Aurora Shooting Trial: 10 New Things From 22 Hours of James Holmes Psychiatric Evaluation Interviews

Jurors watched the psychiatric interviews of the accused Aurora theater shooter.

— -- The jury in the Aurora, Colorado theater shooting trial slowly stood from their chairs and walked out of the courtroom Thursday afternoon, likely happy for a break.

But Holmes’ public defenders will have to contend with Reid, a key witness, who said Thursday that though he has determined that the gunman suffered from mental illness, he does not suffer from true delusions.

"Was the defendant mentally sane on the night of July 19th to the 20th of 2012?" asked District Attorney George Brauchler.

Reid gave a look to the hushed jury. "Without meaning to usurp the jury's job, and it's a tough job," he answered, " I believe he was."

Lots of new information has emerged in the 22 hours of video interviews. Here are 10 notable findings:

1. Diagnosis: Holmes Isn’t Schizophrenic, Doctor Says

Reid's professional opinion is that Holmes is not schizophrenic, nor did he have a psychotic breakdown the night of the shooting, as the defense contends. Instead, Reid diagnosed the shooter with a mental illness called "schizotypal personality disorder," which is characterized by his difficulty relating to people and constricted behavior. Reid says the shooter knew right from wrong when he committed the murders.

Holmes himself says he killed to increase his own self-worth, which he hoped would lift him out of depression. He told Reid that this did not work. He was still depressed after the shooting, but he felt his own self-worth increased a point for every person he killed. Holmes calls this his theory of "Human Capital." Could this be considered a psychotic delusion, as the defense contends?

"It is an abstract thought,” explained Reid. Holmes could not say that he believed his own theory was real; therefore, Reid says it was a false belief and "though there were aspects of delusion in them, they did not rise to the level of outright delusion." The defense has a psychiatrist who will testify later that Holmes did indeed suffer from a psychotic delusion.

He identified with the character of Leonard on “The Big Bang Theory,” played by Johnny Galecki.

4. Holmes Is Divided on the Death Penalty

The defendant says he is "50-50" on whether he gets life in prison or the death penalty. At first he wanted to be locked away, but his freedoms are restricted in prison, so the death penalty does not sound like such a bad idea after all.

5. He Wasn’t Dressed Like The Joker

Still, the inmates who pass by his cell call him "The Joker." Said Holmes, "They kind of turned me into a super villain. At least I'm remembered for doing something."

6. Holmes’ Special Talent: Reciting the Alphabet Backward

The defendant doesn't communicate with other inmates at the Arapahoe County Jail, but when he was flown to the state mental health facility, he had several conversations with staff who work there. They soon found out that he has a special talent, which he taught himself on long car rides as a child: he can recite the alphabet backward. Reid asked him to do it during the evaluation and he did with no trouble.

7. He Saw Shadows and Axes

The killer says he was seeing shadows – he sometimes called them "flickers" – out of the corner of his eye. He said the images were fighting each other with axes and guns. Holmes also said he heard voices, which is serious symptom of schizophrenia. But the voices, Reid explains, were not telling him what to do. In the interviews, the defendant said the voices were talking about him from another room. When he was a child, the shooter says he was afraid of "Nail Ghosts," which would come out of the wall in his bedroom at night.

8. His ‘Alternative to Nuclear Winter’ Philosophy

The defendant was not on medication from the night he was arrested on July 20th, 2012 up until he had a breakdown in jail in mid-November of that year.

During that time, he wrote a lot about his philosophy of life. The titles? "Identifying the Philosophers AKA 'The Insanes,'" "Utraception" and "The Destruction Law." The latter is an effort to eliminate mankind. "It's the opposite of societal law," he wrote, "Every two people you kill, you're allowed one child." Under this law, people who don't kill can't have children. "It's an alternative to nuclear winter," the gunman calmly told Reid.

Holmes is currently taking five medications, including Risperidone, Lexapro and Vistaril.

9. Holmes Shared His Thoughts With Girlfriend

There was a serious girlfriend for six months with whom the gunman shared some of his most intimate thoughts. They eventually broke up, but In a text message he told her, "Killing is considered evil by society." She encouraged him to get therapy and recommended a social worker. Margaret Roth saw him only once before she sent him to psychiatrist Lynne Fenton, but said he was "the most anxious person I have ever seen."

10. He’s Read the ‘Game of Thrones’ Books

The shooter is a sci-fi fan and during his first set of interviews with Reid, he was reading “A Dance with Dragons,” the fifth novel in George R.R. Martin’s book series that inspired the HBO show “Game of Thrones.”

The defendant was seen by upwards of 20 psychiatric professionals, according to his attorney, Dan King. The prosecution is expected to call more mental health professionals to testify about his condition and will wrap up sometime in the last week of June. Then the defense will take a month to put on its case.

If Holmes is found guilty, the sentencing phase is expected to take another month. The trial may not wrap up until Labor Day.

Meghan Keneally contributed to this report.