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June 7th, 2013
03:31 PM ET

Joshua Cooke's jailhouse message: "If you're watching me and you're contemplating multiple murder, mass murder, I want you to know something – I understand you"

Coming up this evening at 9, Piers Morgan hosts a very special edition of his primetime program as he conducts a rare jailhouse interview with Joshua Cooke.

More than 10 years since murdering both of his parents in their Virginia home, tonight Cooke uses his time with the "Piers Morgan Live" host to offer a message for those considering his path:

"If you're watching me and you're contemplating multiple murder, mass murder, I want you to know something. I understand you. I've been where you are. I know how you've come to where you are mentally and why you're considering murder and suicide and things like that," says Cooke, who has famously cited the film "The Matrix" as the trigger and inspiration for his violence. "Maybe you've been abused like I was or bullied in school or been rejected by girls and maybe you - maybe you're addicted to go these violent video games and things like that, but you don't know the pain that you're going to cause with this type of shooting. You think you do, but you don't."

Imprisoned in Craigsville, Virginia, tonight's conversation with Morgan marks Cooke's first-ever television interview since the 2003 double murder. Talking directly to the camera, tonight's guest begs anyone who's disturbed to seek the help they need and avoid following in his footsteps:

"You've got to think about your family. You've got to think about your friends, how much it's going to hurt them. It's not just about you, it's about the others around you and the people that love you. I've just got to tell you that you've got to get help. You've got to get help," Cooke pleads. "You should really need to see a psychologist. And there's no shame in that. Please get psychological help, because you probably have some problems, like I did."

Watch the clip, then tune in at 9 for the entire interview with the man who used a Remington shotgun to shoot his mom and dad to death in the family's basement.

Anyone contemplating murder or others wanting to talk with Cooke are encouraged to write him at:
Joshua Cooke
Inmate # 1089682
Augusta Correctional Center
1821 Estaline Valley Road
Craigsville, VA 24430

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soundoff (35 Responses)
  1. Alkaine

    Inspiring talk, I wish him the best

    June 7, 2013 at 4:42 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  2. Mary Lou Miller

    When is Josuha Cooke's birthdate??????????????

    June 7, 2013 at 9:27 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  3. Eric

    Piers, Why don't you show the names and pictures of the Columbine killers a couple of more times? You sound off about gun control and violence but then glorify it on your show by posting pictures of these kids who you know have inspired other copycat attacks. You're only motivation is obviously ratings. Hypocrite.

    June 7, 2013 at 9:31 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • paco

      I agree with this. Media is poison to the world many times. It seems to me that ratings are coming before morals and ethics and nobody asks if 'we are doing the right thing' before asking 'how can we increase our ratings'. Shame on our media who should lead in good morals but instead they corrupt.

      June 11, 2013 at 12:22 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  4. Joe

    What is wrong with this world. I really do believe video games can be problematic to certain individuals and off course bad parenting is the number one way to mess up kids. I don't know how his adoptive parents were but as i have seen over the years you really do have to take a good look at the parents and you can pretty much dictate the outcome for the kids. It is sad to blame someone else for another one's issues but the apple doesn't fall far from the tree. Growing up my friends and I were blessed to have those loving parents who cared and made a difference. That alone laid our our path for us. In today's society there are so many disfunctional kids out there it is very troubling to see. And it is not getting any better. I really don't see any solution to this as disfunctional behavior is pretty much considered normal behavior. Going back to the simple life maybe just the solution, less violent movies, less violent video games, bigtime reduction on internet use, spend more time with good friends and family and less isolation.

    June 7, 2013 at 9:49 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • sandangel

      So very well said Joe. The truth hurts and some can't handle the truth when it stares them in the face. This tragedy goes much deeper than the video games Josh Cooke played, or his obsession for the movie, Matrix – from mental illness early on not addressed to the parenting skills of raising him. This of course is not an excuse of why Josh decided to do what he did. But it is a reality that resulted in this tragedy.

      You seldom see someone incarcerated that expresses true remorse for the action they took that put them behind bars. I was especially touched of his deep insight and understanding that the events and experiences that took place in his young years and growing into adulthood resulted in him thinking at the time that the only way out of his misery was to kill his parents. So many kids fall through the cracks when growing up that invariably affects them their entire adult life.

      June 10, 2013 at 10:56 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • jasmine

      Amen! Where were the parents while he was playing video games? Where is their input in his life? When will parents start to take responsibility for their own actions (or lack of)?

      June 11, 2013 at 12:24 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  5. jake Banks

    Every kid growing up experiences loneliness, bullies, rejection from have worse issues to deal with than theses issue.. they don't go killiing people... and hundreds of millions of kids play Violent video games and THEY DONT KILL ANYONE!

    this guy is a murdered bottom line he should be locked up and not given an interview..

    June 7, 2013 at 9:51 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  6. Ron K.

    When will those in the media and government stop trying to blame the obvious (and take the easy road for a show topic), for the reasons people kill? If there were no assault rifles, violent video games, rap and rock music, there would still be MURDER and MASS MURDER!!!! When will we point the finger at mental health and all the people that overlook these killer's mental health issues prior to the murder? When will we address the assault on the American public by drug manufacturers and illegal drug dealers for creating these mentally unstable people? When will we address the absence of God in the public, in schools, and homes as part of the issue? Piers needs to attempt to go in-depth with reality and stop scratching the simple surface with these inane interviews publicizing killers and not the addressing the deep rooted issues.

    June 7, 2013 at 9:54 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  7. bobby

    That was the most staged thing I've ever watched, there was clearly more to joshua cooke getting this opportunity.

    June 7, 2013 at 9:55 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  8. Jacquie

    Pierce, sometimes I am ashamed to say I like your broadcasts, tonight is one of those nights

    June 7, 2013 at 9:58 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  9. Linda schwarzenberg

    I am staunchly anti-gun....but I must take issue with blaming Drowning Pool..or any song...I am 49, have listened to this type of music my whole life, grew up in a traumatic and severely abusive household...and I am NOT VIOLENT........that song is about DANCING...not killing people...only an already-twisted psyche would garner that from that song, and probably from anything including Ronald Mcdonald....

    June 7, 2013 at 10:45 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  10. sandangel

    There are many facets of what lead to Joshua Cooke murdering his parents. If you read the history of this case it was his attorneys that pushed for a defense to blame the movie, Matrix. It was Joshua who made the decision not to go through with the silliness of such a defense.

    He spelled it out in the interview. He was brutally honest of what happened and what led to this tragedy. That is all he has now because of murdering his parents, is to be honest with himself and trust God to give him comfort.

    There sure are a heck of alot in prison that seriously don't have it in them to do that. And because he gives an interview people automatically considers he is getting some special treatment or a pay out to speak about this horrific crime. People can be so short-sighted sometimes. Such is life!

    June 11, 2013 at 1:51 am | Report abuse | Reply
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    July 11, 2013 at 8:50 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  12. Lana

    During Joshua Cooke's talking to someone that may be thinking about doing a mass murder saying something like, I understand where you are coming cut for commercial in the middle of without finishing what he said. REALLY!!!! A teaser is one thing, but messing with the minds of people that are unstable is crazy. If anyone was thinking about doing it, they could be out the door feeling endorsed before they hear the rest of the story, Please think about avoiding any repeat of such dangerous editing/timing.

    August 23, 2013 at 9:25 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • sandangel

      Lana, I watched this interview back in June and again this time. I did not see the cut-off to a commercial during Joshua's interview either time. Maybe it was a glitch with your TV service provider or local broadcasting? I assume there are others who experienced the untimely break in mid-sentence. But just the same, it's apparent that it didn't happen everywhere.

      August 25, 2013 at 6:03 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  13. Tihomir

    The most important part of the CNN’s interview with Joshua Cooke seems to be ignored by TV pundits and professional commentators: his acknowledgment that faith in redemption plays a crucial part in the process of healing and restoration of his life. Obviously claiming a restorative power of faith in Jesus is not something that fits the paradigms of the day. I personally congratulate Joshua for the courage to be strong and sincere in addressing the crime he committed ten years ago, for taking a full responsibility for what he did, and for courage to share his faith in the redemptive power of Christ. He indeed comes across as a changed man.

    August 24, 2013 at 6:29 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • sandangel

      I totally agree Tihomir. I first watched this interview with Joshua Cooke a few months back. I watched it again this time around. I found it just as compelling as the first time I watched it. It is not often that you see someone interviewed behind bars that shows the honesty, sincerity, and knowledge of the crime he committed and how it has affected his life. And stressing the importance of how easily an individual can be influenced by people and situations around them, especially in the years of growing up to adulthood.

      August 25, 2013 at 5:55 pm | Report abuse | Reply
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    very good story, might just save a life!

    August 27, 2013 at 12:55 am | Report abuse | Reply
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