First of all I wish to express my deepest sympathies&condolences to those killed and injured by the massacre that occurred over the weekend in Aurora,CO. We as a nation feel the pain of any American family when such a shocking tragedy occurs. Our community experienced something similar after Jared Loughner opened fire in Tucson,AZ and shot former Congresswoman Gabriel Giffords and several others, killing many innocent victims a couple years ago. My thoughts and prayers go out to all of the victims and their families. It is hard to imagine such a senseless act can take so many young&aspiring lives away. I pray for healing and comfort,especially for the wounded. May the victims who are no longer here rest in peace and their memories live on forever.
It appears someone who worked with the Dark Knight shooter,James Holmes, says he was not as smart as some have made him appear. He may have graduated at the top of his class from UC Riverside in San Diego, but he had signs of anti-social behavior and disorganization. He also failed to complete a project given to him during a summer internship and was fired.
The Daily News reports:
John Jacobson helped guide Holmes during a 2006 summer internship at UC San Diego’s prestigious Salk Institute and said the suspected gunman in the Colorado movie theater massacre was thick-headed, uncommunicative and irresponsible.
“He should not have gotten into the summer program,” Jacobson, 37, told the Los Angeles Times. “His grades were mediocre. I’ve heard him described as brilliant. This is extremely inaccurate.”
Holmes’ high school transcripts showed Bs and B+s, and no Advanced Placement classes, Jacobson told The Times.
He was accepted because his resume indicated he had done some computer programming, Jacobson said.
“My experience with him was quite bad,” said Jacobson, who’s now a Ph.D. candidate at UC San Diego in philosophy and cognitive sciences.
The experiment — involving a game of rock-paper-scissors — was in Flash, a multimedia computer platform, but Holmes wouldn’t use it and insisted on an older method.“He just refused,” Jacobson said. “Finally, I said, ‘Do it any way you can.’”
“He never completed the project. What he gave me was a complete mess,” Jacobson told The Times. “I basically fired him.”
While I don't like getting too personal on my blog, I feel this situation requires some personal perspective.
While I'm obviously not a psychiatrist, but based on my opinion and knowledge of anti-social behavior, it appears to me that while James Holmes might have done well in school, he had several personal & social issues he needed help overcoming. Instead of taking care of himself mentally, he focused too much on pleasing others and excelling so that he could run from his 'demons' so to speak. However, his inability to complete his internship & failure to get a job after graduation were set backs that he struggled to overcome. As a high achiever, with high expectations, he likely couldn't overcome the pressure he or his family placed on him.
I know many times people who put all of their focus on their work or their career are often running from something they need to fix either at home or within themselves. Some people use drugs and alcohol to escape. In this case it seems he used education as his first escape, especially since he couldn't find work after graduating with his degree in neuroscience. Eventually he became so overwhelmed with how alone & unaccomplished he was feeling, he dropped out of classes a month ago, & sought another escape through online video games & role playing, along with drugs such as Vicodin and marijuana,which can lead to hallucionations. In result, the pressure to succeed became his focus and his escape became virtual reality games & drugs.
I believe he was looking for an escape and it eventually resulted in him escaping reality and acting on a delusional reality. He became someone he wasn't,someone empowered, by playing the role of the Joker from Batman and instead of it being a video game, it became his delusional reality. It gave him a sense of control and power over his 'demons'. The drugs helped him to create that delusion by making him 'numb' to the pain and enabling him to act out his delusional reality. I believe his studies in neuroscience also helped influence his ability to mainpulate his thoughts. He used this process to create his escape and carry out this heinous crime. Since he studied or had an interest in 'temporal illusions', I think the drugs helped him create the illusion he sought.
...after the massacre Holmes calmly told detectives he had taken 100mg of the prescription painkiller Vicodin, and identified himself as "The Joker". The same drug was found in the system of actor Heath Ledger when he died of an accidental overdose of prescription drugs in 2008. Ledger played The Joker in the previous Batman film The Dark Knight. Vicodin side-effects can include euphoria, paranoia and, in rare cases, hallucinations.
The first video footage of the suspect showed him as an awkward, nervous 18-year-old giving a talk at a science summer camp in San Diego on "temporal illusions". It also emerged that in the days before the attack, Holmes, a cannabis smoker, joined a dating website seeking women for "sexy times" and also tried to join a gun club.
His profile posted on the dating website Match.com was headlined "Will you visit me in prison?"
"The first thing people usually notice about me is my soul penetrating eyes," he wrote. "Learning is really great, knowledge is power as the famous Sir Bacon [sic] said." Holmes also said he liked techno music, had "middle-of-the-road" political views, was agnostic, and "definitely" wanted children.
Holmes secured his bachelor degree in neuroscience from UC Riverside in San Diego in 2010 and fellow students described him as "weird". In his apartment in Aurora he had a poster advertising a DVD called Soldiers of Misfortune showing men in masks.According to his CV he spent the summer of 2008 working as a counsellor at Camp Max Straus, which offers activities such as horse riding for underprivileged children.
The CV said he was an "aspiring scientist" and his neuroscience research included mapping the neurons of zebra finches and studying the flight muscles of hummingbirds.
Holmes received a grant from the National Institutes of Health for his PhD. He had recently undergone an intense three-part oral exam, before withdrawing from the course.
On June 25 he applied to join a private gun range, the $250 Lead Valley Range, in Byers, Colorado. Glenn Rotkovich, the owner, called to invite him for an orientation and got through to a "bizarre" voicemail message. "Looking back, and if I'd seen the movies, maybe I'd say it was like the Joker," Mr Rotkovich said.