Pathology of the Batman Massacre

, Written by Jennifer Elliott, Posted: Fri, July 20 2012 at 6:40 PM, Updated: Sun, July 29 2012 at 5:48 PM

James Holmes, the suspected shooter in last nights Batman massacre, didn't portray the typical killer persona.

We spoke with a local psychiatrist to better understand what might make someone like suspected shooter James Holmes do something which as of now would appear out of character.

Something slipped.
"Guys like this, if you dig below the surface, have some sort of delusion going on that they think they're right," says psychiatrist Dr. Douglas Col.

Witnesses say, this morning, about James Holmes let loose a shower of gun fire on a crowd of unsuspecting movie watchers.

Dr. Col says, often people who commit mass, public violence have lost sight of reality, enacting their fantasies.

"There's some way in which he melded into that reality, it's like stepping through the looking glass and going into the movie and these people just happened to be part of this movie." And Col contends the problem may be rooted deeper, linked to the violence society accepts, often through media.

"It can anesthetize someone to that."

We don't know Holmes motive yet..but Col speculates violent fantasies are behind the killings today and may continue as part of our culture.

"We're hypocritical, if killing is ok, don't be surprised, if you don't want this to happen you need to have a cultural ethos that says killing is not ok," continues Col.

A cultural apathy that he says fuels these tragic events.

"Where's the compassion, caring, and mutual respect for each other," he concludes. 

Now, Dr. Col did make it clear we have yet to learn enough about holmes to label the pathology of his actions.

About the Author

Jennifer Elliott

Jennifer Elliott anchors the primetime newscast FOX26 First News at Ten on NBC5’s partner station, KMVU/FOX26. She also reports for NBC5 News.

Jennifer began her career at NBC5 News in 2011 as a production assistant. Raised in Southern Oregon, she studied voice and piano while attending South Medford High School.

After graduating from Brigham Young University-Idaho, she returned home and added organ playing to her music repertoire. In addition to her musical talents, Jennifer is an award winning artist.

She has also co-hosted Southern Oregon’s Got Talent, the area’s premiere talent show. Jennifer is married and the mother of two young sons who keep her busy and very happy.

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