The Look of Evil


James Holmes is one of the rare spree killers who did not plan his attack with suicide as the conclusion to his carnage. It is difficult to know what exactly his motivations were, considering the only option a mass killer can hope to achieve should he survive is a life time of pain and incarceration. Does that make his actions, in a certain sense, masochistic? And if so, what caused him to commit an act so heinous that nobody could ever care about, or love him, ever again?

Just so you know, I am currently under a Section 3 of the Mental Health Act in Green Parks Acute Ward, and although I don’t think there are murderers in here with me, there is a young man who spent all night watching Child’s Play 3 whilst dressed like the killer doll Chucky.

A psychopath has no idea what anybody else is thinking so they are at a distinct disadvantage, considering those of us who are not psychopaths have almost total empathy, making my current situation that much harder to bear. As long as Chucky wannabe has no concealed automatic weapons, as Holmes did on the night of the Dark Knight Rises massacre, I’m comfortable he’ll not hurt me or any of the other patients in here.

Holmes came from a background of severe mental illness according to the one decent clinical study of the case, A Dark Night in Aurora:

As in most families, there were difficulties as well as successes, and difficulties to come. A few relations on both sides of the actual family had alcohol problems or minor emotional conditions. At least three were diagnosed with more serious mental disorders that required, at times, psychiatric hospitalisation.”

As a child, Holmes “was afraid for a few months about what he called ‘nail ghosts’, creatures that might hammer nails through the wall behind his bed at night.”

It is irrelevant to detail his crimes, and we should all choose not to – to spare the victims of reliving the horror. However, months after arrest, something interesting occurred in Holmes’ solitary cell:

“At about 4.30am in the morning on November 11th 2012, jail surveillance video showed Holmes climbing into a standing position on his bunk, and facing the near wall, he crossed his arms on his chest, gripping his shoulders. Thirty seconds later he let himself fall stiffly, straight back off the eighteen-inch bed, reflexively putting his hand just before his head hit the floor.”

The killer has begun to see shadows approaching him at night.

Holmes claims the reason for the massacre was to gain human capital, 1 point per life. When the shadows descended upon him, as typically they do when men commit mortal sins, the best for all concerned is to look away.

This monster has brought hell onto his own self, and nothing can save him.

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