I just want to speak up here on behalf of this guy for one reason, and that is because my Dad was EXACTLY the same way. He was an inappropriate laugher. He would do it at times that made no sense and it created a massive rift between he and my mother. She thought that he felt everything was a joke, but as we learned more over the years, we found out that Dad was extremely bipolar and he ended up having to be institutionalized. Bipolar disorder causes emotions to come out completely wrong.
I can remember clearly calling him from a gas station because we had been in a serious car accident and totaled the car after getting into a pileup on the freeway. Our whole family except for him was in the car. I said, "Dad, there's been an accident, and we were in a pileup on the freeway" and then he immediately burst out laughing. I kept explaining to him what happened and he was chuckling away. His brain just didn't know how to react to this situation that scared the hell out of him and I think it just happens because of the way his brain is wired.
I'm an emotional person. I've had to give some pretty hard discussions that were things that I am so passionate about that I will just start crying. As an assistant principal I had to go through all of the data and discuss kids who had failed and how we had failed them, and I remember getting up in front of 40 teachers having to say where everything had gone wrong and we as professionals had not done our job. I have done that exact thing he did where I try to smile and take a deep breath to keep myself from starting out by just crying. I had to speak with the faculty about situations where we had dying students and the principal was away at the children's hospital with a family because a girl had cancer and she wasn't going to make it through the day (she was 7). We had a lot of others, including 2 parent suicides I had to announce. These are not even touching the tip of the iceberg of being the father of a murdered child, but I know how weird it is to get up and speak before many people about absolutely horrific situations and just having my brain go haywire. I can comfortably speak in front of hundreds of people or even thousands (and have at conferences and the like), but it took a lot of work to get to the point where I could as I have some serious emotional things that just can paralyze me or make me just go off on a weird tangent. It's obvious from the way I post I'm sure you all see.
I saw my Dad do it many times. I am sure this guy was on a complete emotional meltdown roller coaster and he is at the point where he doesn't want to live or think about the next moment, and it all hasn't hit him yet so he wants to make his statement quick and be done and not have to do it in a week when he'll be in such a dark place that he won't be able to get out from under the covers.
I may be misreading it too, but I'm giving the other side. I spoke with a psychiatrist who treats my ADD (that's his specialty) 2 nights ago about this very thing, and he had a lot of thoughts and really went in depth on some of the psychological issues and mental stuff going on with the families that are in crisis and just plain survival mode. He worked for the state for many years before going into private practice and was called in on tragic situations to help many times, and he said that the whole thing is difficult beyond words, confusing, scary, and just plain messy... and that's coming from his part of it. He was just trying to figure out what stage they were in to help them so he was just throwing everything he could at the people to help, or backing completely off and letting them let it out, or whatever. He said it is harder than hell. Imagine how it is for the person who never imagined themselves being in that situation.
We now have a name for what my father had. It's not an official medical term. We just use it in my family, and to us it means much more than it means to the general public when they use this term. We all call it "nervous laughter" and it refers to when he'd laugh inappropriately because that was his brain's reaction to massive stress. When he had his final total complete meltdown and I had to get him institutionalized for 4 months he was laughing at all kinds of things, but then he'd be sobbing a moment later. He thought he was God, etc. It was so bizarre, because he'd always been a pretty mellow guy and then he just went completely bonkers. We still don't know what triggered it all, and now that he's passed away I guess we never will.
My guess from my own experience is this father was just a guy like my dad. Went up there and had a total inappropriate to the public response, yet that is the way his brain works and then he gets more somber as he realizes that these words that are being spoken are coming from his mouth... not from somebody he's watching on TV or in a movie, and that's a strange place to be. I've been there, and it's hard.
R.I.P. Dad. I miss you. You will never be forgotten
1/12/39 - 8/7/08