Jared Lee Loughner, the Tucson man suspected of shooting 17 people on Saturday -- including U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, who was shot in the head at point-blank range -- had a history of producing dark videos.
Six people were killed in the lethal rampage, including a nine-year-old child, a federal judge and Giffords' director of community outreach, Gabriel Zimmerman.
Loughner, 22, had produced numerous twisted and brooding videos over a harsh, hypnotic music bed that he uploaded to the YouTube self-broadcast video website several months prior to the shooting spree. One featured the suspect torching a large dripping, melting plastic American flag while wearing a black garbage bag over his pants and a brown hooded jacket with a white death's head mask to hide his face. Another warned his fellow students to beware the "unconstitutional police" who might come to remove them from the college, which he called a "torture facility."
The videos caused so much alarm that Pima Community College decided to suspend him in September, according to a report published by MSNBC.
Loughner eventually agreed to withdraw from the college in early October, the network reported, but in November he legally purchased a Glock handgun from a Sportsman’s Warehouse in Tucson, according to both the Associated Press and the Washington Post.
Loughner’s YouTube account, “Classitup10,” lists numerous videos, all of which are characterized by disconnected, disturbed ramblings. Much of his text is marked by classic clinical examples of “undoing” and paranoid ideation, as well numerous bits of delusional and tangential thinking.
Among the favorite books Loughner listed on his YouTube account were Mein Kampf, The Communist Manifesto, Siddhartha,The Republic, Meno, To Kill A Mockingbird, One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest, Brave New World, Animal Farm and a host of children’s tales. “My favorite interest was reading, and I studied grammar,” Loughner wrote on his account profile. “Conscience dreams were a great study in college!”
Several of the suspect’s videos were reposted on Saturday by viewers who appeared determined to ensure the suspect’s “evidence” would not be removed from the site before he could be charged with the murders.
One account, “Pirateay,” who labeled the videos “insane,” stated, “This is not my video. I do not approve of this message in any way. Video is uploaded for the historical record in case the originals are removed.” This particular video opens with scrolling white text on a black background that reads:
“Fraud. If I’m not receiving the purchase from a payment then I’m a victim of fraud. I’m not receiving the purchase from a payment.” The video continues with the text of each successive screen further deteriorating into what eventually appears to be nearly outright gibberish, with one statement immediately being contradicted and reversed by the next.
After 60 seconds the viewer is informed that “anyone receiving a grade from Pima Community College is unconstitutional because of the United States Bill of Rights… The grading you purchase from Pima Community College is unconstitutional at tuition.”
Further on, the viewer is warned, “If the police remove you from the educational facility for talking then removing you from the educational facility for talking is unconstitutional in the United States… This situation is fraud because the police are unconstitutional!” By the end of the nearly 3-minute video, Loughner reassures his viewers, “Don’t be scared to know you can’t find the location of a subject. Most students can’t locate a subject! Most people know all the subjects are for mind control and brainwash!. The students are attending a torture facility!”
Finally, he exhorts, “Don’t trust the current government, listener!”
There are numerous hints of unbalanced darkness lurking beneath the surface of Loughner’s brooding personality. Another can be seen in the text seen in a video posted under the cnewq5 account entitled “How To: Your New Currency! (Jared Loughner mirror)”:
“Who possesses your new coin? You’re distributing your new currency lethally to people or you’re distributing your new currency non-lethally to people. You’re not distributing your new currency lethally to people. Thus, you’re distributing your new currency non-lethally to people. Are you possessing a new currency?”
As had Pirateay, Cnewq5 captioned the video Saturday with the comment that “given the events in which the video’s creator is allegedly involved, it should remain in the public domain.” The original channel information was sourced to username Classitup10, channel name Jared Lee Loughner.
Just hours before the shooting, Loughner reportedly posted a mysterious “Goodbye friends” message on his MySpace social networking page. The message, removed within minutes of his identification by U.S. security officials, read, “Please don’t be mad at me.”