Jared Loughner's disturbing video game forum posts

The suspected shooter's digital footprint tracks his violent thoughts back to a history of violent posts online

By Adam Clark Estes
Published January 12, 2011 11:13PM (UTC)
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In this video still provided by Microsoft Corp., a scene from "Halo: Reach" is shown. (AP Photo/Microsoft Corp.) ** NO SALES ** (AP)

Suspected Arizona gunman Jared Lee Lougher's own violent rhetoric dates in online gaming forums as early as last spring. According to an investigation by the Wall Street Journal, the posts disturbed other gamers in the forum with a mixture of both confusing and alarming statements showing Loughner's growing frustration.

Some of the posts are vicious:


Would you hit a Handy Cap Child/ Adult? This is a very interesting question….There are mental retarded children. They're possessing teachers that are typing for money. This will never stop….The drug addicts need to be weeded out to be more intelligent. The Principle of this is that them c— educators need to stop being pigs. (posted on April 23, 2010)

Some are graphically violent:

I bet your hungry....Because i know how to cut a body open and eat you for more then a week. ;-) (posted at 12:03 a.m. on May 20, 2010)

A number of related posts showed Loughner's frustration with finding a job and also his psychological meanderings toward a different path:

If you went to prison right now.....What would you be thinking? Just curious? (posted May 10, 2010)

The behavior became worrisome enough that one administrator even suggested contacting authorities but wanted "to make sure it's done through the proper legal means." While Loughner never mentioned Giffords or his plans for the attack, the extent to which the 22-year-old college dropout struggled in the months leading up to Saturday, Jan. 8, 2011, is undeniable. 

Adam Clark Estes

Adam Clark Estes blogs the news for Salon. Email him at ace@salon.com and follow him on Twitter @adamclarkestes

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Gabrielle Giffords Jared Loughner Video Games