James Eagan Holmes, the Colorado movie theater shooter, is today’s water cooler fodder around the country, if not the world. With no online presence and described as a “shy guy… a loner,” this "anonymous" individual has catapulted to fame after committing a heinous act on unsuspecting moviegoers.
Everyone wants to know why. Why did he do it? Why tell the police he’s the Joker, Batman’s nemesis? Why drop out of a Ph.D. program where he was studying (ironically) “how people behave”? Why would he booby trap his apartment? Why kill innocent people, including children? Why behave like a lunatic and change so many lives?
The “experts” are touting their opinions across the media, but the explanation, when uncovered, will probably not surprise anyone. James Eagan Holmes is a killer; whether it’s due to drugs, hallucinations, or a neurological disorder, the massacre on June 20 comes from the fact that he's not "normal" and he may later be described as "criminally insane" (which will be argued by some because Holmes had meticulously planned his rampage for months prior to the deadly shooting).
The debate will continue: Does Holmes have a diseased mind or a brilliant mind?
Reports have surfaced that he was discouraged, maybe depressed, because (like millions of Americans) he was unable to find work in this economy. So, he returned to graduate school to study with the academically talented, in the competitive field of neuroscience. There have been reports that he was struggling in school. So his answer was to dress up like a superhero villan and slaughter mothers and fathers, sisters and brothers, nieces and nephews?
Again, I have to ask: Why?
It will always be hard to understand the “why” and no psychiatrist’s explanation can comfort those families touched by this great loss.
And yet when violent acts occur, when a murderer is cast into the spotlight, everyone feels the need to understand the inexplicable. Why did he do it? Why?
What goes on inside the mind of a killer?
Neuroscience has identified differences in the brain and certain genes that make a person more prone to violence.