“I have no faith in the ‘justice’ system,” he wrote. ” Perhaps my actions today, and this letter, will send a stronger message to the public. Either way, I have lost control over this situation, and this is my only way to regain control.”
The note was provided to Wired.com this week by James’ father, Robert, who kept the details of his son’s death quiet for over a year because of the ongoing prosecutions over the retail hacks.
James apparently suffered from depression; agents executing the search warrant found another suicide note James had written years earlier, but did not seize his gun. The Secret Service declined to comment on the matter Wednesday, citing the continuing TJX prosecutions.
“Sometimes I thought he was pretty smart,” says his father. “Sometimes I thought, oh my God, I’ve raised an idiot. And the jury is still out.”
James gained notoriety in 2000, when, just 16, he became the first juvenile sentenced federally to a term of confinement for computer hacking. Operating under the handle C0mrade, James hacked into NASA and Defense Department computers for fun. Among other trophies, he penetrated the Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama, and downloaded the proprietary environmental control software for the International Space Station — the programming that controlled the temperature and humidity in the station’s living space. James was sentenced to six months of house arrest — a sentence applauded by then-Attorney General Janet Reno — followed by probation."