James Holmes describes 'obsession to kill' in notebook

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Defense Cross Examines APD Sgt. Matthew Fyles About Contents of Gunman's Notebook

CENTENNIAL, Colo. (AP) — The jury in the Colorado theater shooting trial heard excerpts Tuesday from a notebook in which defendant James Holmes detailed plans for the shooting and described his "obsession to kill" since childhood.

Prosecutors say the notebook sent by Holmes to a psychiatrist just before the attack is evidence that he was sane at the time.

The contention stands at the heart of the prosecution case, which is also expected to include testimony from two court-appointed doctors that Holmes was sane when he opened fire on a packed midnight showing of a Batman movie.

The notebook offered the first glimpse into Holmes' mental state during the shooting. A gag order previously kept those details secret.

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James Holmes describes 'obsession to kill' in notebook
Crime scene tape surrounds the Century 16 movie theater where 12 people were killed in a shooting rampage last Friday, on July 23, 2012 in Aurora, Colorado. Suspect James Holmes, 24, allegedly went on a shooting spree and killed 12 people and injured 58 during an early morning screening of 'The Dark Knight Rises.' (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)
FILE - In this Friday, July 20, 2012 file photo, Tom Sullivan, center, embraces family members outside Gateway High School where he has been searching franticly for his son Alex Sullivan who celebrated his 27th birthday by going to see "The Dark Knight Rises," movie where a gunman opened fire, in Aurora, Colo. (AP Photo/Barry Gutierrez)
Investigators remove computer equipment as evidence from the apartment of alleged gunman James Holmes, Saturday, July 21, 2012 in Aurora, Colo. Authorities reported that 12 died and more than three dozen people were shot during an assault at a movie theatre midnight premiere of "The Dark Knight Rises." (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
Aurora police top brass commander Jack Daluz (R), Roger Cloyd (C) and division chief Kevin Flynn visit the makeshift memorial across the street from the Century 16 movie theater on July 25, 2012 in Aurora, Colorado. Twenty-four-year-old James Holmes is suspected of killing 12 and injuring 58 others on July 20 during a shooting rampage at a screening of 'The Dark Knight Rises' in Aurora, Colorado. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)
Seen from the air, blood-stained footprints dot the back of the Century 16 movie theatre where suspect James Holmes went on a shooting rampage during an early morning screening of the new Batman movie, 'The Dark Knight Rises' on July 21, 2012 in Aurora, outside of Denver, Colorado. According to reports, 12 people have been killed and over 59 injured including 9 in critical condition . Police have the suspect, twenty-four year old James Holmes of North Aurora, in custody. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)
AURORA, CO - JULY 21: Seen from the air, police continue to investigate outside the Century 16 movie theatre where suspect James Holmes went on a shooting rampage during an early morning screening of the new Batman movie, 'The Dark Knight Rises' on July 21, 2012 in Aurora, outside of Denver, Colorado. According to reports, 12 people have been killed and over 59 injured including 9 in critical condition . Police have the suspect, twenty-four year old James Holmes of North Aurora, in custody. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)
AURORA, CO - JULY 21: Law enforcement officials tow nearby cars as they prepare to disarm the booby-trapped apartment of suspect James Holmes after he went on a shooting rampage at nearby Century 16 movie theatre during an early morning screening of the new Batman movie, 'The Dark Knight Rises' on July 21, 2012 in Aurora, outside of Denver, Colorado. According to reports, 12 people have been killed and over 59 injured. Police have the suspect, twenty-four year old James Holmes of North Aurora, in custody and are now dealing with various devices and trip wires in the apartment. (Photo by Chris Schneider/Getty Images)
Law enforcement officials carry buckets from the apartment of James Holmes, the suspect in the Century 16 movie theatre shooting, on July 21, 2012 in Aurora, Colorado. According to reports, 12 people have been killed and over 59 injured including 9 in critical condition. Police have the suspect, twenty-four year old James Holmes of North Aurora, in custody. (Photo by Chris Schneider/Getty Images)
Police break the window of the apartment of of James Holmes, the suspect of a shooting in a movie theater July 20, 2012 in Aurora, outside of Denver, Colorado. According to reports, 12 people have been killed and 59 wounded when James allegedly opened fire inside the a movie theater showing the 'The Dark Knight Rises.' Police have James, 24, of Holmes of North Aurora, in custody. (Photo by Thomas Cooper/Getty Images)
Yellow markers sit next to evidence, including a gas mask, as police investigate the scene outside the Century 16 movie theater east of the Aurora Mall in Aurora, Colo. on Friday, July 20, 2012. A gunman in a gas mask barged into a crowded Denver-area theater during a midnight showing of the Batman movie on Friday, hurled a gas canister and then opened fire in one of the deadliest mass shootings in recent U.S. history. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)
Lt. H.D. Gidden speaks briefly to the media outside Gateway High School where witnesses were brought for questioning after a gunman opened fire at the midnight premiere of the Dark Knight Rises Batman movie Friday, July 20, 2012 in Aurora, Colo. (AP Photo/Barry Gutierrez)
Melissa Clark, left, and Nathan Mendonca, both 18 and from Aurora, Colo., look on during a vigil across from the Century 16 theatre east of the Aurora Mall in Aurora, Colo., on Friday, July 20, 2012. Authorities report that 12 died and more than three dozen people were shot during an assault at the theatre during a midnight premiere of "The Dark Knight." (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)
Jacob Stevens, 18, hugs his mother Tammi Stevens after being interview by police outside Gateway High School where witness were brought for questioning after a shooting at a movie theater, Friday, July 20, 2012 in Denver. A gunman wearing a gas mask set off an unknown gas and fired into a crowded movie theater at a midnight opening of the Batman movie "The Dark Knight Rises," killing at least 12 people and injuring at least 50 others, authorities said. (AP Photo/Barry Gutierrez)
AURORA, CO - JULY 20: The Century 16 movie theatre is seen where a gunmen attacked movie goers during an early morning screening of the new Batman movie, 'The Dark Knight Rises' July 20, 2012 in Aurora, Colorado. According to reports, 12 people have been killed and over 59 injured. Police have the suspect, twenty-four year old James Holmes of North Aurora, in custody. (Photo by Thomas Cooper/Getty Images)
Candles cover the sidewalk at a memorial across from the theater, Monday, July 30, 2012 in Aurora, Colo. Twelve people were killed and more than 50 wounded in a shooting attack early Friday at the packed theater during a showing of the Batman movie, "The Dark Knight Rises." Police have identified the suspected shooter as James Holmes, 24. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
Rita Paulina, in wheelchair, who was injured in the attack, departs the Arapahoe County Courthouse after an arraignment hearing for accused theater shooter James Holmes, Monday, July 30, 2012 in Centennial, Colo. Colorado prosecutors filed formal charges Monday against Holmes, the former neuroscience student accused of killing 12 people and wounding 58 others at an Aurora movie theater. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
A man walks on a hill near crosses set up at the memorial to victims of the Aurora, Colo., movie theater shooting, early Friday, July 27, 2012. It was a week ago Friday that a gunman opened fire during a late-night showing of "The Dark Knight Rises" Batman movie, killing 12 and injuring dozens of others. Police have identified the suspected shooter as James Holmes, 24. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)
Pallbearers and funeral workers carry the casket bearing the body of Aurora, Colo., movie theater shooting victim AJ Boik to a hearse following Boik's funeral, Friday, July 27, 2012, in Aurora, Colo. Boik was a recent high-school graduate. Boik, 18, was one of twelve people killed in a shooting attack, that also wounded dozens, last Friday at a packed movie theater during a showing of the Batman movie, "The Dark Knight Rises." Police have identified the suspected shooter as James Holmes, 24(AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)
A row of different AR-15 style rifles are displayed for sale at the Firing-Line indoor range and gun shop, Thursday, July 26, 2012 in Aurora, Colo. The Friday, July 20, 2012 massacre inside a crowded Colorado movie theater has prompted a sudden increase in gun sales and firearms training. Police said suspect James Holmes donned body armor and was armed with an AR-15 rifle, a shotgun and handguns during the attack. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
A Batman logo is shown at the memorial to victims of the Aurora, Colo., movie theater shooting, Friday, July 27, 2012. It was a week ago Friday that a gunman opened fire during a late-night showing of "The Dark Knight Rises" Batman movie, killing 12 and injuring dozens of others. Police have identified the suspected shooter as James Holmes, 24. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)
Members of the prosecution team arrive to view inside the apartment where accused killer James Homes lived, Tuesday, July 24, 2012 in Aurora, Colo. Twelve people were killed and over 50 wounded in a shooting attack early Friday at the packed theater during a showing of the Batman movie, "The Dark Knight Rises." Police have identified the suspected shooter as James Holmes, 24. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
Aurora Police Chief Dan Oates, center, talks to guests at the funeral for Aurora, Colo., movie theater shooting victim AJ Boik, Friday, July 27, 2012, in Aurora, Colo. Boik, 18, was one of twelve people killed in a shooting attack, that also wounded dozens, last Friday at a packed movie theater during a showing of the Batman movie, "The Dark Knight Rises." Police have identified the suspected shooter as James Holmes, 24(AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)
In this Monday, July 23, 2012 file photo, James Holmes, accused of killing 12 people in Friday's shooting rampage in an Aurora, Colo., movie theater, appears in Arapahoe County District Court with defense attorney Tamara Brady in Centennial, Colo. A court hearing Thursday, Aug. 30, 2012 will examine Holmes' relationship with a University of Colorado psychiatrist to whom he mailed a package containing a notebook that reportedly contains violent descriptions of an attack. His attorneys say Holmes is mentally ill and that he sought help from psychiatrist Lynne Fenton at the school, where he was a Ph.D. student, until shortly before the July 20 shooting. Prosecutors allege Holmes may have been angry at the failure of a once promising academic career. (AP Photo/Denver Post, RJ Sangosti, Pool, File)
A Batman doll lies in a memorial near the the Century 16 movie theater Sunday, July 22, 2012 in Aurora, Colo. Twelve people were killed and dozens were injured in a shooting attack early Friday at the packed theater during a showing of the Batman movie, "The Dark Knight Rises." Police have identified the suspected shooter as James Holmes, 24. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
FBI agents photograph the bedroom in the apartment of alleged gunman James Holmes with a poster titled "Soldiers of Misfortune" Saturday, July 21, 2012 in Aurora, Colo. Authorities reported that 12 died and more than three dozen people were shot during an assault at a movie theatre midnight premiere of "The Dark Knight Rises." (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
Law enforcement officers prepare to disarm the booby-trapped apartment of suspect James Holmes after he went on a shooting rampage at nearby Century 16 movie theatre during an early morning screening of the new Batman movie, 'The Dark Knight Rises' on July 21, 2012 in Aurora, outside of Denver, Colorado. According to reports, 12 people have been killed and over 59 injured. Police have the suspect, twenty-four year old James Holmes of North Aurora, in custody and are now dealing with various devices and trip wires in the apartment. (Photo by Chris Schneider/Getty Images)
In this Monday, Dec. 8, 2014, file photo, Arlene Holmes, center, is consoled as she leaves the courtroom after a pretrial readiness hearing in the murder trial of her son, James Holmes, in Centennial, Colo. Robert and Arlene Holmes are asking that their son not receive the death penalty. Jury selection is scheduled to begin in January 2015, for the 2012 attack in Aurora that killed 12 people and injured 70. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski, File)
Arlene (L) and Robert Holmes, the parents of Aurora theater shooting suspect James Holmes, arrive at the court house after a midday recess during a hearing in the Arapahoe County Justice Center on April 1, 2013 in Centennial, Colorado. It was announced that District Attorney George Brauchler will seek the death penalty for suspect James Holmes who is charged with 166 counts of murder, attempted murder and other crimes in the Aurora theater shooting on July 20, 2012. (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
In this July 23, 2012 file photo, James E. Holmes appears in Arapahoe County District Court in Centennial, Colo. Nearly six months after a bloody rampage in a Colorado movie theater left 12 people dead, prosecutors will go to court Monday Jan. 7, 2013 to outline their case against the suspect, James Holmes. (AP Photo/Denver Post, RJ Sangosti, Pool, File)
(R), the parents of Aurora theater shooting suspect James Holmes, arrive at the courtroom for a hearing in the Arapahoe County Justice Center on April 1, 2013 in Centennial, Colorado. Prosecutors have said they will seek the death penalty for suspect James Holmes, who is charged with 166 counts of murder, attempted murder and other crimes in the Aurora theater shooting on July 20, 2012. (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
CENTENNIAL, CO - SEPTEMBER 20: In this photo provided by the Arapahoe County Sheriff's Office, James Holmes poses for a booking photo September 20, 2012 in Centennial, Colorado. Holmes is charged with 24 counts of murder and 116 counts of attempted murder in the July 20, shooting rampage at an opening night screening of 'The Dark Knight Rises' in Aurora, Colorado. (Photo by Arapahoe County Sheriff's Office via Getty Images)
This June 4, 2013 file photo shows Aurora theater shooting suspect James Holmes in court in Centennial, Colo. Holmes returns to court Monday Jan. 27, 2014, for a closed hearing on whether he should get a second psychiatric evaluation. Holmes is charged with the July 2012 Aurora shootings that killed 12 people and injured 70. (AP Photo/The Denver Post, Andy Cross, Pool, File)
Lonnie and Sandy Phillips listen as their lawyer speaks during a news conference on Tuesday, Sept. 16, 2014. The Phillips, parents of Jessica Ghawi, who was killed in the July 20, 2012 Colorado theater shootings, filed a lawsuit Tuesday accusing four online retailers of improperly selling ammunition, tear gas, a high-capacity magazine and body armor used in the attack. The lawsuit alleges it was illegal and negligent to sell the gear to James Holmes, who is accused of killing 12 people and injuring 70 in the July 20, 2012, attack. Holmes pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity to multiple counts of murder and attempted murder. (AP Photo/Brennan Linsley)
Lonnie and Sandy Phillips speak during a news conference on Tuesday, Sept. 16, 2014. The Phillips, parents of Jessica Ghawi, who was killed in the July 20, 2012 Colorado theater shootings, filed a lawsuit Tuesday accusing four online retailers of improperly selling ammunition, tear gas, a high-capacity magazine and body armor used in the attack. The lawsuit alleges it was illegal and negligent to sell the gear to James Holmes, who is accused of killing 12 people and injuring 70 in the July 20, 2012, attack. Holmes pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity to multiple counts of murder and attempted murder. (AP Photo/Brennan Linsley)
Judge Carlos A. Samour Jr. speaks during a hearing for Aurora theater shooting suspect James Holmes in Centennial, Colo., on Tuesday, June 4, 2013. Samour accepted a plea of not guilty by reason of insanity from Holmes. He also ruled that prosecutors can have access to a notebook Holmes sent to a psychiatrist before last summer's rampage. (AP Photo/The Denver Post, Andy Cross, Pool)
Defense Attorney Daniel King, right, and Aurora theater shooting suspect James Holmes review advisement documents in court in Centennial, Colo., on Tuesday, June 4, 2013. Holmes was allowed to change his plea to not guilty by reason of insanity. (AP Photo/The Denver Post, Andy Cross, Pool)
Defense Attorney Daniel King, right, and Aurora theater shooting suspect James Holmes attend court in Centennial, Colo., on Tuesday, June 4, 2013. Holmes was allowed to change his plea to not guilty by reason of insanity. (AP Photo/The Denver Post, Andy Cross, Pool)
In this March 12, 2013 file photo, James Holmes, left, and defense attorney Tamara Brady appear in district court in Centennial, Colo. for his arraignment. Holmes, the suspect in the Colorado theater massacre, could enter his long-expected insanity plea at a hearing Tuesday June 4, 2013, though the case could also veer off on another tangent as his lawyers seek the strongest possible defense. (AP Photo/The Denver Post, RJ Sangosti, Pool, File)
Family members and victims are escorted to the courtroom for a hearing where Aurora theater shooting suspect James Holmes asked a judge to enter a plea of not guilty by reason of insanity, Monday, May 13, 2013, in Centennial, Colo. (AP Photo/Ed Andrieski)
Defense attorney Tamara Brady talks to defendant James Holmes during his arraignment in Centennial, Colo., on Tuesday, March 12, 2013. Judge William Blair Sylvester entered a not guilty plea on behalf of James Holmes on Tuesday after the former graduate student's defense team said he was not ready to enter one. (AP Photo/Denver Post, RJ Sangosti, Pool)
In this Tuesday, March 12, 2013 file photo, Judge William Blair Sylvester speaks during James Holmes' arraignment, where he entered a guilty plea for Holmes, in district court in Centennial, Colo., after the former graduate student's defense team said he was not ready to enter one. On Monday, April 1, 2013, Sylvester named a new judge, Carlos A. Samour Jr., to take over Holmes' case. As chief judge for the district, Sylvester is responsible for the overall running of the court and said he couldn’t do that and also oversee a complicated death penalty case. (AP Photo/Denver Post, RJ Sangosti, Pool, File)
This courtroom sketch shows James Holmes being escorted by a deputy as he arrives at preliminary hearing in district court in Centennial, Colo., on Monday, Jan. 7, 2013. Investigators say Holmes opened fire during the midnight showing of the latest Batman movie on July 20, killing 12 people and wounding dozens. (AP Photo/Bill Robles, Pool) TV OUT
Arlene Holmes, mother of Aurora theater shooting suspect James Holmes, walks back into court at the Arapahoe County Justice Center for a hearing in the 2012 Colorado movie theatre shooting case, Tuesday, July 22, 2014 in Centennial, Colo. The court will look at setting a new trial date in the case against James Holmes. (AP Photo/The Denver Post, RJ Sangosti, Pool)
James Holmes parents Robert and Arlene Holmes arrive at district court for the arraignment of their son Aurora theater shooting suspect James Holmes in Centennial, Colo., on Tuesday, March 12, 2013. The judge has entered a not guilty on behalf of James Holmes after his lawyer said he's not ready to enter a plea. Holmes is charged with killing 12 people and wounding more than 50 in a crowded Colorado movie theater last year. (AP Photo/Ed Andrieski)
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Holmes has pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity in the attack that killed 12 people and injured 70 in July of 2012.

While testifying. Aurora police Detective Sgt. Matthew Fyles read passages from the notebook, including one in which Holmes detailed the "obsession to kill" since he was a child and how to carry it out.

Holmes also wrote that problems that led him to withdraw from a graduate neuroscience program at the University of Colorado shouldn't be viewed as a reason for his violence.

The "causation is my state of mind for the last 15 years," he wrote.

Holmes dismissed biological warfare and serial murder as ways to act out his obsession and instead chose what he called a "mass murder/spree." He wrote that he considered attacking an airport but didn't want to be mistaken for a terrorist.

"The message is there is no message," Fyles said Holmes wrote.

Holmes also wrote that he needed to research firearms along with the law and mental illness, Fyles said.

Fyles said the notebook was mailed to Holmes' psychiatrist, Lynne Fenton, in a white bubble mailer with a total of 16 "Forever" stamps depicting various scientists.

The mailer contained twenty $20 bills, some of which were dispersed throughout the notebook, and the bills were all burned to some extent.

While cross-examining the detective, defense attorney Daniel King said Holmes wrote that death is "life's fallback solution to all problems." In another section, Holmes said, "the real me is fighting the biological me."

Prosecutors have focused on portions of the notebook that detail Holmes' planning of the attack. However, King said confusing musings about Holmes' life make up a greater part of the notebook.

Jurors were given copies of the notebook to read themselves.

Inside the mailer, authorities found a sticky note marked with a circle with the numeral one and the infinity sign inside — the same symbol found on a calendar in Holmes' apartment on the date July 20, 2012, the day of the shooting.

The words "who, what, where, when, why and how" were written on the back of the note, the detective testified.

The first month of Holmes' death penalty trial was dominated by dramatic and emotional accounts of survivors, technical testimony from investigators, and the recollections of Holmes' neuroscience professors and classmates, who said he never seemed detached from reality.

District Attorney George Brauchler has promised to show jurors days' worth of interviews with Holmes by psychiatrists William Reid and Jeffrey Metzner. Both doctors determined Holmes suffered mental illness but was sane at the time of the shootings.

Holmes' lawyers disagree, saying his mind was so distorted by schizophrenia that he could no longer tell right from wrong. They plan to call at least two doctors of their own who also interviewed Holmes and found he suffered a serious psychotic illness.

Jurors could also hear from Fenton, who treated Holmes at the University of Colorado and expressed concerns about him to campus police after he sent her threatening text messages.

If jurors find Holmes not guilty by reason of insanity, he would be sent indefinitely to a state psychiatric hospital. Prosecutors are urging them to find Holmes guilty and sentence him to be executed.

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