A former classmate of Jared Loughner, the man accused of the maniacal murders of six people -- and the senseless shooting of 14 others, including Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords -- tells New Times memories of Loughner "haunt me."
Caitie Parker, a former classmate of Loughner's at Mountain View High School in Tucson and Pima Community College, made headlines over the weekend for a series of "tweets" in which she described Loughner as a "pothead" and a liberal "political radical."
Parker would not consent to a full interview but offered an explanation as to why she wouldn't, which she's allowed for publication.
In the e-mail, Parker describes her memory of Loughner as "kind, understanding, funny, and a great listener." The man he became, she says, "is a mind I do not know, his malevolence is something I will never understand."
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See Parker's full e-mail to New Times below:
I think now is the time for us to mourn, and the time to heal. Whether our wounds are physical or within our selves. The focus should be on the victims & their families. At times in life we witness acts of malicious intent, and wonder who could do such a thing. Sadly, I know the face of this tragedy. I know his laugh, I know his voice, and have many memories from yesteryear, they haunt me. The boy I knew then, was kind, understanding, funny, and a great listener. The man he became, is a mind I do not know, his malevolence is something I will never understand. I hope one day we can all come to find our own sense of peace & understanding in spite of this event. Now is the time to mourn, not a time to speak.
In second e-mail, Parker references how "haunting" she finds the above photo, released yesterday by the Pima County Sheriff's Office. Below is Parker's description:
It's very scary. His eyes used to be bright, blue, and full of life. Now they're dark, soulless, and evil. That man is not the boy I knew, that's for sure. It's pretty haunting.