Cryptic phrases, 'Trainwreck' mentions, more revealed in Lafayette theater shooter's journal, motel photos

On the final page of John “Rusty” Houser’s rambling 39-page journal, just before he scrawled the movie title “Trainwreck,” the unstable drifter perhaps realized, even hoped, his ideas and awful act would soon be the subject of national media attention.

“No matter how perverted the presentation of these notes, or censorship, the contribution is made,” he wrote. “Therefore I leave it all, in hopes of truth, my death all but assured.”

Houser set off the movie title with what appear to be times: “6:33 Trainwreck 7:15.”

The first number comes in what reads like a minute-by-minute breakdown of Houser’s thoughts before he left his room at the Motel 6 on University Avenue, where the journal, released Wednesday by the Lafayette Police Department, was later found by detectives investigating the July 23 shooting at the Grand 16 Theater in Lafayette.

The second number coincides with the start time of “Trainwreck,” the film he walked into with a pistol and opened fire, killing Jillian Johnson and Mayci Breaux and wounding nine others..

On the next line, after “6:39,” Houser wrote: “My choice is clear for anyone that is a leader. If you see the truth you know what is to come.”

Houser, who had been drifting since his eviction in 2014 from his Alabama home, suffered for decades from mental health problems, including manic depression and bipolar disorder, and his extreme views had been made known through online posts over the years, praising white supremacist David Duke and Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh.

His journal paints a clear picture of a sexist, homophobic, racist who feared America’s culture was crumbling around him.

But the document offers few obvious clues about why the 59-year-old traveled to Lafayette and makes only vague references to what might have been going through his troubled mind.

In one section of the journal, he references an “act” involving a movie theater.

“Yes, it will be said and said, ‘how senseless,’ but if my act drains the value of the dollar (because it is not based on anything) by creating new expenses (guards, bulletproof glass, etc. at movie theaters) it is for good overall,” Houser wrote. “The US is the enemy of good, of God.”

He mentions Lafayette only once, but the context of the bizarre phrase is not known: “You can talk to the golf cart dealer here in Lafayette about my experience (in the last week) with the Dixie Cab Company.”

Houser’s journal references Dylann Roof, a white man who shot and killed nine blacks in a Charleston, S.C., church about a month before Houser opened fire in the Lafayette theater.

“Had Dylan [sic] Roof reached political maturity he would have seen the word is not n****r, but liberal. But thank you for the wake up call Dylann,” Houser wrote.

A few pages later, he again mentions Roof, characterizing him as “Green but good.”

One line down, he wrote “Yusuf” and then “very fine,” possibly a reference to Mohammad Youssef Abdulazeez, who killed four U.S. servicemen and mortally wounded a fifth when he opened fire at two military sites in Chattanooga, Tenn., less than two weeks before Houser’s shooting.

The journal is largely a collection of seemingly disjointed notes and observations.

The first line, just under the title “Random Thoughts,” is “America is a filth farm.”

He goes on to list his favorite movies, songs and bands, followed by another list entitled “Lies of the century.”

Among them: “women are on average equal to men (mentally or physically),” “blacks are on average mentally equally to whites,” “God is not good,” and “America is not close to economic collapse.”

Under the heading “America is in the business of,” Houser lists “making whores and prostitutes of girls and women,” “making sexual deviants (homosexuals) of normal people,” and “censoring people who love what is moral.”

He occasionally offers phrases that seem eerily prophetic, considering his ultimate act: “America as a whole is now the enemy. All soft targets included. Nowhere in the U.S. is it safe.”

Houser also references political figures, including Republican presidential hopeful Donald Trump.

Of Trump, Houser declared, “I am not his biggest fan,” and he had written earlier in the journal that the “surprise that Trump (or anyone else) could take control of this foolish nation is no surprise to me. Stupidity rains [sic].”

And though Houser rails against liberals, he has few kind words for the conservative Fox News network.

He counted the statement “Fox news is conservative” among his “Lies of the century” and wrote that Fox “is as guilty as all other networks, but has a different assignment: to weaken the strong.”

Lafayette theater shooter's Journal