What Possessed James Holmes

Go here for my thoughts on the Aurora theater killings.

UPDATE:  This has come in to my combox. It is a pretty interesting comment about James Holmes from someone who was playing a sinister role play game online with him. I don’t know if it is authentic, but I re-post it here because if may reveal something very interesting about the whole situation–the relationship between bizarre role play games and a personality overcome by evil. Here’s the comment:

James Holmes who did the batman movie theatre killing use to play this mmorpg game with us called Ultima Online back in 1997 – 1998. He played on ATL shard and had some weirdo character named Joka. Everyone who played with him including me knew he was weird and had this killing attitude about him. That was a long time ago (and many computers ago) so I guess Origins would have to pull up the chat records on their old server database to see what all his “Joka” character said back then. Anyhow, he was always obsessed with The Joker and Joka stereotypes. You know like clown killing psychopathic garbage. Many of us played the game with him and have found memories. Anyhow, I figured it was worth mentioning because it is being decided whether he is mentally ill or not. There was another person who claimed to be Joka from the UK. But he was not from the UK – I read those articles too. It was James. Duh we had him in ICQ chat. Wow, I havent used ICQ chat in years either. I did not know him personally – just for like 10 months for gaming stuff. Never really personal just killing in game and talking about game stuff. His in game chat logs that Origin owned (no electronic arts) is another story. He has a bunch of weirdo stuff in their records. Makes me wonder if they still have it.

  • Alice

    James Holmes who did the batman movie theatre killing use to play this mmorpg game with us called Ultima Online back in 1997 – 1998. He played on ATL shard and had some weirdo character named Joka. Everyone who played with him including me knew he was weird and had this killing attitude about him. That was a long time ago (and many computers ago) so I guess Origins would have to pull up the chat records on their old server database to see what all his “Joka” character said back then. Anyhow, he was always obsessed with The Joker and Joka stereotypes. You know like clown killing psychopathic garbage. Many of us played the game with him and have found memories. Anyhow, I figured it was worth mentioning because it is being decided whether he is mentally ill or not. There was another person who claimed to be Joka from the UK. But he was not from the UK – I read those articles too. It was James. Duh we had him in ICQ chat. Wow, I havent used ICQ chat in years either. I did not know him personally – just for like 10 months for gaming stuff. Never really personal just killing in game and talking about game stuff. His in game chat logs that Origin owned (no electronic arts) is another story. He has a bunch of weirdo stuff in their records. Makes me wonder if they still have it.

    • DFire

      As “Comic Book Nerd*” killer Holmes is presently 24, he would have been 9-10 years old when this is said to have happened. Not that a 9 year old is incapable of doing what the story claims, but it seems very unlikely it is the same guy.

      *FYI, I am trying to start a movement to ensure that this twisted idiot is not referred to as the “Dark Knight” killer.

  • WhiteBirch

    A “sinister” game? What leads you to this conclusion? The commenter’s description of his actions sounds pretty sinister, but that’s not necessarily built into the framework of the game, which I suspect you know little about (admission: Ultima is before my time so I know little about it in specific, but I am familiar with current online gaming and don’t consider it a dark hobby generally). Because someone who did a terrible thing was involved in it doesn’t make it sinister…

    • Fr. Dwight Longenecker

      fair comment.

  • dave

    ok, so if your assupmption that its him is correct then he would of been 9 years old in 1997 to 1998 like you allege

  • Paul Rodden

    Sadly, a bit like the double life of the staff apologist, Simon Rafe, of Michael Voris’ St Michael’s Media was living, yet he’s still employed but assigned to other duties (like priests being shuffled around after abuse allegations), and so I’m an ex-subscriber…

  • daisy

    You know what posessed this guy? The same thing that got into Charles Whitman’s head and William Unek’s heads. Men are sinful. Some are vicious, some are beyond the pale and become monstrous.

  • Tracy

    Reading your original article was very insightful for me. I grew up hearing stories of demonic possession and influence. Your explanation of the different levels and how other causes can also be to blame was helpful.

    Just as I will never understand/comprehend how a mother can murder her children, I will never understand such horrors as this man has committed. However, I am thankful this stuff makes national headlines because it means we are all horrified by it. How much worse if it were no big deal in our society as abortion has become. There is still hope.

  • Joppe

    The important question: What was James Holmes researching???

    I have done some research into the James Holmes story and here is what I have found:

    If James is a nutcase or not I don’t know and it is not the thing that is interesting. What actually is interesting is the research he was involved in.

    The most important thing to note is that there is an official gagorder from the court judge put on the university prevents anything to be said about James research. So simply and obviously James Holmes research is secret for some reason.

    Now, I think we can safely assume that the US military is interested in how the brain works. We can also assume that their conclusions would not immediately be published for anyone to read. So we can safely assume the US military have secret neuroscience projects.

    So already it seems pretty obvious that James Holmes, whos neurological research has been classified could be classified because of its importance to the military. Actually there is no other explanation. It is as simple as that.

    Robert Holmes, James father:

    So we have already concluded that James research probably is of military interest. His father might or might not have something to do with this. From Roberts Holmes LinkedIn we learn that he works at FICO, a shady but very powerful company and he is a leading software researcher there. FICO is said to oversee over half of the worlds creditcard transactions but it also serves big banks like JP Morgan and institutions. Apparently Robert has also worked with identity fraud detection, maybe for the government or maybe for some private interest.

    Robert came to FICO when his prior company HNC was bought by FICO in 2002. HNC was specialized in neural networks and AI research.

    The founder of HNC, Robert Hecht-Nielsen, claims to have found the mechanism of thought and he claims he can reproduce it in computers. Have a look at this very interesting talk of his:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WUSUkBeOtS8

    HNC has worked with the military to develop “smart cameras” built on neural network technology that themselves can notice if something strange is going on and set the alarm:

    http://www.vision-systems.com/articles/print/volume-4/issue-8/departments/business-vision/the-first-keynote-address-a-theory-of-biological-vision-was-given-by-robert-hecht-neilson.html

    So we can conclude that James interest in neurology very well could be something he got from the father. The father has had every opportunity to be involved in shady business with government and others, not saying he has.

    Still the most important question is: What kind of shady research was James Holmes involved in?

  • mourningdove

    I hadn’t thought of the potential military connection to James Holmes’ research…and it is an interesting association. I was thinking that perhaps during his more lucid moments, he knew that his disturbed behavior might have had a biological, genetic, or biochemical origin; thus he could have been trying to gain some insight into the progression of his mental illness, and/or how to stop it from getting worse. Perhaps it was a form of self-analysis or self-diagnosis; one cannot say, and his story may become public over time. As he is intelligent, and was already seeking counseling for schizophrenia, he may have known what he was up against, yet, was powerless to do anything tangible to stop it, as his life became totally immersed in psychosis.

  • Cindy

    Father, the in-box email you received is suspiciously unlikely. James Holmes would have had to be only around 9 yrs old playing that game. I think it’s important not to get side-tracked by spurious rumors. Your article is much more important than the spurious, and although the prospect of a demonic presence sounds “fantastical”, your words speak to the experience of many parents who have teen or young-adult children with mental illness. I recognize truth in your words, I also know other families who would agree with you. So many kind, very very innocent kids (by innocent, I mean pure hearts, a purity to their souls, a purity to their presence, without malice toward anyone) tragically succumb to confusion, psychosis, hallucinations. The diagnosis is usually schizophrenia or schizophreniform. And often, a simple pill, like risperdal, can bring a child back to their original “heart and mind.” So, yes, there are aspects of physiological pathology, of brain chemistry….. and yet…. how many of us parents have felt something more. I have, in the early days of my son’s illness. That demonic presence that knows much more than it should, that can strangely read your every thought. Something I don’t talk about much…. but that was the battle for me, as I first feared, and then stood resolute to “the presence” that tormented my son. Even my son knew he was in a spiritual struggle. He knew… it took me a bit of time to realize, and believe that this was possible. And it took both medication AND the most determined prayers to face this struggle. With profound gratitude, we are standing in God’s grace now. Whatever that uninvited presence was, you are right… it finds the most innocent, the purest of hearts. How tragic that James Holmes did not have someone fighting for him…. I really believe he was a pure heart that struggled and succumbed.

  • Karen

    Cindy, James Holmes played World of Warcraft religiously all the way up to the point he left his bomb rigged room for the batman show. Why do you think it would be impossible for an intelligent gamer such as that to get started with online gaming at the age of 9? Especially with Ultima Online being one of the first games out that was world wide and available to all audiences? James was definitely smart enough at that age to participate and I am sure kids have villains they make their online characters after like the Joker for example. I have read numerous stories of children 8,9,10 and up that have committed malicious crimes against others. Im not saying its definitely true because I was not there, but there is more room for it to be true then wrote off so easily given his religious online game playing. I cannot believe he was a pure heart who struggled with a demonic force. I think of James as a master mind who took out his anger on others to compensate for his failures in life (when he found out he failed his final exams). And that is arrogant and unacceptable on every level of humanity. He is now playing the system and hopes to be taken care of by the system for his failures. He thinks he will get 3 meals a day and med service instead of the death penalty. He is hoping that tax payers like you will feed him and keep him from being responsible for killing innocent children and families at the theater.

  • Eric

    That’s crazy. I used to play UO and ran around with a guy named Joka on the ATL shard. He also had a charecter named “The Joker” and was an excellent PvP player. He hung out at the north side of the graveyard in Brit and had a few houses around the map. He was always an oddball but a fair person.


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