TIME Chris Christie

Chris Christie to Pull New Jersey Out of Common Core

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie.
Julio Cortez—AP New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie.

The move could help Christie in his quest for the Republican presidential nomination

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie will announce Thursday he is pulling his state out of the Common Core education standards, bowing to pressure from teachers and parents, as well as conservative fears about government overreach.

Christie, who is expected to declare his candidacy for President in the coming months, began a review of the standards a year ago, just as the issue began bubbling up in town-hall meetings in New Jersey and on the campaign trail.

Developed as a bipartisan proposal by state governors and states’ chiefs of schools six years ago, Common Core has become increasingly toxic politically among conservatives. Several Republican governors who initially supported the Common Core have backed out in recent years, and others have worked hard to distance themselves from it.

Christie’s announcement comes the same day that a lawsuit regarding Common Core, initiated by Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal, who once supported the standards, was heard in a Baton Rouge court. Jindal is suing the U.S. Department of Education for allegedly “coercing” states into adopting Common Core by tying $4.35 billion in federal funding from Race to the Top, and waivers from No Child Left Behind, to the adoption of high standards.

The Obama Administration has moved to dismiss the case on the grounds that states were never required to adopt Common Core in particular, but instead to adopt any “rigorous standards” of their choosing. Forty-six states signed onto Common Core after it was finalized in 2010.

“It’s now been five years since Common Core was adopted. And the truth is that it’s simply not working,” Christie will say in a speech at Burlington County College in New Jersey on Thursday afternoon. “It has brought only confusion and frustration to our parents. And has brought distance between our teachers and the communities where they work.”

The move sets up a contrast between himself and former Florida governor Jeb Bush, who remains a supporter of the standards. While Bush has distanced himself rhetorically from the policy, choosing not to use the words Common and Core, his education foundation helped fund and advocated for their implementation nationwide. Ohio Governor John Kasich, a likely GOP contender, has also stood up in defense of Common Core, condemning those in his party who have turned their back on them.

“Sometimes things get to be political and they get to be runaway Internet issues,” Kasich said in New Hampshire in March. “We don’t want the federal government driving K-12 education, and in my state — the state of Ohio — that is simply not the case.”

The reversal comes as Christie’s political fortunes are at a crossroads. His poll numbers have continued to wane from the lingering effects of the politically motivated closure of approach lanes to the George Washington Bridge and a weak fiscal picture in the Garden State. But Christie is pegging his hopes for success on New Hampshire, the libertarian-minded state where the Common Core standards are especially divisive.

Christie is tasking David Hespe, the commissioner of the state’s department of education, to lead a panel that will develop a new set of standards for the state.

“I have heard far too many people — teachers and parents from across the state — that the Common Core standards were not developed by New Jersey educators and parents,” Christie will say according to prepared remarks from his office. “As a result, the buy-in from both communities has not been what we need for maximum achievements. I agree. It is time to have standards that are even higher and come directly from our communities. I agree. It is time to have standards that are even higher and come directly from our communities.”

Common Core has also been a major bone of contention in Democratic states, where opposition to the standards is linked to objections to an uptick in standardized testing. Last year, Chicago schools chief Barbara Byrd-Bennett tempted federal sanctions by announcing that she did not intend to force her students to take the tests associated with Common Core. Tens of thousands of New York State students also opted out of the Common Core testing regime.

TIME Unemployment rate

Why This is the Only State Where Unemployment is Up

Mody Torres (L) and Josh Anderson of Select Energy Services connect hoses between a pipeline and water tanks at a Hess fracking site near Williston, North Dakota Nov. 12, 2014.
Andrew Cullen — Reuters Mody Torres (L) and Josh Anderson of Select Energy Services connect hoses between a pipeline and water tanks at a Hess fracking site near Williston, North Dakota Nov. 12, 2014.

Nationwide, unemployment is declining, but in this state it's on the rise

A few years ago, as the U.S. unemployment rates flirted with the double digits, North Dakota bucked the trend. Its oil and gas boom kept jobless rates as low as 2.7%.

But now North Dakota is standing out for the opposite reason: it’s the only state where unemployment is rising.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics’s latest unemployment report Wednesday found that North Dakota was the only state with a significant year-over-the-year increase in joblessness. In April, unemployment there rose 0.4% from the same month in 2014.

Twenty-eight states had statistically significant unemployment rate declines in that period, with Michigan’s 2.1% being the largest. The other 21 states and the District of Columbia had rates that were not appreciably different from those of a year earlier, according to the report.

Though it’s difficult to know for sure, sinking oil prices is likely to blame for North Dakota’s increase in joblessness. The BLS’s current employment statistics database shows that seasonally adjusted employment in North Dakota’s mining and logging sector, which cover some oil and gas jobs, decreased to 28,600 jobs in April 2015, down from 28,800 a year earlier and a high of 32,400 in January.

Because North Dakota is a relatively small state, the BLS does not break down the broad mining and logging sector into more detail. The BLS’s quarterly census of employment and wages is a bit more specific. But data for North Dakota’s oil and gas jobs hasn’t been updated since September, when employment in the industry was still growing.

It should be said that North Dakota’s unemployment rate of 3.1% in April 2015 is still incredibly low. It’s second lowest overall—behind Nebraska’s 2.5% rate—and is considerably better than that nationwide 5.4% rate.

But the fact that North Dakota’s unemployment increased at all is a stark reversal of the state’s boomtown narrative. Remember the stories about man camps popping up to house the state’s exploding population and where oil field jobs garnered staggeringly high pay?

TIME Education

Chinese Nationals Accused of Vast SAT Cheating Conspiracy

They helped foreign students cheat on college entrance exams, according to an indictment

A group of 15 Chinese nationals are accused of orchestrating a vast conspiracy to help foreign students cheat on standardized college entrance exams administered in the U.S., in what appears to be one of the more brazen testing-related scandals in the past decade, according to a federal grand jury indictment unsealed Thursday.

For the past four years, the defendants provided counterfeit Chinese passports to impostors, who then sneaked into testing centers, mostly in western Pennsylvania, where they took the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT), the Graduate Record Examination (GRE), or the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), while claiming to be someone else, according to the indictment.

It’s unclear how many students used these fraudulent test scores to gain admission to American colleges and universities, and to therefore illegally obtain F1 Student Visas.

“These students were not only cheating their way into the university, they were also cheating their way through our nation’s immigration system,” said special agent John Kelleghan of Homeland Security Investigations in Philadelphia. “HSI will continue to protect our nation’s borders and work with our federal law enforcement partners to seek out those committing transnational crimes and bring them to justice.”

A federal grand jury in Pittsburgh issued an indictment on May 21 on 35 charges, including conspiracy, counterfeiting foreign passports, and defrauding the Educational Testing Services (ETS) and the College Board, according to U.S. Attorney David J. Hickton for the Western District of Pennsylvania.

If the defendants are found guilty, they face a maximum total sentence of 20 years in prison and hundreds of thousands of dollars in fines.

TIME Texas

National Weather Service Issues New Flash Flood Warning for Texas

Flooding in the state has already claimed 17 lives

The National Weather Service issued a new flash flood warning Thursday morning for large parts of Texas, as the state reels from extreme flooding that has already killed 17 people.

The new flood warning covers southern and central Texas from around San Antonio to Dallas and remains in effect until Friday morning. “This area is already saturated from recent rounds of heavy rain and will be susceptible to flash flooding… even with just short periods of rain,” the warning said.

At least 17 people have been killed by the severe weather in Texas so far this week. The storms have also damaged buildings, submerged cars and flooded major Texas cities Houston and Austin.

 

TIME Crime

Tamir Rice’s Dad Hasn’t Told His Other Kids How Their Brother Died

"I can't see him grow up"

The father of Tamir Rice, the 12-year-old Cleveland boy fatally shot by police last year, said he’s struggling to tell his other children why their brother is no longer alive.

In his first public interview since Tamir’s death, Leonard Warner told NBC affiliate WKYC on Wednesday that he has no answer for the boy’s siblings.

“Every time they wake up, they asking about him … and they go to sleep, they asking about him,” said Warner, adding that he doesn’t give the kids details about how Tamir died.

“I can’t tell them, but he’s watching over you,” Warner said.

A Cuyahoga…

Read the rest of the story from our partners at NBC News

TIME Crime

Minorities Far Likelier to Be Arrested for Minor Offenses in Minneapolis

Minneapolis police protests ferguson
Jim Mone—AP Demonstrators rally outside the Minneapolis Police Department's Third Precinct to protest police brutality, on Nov. 25, 2014, in Minneapolis.

A new ACLU report finds significant racial disparities in low-level arrests

Black residents in Minneapolis are 8.7 times more likely than whites to get arrested for low-level offenses, according to a new ACLU report that looks at racial disparities made in arrests by Minneapolis police.

The study, which analyzes almost 100,000 arrests by the Minneapolis Police Department from January 2012 to September 2014, focuses on what is known in Minneapolis as “suspicious persons” stops but is in the vein of what’s often called “broken windows” or stop-and-frisk policing.

That strategy focuses on low-level offenses like trespassing and disorderly conduct as a way of preventing larger felonies, but is often criticized as ineffective and leads to patterns of racial profiling.

The Minneapolis-St. Paul area has often been held up as a model for other American cities: it’s affordable, it has all the cultural amenities of any major metropolis, and it’s remained a magnet for job-seeking millennials. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Minneapolis-St. Paul’s unemployment rate is the fifth lowest in the country for a metro area with more than 1 million people.

But patterns of segregation divide the city between more affluent white areas and poorer black ones, and the ACLU report shows that the city suffers the same problems as any other major metropolitan area when it comes to racial disparities and distrust among minorities and police.

“This is part of a larger problem between police departments and communities of color,” says Emma Andersson, an ACLU staff attorney and lead author of the report.

The study also examines the treatment of Native Americans, who are arrested 8.6 times more than whites for low-level offenses — almost the same rates as black residents. Native Americans make up 2% of the city’s population, roughly double the average Native American population in the U.S. According to the ACLU, an average of one out of four Native Americans in Minneapolis are arrested for low-level offenses each year.

Those arrest disparities raise concerns that Minneapolis could face similar issues to those that occurred in the last few months in Baltimore, Cleveland and Ferguson, Mo., where deadly police confrontations and years of distrust led to protests and violence.

“I think communities of color in Minneapolis certainly feel oppressed and targeted in the same ways communities in Baltimore and other places where unrest has occurred,” Andersson says.

TIME portfolio

‘The Corridor of Death': Along America’s Second Border

The body lay along a fence line at the edge of a highway. He was a 23-year-old Salvadoran, according to the ID in his wallet, carrying a toothbrush and a picture of a young girl posing in a cap and gown. The man had spent days trudging through the sandy brush of South Texas, stripped to socks and underwear in the heat. When he collapsed and died, someone dragged the corpse toward the road, where it was spotted by a passing cowboy. By the time Brooks County chief sheriff’s deputy Benny Martinez arrived on May 21, the body was bleeding from the eyes.

Collecting the dead is one of the grim rituals of Martinez’s job. The young man from El Salvador was the 24th undocumented immigrant to perish in Brooks County this year. Over the past six years, more than 400 bodies have been discovered in the desolate rural jurisdiction, whose 7,200 people are spread across 943 sq. mi. (2,440 sq km) of cactus and mesquite. “You never get over it,” Martinez says.

The body count makes Brooks County one of the deadliest killing fields in the U.S. border crisis. But it is not actually on the border. The county is a graveyard for migrants because of the three-lane traffic checkpoint, operated by U.S. Customs and Border Protection, that sits on U.S. 281, 70 miles (115 km) north of Mexico. To circumvent the checkpoint, coyotes drop carloads of undocumented immigrants along the highway a few miles south, where they embark on an arduous hike through private ranchland with plans to rejoin their ride north of the station. For undocumented immigrants entering the U.S. in South Texas, the multiday trek is the most perilous leg of a journey that starts with a payment (often $5,000 to $10,000, according to authorities) to coyotes in their home countries, who stash their clients at squalid border safe houses and shepherd them across the Rio Grande aboard inflatable rafts.

Since 2006, when she became a staff photographer at The Monitor in the border town of McAllen, Tex., Kirsten Luce has been documenting immigration issues on both sides of the U.S.-Mexico border. Now a freelance photographer, Luce made extended reporting trips to Brooks and Kenedy Counties in January and March. She embedded with the U.S. CBP, joining agents in the brush on both day and night patrols as they used footprints and censors to track the migrants during the difficult and dangerous walk around the Brooks County checkpoint.

“I hadn’t spent much time there in years, and it was a piece of the migration story that I wanted to revisit,” Luce says. “These are the places where most deaths occur. Migrants—often tired, thirsty and hungry after a couple nights in stash houses further south in Texas—succumb to heat exhaustion or dehydration while circumventing vehicle checkpoints on foot.”

“It wasn’t until I witnessed the conditions in these houses that I fully realized these migrants were beginning the hike in Brooks or Kenedy County with severely compromised health conditions,” Luce says. “The people who hold migrants in these houses coordinate with other smugglers to lead them around the checkpoints. All are directly or indirectly linked to the drug cartels operating with impunity in Northeast Mexico. In recent years, human smuggling (especially all the way from Central America) has become as profitable as drugs, and it’s harder to prosecute as smugglers often try to blend in with their group and get deported alongside them. The cartels now control all traffic across the Rio Grande and everyone must use a cartel-approved guide. If caught crossing alone, one could be beaten or disappeared.”

Despite all the attention to securing the border itself, often the best chance of intercepting the flow of people and contraband is at checkpoints on key roads leading north. “These interior checkpoints always intrigued me, because each migrant passing undocumented through the Rio Grande Valley essentially crosses two borders,” Luce says. In Brooks County, the enforcement checkpoint has pushed undocumented immigrants onto private ranches, where they are unprepared for the searing heat and arid terrain on what can be a 25-mile (40 km) detour around the patrol stations.

“Some arrange to get dropped off several miles south and spend a night or two hiking north, following a wide arc far from the road,” Luce says. “Others are more brazen, getting dropped off less than a mile from the checkpoint at one of several turn-around lanes off of Highway 281 or 77, the only two direct routes out of the Valley. Typically the migrants have no idea where they are or what they are facing ahead. One once asked me if we were in Houston, some 250 miles away.”

Temperatures can reach triple digits in the summer. It’s easy to become disoriented and get lost. Migrants carry little food or water, and those who lag are left behind by their guides. “It’s the corridor of death,” says Eddie Canales, who runs the South Texas Human Rights Center, a few miles from the Falfurrias checkpoint in Brooks County. “There’s no telling how many remains are still out there.”

South Texas has struggled for years with the U.S. immigration crisis, but the problems deepened as migration patterns shifted. Beefed-up border security across former trouble spots in California, Arizona and West Texas prompted smugglers to find new routes through the Rio Grande Valley, while escalating violence in Central American nations spurred a wave of refugees searching for a path to the U.S. Illegal border crossings have dropped in 2015 with the end of the unaccompanied-minor crisis, and deaths in Brooks County are actually down from their peak of 129 in 2012.

But the impact still hits hard in places like Brooks County, which has just five sheriff’s deputies, and neighboring Kenedy County (pop. 400), where another border-patrol checkpoint sits astride U.S. 77. In these poor rural areas, recovering, identifying and burying the dead carries significant costs. Judge Imelda Barrera-Arevalo, the top elected official in Brooks County, estimates that dealing with the humanitarian crisis will consume 15% to 20% of the county’s budget this year. “It’s still our responsibility,” she adds, “whether we like it or not.”

To reduce fatalities, humanitarian groups and some ranchers have installed water stations. The border patrol has positioned rescue beacons on private land so migrants can buzz for help. Agents use ground sensors, cameras and blimps to surveil the sprawl. “I won’t be happy until the death toll is zero,” says Doyle Amidon, the patrol agent in charge of Falfurrias station. “But the nature of this area, and the fact that we are in the perfect location for illegal migrants to pass through here, it’s sort of the perfect storm.”

On one nighttime patrol, Luce joined border patrol agents as they tracked a group of 12 migrants for close to two hours. “There was something exciting about these pursuits. The air was cool and the moon was bright. We were fed and hydrated,” she says. “The migrants, however, had been traveling for days or weeks and were exhausted and dirty. They were as close as they’d ever been to relative freedom. They’d invested an untold fortune for this opportunity, an amount nearly impossible to pay back in their home countries. Their clothes were covered in leaves and stickers, any exposed skin covered in small scrapes from the brush.”

Eventually, they came upon the migrants hiding in a grove of mesquite. Agents surrounded the grove and moved in from all sides, working quickly to handcuff the migrants. Some tried to flee, but most remained perfectly still as they were detained.

“Any momentary thrill I had felt during the pursuit was replaced first by adrenaline and then by a hollow sadness,” Luce says. “The migrants’ resignation, and sometimes fear, is sobering for everyone. The air felt thicker as we hiked out, nearly a mile to the closest road. Everyone had a heavy heart, no one is rejoicing. I think many agents feel that they are rescuing these people from an uncertain fate, which is certainly true. They are doing their part to enforce the nation’s immigration laws, albeit some 80 miles north of the border, on privately owned land.”

Kirsten Luce is a freelance photojournalist based in New York.

Alex Altman is TIME’s Washington Correspondent.

TIME Crime

Why the End of Capital Punishment Is Near

The lethal injection facility at San Quentin State Prison in San Quentin, Calif. on Sept. 21, 2010.
Eric Risberg—AP The lethal injection facility at San Quentin State Prison in San Quentin, Calif. on Sept. 21, 2010.

Bungled executions. Backlogged courts. And three more reasons the modern death penalty is a failed experiment

The case of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev absorbed Americans as no death-penalty drama has in years. The saga of his crime and punishment began with the shocking bloodbath at the 2013 Boston Marathon, continued through the televised manhunt that paralyzed a major city and culminated in the death sentence handed down by a federal jury on May 15 after a two-phase trial…

Read the full story here.


This appears in the June 08, 2015 issue of TIME.
TIME weather

Floods in Vulnerable Houston No Surprise, Despite Controls

"Houston is so vulnerable"

(HOUSTON) — The flooding, property damage and loss of life as torrential rains this week hit the Houston area should be no surprise.

“It happens fairly frequently,” says Sam Brody, director of Texas A&M University’s Center for Beaches and Shores. “Houston is the No. 1 city in America to be injured and die in a flood.”

The Harris County Flood Control District, the agency working in recent years with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers on hundreds of millions of dollars in projects to ease the flooding impact, has been around since 1937, itself a product of catastrophic flooding two years earlier.

“Houston is so vulnerable,” Brody, who’s been studying the issue for 15 years, said Wednesday. “There’s very little topography. They’ve added hundreds of miles of pavement and can’t keep up with all the positive initiatives. … So we get these floods.”

Flood control efforts on Buffalo Bayou alone, one of several that meander throughout the nation’s fourth-largest city, have cost a half-billion dollars over the past decade. They’ve included bridge replacements, and the addition of detention ponds for rain runoff and green spaces that serve as parks in normal times.

One flooded area in southwest Houston, known as Meyerland, where about 8 ½ inches of rain fell this week, particularly benefited from the improvements of recent years, according to Kim Jackson, spokeswoman for the flood control district that oversees 2,500 miles of channels countywide.

“Prior to construction of the stormwater detentions basins upstream … there would have been more homes flooded by a storm of the same magnitude,” she said.

Experts, however, say flood control has been offset by the population boom around Houston, one of the fastest-growing areas in the nation, and a Texas tradition of strong personal property and land use rights that mean fewer regulations.

“Houston may be doing things to try to improve … but there’s a long history of pre-existing stuff that is still there,” said Walter Peacock, an urban planning professor at Texas A&M and director of the school’s Hazard Reduction and Recovery Center.

“Think about every time you put in a road, a mall and you add concrete, you’ve lost the ability of rain to get into the soil and you’ve lost that permeability,” Peacock said. “It’s now impermeable. And therefore you get more runoff.”

The serious flood history of the region goes back nearly to Houston’s founding in 1836. That’s when two New York real estate brokers, brothers John and Augustus Allen, sold people on the idea of a establishing a town at the confluence of Buffalo and White Oak Bayous, or precisely where cars Tuesday were buried in water on an entrance to Interstate 45. Dozens more vehicles succumbed to high water less than a mile up the interstate, which tends to flood in that spot even in a routine storm.

The first in Houston was recorded in 1843. The flood district’s 20th-century timeline shows three dozen floods of note.

“Bottom line is, we live on the Texas Gulf Coast and we have a lot of in a low-lying area, and we have to deal with that,” Harris County Judge Ed Emmett, the county’s top administrator, said.

This week’s flooding was labeled historic, but the devastation from Hurricane Ike in 2008, primarily a wind event, and Tropical Storm Allison in 2001 was exponentially worse.

Allison is the storm of recent record in Houston; it left behind $5 billion in damages and flooding wide swaths of the city, including downtown and the famed Texas Medical Center.

FEMA reported Allison dumped 32 trillion gallons of water. Early estimates for this week’s storm are a fraction of that — 162 billion gallons, with about 4,000 homes reporting damage. In Allison, 73,000 homes were damaged, plus 95,000 cars and trucks. Thirty people died in the Houston area, including 22 in Harris County. The death count Wednesday here was seven. About 2,500 cars were abandoned.

Even though Houston is 50 miles from the Gulf of Mexico, any flood control efforts are under the specter of possible rising sea levels that will bring “ongoing consequences” for rivers and canals, according to Peacock.

New Orleans, no stranger to flooding, is seen as especially susceptible to rising sea levels. The Louisiana coast has been steadily eroding, losing 1,900 square miles since the 1930s, and making the area more vulnerable to storms such as Hurricane Katrina in 2005. In 2012, Louisiana officials announced an ambitious $50 billion, 50-year proposal to stop coastal land loss and build new levee systems to protect vulnerable cities.

Similarly, sea levels along hurricane-prone Florida’s coastline are rising faster than previously measured, according to federal estimates, and are blamed for increasingly frequent nuisance flooding from Jacksonville to Key West. As a result, environmental conservation projects aren’t keeping up with the accelerated pace of the sea level rise.

Associated Press reporters Rebecca Santana in New Orleans and Jennifer Kay in Miami contributed to this story.

TIME Crime

Colorado Gunman’s Notebook of Ramblings Becomes Evidence

Holmes Shooting Notebook
AP A portion of Aurora shooter James Holmes' notebook, after it was presented as evidence in the Holmes murder trial on May 26, 2015, in Centennial, Colo.

Copies of a journal kept by the man on trial for the Aurora theater shooting have been distributed to the jury that will help determine his fate

A notebook containing James Holmes’s ramblings, sketches and thoughts on topics ranging from the meaning of life to murder was presented on Tuesday at his trial for the 2012 mass shooting in an Aurora, Colo., movie theater that killed 12 people and injured 70 others.

It’s a key piece of evidence for prosecutors trying to prove the 27-year-old plotted the killings and for defense lawyers who argue he was experiencing a psychotic episode on July 20, when he opened fire on moviegoers at a premiere of The Dark Knight Rises.

Holmes’s notebook reveals references to violence and death and is stepped in nihilism. He writes about a “self diagnosis of broken mind” and several pages are covered with the question “Why?” over and over again. “When mankind can’t find truth,” he mentions at one point, “untruth is converted to truth via violence.”

The former doctoral student in neuroscience is pleading not guilty by reason of insanity. Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty. Holmes sent the notebook to his University of Colorado psychiatrist, Dr. Lynne Fenton, eight days before the shooting, but the package was not discovered until several days after the massacre. Fenton had warned authorities that Holmes was a danger to the public.

Holmes describes in the journal a number of fantasies about different ways to kill, but quickly rules them out. He says a bomb is too regulated and suspicious, biological warfare requires extensive knowledge of chemicals and serial murder is “too personal, too much evidence, easily caught after few kills” before settling on a “mass murder spree.” He writes that he chose this method because it would provide “maximum casualties, easily performed with firearms, although primitive in nature. No fear of consequences, being caught 99% certain.”

At one point, he rules out certain venues, like airports, because he didn’t want his mass killing to be misinterpreted as a terrorist act. Airports have “too much of a terrorist history,” he writes. “Terrorism isn’t the message. The message is there is no message.” The journal also includes diagrams of different theaters within the movie complex, as well as pros and cons for each one.

“And finally, the last escape, mass murder at the movies,” he writes. “Obsession onset: > 10 years ago.”

Holmes describes his psychological struggles as “the real me is fighting the biological me,” and notes that work and romantic failures aren’t the reason for his action, although both are “expediting catalysts.” Instead, he claims, his “state of mind for the last 15 years” is to blame for his actions.

He notes a particular set of symptoms and behaviors that accompanied his self-diagnoses of a “broken mind,” including a “recurring return to mirror to look at appearance, particular attention focused on hair styling. 10+ times a day.” At the time of the shooting, Holmes’s hair was dyed a bright red-orange. He also describes at least one childhood accident that injured his genitals, which he alleges led to an “allergic reaction to sex.”

In one particularly chilling passage, Holmes alludes to the name of the movie he selected for the attack: “I was fear incarnate. Love gone, motivation directed to hate and obsessions, which didnt disapear for whatever reason with the drugs,” he writes. “No consequences, no fear, alone, isolated, no work for distractions, no reason to seek self -actualization. Embraced the hatred, a dark knight rises.”

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