Crime

Diary depicts Castillo's thinking

Murder suspect Alvaro Castillo did not take the stand Wednesday, but his words dominated the afternoon's testimony.

Two legal assistants with the Orange-Chatham District Attorney's Office read dozens of his diary entries to the jury, detailing Castillo's plans to kill himself between January and April 2006 and plans for a murder-suicide he called "Operation Columbine" between June and August. Throughout the journal, Castillo referred to movie plotlines and celebrity criminals.

Castillo, 22, of Hillsborough, stands accused of killing his father Aug. 30, 2006, and then driving to Orange High School and opening fire there. James Williams, Orange County's chief public defender, is mounting an insanity defense to fight the murder and assault charges against his client.

In his diary, Castillo wrote of viewing pornography as a 7-year-old, of being tempted to molest a child while in high school and of struggling with his sexual attraction toward Columbine shooter Eric Harris.

But he framed his April 2006 suicide attempt as an effort to win the attention of a former Orange High schoolmate named Anna, for whom he named his 9mm semi-automatic rifle. He likened his fantasy to the failed plot of John Hinckley Jr. to shoot President Ronald Reagan and kill himself in front of actress Jodie Foster.

"I plan to show up at N.C. State and shoot myself in front of her," Castillo wrote in early January.

Castillo wrote of an "evil twin" representing his "dark side" and visions of that twin raping him. "He tricks me into sawing off my hand to prevent him from raping Anna," he wrote.

As he planned his suicide, Castillo said his last meal would include pepperoni and green-pepper pizza, Harris' favorite meal after his shift at Blackjack Pizza in Columbine Valley, Colo.

"If I rush things, my scheme will be discovered, and I will be sent to a psychiatric ward," Castillo wrote.

On April 20, 2006, Castillo, who had spent some time in the National Guard, donned his Class A dress uniform and prepared to kill himself with a shotgun, just as the character Col. Matthew Markinson had in the movie "A Few Good Men," according to the journal. But his father, Rafael Huezo Castillo, returned home early and foiled the plan. The younger Castillo then spent seven days under involuntary commitment, according to his attorney.

Castillo wrote that he started thinking about a Columbine-style shooting at Orange High School, his alma mater, soon after his release, and he bought another shotgun within days.

"Sacrifice will occur, and those children will be free from evil," he wrote. "I don't want revenge on Orange High School. ... We have to leave this sick ... masochist world."

According to the diary, Castillo fantasized about finishing off students who were injured but not killed at Columbine. He also fantasized about using a chain saw on one Columbine victim's father who had destroyed the crosses over the shooters' graves.

"They deserved to be recognized," he wrote. "They were victims, too."

In July, Castillo wrote again of his attraction to Harris.

"I would like to see his body," he wrote. "I miss Anna, and I am afraid of scaring her away. I will never get a girl or a boy. My weapons are my loves. I spend a lot of time with them, and I hope they will never leave me. ... A school shooting has never happened in N.C., and it is high time one happens."

A few weeks before the August attack, Castillo wrote about going to a shooting range twice with his father and shooting high-powered handguns.

"Man, I just love those guns," he wrote. "I want one now, but I will not be able to purchase one until I turn 21. Guns are just like toys and lovers for me. I adore them. I love to play with them. I love my weapons."

Earlier in the day, Orange County Sheriff's Investigator Rick Smith testified that Castillo was trying to "copycat" Harris when he allegedly fired 15 rifle rounds into the high school Aug. 30, the birthday of Oregon parent-killer and school-shooter Kip Kinkel, wearing a white headband like University of Texas sniper Charles Whitman.

"He had the same kind of weapons like Harris, he had the clothes like Harris," said Smith, who accompanied Castillo from Orange High to the county jail and then stayed with him for four to five hours that day.

Smith said Castillo described Harris' cargo pants, carbine rifle and sawed-off shotgun. "Orange High was the perfect place to make the people aware of the sacrifice," Smith recalled him saying. "I was going to save those kids from sex, drugs, pornography and abusive people in their lives like my father."

In his journal, Castillo wrote, "I know I am sick. What do you do with sick people like me? They can't change. You have to sacrifice them. Bad things will happen if they live."

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