Aurora Theater Shooting

James Holmes reportedly sent notebook with massacre plans to CU psychiatrist before attack

Update below: Each day seems to bring another shocking report in the Aurora theater shootings investigation. Today's? Fox News maintains that suspected murderer James Holmes sent a notebook filled with plans and details of his assault to a University of Colorado psychiatrist -- but it wasn't discovered until after the massacre.

According to Fox News, which credits the information to a law-enforcement source, the spiral notebook features stick-figure drawings of a gun-wielding killer and the victims he kills among other information.

The package containing the notebook wasn't discovered until Monday, the network states -- but there's conflicting information about when it arrived. One source suggests that the item reached the campus mail room on July 12, more than a week prior to the assault, but was never delivered to the psychiatrist in question. However, that assertion is contradicted by a second source, who says it's not yet known if it arrived prior to the slayings.

The discovery is said to have been made when the psychiatrist, also a professor, received another package thought to have been from Holmes. That didn't prove to be accurate, but a subsequent search turned up one that appears to be the genuine item, Fox News asserts.

The operative word in that last sentence is "appears." Neither the FBI nor other law-enforcement agencies (or the University of Colorado) would confirm that the notebook had been found, or that it had been definitively determined to have been sent by Holmes -- meaning questions of a timeline are unresolved as well. Moreover, as we pointed out in an earlier post, the case against Holmes has been sealed by 18th Judicial District Judge William Sylvester. the notebook story a bombshell or baloney? We don't know that for certain -- but it's sure to fuel more speculation for many news cycles to come.

Update: CU has now released a statement about reports of a package from James Holmes being sent to a psychiatrist/professor. The note doesn't directly address whether or not a package was found, but it indirectly pours cold water on the suggestion that one might have sat around for a week before being discovered. The statement reads:

The University centrally receives mail from the United States Postal Service. The University then delivers the mail to the address on the Anschutz Medical Campus the same day it is received. For example, mail delivered on a Friday is delivered on Friday. The University's mail service is not open on Saturday. Saturday mail is sorted and delivered Monday morning. The University does not log or track mail/packages unless it requires a signature from the United States Postal Service.

More from our Colorado Crimes archive: "Aurora theater shooting: Why has judge barred cameras from next James Holmes hearing?"

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Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts