PERRY: The quiet chaos of covering a massacre


It’s quiet here.

Quiet’s not good in a newsroom. Quiet is the sound of tragedy.  It’s the sound of crisis. It’s when reporters and editors clench their jaws and squint. Newsrooms are really nothing like TV and the movies paint them. They’re irreverent, noisy and fairly boring offices these days. Except for now. This is what is sounds like after The Bomb goes off in your backyard.

And it has. A bomb of evil exploded at the movie cinema across the street from here. The massive mall there, usually crawling with traffic, is empty of everything except for the fallout of police and federal investigators. They’re looking for evidence from last night’s insanity where a 20-something grad student turned a midnight show of a Batman premier into something scarier than what was on the screen.

After a couple of decades of professionally watching Aurora go by, I didn’t think anything could faze me. I know the drill. There was the Chuck E. Cheese’s massacre. Shootings at the Aurora Mall, Aurora parks, Aurora schools. There was the Labor Day massacre. There was Columbine. There’s been a world of evil deeds dispatched from my keyboard.

But this, this is different. It was a movie theater. It was relentless terrorism. It was right here —  again. This, this is a game changer.

The phone keeps ringing. It’s the world, wanting to know the temperature here in Hell. It’s not so much that it’s hot, but that it’s quiet. And quiet is bad.






  1. Well written. My heart aches for Aurora, a community I spent many years a part of. I graduated from Aurora Central. My prayers are with you all.

  2. My heart breaks for every victim of violence and violent crimes. My heart goes out to all the families who are now suffering from this unimagined horror. 8 years ago I caused my own degree of violence in the city of Atlanta as I ran around stealing ATMs in a drug induced haze. I was caught and sent to prison for 4 years. Upon my release I felt I needed to warn the world about people like me and those that are far worse than myself. I wrote a 65 page E book that is free and in it I break down the mind of the predator. In four years time I have written to 500+ editors and reporters asking them to share this life saving information with their readers. Sad to say I have only received 3 responses. No one is interested in offering advice that will prevent violence. Not all crime is preventable, we see that here in Colorado, but the advice I give is from the heart of a reformed predator and can deter the person of violence and evil intention if applied to our daily lives. I am not plugging anything here. Its all FREE. Read it for yourselves and then judge me. Here is the saddest truth about violence, this is not the last act we will see. Ive said enough.
    The site is
    Peace James Henderson       

  3. I can be cynical but after reading the Pulitzer prizes for years I’m thinking that’s got to be in the back of someone’s mind when I read these.

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