As the nation slowly comes to terms with another fatal mass shooting in Colorado, police are hoping to gain access to suspect James Holmes' computer soon. Authorities are hoping to get some insight into the accused mass killer through any social networking and the hard drive of his computer. Perhaps he left handwritten notes, physical evidence, or anything that could point to a motive for his deadly rampage.
Holmes is described by everyone who knew him as a very intelligent and bright young man. He excelled at his studies, had few friends back home in San Diego, and became increasingly reclusive after his move to Colorado over the past year.
What triggered him? And just as importantly, what will police find on his computer? Will they even find anything? The neuroscience major could have wiped his hard drive down to zero, which is the federal government's highest grade of cleaning a hard drive of information. Did Holmes even leave the hard drive in the computer? If he wanted to leave no evidence, he could have removed it and destroyed it, either by physically smashing it or by putting it in a container filled with magnets.
The suspect isn't cooperating with authorities, and it is his right to stay silent. However, is his silence the result of a desire not to talk, or does he want police to figure it out on their own?
Who is James Eagan Holmes?
He was raised in a relatively conservative Christian family in Southern California in a well-to-do neighborhood. His family is well-liked. His father is a manager for a software company and his mother is a nurse. He has a younger sister who attends college in California.
He had few friends back home in San Diego, but those he had described him as a fan of villains in super hero movies, which they thought odd. He was friendly and amiable to friends, but made no effort to make more. One friend of his described him as wanting to be liked, but he never seemed to try to make new friends.
After moving to Colorado, James Holmes did not make any friends, and avoided people when they greeted him.
He frequented a karaoke bar, where he often sat alone in a dark corner, sipping a beer. His last known interaction with an actual human face to face was with a man in a bar, named Jackie. Jackie described Holmes as obviously intelligent and expressed surprised that he is a suspect in the theater shooting.
After years of being at the top of his class, he performed poorly on last semester's comprehensive exams. His performance was so bad, said one professor, that the school considered placing him on academic probation.
Neighbors observed that he almost never turned the lights on at night in his apartment, even though they knew he was home.
He possibly posted a warning on the website 9gag, describing how he was going to kill a bunch of random strangers in a theater. No one thought he was serious.
Could Holmes' sudden crashing and burning in school be one of the causes for his heinous actions? Could the years of achieving greatness only to fail miserably be the straw that finally broke the camel's back? Did he perceive his poor performance not his own fault, but the fault of professors he believed were out to sabotage his success?
Something to Prove
Think about it. In a previous article, it was stated that mass murderers often meticulously plan their attacks as a way to prove that they are morally and intellectually superior to their victims. It's a way to show the world that they are powerful. There is no joy in such attacks, only a cold, calculating desire for vengeance in the manner in which they see fit. They often have a laundry list of perceived offenses against them by others.
Because Holmes was partial to Batman's nemisis, The Joker, it seems natural that he would choose opening night for his attack. The Joker is portrayed as possessing a sadistic sense of humor (hence the 9gag warning?), a superior intelligence, and being a homicidal maniac.
If Holmes has something to prove, would he intentionally leave his computer accessible to authorities? Did he wipe everything, leaving only a cryptic, cynical message for police to find? Or, did he leave all evidence there, to prove to police that they could never plan such a thing alone?
Only time will tell, and when authorities do finally seize the evidence, it could be even more sinister than anyone could imagine.