The Man Behind The Massacre: An In Depth Look at The Movie Theater killer

24 year old serial killer James Holmes
24 year old serial killer James Holmes

Murder at the Movies

The 24 year old man who was behind an early Friday morning movie theater killing spree which left 12 dead and 59 injured was a San Diego native and former grad school student. He had no real brushes with the law except a speeding ticket in which he was cited for last year. James Egan Holmes is the son of a nurse Arlene and a software company manager Robert James Holmes. He graduated from San Diego’s Westview high school in 2006 and began his college career at California-Riverside, where he also graduated with the highest of honors in early 2010. He then relocated to Aurora, Colorado to further his studies in neuroscience. He enrolled at the University of Denver Colorado where he signed up for a fellowship in the neuroscience PHD program but for an unknown reason was in the process of withdrawing his internship shortly before this tragedy that would rock the nation.

At 12 midnight early Friday morning, James entered a sold out 16 Century Movie theater in Aurora, Colorado and began opening fire on movies goes of the Batman film Dark Knight Rises. He was dressed in full body gear from head to toe and was wearing a gas mask. Witnesses say they saw the suspect entered the theater through a side fire door that he had left open. He stood in front of the crowd just slightly under the movie screen. Holmes then proceeded to throw some kind of gas agent into the room causing some to believe he was a professional actor performing some kind of stunt for the premiere of the film. It wasn’t until the crowd began choking before they realize the horror of what was beginning to unfold in front of them. The 24 year old killer then fired one shot into the air before turning his attention towards the crowded room full of people. Children were among the victims. A witness who appeared on CNN Anderson Cooper show 360 recalled seeing a young child who was shot several times by the suspect being carried out by police officers who responded to the scene in as quickly as 90 seconds. He describes the child as a young girl who had bullets holes to her back and face. He also stated the child appeared to be lifeless. Cell phone video taken by spectators captured victims escaping the theater with multiple gunshot wounds.

The 24 year old used multiple guns to carry out the massacre which included an AR-15 assault rifle, a shot gun and at least one .40-caliber glock handgun a police report stated. The brilliant grad school dropout even booby trapped his Denver Colorado apartment with highly sophisticated explosives in which authorities describe as “incendiary and chemical devices” attached to sophisticated tripwire to cause even more death.

Holmes was apprehended by police in the parking lot of the theater after returning to his car to reportedly reload. He offered no resistance and was taken into custody by responding officers. Those close to the killer describe him as a quiet and shy man. Some others have described him as a nerd and loner. Whatever the case maybe, innocent lives have been ruined forever.

James Holmes had no connection to terrorism and was not active on social networking websites such as Twitter or Facebook. At this time authorities have stated his motives are completely unknown. One can only wonder what goes through the mind of a serial killer? Are they driven by the need to feel powerful or by fame or Are they just complete nut jobs who snap without warning? Unfortunately, we may never find the reasoning behind these sickening acts that continue to take place within our great society.

What do you think drove this man to do what he did? Was it fame, power, evil or just plain insanity? Please vote in my on line poll and leave your comments below. I look forward to hearing from you. Lastly, please feel free to check out a news video of the event that I have included below.


What do you think drove Aurora Colorado movie theater suspect to commit mass murder?

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Comments 4 comments

kashmir56 profile image

kashmir56 4 years ago from Massachusetts

This is such a senseless crime and such a shame so many had to die and be injured because of this guy . Thanks for this well written hub !

Vote up and more !!!


thranax profile image

thranax 4 years ago from Rep Boston MA

Well written hub on such a tragic event.

~thranax~


cynamans profile image

cynamans 4 years ago from Washington DC Author

Thank you kashmir56 for your feedback. It is really a shame that such a tragedy like this one has come to pass yet again. I couldn't agree with you more. Lets continue to keep the victims in our hearts and prayers.

Best C


cynamans profile image

cynamans 4 years ago from Washington DC Author

Thanks Thranax,

It is always difficult to write about such an awful tragedy but your feedback makes it a bit more easier to share with others who want to understand why events such as this continue to happen to innocent individuals within our great society. I only hope that this killer recieve the full wrath of the law for what he did to the great people of Aurora Colorado. Thanks again for stopping by.

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