Aurora Theater Shooting – Five Years

It’s hard to believe it’s been five years since the Aurora Theater Shooting.

I was sitting in the break room at my previous job with New York Life Insurance when a gal I worked with walked in and asked me if I had heard about the shooting in a theater during a midnight show. My interest was slightly piqued; just then the footage of his bomb rigged apartment flashed on the break room television and it wasn’t until I saw James Holmes, orange haired and frazzled eyed, that I became completely intrigued in this particular shooting case. It was clear from the get go that this was the cause of a very psychologically sick man.

Unlike most mass shootings, this one didn’t seem particularly fueled by hate – or at least a particular motive. (i.e. Elliot Rodger and his revenge against blonds, Dylann Roof and his racist manifesto, Adam Lanza and his difficult past with school, etc.) The only manifesto that can be traced back to any kind of motive is James’s spiral notebook, which reflected his mental state of mind at the time. His reasons didn’t seem so much motivated to destroy others but to gain something for himself. He believed in a system called the human capitol, where each person is worth a number and by killing, you gain that number for yourself, therefore he is now worth 13 people (the 12 he killed, and then himself).

I avidly followed this case close to three years (July 2012 to April 2015) before it finally went to court. I was glued to that trial. Because it was mountain time, it conveniently aired around 11am to 7pm in Florida while my working hours are 10:30am to 7:30pm – I didn’t miss a second! Every little detail they presented in court was riveting, above all, the 22 hours of interview footage with the psychologist, Dr. William Reid, on Days 21-23. The verdict did end in his favor (kind of), he wasn’t granted the original NGRI plea but after mitigation was sentenced to life in prison; 3,318 years.

Shockingly, there has only been one, awful, book published about this case since it happened. The Spiral Notebook: The Aurora Theater Shooter and the Epidemic of Mass Violence Committed by American Youth, it was quickly published just before the trial began and it was fraught with misinformation and bogus facts about James Holmes. The author didn’t even spell the lead investigators name correctly! Rubbish.

3 thoughts on “Aurora Theater Shooting – Five Years

    1. Yes, he plead not guilty by reason of insanity. Which he did not get. In this case, they move to victim impact statement and mitigation once he was found guilty. Then they determine if he would get death or life in prison. Apparently, there was one juror who could not be swayed to make a unanimous vote for death, so he was given life in prison. Personally, I think that was the best outcome for him. We shouldn’t kill mentally sick people, and in this case, it’s incredibly rare for mass shooters to survive; the opportunity is there to study him.

      1. Yeah your right when your mentally ill you rarely have a grasp of what your doing or even thinking. He got lucky. Thanks for sharing.

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