Insane for Fame
On January 8th, 2011 a young 22-year-old American white man named Jared Lee Loughner came to a Safeway Supermarket Shopping Center in Tucson, Arizona for “Congress on Your Corner.” He allegedly gunned down six people while wounding thirteen others perhaps looking for fame shooting 40-year-old Democratic Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords through the brain. Daniel Hernandez, Jr. a 20-year-old intern who had only been on the lawmaker’s political team for about 5 days was credited with saving Giffords. Hernandez was honored at a State of the Union address as a hero by President Obama. Mark Kelly Gabby’s NASA astronaut-husband has been by his wife’s side trying to comfort her from the devastating head injury.
President Obama and millions of people from around the country send get well wishes for Gabby Giffords’ speedy recovery. Please pray for Gabby and the other families who are suffering.
On Friday, February 4th Mark Kelly made a tough decision to resume his post at NASA as Commander of the Endeavour’s final space mission. Kelly feels his wife would be okay with his returning to the space shuttle program this spring after her terrible ordeal. It would be great if she could be there when I blast off into space.
On Wednesday, February 9th Gabby’s doctors say they are very pleased as she is able to speak partially and eating three hospital meals a day. Gabby never stops plugging away. A congressional aide says that Gabby is using a walker and talking more each day. Physical therapy is helping Giffords to speak once again by reciting song lyrics. She’s kept abreast of the latest political news and the unrest in Egypt. Gabby is a mighty strong lady.
Rehabilitation specialists at Memorial Hermann-Texas Medical Center claim that brain injury patients who are able to regain speech do so within four to six weeks. They will experience some type of permanent loss physiologically or psychological function. It’s much too early to tell whether Representative Giffords will be able to return to her position in Congress. Meanwhile Gabby Giffords and other congressional representatives face re-election uncertainty.
Gabrielle Giffords continues her amazing road to recovery from intensive care to a Houston, Texas rehab facility where she is receiving physical therapy. Many other victims were not that lucky. A young 9-year-old girl Christina-Taylor Green was found dying at the scene. We will always remember Christina the child with a beautiful smile. Born on 9/11, she is now with God in heaven. 63-year-old U.S. Chief Federal District Judge John M. Roll and an aide to Rep. Giffords, Gabe Zimmerman who was 30 had been preparing to get married were killed trying to serve their country.
In light of this terrible tragedy Congress has voted that Chief Federal Judge John M. Roll’s name be placed on the future courthouse in Yuma, Arizona. On February 17th honoring Judge John M. Roll, President Obama will officially sign the bill. This legislation was supported by U.S. Representative Gabrielle Giffords’ office who worked closely with Judge Roll on many pending federal court issues. The slain judge’s wife, Maureen Roll thanked House members and Senators John McCain and Jon Kyl in bringing forth this bill on Capitol Hill.
Federal authorities traced the semiautomatic Glock handgun with an extended magazine that Loughner purchased at a local shop. When the police searched Loughner’s home they found an envelope in a safe supposedly his handwriting on scribbled notes that read “I planned ahead. My assassination – Giffords,” Love Jared. “Die, bitch” with “Giffords” name. Then Loughner went to the shopping center and allegedly shot Gabrielle Giffords through the brain.
Who is to blame? Family, friends, teachers and students when they felt threatened by Jared and did not complain to the authorities.
Now his court-appointed high-profile Federal Public Defender Judy Clarke of San Diego is asking for the insanity plea instead of the death penalty. It seems Jared Loughner has a split personality. Will Loughner put on that same smirk smile when he makes his first court appearance before a Federal judge for trial? A federal investigation has been completed and the case now heads to the U.S. Attorney for prosecution.
Will the judge budge? U.S. District Court Judge Larry A. Burns wants the Federal Marshall’s agency to decide on whether or not to release a second mug shot which was taken in Phoenix while the college dropout Jared Loughner was in their custody. As far as unsealing search warrant records seized from Loughner’s home after the shooting, this is still an ongoing investigation with other federal indictments pending. Loughner’s attorneys had argued that releasing search warrant documents would harm their client’s right to a fair trial. Meanwhile Loughner’s next court date is March 9th. The results from a mental evaluation could determine if Loughner receives the death penalty. His defense attorney will most likely file a motion requesting the trial be moved out of Arizona to perhaps California. Prosecutors filed motions to move the proceedings to Tucson from Phoenix with no objection from Loughner’s attorney.
An emergency motion to block original mug shot taken by the Sheriff’s department in Tucson has been filed by the defense attorney stating that private info should not be revealed on what Loughner looked like at the time of his most humiliating moments which could be a determining factor in the criminal proceedings.
No eyebrows, a bald smirky smiling Loughner federal mug shots have been released exclusively to CNN the only news network to obtain these photos of the defendant while in custody.
Attorneys file court documents blocking the release of medical examiner’s autopsy reports in light of the press request to produce victims’ trauma and cause of death might be prejudicial.
Pima County Medical Examiner’s Office have released autopsy reports of the six victims.
Prosecutors want handwriting samples from Loughner relating to the nasty notes he wrote. Tucson shooter fights for his First Amendment rights. Defense attorney says her client is willing to openly confirm that it is his handwriting.
Judy Clarke, defense attorney wants the trial delayed until 2013 due to Loughner’s mental condition. Prosecutors request psychological reports, but defense attorney says they are incriminating and violate her client’s Fifth Amendment rights. The prosecution will strike this down in court showing that prison guards were present at the time Loughner was undergoing mental evaluations.
On Friday, March 4th, federal prosecutors filed 49 additional charges against the disturbed Tucson shooter Jared Lee Loughner. Previously the defendant was only charged with killing federal officials which included the attempted assassination on Representative Gabrielle Giffords, but after a thorough investigation on other victims of the shootings prosecutors filed more indictments of murder against Loughner. Defendant who will appear for an arraignment and competency hearing on Wednesday, March 9th in Tucson before a district court judge faces the death penalty.
On March 9th, the accused Tucson shooter, Jared Lee Loughner sat in a federal courtroom with a smirky smile while the judge entered a plea of not guilty to charges of murder and attempted murder. Loughner thought it was funny when the judge discussed his YouTube videos. Then Judge Burns agreed to release the search warrants relating to two handgun magazines found at the shooting scene. The judge ordered a psychological evaluation which was requested by the prosecution in determining Loughner’s competency to stand trial. Defense attorney, Judy Clarke had some objections. The judge who is expected to rule on Loughner’s competency set for May 25th at which time other issues like handwriting samples and a trial date will have to wait until after his decision.
Three of the surviving shooting victims in the courtroom include 74-year-old Army Colonel Bill Badger glazed by a bullet in the back of the head helped disarm and tackle Loughner, 73-year-old Susan Hileman in a wheelchair who bought 9-year-old Christina-Taylor Green to Gabrielle Giffords’ event “Congress on the Corner” and the widow of victim Pastor Dorwan Stoddard. The defendant’s father, Randy Lougher with bushy salt-and-pepper hair sat solemnly not looking at anybody.
Ron Barber who is 65, District Director for Gabrielle Giffords was shot twice and rushed to the University Medical Center emergency room in critical condition. Recovering from his wounds Barber thanks a bystander who stopped the bleeding. He was released from the hospital to attend Judge Roll’s funeral.
63-year-old Pam Simon Giffords’ staffer is released from Tucson hospital after being shot in the chest bullet landing in her hip, says she’s a very lucky lady.
Family of Christina-Taylor Green trademark her name, but not for fame. They want to protect Christina’s memory.
Jon Wolf, a photographer who copyrighted pictures he took in his studio of Christina has filed a lawsuit against the media for using these photos. There were 9 million searches on Google.
Coming this spring during training Los Angeles Dodgers and Arizona Diamondbacks baseball team responding to the Tucson attack will play exhibition games to benefit a memorial fund honoring 9-year-old Christina-Taylor Green.
Angel wings memorializing Christina-Taylor Green. The 9-year-old born on 9/11 who God is now watching over in heaven gets a five-foot piece of steel from the WTC made into an angel to be erected in the outfield of her Little League softball field in Tuscon (Field of Green Dreams). National 9/11 flag salvaged from ground zero has traveled around the country for many years was flown to Christina’s funeral, a gesture of goodwill inspiring the statue. Still brewing over his grandchild’s death, 76-year-old ex-Mets-Yankee manager, Dallas Green has loving memories.
While all these events are happening Gabby is eating sushi, laughing, walking, responding to jokes and writing. Giffords sent a Twitter twin message to her husband, Mark and brother-in-law, Scott wishing them happy birthdays. Gabby also thanked TIRR Herman Memorial Hospital where she’s receiving intense physical therapy for a birthday cake designed with the likeness of her astronaut-husband, Mark Kelly. The cake was posted on Giffords’ facebook page. Gabby is feeling better every day. Her doctors say Giffords is making tremendous progress there’s the possibility she may attend her astronaut-husband, Commander Mark Kelly’s final Endeavour space shuttle mission scheduled in April.
Democrats supporting Gabrielle Giffords are not only rooting for her speedy recovery, but raising money for the Arizona representative’s re-election.
Giffords receives part of a Purple Heart award. 53-year-old Al Lee wounded in Iraq gave the Purple Challenge coin to Giffords for her support of veterans and military service men fighting for our country. Pam Simon, community outreach director, accepted the award for U.S. Representative Gabrielle Giffords.
At the request of the Associated Press, Tucson’s Pima Community College where Jared Loughner attended released on Friday, April 22, 2011 a 900-page document containing emails from school employees reacting to the 22-year-old shooting suspect’s attack.
Judge requesting emails from school attended by Arizona shooter, Jared Lee Loughner.
NASA’s Commander-Astronaut Mark Kelly says the doctors are extremely pleased with his wife’s speedy recovery. She’s close to standing alone and walking on her own. Gabby has been cleared to make the trip to Florida for Endeavour’s April 29th shuttle launching. Giffords will be sitting next to Mark Kelly’s three daughters, President Obama as well as his wife, Michelle, their two daughters, Malia and Sasha. According to the Medical Chief of Staff Gifford’s hair shaved for brain surgery has already grown two inches long. Gabby’s thin scar over the forehead and throat is healing. It’s amazing to see that she looks about the same as before the shooting.
Gabby Giffords leaves Texas arriving in Florida to see her husband, Commander-Astronaut Mark Kelly’s Cape Canaveral shuttle space launching. Crew of Endeavour will be wearing blue bracelets in honor of Gabrielle Giffords, the brave lady. Gabby will choose a song for the shuttle crew to wake up to.
A disappointing shuttle launching has been delayed until May 16th due to a heater malfunction issue.
Endeavour’s Mark Kelly and crew finally blast off with great Florida weather from Cape Canaveral. Half a million people viewed the lift off while Kelly’s wife, Gabby watched the space ship roar into the sunset from a rooftop at the space center joined by other members of the family. The Endeavour crew are feeling great in outer space.
Gabby Giffords is back at the Houston rehabilitation center where doctors on Wednesday, May 18th will be reconstructing a piece of her skull with plastic implant, a giant step for her speedy recovery. Surgeons removed part of Gabby’s skull to relieve pressure on her brain after she was shot in the head more than four months ago by Arizona shooter, Jared Loughner, allegedly insane for fame. Doctors call this surgical procedure fairly routine which will be improving Gabby’s quality of life to help her feel more normal. Gabby is now at ease in recovery awake and communicating with nurses and doctors on duty after wearing a helmet adorned with an Arizona state flag since she began therapy. Her husband Mark Kelly communicates with Gabby every day by video from outer space.
Defense and prosecutors agreed that doctors will not have to testify on May 25th as their written statements can be presented to the court for Jared Loughner’s competency hearing.
The weird smirky smiley Jared Lee Loughner appeared in court before U.S. District Judge Larry Burns on May 25th after being examined and evaluated by two professional mental health doctors who determined that the 22-year-old defendant suffers from schizophrenia is found incompetent to stand trial. A September 21st hearing has been set as mental experts continue to evaluate Loughner’s mental competency.
First photos released by Arizona Congressman Gabby Giffords seen smiling on her Facebook page Sunday, June 11, 2011 showing how well she is doing. On June 15th, Gabby left Houston rehab facility to continue outpatient therapy. She is now at her Houston home with astronaut-husband, Mark Kelly. They will be visiting Gabby’s family in Tuscon over the July 18th weekend. It’s her first trip to Tuscon since the shooting tragedy. She will be celebrating “Father’s Day.” Then she’ll be heading back on Sunday to Houston for outpatient therapy.
Democratic congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords seen in a wheelchair looking extremely well while attending NASA ceremony with her husband-astronaut, Mark Kelly on Monday, June 27th marking her first public appearance since the Arizona shooting.
The now famous Giffords’ intern hero Daniel Hernandez throws out first pitch at All-Star game in Phoenix.
Defense attorneys request emergency hearing in light of Jared Loughner being forced by prison doctors on June 21st to take antipsychotic medication they claim is in violation of his constitutional rights. Prosecutors file court papers showing the need for antipsychotic drugs due to defendant’s bad behavior and that Loughner was afforded his rights at a Bureau of Prisons administrative hearing. Federal District Court Judge Larry Burns who was appointed after other Arizona federal judges recused themselves scheduled hearing for Wednesday, June 29th in San Diego, California to explain mandatory drug medication. Defendant Loughner not expected to attend this hearing as he is at a federal prison hospital facility in Springfield, Missouri. Judge Burns rules continuation of psychotic drug medication as Loughner is not only a danger to himself, but others.
While defendant has been in Springfield, Missouri federal prison on two occasions April 4th and May 28, 2011 he became violent refusing psychiatric medications using foul language to a court-appointed psychologist, throwing plastic chair at a doctor, a wet roll of toilet paper at a video camera and spitting at his lawyer.
Defendant’s attorneys appealed ruling of Judge Burns by filing a brief to the 9th Circuit Appellate Court which went before a three-judge panel including Chief Judge Alex Kozinski at a Pasadena. California hearing. On Friday, July 1st court granted a temporary halt to involuntarily medicating Jared Loughner by prison doctors and ordered a reply be filed by prosecutors no later than 5:00 pm July 6th, Wednesday when both sides will make their case. For the present appellate court renders its decision that forced antipsychotic medication is suspended until a ruling has been made on defense petition for a permanent injunction. Another administrative court hearing is set for August 29th when both sides will argue whether or not Loughner should be forced to take antipsychotic medication.
On July 27, 2011 three-judge panel reversed its decision on Loughner refusing medication and permit prison doctors to force defendant to take anti-psychotic medication due to his weird and suicidal behavior.
A final decision will be made in September if defendant is mentally fit to stand trial when a judge determines whether the medical treatment and medication was successful on Loughner.
On Monday, August 1, 2011 Gabrielle Giffords appears on Capitol Hill voting for debt-limit bill. Congressional leaders applaud Giffords.
On September 24th students from the Tucson Mesa Verde Elementary School name playground after 9-year-old Christina-Taylor Green who died from shooting injuries. A very young artist who loved to draw now has her butterfly design at the playground. Christina’s family released butterflies saying it’s been a very difficult time. They will always have Christina on their minds.
“As Good As She Imagined” book written by Roxanna Green about her beautiful daughter, Christina and her dreams.
On October 3rd the latest word from U.S. Federal Judge Larry Burns is that Tucson shooter Jared Loughner could be declared competent for trial as he is improving from anti-psychotic medication.
On Thursday, October 6th happy Gabby goes to Washington for husband’s retirement ceremony from the U.S. Navy is greeted by House Members, Democratic Representative Nancy Pelosi and VP Joe Biden.
Giffords travels from Houston,Texas where she’ll be receiving intensive therapy in Asheville, North Carolina from October 24th to November 4th relating to her brain injury.
Gabby and husband, Mark Kelly give an “ABC” interview on November 14th with news anchorwoman Diane Sawyer. The Arizona Congresswoman wrote a joint memoir with her husband entitled “Gabby: A Story of Courage and Hope” charting their romance, her political rise, Kelly’s work for NASA as an astronaut and the Tucson shooting of Giffords and her recovery. Diane Sawyer asks Gabby Giffords if she’ll be returning to politics. Giffords responds “I need to get better.” Mark Kelly says “Gabby will come back stronger.” Giffords finding her voice through music therapy. Other patients are using this method.
On Thursday, November 24th U.S. Representative Gabrielle Giffords makes first public appearance at Arizona Air Base in Tucson with husband, Mark Kelly. They were both wearing aprons and one had the name “Gabby.” We’re here to serve the military and retirees meals for Thanksgiving.
On January 8, 2012 the one-year anniversary of the terrible tragedy Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and husband Mark Kelly attend a vigil memorial in Tucson, Arizona honoring twenty people shot in a supermarket parking lot and six who lost their lives by the hands of Jared Lee Loughner after he went on a shooting spree.
On January 22nd U.S. Democratic Representative Gabrielle Giffords announces giving up her 8th congressional seat sometime this week as she still needs more recovery time from the extensive brain injury. Her intentions are to return one day to serve Arizona and the country. Giffords will be attending an Arizona family assistance center honoring her.
On Tuesday, January 24th Rep. Giffords and her husband retired astronaut, Mark Kelly together with Warren Buffet’s secretary, Steve Jobs’ widow are special guests at President Barack Obama’s “State of the Union Address.” Gabrielle Giffords receives a congressional standing ovation while she hands in her resignation to House Speaker John Boehner.
Injured Democrat Ron Barber a former aide to Gabrielle Giffords is running for her 8th District Congressional seat in the State of Arizona.
On Friday, February 10th the U.S. Navy named its newest warship after USS Gabrielle Giffords for her bravery. Former Arizona Congresswoman and husband Mark Kelly attended a Pentagon ceremony together with the Roxana Green mother of 9-year-old victim, Christina Taylor-Green.
On Saturday, June 9th former Democratic Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords joined by her husband-retired astronaut Mark Kelly made a rare public appearance at a “Get Out the Vote” concert in downtown Tucson. Giffords was cheered by a rousing crowd of supporters as she smiled and held hands with former top aide 66-year-old Ron Barber hoping to be elected to her 8th congressional district was one of the victims gravely injured in the shooting massacre. Mark Kelly remarked how difficult it was for his wife who thanked everyone for being there to resign from her congressional seat.
Voters officially select Ron Barber to take over Giffords’ old district where she served since 2006 before resigning in January. She campaigned with Barber over the weekend. Minority House Speaker Nancy Pelosi congratulated Barber on his victory beating Republican Jesse Kelly. Ron Barber was administered the oath of office by House Speaker John Boehner.
Jared Loughner was rejected from serving in the U.S. Army because he failed a urine test and was on drugs. His You Tube video “This is my Genocide School” shows a troubled and lonely man that seems to be suffering mentally.
Loughner now 23 charged with 49 criminal offenses and first-degree murder of a grand jury indictment in the Tucson, Arizona Supermarket Shopping Center shooting spree which wounded 13 people including Democratic Representative Gabrielle Giffords has been found competent by an expert psychologist and psychiatrists. Defendant has agreed with prosecutors to plead guilty to 19 charges at a scheduled court hearing held on Tuesday, August 7th 2012 which gives him life in prison with no parole avoiding death penalty. November 8th is sentencing. U.S. attorney John S. Leonardo hopes the resolution of this case helps victims and their families as well as Tucson community to go forward in healing and recovering from this senseless tragedy.
Former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and retired astronaut husband Mark Kelly are moving back home to Tucson on Sunday, August 12th after she received extensive physical and speech therapy in Houston. Giffords will begin another round of therapy in Tucson, but not the daily six to eight hour grind that she was undergoing in Houston. Gabby to deliver “Pledge of Allegiance” in North Carolina at final session of Democratic National Convention.
On Thursday, September 20th Space Shuttle Endeavour atop transport plane leaves Houston flying over several cities including Tucson, Arizona home of last person who commanded Shuttle Endeavour mission, Mark Kelly the retired astronaut and wife former Congresswoman Gabby Giffords. NASA was delighted at the request of Kelly with no additional costs to honor her legacy for supporting American human spaceflight.
On Thursday, November 8th after President Barack Obama is re-elected for a second term Gabrielle Giffords and her hubby retired astronaut Mark Kelly including other victims attend heavy six-life sentences for Jared Lee Loughner.
On Wednesday, January 2nd, 2013 former Arizona Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and husband Mark Kelly meet with NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg to discuss gun control regulations after recent shooting massacre in Newton, Connecticut.
On Friday, January 4th former Arizona Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and her retired astronaut husband Mark Kelly visited the families of Newtown, Connecticut Sandy Elementary School massacre and other State officials.
On Wednesday, January 8th Gabrielle Giffords and husband launch a website aimed at national gun control effort for strong lobbying as Obama administration faces a proposed deadline by end of January, 2013 to curb mass shootings and other gun violence that continues to grip the country.
On the two-year anniversary since her gunshot head wounds former Arizona Democratic Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and husband Mark Kelly have first sitdown interview with ABC World News anchorwoman Diane Sawyer.
On Wednesday, January 30th before a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing in Washington on curbing gun violence former Arizona Democratic Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords with her retired-astronaut husband Mark Kelly give first opening statements urging members of congress to act on epidemic of gun violence in America.
On Monday, February 11th Gabby Giffords in new gun-control commercial “Congress must act – Let’s get this done.” Group spokeswoman says the cost for airtime tops $100,000.
On Tuesday, February 12th Gabrielle Giffords and husband Mark Kelly will be in Washington at President Obama’s “State of the Union” when he speaks on jobs, the economy and gun violence.
On Wednesday, March 6th former U.S. Democratic Arizona Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords joined by her husband Mark Kelly returns with other victims to Tucson shopping center where she was critically wounded pleas for new gun controls and urges senators to support expanded background checks for gun purchases.
On Thursday, March 28th Jared Loughner, Tucson shooter new report reveals his mental state. His family and friends suspected something was wrong before the shopping center shooting. Parents hid his shotgun and disabled his auto at night. They may have warned a friend about his plans. Loughner fired more than 30 rounds before he was tackled to the ground. He carried two fully-loaded Glock magazines and a folding knife in his pockets. Jared Loughner told the police “I was the only person that knew about this.”
On Sunday, May 5th Gabby Giffords receives “2013″ Profile in Courage Award from Caroline Kennedy daughter of JFK at John F. Kennedy Library in Boston for recognition of the former U.S. Representative’s outstanding political, personal and physical courage of fearless ongoing support of policy reforms aimed at reducing gun violence across this country.
Have we learned anything since the Virginia Tech tragedy? This shooter was a loner with a troubled mind as he went on a rampage killing 32 people that day. When will the gun laws change to protect the innocent victims?
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Lyrics created by (Francke) the Yankee (Rhyming the Crime)
All Rights Reserved
“Let’s silence gun violence”
See “Virginia Tech Tragedy” 2007 shootings “Rampage” (Sample Rhymes)