Home > Critical Thinking, Current Affairs, Dystopia, Musings, Reason, Secular Religions, Skepticism > A Few More Observations on James Holmes

A Few More Observations on James Holmes

As the James Holmes saga unfolds, I find it hard to ignore a few things about him which seemed to have been missed by most other bloggers. Here is a short list.

1. Unlike Sodini or even Breivik, this guy did not write or distribute a list of his grievances. But he also planned his shooting carefully and over a period of months. I find that to be very odd as people who methodically plan massacres rarely do without telling the world why they did it. Even Jared Loughner and Seung-Hui Cho did let the world know why they did it. So why have we not heard anything about a note, video, photo or manifesto where Holmes explains us about his reasoning to shoot up a theater. Moreover this guy was very intelligent and tech savvy, more so than most people of his age group. He could have easily communicated his views to the rest of the world had he chosen to do so. So why did he not?

I believe that his decision to not tell the world why he did it was as deliberate as his buildup to the shooting. But why? What could he gain from such obfuscation? My guess is that he wanted to evaluate public reaction to craft his message. Putting it all down on paper’ before shooting lots of people makes it hard to alter your story later. For him the shooting is likely a means to an end, but what end? He was certainly aware of how people view mass murderers but he chose to be caught alive and even went to the trouble of suiting himself in head-to-toe body armor just in case the police accidentally shot him. It is also odd that he did not resist arrest at all. It is almost as if he wanted to be caught.. but why? and why did he tell cops that he had booby-trapped his apartment when he could have just let them find it out the hard way? I have a feeling that there is a very definite method to his ‘madness’.

2. Why does this guy have no social media footprint? I have not heard about any of his friends or frenemies digging up any suspicious or foreboding communication with him. I find this to be rather odd, especially in the age of Facebook and its ilk. It is worth noting that he spent tons of time online, so he was not a techno-recluse. But what did he do during all that time on the intertubes? Did he just play RPGs, MMORPGs and browse for porn? What is his alternate identity or more likely identities? Why would a lonely guy not join some site like Facebook, even with an alternate identity? Even more oddly, he was not some shut in or total recluse and was certainly capable of carrying out a civil and average interaction with people around him in bars, at summer camps and with neighbors. Many who are introverted or reserved in ‘real’ life are often quite active on the ‘online’ world, but this guy has apparently no significant online footprint.

Is his lack of a significant online or social media footprint a deliberate choice? but why? Had he considered doing something similar for many years prior to actually doing it? His deliberate online silence, both online and on social media sites, tells me that he was fully aware of what he would do one day. I am willing to bet a small sum of money that he had been thinking of doing what he did at that theater for a few years. but once gain.. why? What drives a guy like him to consider mass murder? He has no real history of torturing small animals as a kid or displaying obvious sociopathic traits. What is the source of his anger at the world? and yes it is anger, not madness, that made him do what he did.

3. Some have wondered if he was disillusioned with his education or future career. In my opinion, the even more important question is- why did he not change his career path? The guy was young, intelligent and had good grades. Why did he not just go into something like nursing, some medical technician certification, occupational therapy, pathology or something like that to get a decent job. Why did he continue in Neuroscience? Why did he not go into an educational/certification stream which would ensure a better job, especially given his difficulty in finding jobs after finishing his undergrad? It is not like his parents were poor, uneducated or unwilling to support such a decision. I find his choice of entering a PhD program in Neuroscience very odd, especially given his experience after graduating with an undergrad degree in the same.

4. Why have we not heard anything about or from an ex- girlfriend, even one from his high school days. The guy was tall, not fat or ugly, not stupid, not a couch potato, not a shut in and still I have not heard about even one ex- girlfriend! Am I the only one who finds this very odd? and it is not like he was gay.. he obviously preferred female sexual attention and was willing and able to pay for it by the hour. How does a guy with no obvious physical or overt behavioral disqualifications avoid relationships with women when he is clearly attracted to women. What does it say about our society when an ugly motherfucker selling weed on the corner can get tons of nice ass but a guy like Holmes has to pay for it?

and how did a guy of his age (24 yrs) start using escorts anyway? Where did he get that idea in our highly femcentric society? He certainly did not get it from mainstream media or even ‘game’ blogs. My guess is that he found out about the whole world of escorts through the web, as his fiends and acquaintances do not mention about any discussion or interest in procuring sex by the hour. But what led him to search for paid sex on the web in the first place? Men who get lots or even enough sex through “normal” channels do not spend their time researching whores on the web. I can bet you that this guy considered hiring a whore years before he acted on it. Given his age, I would not be surprised if he had first considered using the services of an escort in his late teens. But why? Why can’t a guy of his age who is better than average in so many ways not get even a plain-looking girl who is willing to suck his cock a few times per month? Could he not get even an asian girl? What is wrong with this picture?

5. Why did the shrink he supposedly saw at the university become concerned about his potential for violence, but was then unable to take the threat further? Could it be that he was just very angry rather than mentally ill. It might not have occurred to most of you that she was concerned about him as a threat, not as a mentally ill person. Why has his shrink gone into hiding if she had enough proof that he was mentally ill? She could have easily said that she was treating him but he did not apparently respond to treatment and went on a rampage. Her unwillingness to say that he was mentally ill, even after the massacre, is a real “mystery” to me.

What do you think? Comments?

  1. ironrailsironweights
    August 4, 2012 at 6:33 pm

    Do we know that he actually hired escorts? Anyone can research them on the web, that alone means nothing.


    • ironrailsironweights
      August 5, 2012 at 9:01 am

      So hookers are reliable sources?

      In such cases, absolutely.

  2. August 4, 2012 at 7:20 pm

    You ask a ton of good questions in #3-4. In particular the question of why the PhD route, career issues, is intriguing. I have a hunch here, without knowing exactly how to put it into words. Basically it boils down to – high IQ overachiever pressure.

    For example you ask why not go get a certification as a med tech or some such. Are you kidding? For an overachiever like that? It’s death. He would be working alongside C students from high school who got 2-year JC degrees.

    His father is some big smart mucky muck in credit statistics. He was probably told he was ‘gifted’ all through childhood. Acing tests without trying. Etc. Perhaps being ‘gifted’ was the main venue of success for him. I haven’t read up on him as much as you but I do recall there was a period of job struggle for him, and then after some gap, he went to Colorado, well reading between the lines this sounds like an overachiever being trapped between his inability to obtain a high-status job, and the psychological pain of switching to a lower-status track. IIRC it also sounded like there had been pressure from his parents (mother?) to ‘do something with his life’ and grad school is what they came up with. Probably, everyone was happy with the decision and breathed a sigh of relief. Except him, evidently.

    Once the looming failure in grad school became apparent to him, he would have realized he’d lost his tenuous last chance at a high-status career that would live up to the overachiever-type expectations. At that point, nihilism becomes thinkable. boil this down and it’s just a boring story of a guy who shot people up cuz he failed in school…but there are some interesting dynamics, as your post highlights.

    At least if my hunch is correct. It’s just a hunch.

    • ironrailsironweights
      August 5, 2012 at 9:13 am

      For example you ask why not go get a certification as a med tech or some such. Are you kidding? For an overachiever like that? It’s death. He would be working alongside C students from high school who got 2-year JC degrees.

      In normal times that would be true. But these aren’t normal times. Out of sheer economic necessity millions of people are working at jobs that are more humble that what would be expected for people of their intelligence and education. There’s nothing shameful or reeks of failure in doing so. Holmes could have maintained all of his dignity in working as a medical technician or something of that ilk, knowing that he could return to studying neuroscience when things got better.

      • August 5, 2012 at 10:34 am

        Logically and rationally, of course you’re right. What I’m trying to characterize is what I think may have been Holmes’s psychological state, and subjective way of thinking.

      • P Ray
        August 5, 2012 at 10:19 pm

        People who are underemployed … are not likely to suddenly be up-hired – the fry cook at McDonalds, is unlikely to be snatched up as a brain specialist, even if he did train in neuroscience successfully previously.

        Reminds me of the meme:
        Conversation with the therapist today:
        Me: I just get so pissed off by the older generation.
        Therapist: Why?
        Me: Because when I grew up, we were force fed the idea that if we didn’t want to be ‘flipping burgers at McDonald’s’ then we better go to college.
        Therapist: And?
        Me: And now we’ve gone to college, have degrees, can’t get a damn job, and the same people call us entitled assholes because we refuse to flip burgers!
        Therapist: Touche.

  3. August 4, 2012 at 7:21 pm

    obfuscate, nice word, have you been trolling my blog?


  4. August 4, 2012 at 9:44 pm

    1. Guy buys a Rolex, a Ferrari, and a mansion. Hot girl asks him, “Wow! Why do you have these and you are single?” Can you logically answer that?

    -“I like the way they make me feel, like a smooth cognac.” Seductive and emotional, but a logical mind like Holmes wouldn’t understand that.
    -“I like the quality and craftsmanship.” Too much of a lie for a logical man like Holmes.
    -“I want to get laid more.” Logically perfect, but too try hard and pathetic.
    -Silence. Not the best, but not the worst.

    2. Social media only reflects what you have in the real world. I bet that he really had no friends, or so little that it seemed pointless to have profiles.

    3. Excellence complex.

    4. Never had a girlfriend

    5. Chances are his grievances are logically sound, but cannot be fixed by society. Gut instinct says its sexual frustration. You could use that as a rationale for anything. You are not to blame.

    Society-“why are you angry?”
    Holmes-“i’m angry that im not getting laid.”
    Society-“did you try to get laid?”
    Holmes-“they repeatedly rejected me.”
    Society-“(rehashing tropes) Did you dress nicely? Go on dates? Give flowers? Express yourself earnestly?”
    Society-“Did you thug it up, get some tattoos, smoke some weed, maybe a few piercings?”
    Holmes-“ha, ha. Pull my other fucking leg. You can’t say that.”

  5. ant
    August 4, 2012 at 9:48 pm

    I believe that Holmes look at your website about the benefits of escorts and took it to heart,no? 😀

    That thought crossed my mind a long time ago.

  6. P Ray
    August 5, 2012 at 12:56 am

    “Society” (i.e. the few people at the top, and many women below who want to climb up via resource transfer from men to women on the basis of a “promise without a contract” to have sex) wants men to keep trying so that their legalised scam can continue.
    Let women pay their own way – they are strong, independent and equal.

  7. The Quest For 50
    August 5, 2012 at 4:01 am

    Sounds like he was banging the psychiatrist. That might explain a lot of things.

    • P Ray
      August 5, 2012 at 5:42 pm

      That reminds me of “Mystery Men”.

  8. Days of Broken Arrows
    August 5, 2012 at 9:20 am

    But what led him to search for paid sex on the web in the first place?

    1). There may have been some religious weirdness in his family, where the “good girls” you date “don’t put out,” so you go to prostitutes to fulfill that need. The parents may have been overly controlling in this manner, making him ashamed of who he brought home. I know parents like this, who “disapprove” of everyone, so their kids can’t form real bonds. So they pay for fake ones.

    2). He may have always been borderline mentally ill. And people — not just women — can sense when someone is “off” and avoid them. Hence, he doesn’t get laid and needs to pay for it.

    Addendum: it’s not just women who reject good looking men for having aberrant personalities. I can think of many times I’ve met women who I knew I could get into bed, but thought “Wait, she’s too weird and something is bound to go very wrong if I go there.”

    I do think that when mental illness is masked by gansta style women go for it — same as when female mental illness is masked by stripper chic. Still, I think this guy was too far off the social grid to get all that.

  9. Knee
    August 5, 2012 at 11:54 am

    I have a completely relevant question: What are some good ways to recover/feel better from ejaculation/masturbation hangovers?

    Get a whore?

    • Knee
      August 7, 2012 at 4:12 pm

      I mean what are some good ways to physically recover from ejaculating whether it be from multiple shots from a whore or masturbating alot? Assuming you can’t sleep afterward. You mentioned using performance drugs to make you get more out of the one hour. Okay so how about what are some things you like to do to make you feel better after you’re completely exhausted/drained after ejaculation?

  10. Joe
    August 5, 2012 at 1:11 pm

    There doesn’t have to be an underlying motive for every mass shooting. Whatever happened to crazy? That’s one possible explanation.

    Crazy people are not so methodical and calculated. This was not a drive by shooting.

  11. Angeles
    August 5, 2012 at 3:36 pm

    Perhaps his studies in neuroscience broke through the barrier of the materialist prejudice, with help from his pseudo-monastic lifestyle (isolation, celibacy etc.): sitting at his table one day, he realized that only an idiot could believe that consciousness is the product of a biochemical organ, and that the people he looked up to as society’s smartest were actually fools. Unparalleled calamity!

    Naturally, any intelligent person would be impelled to action by such a shattering realization after being a scientific “believer” for so long, and in his case I suspect the resulting confusion and bewilderment found relief in taking the unfortunate turn of a truly diabolical and extreme experiment. He could not turn to anyone else for guidance – especially not anyone associated with the “science” that he had determined to be unfounded or misapplied, and therefore rejected (hence his apparently falling grades).

    So, animated by the confused impulses and chaotic cultural images bubbling up from the subconscious that his expanded awareness had exposed him to, and lacking the necessary tools to resist and organize these new appearances because he had been taught to mock any idea of God natural to his race, he tumbled.

  12. August 6, 2012 at 10:47 pm


    is this Ryu or one of the white power booty bandits from Inmalafide?

  13. Knee
    August 8, 2012 at 9:40 am

    ” and how did a guy of his age (24 yrs) start using escorts anyway?”

    Hey, I’m a college student younger than that. Sold my textbooks back, got $300, and I want to blow it off some time on an escort.

    Might be a dumb question, but how do I get started? Mainly here are the things that I need to figure out 1) location 2) school finds out? 3) my safety, feel like because I am young and inexperienced I might get in danger or get ripped off somehow b/c, will definitely have to go somewhere off campus and venture into the real world

    This is my opinion on that issue.


    • Knee
      August 8, 2012 at 9:40 am

      And performance enhancers and being able to get multiple shots for the hour. How do I get started?

      based on my experience- https://dissention.wordpress.com/2010/01/01/how-to-use-escorts-02/

      • Knee
        August 9, 2012 at 8:19 pm

        Lol fuck, I guess I will go to the school’s medical center and say that I have premature ejaculation and that I heard about PDE5 inhibitors, as opposed to older antidepressants, for that condition. Why are we talking about “older antidepressants” I thought this was to make it so you can have multiple shots, not treat depression.

  14. Shauna Lynch
    August 9, 2012 at 10:01 am

    The question here was asked in your earlier blog: what is “insanity” (or mental illness)? One could say that an anger that drives someone to gun down a room full of strangers is a type of mental illness in itself. But why was he angry, specifically, and why was he unable to direct his anger at a proper target? And then there is the issue of delusion. As you pointed out before, most, if not all, people are delusional in at least some respects. So then, how delusional is he? Did he know what he was doing? Say, aware that he was shooting a bunch of people that had done him no direct harm, vs. thinking that he was being attacked by demons or something. At this time he is manifesting symptoms of a deep psychosis of a type that could possibly indicate a totally delusional world. On the other hand, I find it somewhat unlikely that he would have been able to handle the logistics of the operation if he were this far gone. So I am inclined to think that he is faking, but only someone who spends significant amounts of time with him would be qualified to make that judgement. I also think you are correct that he spent a long time planning this. In fact, the lack of social network footprint may just be the result of spending siginificant amounts of time learning about bomb-making and wiring. Some say the bomb was meant to go off as a distraction, but something went wrong. Maybe, but it could also have been meant as his revenge if the cops did happen to kill him. Or perhaps just a way of showing off his brilliance? “Why can’t a guy of his age who is better than average in so many ways not get even a plain-looking girl who is willing to suck his cock a few times per month?” It is very hard on intelligent people when they discover that smart really isn’t that sexy to most people. Why not? I can’t say for sure, but maybe that scruffy guy selling weed on the corner has more warmth in his heart than a genius who sees himself as superior to everyone else. And why can’t that brilliant guy get a better job than McDonald’s? There is a story there, and you can bet he has some anger issues over that. I hope his psychiatrist publishes.

  15. J.M.
    August 9, 2012 at 4:44 pm

    “Why not? I can’t say for sure, but maybe that scruffy guy selling weed on the corner has more warmth in his heart than a genius who sees himself as superior to everyone else.

    Wow, only a woman (or a brainwashed lefty) would utter such non-sense. The real reason is normally the gangsta is more sexy to women, in the same warrior is sexier than let`s say a white collar worker. Do you understand?

    • Shauna Lynch
      August 12, 2012 at 10:47 am

      I wasn’t picturing a gangsta when I said that. The guys I see selling weed on the corner aren’t usually too tough. They might have some tough guys handling them… Truthfully, even regular guys with normal IQ do better with the ladies than geniuses. High intelligence just isn’t sexy to most people. “Warriors” are physically sexy because they often have muscles, an air of adventure and lots of self confidence. But while women will have sex with such an individual, only sluts and really stupid girls will settle on them. Most women will choose to marry a less goodlooking man who loves them and will give them a good life. In case you haven’t noticed, most white collar guys have wives and families. However, even the gangsta types have more love in their hearts than James Holmes seems to. They always have girl friends with whom they share passionate and dramatic relationships. They love the drama. And they often love their kids too – even more than their baby mamas. I suspect James Holmes was too busy worshipping at the altar of his own brain to actually feel much love for someone else.

      • P Ray
        August 12, 2012 at 11:04 am

        Most women will choose to marry a less goodlooking man who loves them and will give them a good life.
        That makes the guy she settles with a chump, because she gave her most attractive years and best sex to the gangster.
        No wonder there’s that idea that the average married man is a loser.

        I suspect James Holmes was too busy worshipping at the altar of his own brain to actually feel much love for someone else.
        If the only girls he came across wanted to use him, that’s quite understandable.
        If you are dehumanised by others, returning the favour is not unreasonable.

  16. P Ray
    November 13, 2012 at 12:52 pm

    From the good folks at w h i t e w a t c h . i n f o :
    White Watch: The Top Ten Differences Between White and Non-White Terrorists
    The Top Ten Differences Between White and Non-White Terrorists
    Glad that’s cleared up (hat tip : Juan Cole)

    1. White terrorists are called “gunmen.” What does that even mean? A person with a gun? Wouldn’t that be, like, everyone in the US? Other terrorists are called, like, “terrorists.”

    2. White terrorists are “troubled loners.” Other terrorists are always suspected of being part of a global plot, even when they are obviously troubled loners.

    3. Doing a study on the danger of white terrorists at the Department of Homeland Security will get you sidelined by angry white Congressmen. Doing studies on other kinds of terrorists is a guaranteed promotion.

    4. The family of a white terrorist is interviewed, weeping as they wonder where he went wrong. The families of other terrorists are almost never interviewed.

    5. White terrorists are part of a “fringe.” Other terrorists are apparently mainstream.

    6. White terrorists are random events, like tornadoes. Other terrorists are long-running conspiracies.

    7. White terrorists are never called “white.” But other terrorists are given ethnic affiliations.

    8. Nobody thinks white terrorists are typical of white people. But other terrorists are considered paragons of their societies.

    9. White terrorists are alcoholics, addicts or mentally ill. Other terrorists are apparently clean-living and perfectly sane.

    10. There is nothing you can do about white terrorists. Gun control won’t stop them. No policy you could make, no government program, could possibly have an impact on them. But hundreds of billions of dollars must be spent on police and on the Department of Defense, and on TSA, which must virtually strip search 60 million people a year, to deal with other terrorists.

  1. August 4, 2012 at 7:39 pm
  2. August 4, 2012 at 7:46 pm
  3. May 27, 2014 at 9:20 am
  4. May 27, 2014 at 9:23 am

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