Tuesday, August 28, 2012

The New York Times Shrinks James Holmes

See, "Before Gunfire in Colorado Theater, Hints of 'Bad News' About James Holmes":
AURORA, Colo. — The text message, sent to another graduate student in early July, was cryptic and worrisome. Had she heard of “dysphoric mania,” James Eagan Holmes wanted to know?

The psychiatric condition, a form of bipolar disorder, combines the frenetic energy of mania with the agitation, dark thoughts and in some cases paranoid delusions of major depression.

She messaged back, asking him if dysphoric mania could be managed with treatment. Mr. Holmes replied: “It was,” but added that she should stay away from him “because I am bad news.”

It was the last she heard from him.

About two weeks later, minutes into a special midnight screening of “The Dark Knight Rises” on July 20, Mr. Holmes, encased in armor, his hair tinted orange, a gas mask obscuring his face, stepped through the emergency exit of a sold-out movie theater here and opened fire. By the time it was over, there were 12 dead and 58 wounded.

The ferocity of the attack, its setting, its sheer magnitude — more people were killed and injured in the shooting than in any in the country’s history — shocked even a nation largely inured to random outbursts of violence.

But Mr. Holmes, 24, who was arrested outside the theater and has been charged in the shootings, has remained an enigma, his life and his motives cloaked by two court orders that have imposed a virtual blackout on information in the case and by the silence of the University of Colorado, Denver, where Mr. Holmes was until June a graduate student in neuroscience.

Unlike Wade M. Page, who soon after the theater shooting opened fire at a Sikh temple in Wisconsin, killing six people, Mr. Holmes left no trail of hate and destruction behind him, no telling imprints in the electronic world, not even a Facebook page.

Yet as time has passed, a clearer picture has begun to surface. Interviews with more than a dozen people who knew or had contact with Mr. Holmes in the months before the attack paint a disturbing portrait of a young man struggling with a severe mental illness who more than once hinted to others that he was losing his footing.
More at that link. It's a lengthy piece.

What's so amazing is all the initial reports coming out of Aurora said that Homles was an exemplary student and citizen, and the university boasted about how extremely few students flunked out of their neuroscience program. Man was that some kind of epic damage control before all the facts became known.

Piecing together the tidbits of news clearly revealed this guy went off, as I mentioned previously, "Shooting Suspect James Holmes Failed Oral Examination, Made Threats, Prosecution Reveals."