A “suspicious package” that the University of Colorado’s medical school in Aurora says was delivered to the school on Monday was “a notebook sent through the mail by suspected killer James Eagan Holmes before [last] Friday morning’s massacre,” The Denver Post reports.
The Post says it confirmed that news with “a law enforcement official.” And it adds that “Fox News, The Wall Street Journal, CBS News, NBC and CNN reported law enforcement sources [said] that the notebook contained drawings about a massacre and was sent to a CU psychiatrist.”
“The FBI and other law enforcement agencies refused to confirm the reports to The Associated Press,” that wire service says.
Wednesday evening, the university’s Anschutz Medical Campus knocked down an earlier Fox News report that the package had been delivered to the school on July 12 — eight days before the shooting rampage at a movie theater in Aurora, that left 12 people dead and 58 wounded — and had gone unopened. In a statement sent to reporters, the school said:
“Officials at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus can confirm that the suspicious package discovered at the Facilities Services building on Monday, July 23, 2012, was delivered to the campus by the United States Postal Service that same day, immediately investigated and turned over to authorities within hours of delivery. This package prompted the building’s evacuation at 12:26 p.m. and employees were allowed to return by 3:06 p.m.
“The anonymous Fox News source that the package was received on July 12 and sat on a loading dock is inaccurate.
“We remain unable to discuss anything further on this package in accordance with the order of Judge Sylvester on July 23, 2012.”
(Update at 12:15 p.m. ET. Fox News Stands By Its Reporting: In a statement sent to reporters, Fox News executive vice president/executive editor John Moody says that “we respect the university’s position but are confident that our law enforcement source, who we will not name because of a prior agreement, was in a position to know the timing of the package’s whereabouts. We believe those details will be part of the evidence, which will be presented at an eventual trial.”)
If the package did indeed contain a notebook Holmes filled with drawings about the massacre, its discovery is reminiscent of the April 2007 delivery to NBC News of a package sent by Virginia Tech killer Seung-Hui Cho.
Cho, who killed 32 people at the school, sent photos and videos to NBC in which he talked about what he was going to do. That package arrived two days after the Virginia Tech attack.
Update at 2:40 p.m. ET. Judge Repeats Order To Not Disseminate Information:
In the wake of the reports about the package and what it supposedly contains, Arapahoe County (Colo.) District Court Judge William Sylvester this morning signed an order stating that the “district attorney’s office and law enforcement agencies involved in this case are hereby ordered to immediately comply with this court’s previous order limiting pre-trial publicity, are directed to refrain from disseminating information that presents a danger to the fairness of a trial in this matter … and are prohibited from disseminating any information or material that appears to possibly be privileged or that defendant alleges is privileged, until issues of privilege can be fully litigated.”