Reporters debated what Jared Loughner said in his outburst during a May 25 hearing. I reported what we heard in this blog item.
In a new story today, AP has published the official version of the outburst, from the court reporter's transcript. Although the court reporter had access to audio recordings, the new version is no more convincing, as a whole, than the various versions news reporters were discussing.
Here's what the court reporter heard: "Thank you for the free kill. She died in front of me. Your cheesiness."
I was in the courtroom that day, and I can accept the first sentence, "Thank you for the free kill." In fact, that's what a court officer seated near Loughner told me he heard, though I eventually went with "Thank you for the freak show."
That first sentence also connects logically with the next sentence, "She died in front of me," which everybody heard the same.
But "Your cheesiness"? Sorry, I can't believe that one.
What I heard was "You're treasonous!" and I was sure of what I heard, both because I heard it clearly and because it makes sense in the context of Loughner's writings and video ramblings.
Of course, it can be futile to look for logic in a person diagnosed as thoroughly psychotic. And there is that question, which I mentioned before, of whether it matters anyway what exactly he said.