James Holmes: Inmate's strange tale of "confession" and suicide efforts
|The Aurora Century 16, where the July 20 attack took place.|
Lieutenant J.D. Knight, who directly supervises booking operations, agrees. "It would be virtually impossible for Mr. Unruh to have any of the communications he has stated," he says.
But Unruh insists the sporadic conversation continued even after Holmes was moved to another cell in the area. He says that Holmes told him "he felt like he was in a video game" during the shooting, that "he wasn't on his meds" and "nobody would help him." He says Holmes also mentioned NLP -- presumably, neuro-linguistic programming, a much-scorned and outmoded approach to psychotherapy -- and claimed to have been "programmed" to kill by an evil therapist.
"When he got out to his car, he wasn't programmed no more," Unruh says. "It sounded kind of crazy. He was trying to run it by me, basically."
Unruh has a phone number that he says Holmes asked him to call. (The number connects to the cell phone of a bereavement counselor, who says she has no acquaintance with Holmes or Unruh.) He has a form that indicates James Holmes tried to send him a letter, but it was rejected by jail authorities. (Knight says he has no record of any letter sent by Holmes to Unruh, intercepted or otherwise.) He claims to have received messages from Holmes via other inmates since that night, but he admits he doesn't know if the sender was actually Holmes.
Still, Unruh's story seems to have drawn interest in one unlikely quarter. He says Holmes told him he "walked up and down the aisles" of the theater three times before he opened fire, and that detail, if true, might have some bearing on the pending litigation by victims' families against the theater chain. Unruh has paperwork indicating that he's been in communication with at least one family member on that point.
Unruh's story may well prove to be nonsense. Whether it's his nonsense or Holmes's own, the lack of answers in the Aurora tragedy has some people looking for whatever answers can be found.
More from our Aurora Theater Shooting archive: "Aurora Victim Relief Fund: 38 victims will split $5.3 million in donated money."