James Holmes, the ‘brainiac’ who grew up to be a mass killer – Telegraph.co.uk
His goal, the audience heard, was to make scientific discoveries, but he also wanted to own a Slurpee machine. He seemed nervous and nerd-like, but not threatening.
A 2006 High School year book picture of James Eagan Holmes
According to an FBI profiler, who watched the video, Holmes seemed at this stage of his life to be “very high functioning” but with “possibly some significant mental health issue”.
Two years later Holmes spent the summer of 2008 working as an instructor at another camp for underprivileged children.
According to the CV he submitted to the camp he was an “aspiring scientist” and had been working on mapping the neurons of zebra finches, and studying the flight muscles of hummingbirds.
By 2010 he had successfully obtained his bachelors degree in neuroscience from the University of California Riverside in San Diego, graduating in the top one per cent of his class.
He initially applied to continue his studies at the University of Illinois, bizarrely submitting with his CV a photograph of himself with a llama.
Holmes wrote: “Due to the seemingly infinite vastness of indefinite knowledge we must be selective in our pursuits of knowledge. That is why I have chosen to study the primary source of all things, our own minds.
“I have always been fascinated by the complexities of a long lost thought seemingly arising out of nowhere into a stream of awareness.”
The University of Illinois was impressed, describing him as “truly outstanding” and offering to waive all his tuition fees and pay him $22,660 (£14,950) a year.
But he turned down the offer and in June 2011 enrolled as a neuroscience PhD student at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus in Aurora.
He lived in a one bedroom apartment in a student area and, during this period, posted a profile on the dating website Match.com headed “Will you visit me in prison?” Holmes said he liked techno music and was looking for “sexy times”.
He wrote: “The first thing people usually notice about me is my soul penetrating eyes. Learning is really great, knowledge is power as the famous Sir Bacon (sic) said.”
In the months before the attack he was also believed to have met with several prostitutes.
By June 2012 he was in trouble with his studies, failing an oral exam which was a key part of his PhD. Hours later he bought an assault rifle.
He then dropped out of university completely and began seeing a psychiatrist. He also joined a gun club and recorded a message on his answer machine which sounded like The Joker from the Batman films.