The Most Troubling Part of the James Holmes Story
I am sure that most of you must have heard about a 24 year old guy named James Eagan Holmes who decided to go all nihilistic on an opening night show of the new batman movie. Anyway, I found this story interesting because it fits into an emerging pattern of mass killings. The most odd yet consistent pattern of people in such killings is-
The killer, is almost always a young to middle-aged guy, who did not have any significant prior criminal record.
From the Wikipedia entry about Holmes from the 2012 Aurora shooting:
Holmes was raised in San Diego, California. He graduated from San Diego-based Westview High School in 2006 and obtained an undergraduate degree in neuroscience from University of California, Riverside in 2010. Holmes had difficulty finding a job after obtaining his masters. He then tried to obtain a PhD in neuroscience from the University of Colorado School of Medicine in Aurora but dropped out in June 2012. Acquaintances described Holmes as a generally pleasant person and as a “really smart” student who showed no signs of violence. He was also described as an introverted and shy person, and as strongly involved in his local church.
It seems that James was a nerdy and smart guy, raised in a middle to upper-middle class family, who seemed to do pretty well in school and university. His biggest run in with the law as an adult apparently involved a speeding ticket. Now there is some information to suggest that he was not doing too well in his PhD program, but hardly enough to explain what he did.
Holmes did very poorly on his comprehensive exams last semester, the instructor told the Post, and the school was considering placing him on academic probation, but was not considering expulsion.
and here is an interesting comment from that same article-
A student who lived across the hall from Holmes at Cal-Riverside, who asked not to be named, said Holmes completed the honors program and was a member of Phi Beta Kappa and Golden Key honor societies. “I always thought that he was a little strange. I could never put my finger on it, but something told me to not get to close to him, female instincts I guess,” the female student told NBC News. “I had tons of classes with him and lived across from him in the Honors dorms. He was a very smart guy though. He was a little bit of a weird guy, but we were honors students, so weird people were kind of common.”
and here is another interesting quote, if you can read between the lines.
A neighbor, Tom Mai, told reporters on the block that Holmes was a shy, well-mannered kid, clean-cut and responsible, who was very active in the church. The Associated Press reported that the family attended a Presbyterian church and threw a quiet Christmas party for neighbors. Holmes had trouble finding work after college, Mai said, and then went off to graduate school.
and yet another one-
A woman who said she knew him in high school told NBC News that Holmes was a good person, but oddly always rooted for the villains in superhero movies. “He was a nice guy. Who very much wanted to be liked and wanted,” the woman said. “He was a very, very smart guy. I honestly can not believe he could do this. I know, I know, everyone says that. But it is truly devastating to me. “He did not have many friends for someone who wanted to be liked,” she said. “He loved all the villains in superhero stuff, which I did point out as odd. Most people enjoy the hero!“
it seems that he remarkably inconspicuous.
Melvin Evans, who was a bouncer at a karaoke bar near Holmes’ apartment, said he recalled Holmes as a patron from checking IDs. He said Holmes would stroll into the Zephyr Lounge, sit quietly in a corner booth and have a Budweiser,but never joined in the singing. “He would just sit by himself. He wouldn’t talk to anybody,” Evans said. “He was really, really mellow, really calm. You wouldn’t even look twice at him, if you passed him on the street.”
and here is the kicker..
“He looked so calm when he did it,” an eyewitness told NBC affiliate KUSA. “It was like scary. He waited for both the bombs to explode before he did anything. Then, after both of them exploded, he began to shoot.”
In my opinion, James Holmes is a newer version of George Sodini. This version does however come with a few upgrades, such as body armour, much better planning, more guns and leaves behind many more body bags. It is interesting that both Holmes and Loughner did not kill themselves after killing multiple people.
What do you think? Comments?