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

NBC5 News at Sunrise co-anchor Jennifer Elliott spent most of her life in the Rogue Valley.

After graduating from Brigham Young University–Idaho, she was excited to come home again. Jennifer began her career at NBC5 in 2011 as a production assistant.

Her loves include drawing, playing the organ, fishing and of course, her husband and young son.

Catch Jennifer co-anchoring with Travis Koch weekdays on NBC 5 News at Sunrise starting at 5:30am.

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