Parkland shooter visit summaries detail contacts with brother, Sandy Hook mom

Nikolas Cruz in court on April 11, 2022. (WPLG)

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – As the penalty phase of the trial of the Parkland school shooter continues, a compendium of summaries of his video visits in jail lend insight on the shooter’s mindset and an unlikely, cordial relationship with the mother of another school shooting victim.

The court documents detail Nikolas Cruz’s video visits from Jan. 28 to April 18, 2022 and also includes a summary of drawings found in Cruz’s cell in May.

Most of the video calls were from three people: Richard Moore, the roommate of Cruz’s brother Zachary, who has shown up in court in support of Cruz, family friend and former neighbor Patricia Westerlind and an unlikely source: Scarlett Lewis, the mother of 6-year-old Jesse Lewis, who was killed in the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in 2012. Zachary Cruz also participated in one call.

Lewis recently made headlines for securing a $45 million judgement against conspiracy theorist Alex Jones.

The calls, some of which are summarized below, detail the shooter’s thoughts and feelings while in jail, his past family life and a fixation on pornography.

It’s not known when or if the video visit summaries, jail summaries and disturbing drawings will be presented as evidence to consider in the case.

“It will be interesting to see what tactical route the State takes to present this evidence to the jury,” Local 10 News legal analyst David Weinstein said. “Will they introduce it during cross of a defense witness, where they could be limited in what they introduce, or wait until rebuttal to have more control over the evidence?”

Notable calls

Jan. 28, 2022

Participants: Zachary Cruz and Richard Moore

“Nikolas Cruz talks about the fact that he thinks Zachary Cruz should go visit their step mother for Valentine’s Day.”

Valentine’s Day is significant: it was the day Cruz massacred 17 Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School students and staff.

Defense witnesses have testified that Cruz found the death of his adoptive father, Roger Cruz, when he was very young, “traumatic.” A family friend testified in court that Nikolas and Zachary Cruz “came to my husband and I and they said ‘Daddy is not going to bring Mommy flowers, candy, and a card but we would like to.’ So my husband and I took them and bought flowers, a card and candy and they gave it to her for Valentines Day.”

The summary said Cruz is “looking forward to going to prison so he can run for exercise again.” It also states he talks about “‘doing the right thing’ and taking the stand again because I feel ‘guilty’ for the situation I put people in.”

Feb. 4, 2022

Participant: Richard Moore

Cruz “talks about how he wishes he had a cellmate.”

Richard Moore (FILE) (Wade Hughes/Local 10 News)

Feb. 17, 2022

Participant: Scarlett Lewis

Cruz “talks about how the anniversary of the incident is hard for him and how he worries about what the victims’ families think of him.”

He has also discussed his workout schedule “and how he works out after court because he worries about how the victims’ families feel.”

He “talks about both his deceased biological mother and step mother and states that he speaks to them every night” and says he “has a fear of abandonment.”

March 8, 2022

Participant: Richard Moore

Cruz talks about how he misses his “step mother and laughs at the fact that he left his Donald Trump ‘MAGA’ hat on her grave” and “tells Moore the trial is going to take an emotional toll on him.”

Video still of the Parkland school shooter wearing a "Make America Great Again" hat while engaging in target practice in his backyard. (CNN)

March 11, 2022

Participant: Richard Moore

Cruz “tells Richard Moore that he went back on psych medicine due to the stress of being in jail.”

April 4, 2022

Participant: Richard Moore

Cruz “talks about how when he goes to court he feels like the most hated person in the world and that it really affects him.”

He also “talks about his fear of other inmates while in prison.”

April 13, 2022

Participant: Patricia Westerlind

Cruz asks Westerlind to go to his stepmother’s grave to “remove the MAGA hat he left since he knew his mother would (sic) like in (sic) there.”

Cruz said one of his last requests on death row would be to play video games with Zachary before he is executed.

Pornography, a regular topic of discussion in conversations in Cruz’s calls with Westerlind and Moore, comes up.

April 14, 2022

Participant: Scarlett Lewis

Cruz tells Lewis he believes his “unlimited access to things on the Internet affected him.”

He said in the past he was placed in something called the “Bully Box” at school and was once put in there for bringing weapons to school, which caused him to lose the ability to bring a backpack to campus.

Cruz discusses past suicide attempts and Lewis asked him what caused him to go from being “suicidal to homicidal.”

Cruz responded “that several of the topics was (sic) putting him in a special education school and feeling that he was stupid.”

In jail

May 8, 2022

Report: Deputy found “very disturbing hand drawn content” inside Cruz’s “commissary bag which was on top of his bunk.”

The content included drawings and 30 handwritten letters.

The drawings detailed “how he wished death to kill everybody’s children and destroy the country and spread evil and destruction.” Cruz ends one letter stating that ‘Lucifer’ is his only god. The letter includes pentagrams and the number ‘666′.”

May 16, 2022

Cruz “puts a request in through BSO Main Jail for a ‘satanic bible, devil worshipping book, unholy bible etc.”


About the Authors:

Christina returned to Local 10 in 2019 as a reporter after covering Hurricane Dorian for the station. She is an Edward R. Murrow Award-winning journalist and previously earned an Emmy Award while at WPLG for her investigative consumer protection segment "Call Christina."

Chris Gothner joined the Local 10 News team in 2022 as a Digital Journalist.