to solve all kinds of problems and the
our labeling. I think of people with all kinds of problems that seem a new, but also you examine the phenomena of video games and the rise in popularity. And the tendency towards more and more violence tell us about what your son had found in what you spoke with. Other people tell us about this very important and interesting part of the story. Well, yeah again, I don't think either join, your eyes ever played a video game. So this is one of the key things that Eric meant when he said that and You know we watched some of these things. After this happened. I mean the violence of an hour sort of mirrored the wars that America was fighting. I mean from the alarm two
desert storm. You know right right into the present with Iraq and all that and they just kept incorporating all of these things into the games, and then they incorporated the torture. They came out from the reports in Iraq, Abu Ghraib, and other places that occured after the the turn of the new millennium- and you know we just had no idea what kids are really. Why watching what they really interact, even the movies. You know he was telling us about you know he had us watch the matrix and fight club and movies that I don't know. After a point, it just seems, like you, just get desensitized to do a bit too this just instant violence right and we talked to a number professionals about. You know the effects of all that I mean it it and they would tell you that in preparing soldier
Witcher combat one man, one particular the VA, and he talked about all the studies where You know to try and get people to go into combat and Actually shoot people use a lot of video techniques, the sort of soften them up to be able to do that or harden them up. And you know this was the same sort of phenomenon. An you just you know we just did not really understand. The way our son grew up, just as he told us, he also told us about you know what it was like to be brought up with y2k, nine hundred and eleven. You know, It's true. It was just like one apocalyptic type of thing over and over again and reflected in their movies. You know post apocalyptic when he went,
to see you the first year that he was up there. He was riding his bike entered underpass and there's just a big sign, saying something like that: it's all going to end just go ahead and kill yourself now right, dystopian, yeah, the whole thing and again to just you know, to compare it more to our growing up which had its share of turmoil. But you know a civil rights movement, which was a very good thing. War protests, which was a good thing. You know making a more inclusive society and all kinds of ways. These were all large social things that touch most people, our age and and- and I think you know, helped us as human beings- and there is this- is this sense of emptiness or disconnected Mister Dairy talked about, and you know most kids adjust to it one way or another, but homes was just the classic example. He just didn't connect with anything and ascended so far,
news world, he didn't even know that he was shooting people. Now you talk about the issues that delay a trial would normally not have taken as long as this at all and also incredible amount of secrecy involved in this trial, which was unprecedented so tell us the nature and the reason for the secrecy and also the reasons for the numerous delays? What were the issues. Well. They they had to the defense. As I recall way, It almost a year. Here too, enter a plea the american legal system is, you know, string things out like nothing else, so the defense stalled installed installed and after eight months or so entered a plea at which was
Finally, not you know not guilty by reason of insanity so that took the best part of the year. Then one of the first judge quit the new judge came in and he had to appoint someone to study homes from psychiatric POV, determine if he was saying or insane at the time of the crime, which is a very difficult and sort of abstract thing to do so? He was sent to the state Hospital in Pueblo. For for that exam, nation right and he and that took an extraordinarily long time, basically about a couple more years, so the Prime accrued in July of two thousand and twelve. I think the psychiatric report was done. In the fall of twenty fourteen is more than two years and the child began or jury selection began in January of twenty fifteen, and you know it's a dubious,
enterprise. I I'm sort of, in my view, to interview somebody two one slash two years after they did something trying to determine their state of mind when they actually did it so that the psychiatric part It- was not very satisfying in many ways in terms of this case, so that was one of the frustrating parts of it. It's ok three years to adjudicate the thing and you still didn't really get a psychologically penetrating view of homes, the most rewarding part of it. Was he wrote himself you know and his experience leading up to the crime tell
so explain to our audience what was in the the the the issue between the notebook again, the confidentiality between patient and doctor, and we we we talked about it in that she felt that the sessions were ended. But this becomes a very big, very big part in delaying this trial and affecting this trial is. This is the status of that now notebook and the status of that psychiatrist in relation to homes and that no for. Right so he left her sessions on on June. 11th of twenty twelve. That was his last session with her. He had told Where is Joyce said that he wanted to kill a lot of people, they didn't really
intervene and then he left on the afternoon of July 20th, two thousand and twelve, which is five or six weeks later. He is preparing to go to the theater, an commit the crime he he puts in the mail his spiral, notebook which essential the talks about killing people and all of those things. So the question was it. It arrives at her office three days later, I think, on July 23rd. So the question was: is that Conf potential material between a psychiatrist in a patient or has that relationship been severed because he stopped going to see on June eleven you can only imagine what lawyers could do with that kind of argument. I mean the defense said: yes, it's protect
you can open it. Nobody has access to it. The prosecution says, of course we have access to. It is material evidence in this crime sorry, it took a very, very long time for them to sort all of that out and the note book was not open to the public, and so the trial actually began, which was in April of twenty fifteen. So right, you're, you're right is about three years before that note would get some self. I mean it's it's that that one of the discouraging just parts of this and what we were kind of trying to examine was the, sort of emotional psychological underpinnings of it. An our legal system can delay that pro this pretty very long time so I mean there's. I feel I think we feel there's a sort of overriding need to
understand why a young man there doing this. Apart from all the legal arguments, there's no question about who did this and what happened and all that we were trying to get more the. Why of it? What you talk about the media and it's always take on this and how they speculate and also how they just present this case to the public. But there were you: do you speak about a particular freelance journalist? It puts a few things together, like Robert Holmes is James Holmes, Father's occupation and some of the things that James was hoping
to do and working in in terms of areas of science and puts together a another narrative. That's far more again story book, but very, very interesting. Tell us about this scenario. He puts forward in the media about the reason for maybe even the shooting but at least this connection to science in the father in the military. Well very early on, I mean there, there was all kinds of speculation on the media in the media that you know somehow. This was connected to very secretive research being done in the Neuroscience Department at the University of Colorado. It was connected to That was one of the ones that they were saying. It was connected to there's all kinds of conspiracy theories, because there was so much time that elapsed beat being the crime and the actual trial that all kinds of strange
he started popping up on the internet, it. It seems to me- and I think it seems in our book that the truth is is simpler in now, this guy could not make the human connection that made his life worth living or other people's lives worthwhile, and that the the more basic point, but you know that joy tell him about the woman Keira Jones. You know 'cause. That story really does illuminate a lot about the spiral notebook. Well, we We interviewed a woman that had been living in Barcelona when the crime occured and she was on her way back to the states and buddy said you know. Why do you even want to move back to the states and she told some of the difference between say the European Culture and american culture for exam?
well. If someone was sitting in a sidewalk cafe and everybody is in this alone at night, there sitting in there talking in their eat, drinking and eating and having fun, and someone was sitting at a computer by themselves. That would be that would raise concerns two people over there. They would think that that was unusual over here, not so much because there's more of a sense of community She said and also takes a year to get a gun in Spain, and then she would say why and why would you even want a gun in the first place, so we notice the little difference between the european mindset and the american mindset as far as guns as far as social, so rising and sense of community and watching out for other people that might raise red flags in their behavior isolated behavior! Is that what you meant Steve, yeah yeah? I mean that it it's it's. It's not a vast conspiracy about the Department of defense.
There's some pattern: Implant in James Holmes, brain or something like that. It's this sort of isolated an isolation and inability to connect with other people. When we get to the end of the book, we devote a couple of chapters to this concept of mindfulness, which is basically about teaching kids search things about how to control themselves more, how to interact with other people, how to get their emotions under control and all of those things, because, as we've seen, and in all of these shooters, who are again around each say. Eighteen to thirty by the time there there and by the time those wires are not hooked up it's too late. You know there are two detached from their own humanity and other people to be stopped. So that we were not trying to exploit the violin,
send what we were writing about, but understand it and even offer some potential you know, solutions to some of these things, because you've got a help. Kids, when they're young you know to to make those connections, you write in the book that there is all kinds of media joined forces to be able to, and in this day delay to try to protest and petition. Judge, say more to allow the media to know the contents of what was happening in the hearing, but also, as you say, the they were very interesting. The contents of that spiral, notebook so tell us about the trial, an what is learned about the contents of the notebook. Well, I I think the main thing that comes out
if it is, is what you could almost call a spiritual, sir, for meaning of a young man. Who's got great intelligence. Really would have a great future in neuroscience, but he's looking for some some else, some emotional or spiritual underpinning to life, that science doesn't give him that when he turns to the world of psychiatry it doesn't give him that, when he tries to have a relationship with the young woman he's it's not working out, and these are the things that culminate in
in the crime, I mean, if we're going, to focus this much attention on an event like this or person. It seems that we, the public, have the right to know what you know. What he's thinking? What he's feeling and what we can learn from that? What we might be able to teach kids out of something like that or help people, and that was the whole frustrating part watching this unfold. Legally lawyers arguing doesn't get us anywhere. It's just one more level of conflict and we were trying in this book to get past that when you see past, that you also wanted to again. It's always an elusive search for. Meaning for reasons for why this can happen, but you include a lot of American's other contemporaries.
That's something that even I didn't realize I mean I went to high school. I don't think we didn't my friends that went through high school. We don't talk about the bullying that we had in high school, so I think bullying itself and it is changed and that effect seems to be evident with most of these shooters as well. Avengeance ensues from the bullying that they encounter in high school and so a new type of pressure that seems foreign to to the baby boomers. Well, that's very true because now, when you think about it, you can bully someone on so social media much more effectively than you could back when were in high school and you're. Probably younger than us stand that's true much far reaching effects and he looked at the Columbine killers, I mean they were bullied and they they, you know they took out their revenge
in the best way possible, but in their minds, so it works. Let us watch just he said just watch when the school year start That's when you'll start seeing more of these shooters shootings occur because that's where it's that's, where it's starting to take place, the bowling in the schools. You are always said that something needs to be changed in the schools themselves, when the children are young, with bowling with conflict resolution right and that's why we put the mindfulness in there, because that's when kids need to be shown alternative ways of thing. In alternative ways of resolving conflict. You know it when, when the shooting comes, I mean you're just seeing that that you know tip of that proverbial iceberg. There has been a lot of pain in the build up to that and you know that's what we need to explore.
You also explore again in you single out a couple games for. For good reason in the examples that you provide is grand theft auto in call of duty, and then you say cite examples that are quite telling. I think when you can fly the same jet is the nine slash eleven into a building and sort of cording. All these destructive will not sort of courting and destructive impulses reinforcing the most violent racist, Anti Bunzl am slurs extreme Hume All of these things reinforced, and you posed the question it. You know engineers and other people like homes and other people do this to unwind.
And may not go on obviously going to do anything like this, but how does this affect the mentally ill or mentally ill young man in America? Today. Well, I just think it tilts everything, In a very dangerous direction, you know, if that's your you know again, I mean if we want to make the comparison we We when we were young people, we thought that you know bombing Vietnam and killing a lot of people probably was in accomplishing anything, you know good and in history, turned out to support that it was an video game to people our age. It wasn't a form of entertainment where you would show people be. Napalmed and then you would play a game around that and do high fives and drink beer. I mean it's, it's a detach
level from what violence actually is. If you're reinforcing that constantly, it's a very fashionable thing to do, and then you throw in mental instability and it's a real problem. So you know people want their enertainment. We understand that, but but you really have to stop and question it. And yes, you site other countries like Germany, that would edit video games or limit video games, whereas seems like America has no limit, and you talk about eight hundred million dollars worth of product for grand theft, auto in three days up to a billion dollars within a short period of time and titles like body count and hatred and genocide, crusade and but explain why
you mean, by this change from deductive learning to procedural learning. Well, I mean to go back to what you said. You know Germany learned enough about violence where they could actually reinforce in their culture that there certain things They're not going to be allowed You know we haven't reached that point. I mean we're debating whether anybody. Go buy an Ar15 and fire off one hundred rounds in a minute. You know a lot of countries I I believe, you're canadian, but I I think a lot of other countries would have crossed that threshold much more easily. This is about american culture. We. We're writing about the culture, not just the individual and that's the whole point of the book You know we have a responsibility as a culture to decide what we're going to allow, what we're not going to allow an unfair
Fortunately you know we're still not it point of understanding that the this stuff are devastating on a community. I mean that's what Joyce Experi you know when she was in the courtroom and when I was there and that's the whole point of writing the book. These are not we're all involved in this in some way in terms of the gun control in terms of the mental health issues in terms of the drugs. These are not things, that are out there there right here, and that was the point of saying you know it's one thing to read there's a mass shooting in Florida, but when it occurs five miles from your house in a place that you've been in with your kid on a repeated basis that can touch you that can kill you. And what is our responsibility vis, a vis all of those things as a society? That's the conversation we were trying to start by taking on the book
and listen to the things our son says what was in That somehow or other the contents of the spiral notebook again, all the secrecy in this case were leaked to a fox reporter named Jana winner. Why do you think that happened in what was the effect on this trial that leakage? Well, it's a good question. I think it was leaked from someone in the in law enforcement. Look. Yeah hold on yeah. It was leaked by somebody in law info
to a reporter, and that became another. You know major issue in in a legal issue and delaying everything, but ultimately it didn't affect that much of the trial. Now with this with this trial in the end with all, the delays and with all the issues and the call for another assessment again, the defense had a vigorous defense for James Holmes, trying to save his life. Indeed,
and what did everyone learn from this trial? You talk about that. Do you have the argument that art somebody puts forward anyway in the book? Could you support is that you know people will first for for a revenge in this, but maybe it would be be a really good idea to put this person in the hospital, especially because he's intelligent specially because he wasn't born to kill it, wasn't killing that There can be something very valuable to learn from studying this man rather than the death penalty. Now, did anybody see that in this trial and what was the outcome and what did we learn in America from this trial that goes along and it acted such a tool, we,
for for our state. Anyway, we were to go after the death penalty. I thought was, I don't know and a lot of people thought was a huge mistake. It was cost millions and millions of doll. It put people through so much trauma that had to go through this trial. The ultimately was not that they didn't give him the death penalty. He should be studied what do you think see? Yes, I I think that the ultimate lesson was, if you see somebody who really is troubled or if somebody is talking about violence, you need to take it seriously I mean he mentioned this to friends. He mentioned this to his girlfriend. He mentioned this to the psychiatrist, I mean it. It shocked, me that you could go into a psychiatrist at university hospital and repeatedly say you wanted to kill a lot of people ah
after all of the school shootings that we had in the United States we've already, given you the numbers and that wouldn't. Set off a lot of bills. I I found that extraordinary, and So to be that's the lesson we were all what part of this- and we all need to be observant, and to realize that you know it has a connection to us. It can happen to us what about the effects of, as I re edit and eyes. Look at this issue. I am very this made again No, I don't believe in censorship, but I do believe that you know, Bridal video game industry that resorts to violence in this kind of stuff like killing people and
Five, if you say, is a conditioning that is going to end up to be destructive and and highly destructive, and that seems to be borough by these these crimes, but also with even more disturbing, I think, is, if you think about it, somebody's taking would, somebody would think, is a very innocuous or an innocent anti depressant. But if it would you say that these killings, the evidence, looks like there's. They are linked to psychotropic drugs, the cells. Right. I there, you know, There is no more compelling image of the eight years of Barack Obama in office than standing in front of the country and say and we've had another mass shooting? This one was in Aurora. This one was in sandy hook now this one was in in
Florida or wherever, but but but there's no, follow through on the real substance of dealing with these issues? You know: that's that's a hard thing to do to take on. You know some of those industries. It would be good see somebody at that political level speak up about these things. And to open a dialogue and again not to say well. We have all the answers you know this is the way to do it, but to be able to talk about it more openly and freely and again. That was the whole purpose. In writing. The book was to start that conversation. It got close enough to us. It was disturbing enough to us to say how else can we think about this prob right right
He had such a huge problem to tackle, so obviously the issues have to be complex. There certain factors an as you do in this book. It deserves a incredible exploration as you've done. Because you can't look at any easy answers, if you looked at any of these things separately, you could see an influence, but as James Holmes really illustrates it- was a sudden dip archer from his behavior from this promising intelligent man that there has to be something some outside factors, because it otherwise it almost looks like some kind of possession or something for somebody to go and dude
without any reason, what do you think America learned as a result of this, it's been a little bit of time. You've seen the continued violence its unabated, as you mentioned, it seems that America's hand, by the industries. There's going to be no gun control, there's not going, being changes in psychotropic drugs that conversation hasn't been ignited because of this case. What do you think Americans learn from this case? If anything? Well, I am you know to us. It's like it seems like something would have happened after the sandy hook, shooting if anything was going to happen. It seems like
that was the one. What would have started it all, but I mean I wish somebody in the government would form some sort of committee to at least study the phenomena and start asking the questions. We're asking here about what part the violent video game industry, the movie and television industry, the big pharma. I wish somebody could put together on a government level that type of a committee to start studying this. But I don't. I don't see that happening. Right. It's very discouraging me. That would be the best possible outcome just to raise. The awareness around the issue, an again that, We were trying to do in writing the book, so we we hope it's. It's had some impact. We were interviewed recently by a young man from Canada who is sort of doing a study of this
phenomenon and he was asking all the right questions, so there is some movement. Out there, but we need to do a lot more. What do you think Erik thought of your? If not that you come to a direct black and white conclusions View you really used Eric and and and listed him for this, to be able to more fully understand this entire phenomena. If you'd like to ask your can self he's right here is listening to the podcast in it. He has a lot to say on the subject. Would you like to answer that question Eric hello, Higher, as I mentioned, I appreciated your input in this and uh as I'm sure that your parents did as well to get a more.
Founded perspective of this from US old timer. Is that are living in the past and I'm not? really aware of exactly how fast change happens. What did you think of this exploration that your parents undertook with your help to a certain degree? What do you think about this? And what? What are your ideas about this phenomena itself? Well one of the funny things. Let me not funny, but one of the things we kind of realized very early on and after this happened, and we started talking about it was that
I wasn't very shocked by it and to them it was like the most unthinkable thing that someone could possibly do and uh that that, in and of itself lends it's, you know, is kind of surprising. It shows what a diff and then you know how different to the world that we grew up in really was so well. Let me ask you this question there: okay, because I sees in this phenomena another aspect of it, and that is
Once upon a time what what like we mentioned, I guess maybe a lot of the people that were thinking they were, they were open minded were against the Vietnam WAR and they were against it in a protest it and were vocal about it. Now, when you talk about that, this difference sentiment. What is it if you, if you can offer any kind of input in this, is how is it that people don't care?
about the same kinds of values in terms of it for fame. It looks like a lot of these men. Don't care whether it's infamy or fame is long as they get noticed as long as they are remembered. Is there something to that? Is there something contained in the video games that encourages that sort of no matter what at least, if I go out on top as as long as they remember me, as long as my names in Wika Pedia, I'm sure I would I I agree with that assessment, but I would try to just add an element of a little bit of the psychology around around the you know these guys in general, and I would
say that beyond just the fame or you know getting some recognition, I think it has a little bit more to do with a sense of isolation that all these guys have and almost feeling to some degree like they just don't- have a very big effect on the world and they feel ineffectual and a big thing we talked about. In the book, and we use you know some some examples from movies, I'm just because they're such a you know a good way to kind of capture of a little bit of cultures. Masculinity in crisis, some movies like Fight Club imua movie, like american beauty, that explores you know
men explores masculinity explorers violence. I would say that in some regard, a lot of the guys they actually go and do mass shootings are trying to have an effect and obviously it's a very harmful effect. But maybe in that you know in the place where they're coming from it is just an effect and just to you know almost proving to yourself that you are powerful, and I know you know. I know that that you know a sense of isolation. The sense of kind of. Maybe alienation isn't the white right word, but you know this generation of people growing up in the height of social media and somewhat being discon. We did from real life interactions with people.
No, I went to college and one of my professors told me that the most shocking thing he'd seen over the past forty years of Jeanne above everything else with the people used to walk into a classroom together and they used to talk about. They did need to talk to the people around them. I used to talk about. You know what it what was happening in the news or what was happening on the campus or just you know, ask someone how their day was going and now you have a hundred people walk into a room they're. All you know the the this is a peer group, a group of people who should have something in common. Not only are they at this game same school, but they're in the same
class. They ought to have some overlapping interests. They come in. They sit down, they open a computer and get on their phone. Nobody talks to each other. Then he comes in and lectures for an hour, and then everybody gets up and goes you know so there's something there's something in there for sure. In terms of just a cultural change over the past. Past decades. Thank you. Eric. That's very insightful inputs, appreciate that I want to thank you, Joyce Steven, an Eric for Coming on and talking about this incredible book to spiral, notebook and is very, very important issue,
for those people that might want to follow up. You have a website facebook, page of Stephen Joy. Yes, it's W w w DOT, Stephen singular dot com and that Steven S T again, very much. Yeah. Those are both on Facebook, Joyce and Steven singular. I don't know if you got that. Is it Stephen singular dot com, S, t e p, h e n sing. Your s s I n G, U L, a r dot com, this book and a number of other books that choice that I worked on on the website. Connect with us on Facebook or the website is the best. Actually, though, because we do have a contact link there to that's true. So, anyway, we appreciate down you're, giving us a chance to talk about the book and very thought provoking
my pleasure. It's always a pleasure Stephen. It's such a huge other dimensionality. Did you bring to these cases that it's not just the current event is such a all caught on comprehensive, and I love the exploration that you did in this, because this is passed.
Would be the most important issue in America at this time and it deserves a much more discussion by everyone, because if we continue on the same route, nothing will get accomplished and these numbers are increasingly and frighteningly going to continue. So I thank you and applaud you for this spiral. Notebook and thank you very much for this interview this evening. Thank you very much. Thank you. Dan alright have a great evening. Goodnight go for it only go for an hour and a half an hour and a half
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Transcript generated on 2019-10-31.