Jared Loughner's Ex-Girlfriend Speaks Out

Kelsey Hawkes, who dated Loughner six years ago, says he was nothing like the deeply troubled man he is now.

Jared Loughner’s Ex-Girlfriend Speaks Out

Kelsey Hawkes, who dated Loughner six years ago, says he was nothing like the deeply troubled man he is now.

-Faye Brennan

Jared Loughner

Imagine being the ex-girlfriend of a man who went on a shooting rampage, killing 6 people and injuring 14 others, all with a devilish grin on his face? That’s a reality for Kelsey Hawkes, who dated Jared Loughner, the man allegedly responsible for the Tucson shooting, six years ago.

Reports have emerged from Loughner’s community college that students and teachers alike found Loughner to be “creepy,” “very hostile,” and “suspicious,” with a “dark personality.” Yet, that’s not the person Hawkes remembers dating.

Read The Arizona Shootings: A Tragedy and My Apology

In an interview with CBS’s Early Show, Hawkes describes her ex as someone who was “very caring, very sweet, gentle, kind, a little bit quiet, but altogether a pretty great guy.” She says his parents were also kind, and didn’t seem at all out of the ordinary. When asked if she ever noticed any violent tendencies in her ex, Hawkes replied, “Absolutely not. I would have never, ever expected to him to become what he has. The Jared I used to know has completely changed from what the world now sees him as.”

Hawkes broke up with Loughner in order to live the single life, and hasn’t spoken to him in 5 years, though she had heard rumors about him. “I seemed to get the impression that he was becoming a little more isolated,” she says. “Some involvement in drugs and alcohol I had heard hints of; there was never anything good about how he was doing.”

Hawkes was at work that Saturday when she heard news of the shooting, and recalls the moment Jared Loughner was named as the suspect. “It was probably one of the more surprising things I’ve ever heard in my life…” she says. “I couldn’t believe it. I was very emotional, very upset that the person that I used to know could become so changed.”

We can’t imagine what that must feel like — to be connected to someone with so much hate and evil wishes in his mind. Even though they haven’t spoken in five years, do you think Hawkes feels unwarranted guilt because of her connection to Loughner? (Newser)

Faye Brennan is assistant editor at BettyConfidential.

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