Birthday: December 13, 1987
Age: 32 Years, 32 Year Old Males
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Also Known As: James Eagan Holmes
Born in: San Diego, California, U.S.
Famous as: Mass Murderer
Height: 1.85 m
father: Robert Holmes
mother: Arlene Holmes
siblings: Chris Holmes
education: University of California, Riverside; University of Colorado, Denver
James Holmes is a notorious American mass murderer who was convicted of murder and attempted murder, now imprisoned for life. According to official records, he did not have any criminal record prior to the 2012 Aurora shooting. Holmes was born in a well-educated family and had to good childhood. However, he suffered from mental illness from a young age and had even attempted suicide when he was just twelve. Failure in his higher education and inability to build long-term relationships with anybody drove him to commit the 2012 Aurora shooting. A total of 12 people were killed in the incident that led to demands for tougher gun laws in the USA. He was arrested and jailed after the shooting. He made several suicide attempts in jail as a result of that he was hospitalized several times.
Childhood & Early Life
James Holmes was born in 1987 in San Diego, California in a well-educated family. His was father had degrees from prestigious universities like Stanford and UC Berkeley and worked as a mathematician/scientist. Holmes’ mother was a registered nurse.
James Holmes had one sister. He was raised in Oak Hills, Catroville, California. When he was twelve years old, he moved to San Diego. In his childhood, he was interested in soccer and ran cross-country in high school.
He suffered from mental health issues at a young age and attempted suicide at the age of 11. He was said to have seen imaginary ghosts and shadows at night.
Holmes worked as an intern at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies, where he was asked to write a computer code for experimentation. He could not perform well during the internship and was described by his supervisor as stubborn and uncommunicative.
In the year 2011, Holmes started dating his fellow student in Biology class Gargi Datta. Their relationship lasted for just two months. Later, Gargi told the police that Holmes made flat jokes and expressed his desire to kill people. Gargi had even suggested him to get some psychiatric help which he declined.
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Education & Later Life
In 2010, James Holmes worked at a pill and capsule coating factory in San Diego County. His coworkers later said that Holmes was not social and acted very strangely in the factory’s laboratory work station.
In the year 2011, Holmes enrolled for the PhD program in neuroscience at the University of Colorado. He received a grant from the National Institutes of Health and a monthly stipend from the university.
Despite being a brilliant student, his academic performance started to decline by the year 2012 and he did very poorly in a comprehensive exam conducted by the university. When he failed in a key oral exam at the university in June 2012, Holmes dropped out of the PhD program without giving any explanation to the university.
No information is available as to what he did from the time dropping out of the PhD program till his arrest for assassination. At the time of his arrest he mentioned his occupation as a ‘laborer’.
Aurora Theater Shooting
On May 22, 2012, James Holmes purchased a Glock 22 Pistol at the Gander Mountain Shop in Aurora. After a week, Holmes brought a Remington 870 Express Tactical gun in a Denver gun shop. In June 2012, hours after failing in his oral exam he purchased a Smith & Wesson M&P15 Rifle. All the weapons were legal as he had the requisite license.
Four months prior to the shooting incident, he bought 3,000 rounds for his pistols, 3,000 rounds for the rifle and 350 shells for his shotgun. In July 2012, he bought an assault vest and a knife from an online retailer.
Having brought all the equipments required, he applied to join a gun club in Byers, Colorado. But he never turned up for the mandatory orientation and all the calls by the gun club were unanswered.
On July 20 2012, James Holmes reached the Century movie theater in Aurora, Colorado and bought a ticket to watch a movie. In the middle of the movie he left the theater and reached the car to get his guns. He reached the theater room where 400 people were standing.
He was wearing a gas mask and a load-bearing when he reached the theater room. Many people standing thought that he was not a threat and that he was just playing a prank by wearing funny costumes. He threw two canisters which emitted smoke or gas. James Holmes started shooting at people indiscriminately with a semi-automatic rifle which eventually malfunctioned.
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He took out the Glock 22 .40 caliber handgun. While some of the bullets hit the people in the theater room, others hit 3 people in the adjacent theater.
The police reached the spot responding to 911 calls. Police Officer Jason Oviatt apprehended Holmes at the rear of the theater while he was standing next to his car. He did not resist the officer at the time of his arrest.
A total of 12 people died in the shooting and 70 others were injured. At that time, the incident had the largest number of causalities in USA.
When the police reached his home the next day, they found that it was booby trapped. They defused the bombs with the help of a bomb squad.
After the shooting incident, the police found Spike Strips with him. He told the police that he planned to use in case the police shot at him or chased his car.
As he received psychiatric treatment before shooting, James Holmes mailed his notebook to his psychiatrist hours before committing the crime which detailed his thoughts.
Trial & Conviction
In the days after the arrest, he was kept at the Arapahoe detention center under suicide watch. He was defended by the Colorado state public defender during his trial.
During the trial, James Holmes confessed to shooting but pleaded not guilty on the grounds of insanity.
On July 16, 2014, the Jury appointed to the trial of Holmes deliberated for 12 hours and found him guilty on twenty-four counts of first-degree murder. The jury opined that James Holmes acted in a very cruel manner while shooting his victims and planned the assault in advance.
The Jury could not agree on awarding death sentence to James Holmes. Hence he was awarded death sentence without the option of a parole. The judge also ordered James Holmes to pay a restitution of $955,000 to the victims of the massacre.
While serving his prison sentence, James Holmes was assaulted by another inmate. As a result of the incident, Holmes was transferred to an undisclosed location out of the state.
James Holmes was not married and did not have long-term relationships with any women due to his mental illness.
The shooting incident resulted in increasing security at movie theaters across the country. Calls for gun control too started receiving wider support due to the massacre committed by James Holmes.