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ATLANTA – The voice on the phone sounded softer than one might expect— for the hardcore killer of four innocent people in perhaps the most notorious active-shooter rampage in Georgia history.

It’s been more than 10 years since Brian Nichols escaped from the Fulton County Courthouse and killed a judge, a deputy, a court reporter and a federal agent.

“I did some very bad things,” Nichols told Channel 2’s Mark Winne from inside prison.

After a massive manhunt throughout the Atlanta area and taking a woman hostage overnight, Nichols was taken into custody more than a day later.

Now, for the first time ever, one of the most dangerous killers in Georgia is talking with Channel 2 Action News.

The phone conversations culminated months of effort to land the first news interview with Nichols, to try to glean what we could about the mind of an active shooter in an age where such attacks have become epidemic.

Through an intermediary, Winne received word Nichols would be willing to speak with us, but the Georgia Department of Corrections, apparently harboring security concerns, declined to allow our camera in for a Nichols interview.

Today on Channel 2 Action News at 5 and 6, what his first interview reveals about the changing mental state of a murderer and the possible warning signs.