Aurora Theater Shooting

James Holmes's alleged "confession" about theater shooting: The National Enquirer version

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Prendergast notes that the inmate, Steven Unruh, 38, has what he describes as "a long history of drug and theft charges" -- among them meth and credit-card-fraud offenses for which he served six years behind bars. Moreover, Unruh admits to having been diagnosed with bipolar condition.

At present, Unruh is facing habitual criminal allegations that he'd like to address via mental-health treatments rather than an extended stay in stir. He hoped his observations would convince the authorities to offer him a deal -- and his narrative included anecdotes about Holmes trying to injure himself by banging his head before reports about him doing so surfaced in relation to a postponed hearing.

But no such agreement has been offered, presumably due to doubts that Unruh could have had an extended conversation with Holmes immediately after he was taken into custody for allegedly killing twelve people and wounding 58 at a midnight screening of The Dark Knight Rises. A representative of the Arapahoe County Sheriff's Office and the person in charge of the booking operation both flatly reject Unruh's tale, which Prendergast synopsizes like so:

[Unruh] 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."

No such caveats are shared by the Enquirer in an article headlined "'Batman' Killer's Incredible Confession." There's mention of an inmate with whom Holmes is said to have spoken through a ventilation pipe in an adjoining cell, but Unruh isn't named, and no information is provided about his background or the poo-pooing of law enforcers. Instead, the information is credited to an anonymous individual referred to as either an "insider" or a "source."

Are these people Unruh, too? Hard to say....

Continue to read more about the National Enquirer's James Holmes story.
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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