Loughner's Ex-Girlfriend Says She Knew Him as "Completely Normal"

When Kelsey Hawkes dated Jared Loughner he liked to play clarinet and Super Mario Bros.

They did their homework together. They shared a love of classic rock. She once taught him how to make French toast. He was, in other words, a “completely normal” 16-year-old during the 10 months they dated, Hawkes tells the Wall Street Journal. “I wouldn’t have dated him if there was anything wrong.” And she had no reason to believe that breaking up with him was what sent him over the edge.

She said she couldn't believe it when her sister called to tell her that the boy she dated for 10 months in high school was the suspected shooter in Saturday's attack.

"I was in shock. He was completely normal," she said. "I wouldn't have dated him if there was anything wrong."

Ms. Hawkes's account sheds new light on the earlier life of Mr. Loughner and his parents—which she depicts as a peaceful and happy time in the family. Over the next few years, Mr. Loughner allegedly experimented with drugs and alcohol and left a trail of often-incomprehensible writings online.