Reporter Sara Burnett of the Rocky Mountain News, on December 11, 2007, was one of the first media sources to reveal that Murray called himself "nghtmrchld26" ("Nightmare Child 26") online.
Overnight most but not all of Murray's writings began disappearing from the ex-Pentecostal forums and message boards he used. This relates especially to the investigation on-going since the FBI pulled the messages that Murray incredibly posted between his shootings at Arvada and Colorado Springs.
Some of these postings, however, remain in the emails of others who express shock in response to "nghtmrchld26," who was also known simply as "NMC."
One such message left by Murray, posted between the shootings, reflects those we have read from other rampage shooters: "See you all on the other side, we're leaving this nightmare behind to a better place "
Several members of one ex-Pentecostal forum engaged in their own detective work, and quickly connected the dots that NMC and Matthew Murray were one in the same person.
Here's a list of the overlaps they discussed:
1. Former member of YWAM. Asked not to join them on a mission trip.
2. Former member of Ted Haggard's church (according to NMC in a private chat room conversation).
3. Often talked about suicide.
4. Often called his mom "psycho."
5. Made references to Ricky Rodriguez, a man who grew up in a cult and went on a killing spree to punish those who were responsible for his life in the cult.
6. Came to the forum and said he was going to kill people, and that they better hide from him.
7. Told us he was going to "a better place."
8. Told us he didn't care if he was killed in "the gunfight."
9. Told us Christians were to blame for "this" happening.
10. Told us "It's time for me to head out and teach these xxxxxxx a lesson."
11. Said "See you all on the other side, we're leaving this nightmare behind to a better place."
12. Said, "God I can't wait till I can kill you people, I'll just go to some downtown area in some big city and blow up and shoot everything I can."
Murray would often sign off as "Mister Crowley........," an obvious reference to Aleister Crowley, the British occultist, writer, philosopher, and mystic (who died on December 1, 1947). Murray perhaps identified with Crowley, because Crowley was raised in a strict religious family as was Murrary.
After the death of Crowley's father, Crowley broke from his religious upbringing and his mother's efforts at keeping her son in the Christian faith. When Crowley was a child, his constant rebellious behavior displeased his mother to such an extent she would call him "The Beast" (from the Book of Revelation), a moniker that Crowley would later adopt for himself.
Murray's relationship with his religious mother, in Murray's mental state, appears to have mirrored that of Crowley.
Murray has left many virtual footprints online, although they are rapidly being expunged from forums. He was very open about his hatred for Christians, his liking for Marilyn Manson, and other cultural artifacts familiar within the suicidal-homicidal subculture he decided to haunt. For Murray, this seemed to be his only choice after a life of what he saw as Christian abuse.
In line with my previous blog about the Finnish music (HIM) admired by Omaha shooter Robert A. Hawkins, intriguingly on August 5, 2007, Murray posted lyrics from an album by the funeral doom band from Finland, Shape of Despair.
Murray's wording and posts reflect the same phrasing left by Columbine killer Eric Harris.
The writing, first reported by Denver's 9News, was confirmed as Murray's work by investigating authorities. He posted the message at 11:03 a.m. on a website for people who have left organized religion, almost 11 hours after the Arvada shooting and two hours before the Colorado Springs attack.
"You christians brought this on yourselves," Murray writes in his 452-word harangue. "I'm coming for EVERYONE soon and I WILL be armed to the @#%$ teeth and I WILL shoot to kill.
"Feel no remorse, no sense of shame, I don't care if I live or die in the shoot-out. All I want to do is kill and injure as many of you as I can especially Christians who are to blame for most of the problems in the world."
In his notebooks, Harris proclaimed: "I'm coming for EVERYONE soon, and I WILL be armed to the (expletive) teeth, and I will shoot to kill."
The only substantive change Murray made to the Harris writing is replacing the name of Harris' target, classmate and neighbor Brooks Brown, with "Christians who are to blame for most of the problems in the world."
Murray's childhood seems to have been remembered by him in a fashion that reinforced his suicidal thought patterns. One thread Murray wrote about was of him being the "Prophetic Child."
Since I was at least age 6 my mother and her church friends have always told me about how my birth was "foretold." They say that while I was still in my mother's womb a "prophet" told my mother that I was to be, quote, "a prophet to the nations" and something along the lines of the next Billy Graham/Peter Wagner.
They said that the following verses applied to me: Mat. 12.18 and Ezk. 36:26-28
Basically, they believe that I am their "chosen one" for "the end times" and according to the Ezekial passage they believe that I am going to go back to their church/system.
The problem right now is the fact that it appears that they are always going to pursue me throughout life (and they have said so), as I am supposedly the "chosen one." As far as I can tell they did not treat the other youth the same way.
Well, I don't want to be their "chosen one" at all. I just wish I could find some way to wake up from this nightmare. ~ nghtmrchld26, 9/7/07 9:13 pm, on the Ex Pentecostal Forums - Message Board - ezboard.com.
9/8/07 3:01 pm
You break my back, but you won't break me
All is black, but I still see
Time's going to wash away all pain ~ nghtmrchld26.
9/8/07 3:46 pm
I was supposed to keep this "calling" completely secret from outsiders. Like even other christians were not supposed to know if they were not a part of the "church elite" at that church and with my mother. ~ nghtmrchld26.
None of this justifies anything that Murray did, but it may assist in explaining why he didn't care if he was shot dead. What we find is yet another example of a killer full of suicidal rage directed at a group of people who could not have known what was coming their way.
Late update - Tuesday, December 11, 2007: Matthew Murray, 24, was struck multiple times by a security officer at New Life Church on December 9th, but his death was ruled a suicide, the El Paso County Coroner's Office concluded after an autopsy on December 11th.