DENVER — Lyndon McLeod, the man who police say shot and killed five people last month in Denver and Lakewood, recorded a podcast two years ago in which he talked about the value of "low-level, non-lethal" violence to help people curb their aggression.
The two-hour-long podcast began with a discussion of "Sanction," his trilogy of dystopian, violence-filled fiction in which he named several of the people who were targeted and killed last month.
But the Sanction books were only part of the discussion.
McLeod also explained his theory that people need to be able to physically vent their anger. The podcast was called "The Beauty of Bar Fights."
"I think that's the benefit for the bystander of releasing tension in a normal, fluid linear way, is that you don't end up with a mass murderer, you don't end up with mass shootings," he said.
Helen Zuman hosted the podcast. She and McLeod met online in 2008, when they shared their experiences as part of a self-described "neo-hippie cult" that they both had joined, and later left.
"He used to describe himself as evil," Zuman said. "I think I would have described him as a volatile person."
Zuman said she was not surprised during the podcast by McLeod's thoughts about violence.
"He talked a lot about violence in that way, on a macro scale, the role of violence in human cultures, and its role throughout history," Zuman said.
After listening to the podcast, psychologist John Nicoletti said McLeod sounded to him like a controlling narcissist who enjoyed what Nicoletti called "the thrill of the thought."
"The thrill of the thought comes from talking about 'here's what I'm going to do' or 'here's what people do when they're angry,' so they're getting off on what's going on inside their head," Nicoletti said.
Nicoletti said if he had been asked to do a threat assessment at the time based on the podcast, he would not have thought McLeod posed a risk.
But he said McLeod's books, in which he names names, places and methods, would have been a real concern.
Denver police have said they did not have sufficient evidence to file criminal charges or a legal basis for monitoring McLeod.
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