At his death penalty trial, prosecutors are using Charleston church shooter Dylann Roof’s journal and confession as evidence.

Dylann Roof: Journal and Confession

Roof’s two-hour confession to killing nine people at a church Bible study, recorded the day after the shooting, was introduced as evidence Friday, along with a handwritten journal found in his car.

In the video, Roof laughed and made gun motions as he described the massacre. He wanted to leave at least one person alive to tell what happened, he explained, complaining that his victims “complicated things” by hiding under tables.

“How could our faces, skin color and body structure be so different, but our brains exactly the same?” Roof wrote in one of the less offensive passages.


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“I knew that would be a place to get a small amount of black people in one area,” Roof said, later adding, “They’re in church. They weren’t criminals or anything.”

In his journal, Roof revealed his horrific racist beliefs.

“I would love for there to be a race war. I wont lie, I think every white nationalist dreams of a race war even if they deny it,” he wrote.

“But Im [sic] not sure we even need to have one. Ideally we could simply take control of the government, and inact [sic] laws in order to get thing under control.”

Along with the racism, Roof’s confession and notes show the then-21-year-old as naive and immature. He wrote a note apologizing to his mother and saying “as childish as it sounds, I wish I was in your arms.”

Roof hardly looked up as his confession played at the trial. He also avoided eye contact with his victims’ families.

Roof’s lawyers have conceded that he carried out the attack, and are focused on persuading jurors to spare his life in the penalty phase of the trial. 

They said in opening statements they will call few or no witnesses. Testimony continues next week, and prosecutors said they may rest their case Wednesday.

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