“Dark Knight” Shooter James Holmes Called MTV Personality Before Aurora Massacre

Diggity Dave Aragon

More information trickles out about James Holmes odd behavior in the weeks leading up to the “Dark Knight” theater shootings. From LA Weekly:

In a creepy interview this morning (Wednesday) with CBS Los Angeles, Diggity Dave — a former “accessories master” for MTV’s Pimp My Ride who dabbles in alt-metal and campy horror films — says he believes his yet-to-be-released film The Suffocator of Sins may have inspired Holmes’ death rampage….

The L.A. singer/filmmaker tells CBS2 that a man calling himself James Holmes phoned him in June, acting all starstruck and claiming he’d watched the Sins trailer hundreds of times.

We quote:

“He would tell me what he really liked about the trailer. He kept pressing if I could give him more information on the story. He wanted to know how many people Batman kills. He wanted to know if it was selective killing. Does he make a list of people he wants to kill or is it a mass body count?”

From the CBS LA link:

In an exclusive interview, Pimp My Ride’s Diggity Dave told KNX 1070’s Charles Feldman that a young man who called himself “James Holmes” phoned him in June about his upcoming film, “The Suffocator of Sins.”

Dave wrote, directed and stars in the forthcoming takeoff of the Batman movie, which shows a young vigilante Batman shooting down evil doers. Some have said the YouTube trailer resembles a crowded movie theater. He describes the film as a “very sick and dark twist of the Batman movies.”

Here’s the trailer:

There’s a plot description at the LA Weekly link. Here’s another tidbit from Business Insider:

While he couldn’t completely, positively identify the man who called him as the true James Holmes, Dave said the caller introduced himself as such. What’s more, Dave said he thinks his caller was just looking for a friend.

“He was shocked I took his call,” Dave told CBS Los Angeles. “He couldn’t believe he was talking to me. I’m a pretty good judge of character and I knew the kid was lonely.”

Aragon also claimed that Holmes asked him about the Joker.

So we have a few more clues about Holmes’ state of mind. I’d have to say that watching the movie trailer “hundreds of times” is suggestive of paranoid schizophrenia. Holmes may have had delusions of reference–believing that he was video was communicating with him personally. Another suggestive symptom is that Holmes was apparently isolating himself from others It would be interesting to know if Holmes had been neglecting his personal hygiene. But, as I have said repeatedly, we still don’t have enough information to be sure what was happening in this young man’s mind. It sounds like he was able to communicate pretty well with Aragon on the phone.


James Holmes’ Psychiatrist at U. of CO Specializes in Schizophrenia

Lynne Fenton MD

From the Washington Post:

The shooting suspect in the Colorado theater rampage was seeing a university psychiatrist specializing in schizophrenia in the weeks before the July 20 attack, according to court records released Friday.

James Holmes was seeing Lynne Fenton, the director of student mental health services at the University of Colorado and a medical school professor. Holmes was a first-year graduate student in a neuroscience Ph.D. program.

Fenton is the person to whom Holmes sent a notebook containing drawings supposedly related to Aurora, Colorado theater massacre. Fenton’s university home page is password protected, but the WaPo says she “has written numerous papers and launched research in the area of schizophrenia.”

The judge in the case, William Sylvester, has ordered that all documents in the case, including the notebook and the defendant’s university records are “off-limits” to the media. Colorado is an open records state, but the prosecution asked the judge to hold off on any release of information to the public.

“The People have not had access to the defendant’s records from the University of Colorado, but are of the belief that disclosure of such records to the media would be contrary to the public interest,” the motion asserts.

In his response, Sylvester, the 18th Judicial District’s chief judge, agrees. He writes: “This court orders that the University of Colorado shall not disclose information about the defendant…”

The order goes on to stress that the DA’s office and the legal team representing Holmes will be able to see all this stuff, but that’s it won’t be made available to the wider public until the court vacates this decision or the final judgement of the case is rendered, whichever comes first.

According to the New York Daily News, Holmes is now claiming he doesn’t remember anything about the night of the shooting and doesn’t understand why he’s in jail.

Feel free to use this as an open thread. I’ll update if I can find any more information on Fenton. Her university home page is password protected, but they spell her first name “Lynn.” The media is calling her “Lynne.” I’m not sure which is correct yet.

UPDATE: CNN has a little more information on Fenton:

Fenton is the director of student mental health services at the University of Colorado’s Anschutz Medical Campus in Aurora, and an assistant professor, according to a resume posted on the school’s website.

As director, a position she’s held since 2009, Fenton sees between 15 and 20 graduate students per week for medication and psychotherapy, coordinates a team of four mental health clinicians, supervises some residents who treat students, and lectures. She also serves as a psychiatrist for between five and 10 patients, the resume states.

She’s held many jobs over the years. Fenton worked as a physician in private practice in Denver from 1994 to 2005, and was chief of physical medicine with the U.S. Air Force in San Antonio, Texas, in the early 1990s, according to the resume. Since 2008, she has won various grants and contracts to study schizophrenia.

Fenton did her undergraduate work at the University of California, Davis and earned her medical degree from Chicago Medical School in 1986.


Thursday Reads: Mitt Romney’s Very Very Bad Day

Good Morning!!

Poor Mitt Romney. Yesterday was not a good day for his campaign. The big story of the day on both sides of the Atlantic was the one about unnamed Romney foreign policy advisers who talked to the The Telegraph and made “racially-tinged” remarks.

The quotes were so extensive and detailed that it’s hard to believe they weren’t legit. Even after Romney disavowed the remarks, the Telegraph stood by their story and noted that they had not received any requests for retractions or corrections from the Romney campaign.

The quotes that I found most disturbing were the ones about the supposed shared “Anglo-Saxon heritage” of England and the U.S.

In remarks that may prompt accusations of racial insensitivity, one suggested that Mr Romney was better placed to understand the depth of ties between the two countries than Mr Obama, whose father was from Africa.

“We are part of an Anglo-Saxon heritage, and he feels that the special relationship is special,” the adviser said of Mr Romney, adding: “The White House didn’t fully appreciate the shared history we have”.

And later in the article:

Members of the former Massachusetts governor’s foreign policy advisory team claimed that as president, he would reverse Mr Obama’s priority of repairing strained overseas relationships while not spending so much time maintaining traditional alliances such as Britain and Israel.

“In contrast to President Obama, whose first instinct is to reach out to America’s adversaries, the Governor’s first impulse is to consult and co-ordinate and to move closer to our friends and allies overseas so they can rely on American constancy and strength,” one told the Telegraph.

“Obama is a Left-winger,” said another. “He doesn’t value the Nato alliance as much, he’s very comfortable with American decline and the traditional alliances don’t mean as much to him. He wouldn’t like singing ‘Land of Hope and Glory’.”

When I first read this, I was flummoxed. “Anglo-Saxon heritage”? What on earth does that mean? It sounded so incongruous, yet it rang a bell with some things I’ve read about Mormon philosophy. So I googled a bit. It seems that Mormons believe they are descended from one of the “12 lost tribes of Israel,” and Brigham Young specifically claimed that the Mormons were descended from the tribe of Ephraim:

We are now gathering the children of Abraham who have come through the loins of Joseph and his sons, more especially through Ephraim, whose children are mixed among all the nations of the earth. The sons of Ephraim are wild and uncultivated, unruly, ungovernable. The spirit in them is turbulent and resolute; they are the Anglo-Saxon race, and they are upon the face of the whole earth bearing the spirit of rule and dictation, to go forth from conquering to conquer. They search wide creation and scan every nook and corner of this earth to find out what is upon and within it. I see a congregation of them before me today. No hardship will discourage these men; they will penetrate the deepest wilds and overcome almost insurmountable difficulties to develop the treasures of the earth, to further their indomitable spirit for adventure. 10:188.

Obviously, I can’t know whether these Mormon beliefs were behind the quotes given to the Telegraph, but it seems possible.

The “foreign newspapers” that the Romney campaign so disdains had a bit of fun yesterday ridiculing the Anglo-Saxon flub.

From the Guardian: Some good Anglo-Saxon values for Mitt Romney. You should read the whole thing, but here’s the concluding paragraph:

In 1066, Britain’s mongrel nation status became complete, having been officially invaded by the Romans, the Angles and Saxons, the Jutes from Denmark, the Vikings and finally by the Normans who, critically, stopped Anglo-Saxon culture in its tracks. Twenty years after the invasion, the Anglo-Saxon nobility were in exile, or consigned to the peasantry, with only 8% of England under their control. The myth of Anglo-Saxon roots that Romney wants to perpetrate denies the enormous contribution to British culture by, essentially, the French. Without the Norman invasion of Anglo-Saxon England, our language and culture would obviously be very different – Mitt Romney would be wise not to cast us all back into the Dark Ages.

Also from the Guardian: Dear Mitt Romney: welcome to Britain! We have a few tips for a pleasant stay. Here’s just one paragraph, but please do read the whole thing.

Britain is, legendarily, a nation of animal-lovers, so you can expect people to be significantly more perturbed by the Dog On The Roof Incident than by any other aspect of your record. On the other hand, people will expect you to be unfamiliar with British cuisine, so your bizarre inability to identify common baked goods will actually be less of a handicap than at home. Just try, if at all possible, not to hurl insults at whoever is providing the baked goods. It’s probably fine to eat the baked goods in a strange fashion.

Juan Cole’s reaction to the Anglo-Saxon mess was more serious.

I really dislike Nazi references. They are for the most part a sign of sloppy thinking, and a form of banal hyperbole. But there just is no other way to characterize invoking the Anglo-Saxon race as a basis for a foreign policy relationship, and openly saying that those of a different race cannot understand the need for such ties. It is a Nazi sentiment.

If you would like some evidence for what I say, consider Adolf Hitler’s own point of view:

For a long time yet to come there will be only two Powers in Europe with which it may be possible for Germany to conclude an alliance. These Powers are Great Britain and Italy.”

Of the two possible allies, Hitler much preferred Britain because he considered it higher on his absurd and pernicious racial hierarchy. Indeed, Hitler held Mussolini a bit at arms length while hoping for a British change of heart, a hope only decisively dashed in September, 1939, when Britain declared war.

Hitler complained that colonialism was in danger of diluting Aryan European strength, weighing down the metropole powers. He contrasted this situation with that of the white United States, blessedly possessing its “own continent.” Indeed, it is, he argued (genocidal crackpot that he was), Britain’s special relationship with the Anglo-Saxon-dominated United states that kept it from being overwhelmed by its subhuman colonials:

“we we too easily forget the Anglo-Saxon world as such. The position of England, if only because of her linguistic and cultural bond with the American Union, can be compared to no other state in Europe.”

Yikes! Remember, I didn’t write that. I’m just quoting Professor Juan Cole.

Yesterday Romney also gave an interview to NBC’s Brian Williams. He avoided questions on several topics, including his unreleased tax returns. Romney assured Williams that he was not going to release any more tax returns. Period. End of story. I think he’s hoping that we’ll all be distracted by his trip abroad, but somehow I don’t think the Obama campaign or the media will stop asking him what he’s hiding.

In addition, as JJ reported last night, Romney told Williams that James Holmes shouldn’t have had all that weaponry that he used to murder 12 people, wound more than 50 others, and turn his apartment into a firebomb, because the weapons were all illegal. Oopsie! Another flub.

As Aurora Police Chief Dan Oates explained: “All the weapons that he possessed, he possessed legally. And all the clips that he possessed, he possessed legally. And all the ammunition that he possessed, he possessed legally.”

Holmes used a handgun, a shotgun and an AR-15 assault rifle in his massacre — all legal, thanks to the expiration of the Assault Weapons Ban in 2004, which had previously prohibited some versions of the AR-15. Holmes also had body armor, tear gas grenades, a gas mask and tactical gear. All are legal and widely available online at minimal cost (one website sells tear gas grenades for just $16 a pop).

The only way it would have been illegal for Holmes to have his guns would be if he had been diagnosed as mentally ill or was a convicted felon, but neither was the case. His only record was a speeding ticket.

The drip drip drip continued in the media’s efforts to discover the truth behind Romney’s exit from Bain Capital. Yesterday the AP released a new “Fact check” article that pokes holes in Romney’s claims that he had no involvement with Bain after he left to head up the 2002 Winter Olympics. Quoting Greg Sargent:

The Associated Press reports this morning that Mitt Romney “stayed in regular contact” with his partners at Bain in the months after the 1999 date that he has given as the time he left the company. The story also claims he “continued to oversee his partnership stakes even as he disengaged from the firm, personally signing or approving a series of corporate and legal documents through the spring of 2001.”

The story doesn’t move the ball too much, but it adds to the information that complicates his case that he bears no responsibility for any of the controversial Bain deals that took place during that period — and that he played “no role whatsoever” with the firm.

Finally, Buzzfeed reports that Democrats Plan To Go Nuclear On Romney “You Didn’t Build This” Attack. In a memo sent to the media, the Obama campaign announces they plan to hit Romney hard on multiple fronts. You can read the whole memo at the link.

That was Romney’s very very bad Wednesday. I wonder what he’ll do today? Now what are you reading and blogging about today?


Wednesday Break and Evening Reads

Good Evening

Here are a few news links and political cartoons for you.

To catch up on the latest in Colorado…

EXCLUSIVE: Movie massacre suspect sent chilling notebook to psychiatrist before attack | Fox News

When I first read this report, I thought it was possibly another news reporter jumping to conclusions. But now other news media are reporting the same thing:

Source: Tip from accused Aurora shooter leads FBI to package – U.S. News

The FBI recovered a package that apparently was mailed by James Eagan Holmes after the shooting suspect told investigators to look for the item on the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus, a senior law enforcement official told NBC News on Wednesday.

The source told NBC that the package contained writings about killing people, but could not go into more detail.

[…]

Police recovered the package on Monday after getting a search warrant for the medical center mail room and then getting a second warrant to actually open the package, the law enforcement source said.

Police found the package as Holmes described it, including his name in the return address, and it’s now being analyzed, the source said.

It was unclear how long the package had been in the mail room before its discovery.

In response to reporters’ queries about the package, the Anschutz Medical Campus issued a statement saying it could not comment on anything regarding the ongoing criminal investigation into the theater shooting, under order of Arapahoe County District Judge William Sylvester.

If this package was sitting there days before the shooting, the university may have some explaining to do…

There is this news about the medical bills of the victims: No Medical Bills For Some Colo. Shooting Victims : NPR

Three hospitals taking care of people wounded in the Colorado theater shooting said Wednesday they will limit or completely wipe out medical bills for the victims.

Some victims, many of them young, are uninsured and face mounting hospital bills.

Children’s Hospital Colorado announced it would use donations and its charity care fund to cover the medical expenses of the uninsured. For those who do have insurance, the hospital says it will waive all co-pays for shooting victims it is treating.

“We are committed to supporting these families as they heal,” according to a statement from the hospital, which treated six shooting victims.

Another Aurora link: Romney Falsely Claims Colorado Gunman Obtained Weapons Illegally | ThinkProgress

Mitt Romney revealed that he is unfamiliar with the details of the largest mass shooting in American history, during an interview with NBC’s Brian Williams. The former Massachusetts governor claimed that alleged gunman in the Aurora, Colorado massacare, James Holmes, illegally obtained his weapons, when in fact Holmes legally purchased the firearms through various national gun chains.

So does this mean he doesn’t even pay attention to something as tragic and important as this?

Damn.

The rest of tonight’s reads are cartoons.

Cagle Post » Penn State Sanctions

Death of irony

Cagle Post » Romney Takes London

Cagle Post » Hate Obama

Cagle Post » Thank You Sally Ride

This is an open thread…


Breaking . . . Mother of James Holmes Makes Clarifying Statement

For the past few days, the corporate media has been reporting on a phone call made to Arlene Holmes, the mother of alleged mass murderer James Holmes. ABC News’ placed a call to the Holmes family home in San Diego, CA in the early morning hours after the shootings in Aurora, CO. ABC reported that Mrs. Holmes immediately said, “You have the right person.” Since that time, multiple media sources have reported over and over again that Arlene Holmes was not surprised to learn that her son had gone on a murderous rampage.

Personally, I never interpreted Mrs. Holmes’ words in that way. I assumed that she was saying that, yes, she was the mother of a man named James Holmes who lived in Aurora, CO. It turns out that my interpretation was the correct one.

Today, Lisa Damiani, the Holmes family attorney, read a statement from Arlene Holmes in which she attempted to clarify the media narrative. She explained that the reporter asked her if she was Arlene Holmes and if she had a son, James Holmes, who lived in Aurora, CO. She then said “You have the right person,” indicating that she did have a son by that name. She then asked the reporter why he was calling and he told her about the shooting and asked for a comment. She told the reporter that she needed to find out of the person in custody was really her son. She the said that she would call the police or go to Colorado.

UPDATE: The full statement is reproduced at the end of this post.

I have to say that I am disgusted with the way the media covers horrible stories like this. Can any of us possibly imagine what it would be like to be awakened by a phone call from a national news organization announcing that your son has committed an unspeakable crime? The cold-blooded way that the media confronts families is sickening to me.

I am as fascinated by stories like this as anyone, but I try my best to be fair in evaluating what I read and hear. Unfortunately, the media narrative has probably been set in stone already and will continue to be reported again and again, as people judge this family and hold them responsible for their son’s actions.

I was also surprised to learn from the press conference that the family has not been contacted by Aurora police. It may be that James doesn’t want police to contact them. He’s an adult and legally can make his own decisions.

Another interesting thing the attorney said was that the family does not wish to discuss their relationship with James at this time. I don’t want to read anything into this, but the statement is suggestive that there may have been some kind of difficulty. I don’t want to be guilty of the same behavior that I’m criticizing, so I’m going to wait until there is more information.

TMZ has a breaking news story on this now. As soon as someone publishes the full statement, I’ll link to it here.


UPDATE:
Here is the full statement from Arlene Holmes from Politico:

Arlene Holmes, the mother of Colorado theater shooting suspect James Holmes, says that ABC News mischaracterized her when it reported that her initial statement to the reporter, “you have the right person,” was a reference to her son.

“This statement is to clarify a statement made by ABC media. I was awakened by a call from a reporter by ABC on July 20 about 5:45 in the morning. I did not know anything about a shooting in Aurora at that time,” Holmes said in a statement this afternoon, read to the national press by attorney Lisa Damiani. “He asked if I was Arlene Holmes and if my son was James Holmes who lives in Aurora, Colorado. I answered yes, you have the right person. I was referring to myself.”

“I asked him to tell me why he was calling and he told me about a shooting in Aurora,” she continues. “He asked for a comment. I told him I could not comment because I did not know if the person he was talking about was my son, and I would need to find out.”

In the first paragraph of its initial report on Friday, ABC News reported that it had identified the correct James Holmes because his mother “told ABC News her son was likely the alleged culprit, saying, ‘You have the right person.'”

I don’t know who the reporter was that made the phone call to Arlene Holmes and then twisted her meaning; but he or she should be fired. Brian Ross had previously reported that a Tea Party leader named Jim Holmes might have been the shooter. He should be fired too.


Crazy Tragic Day: Solemn Open Thread

Evening…

Obviously it is not a good evening, the shock of today’s news out of Aurora is still seems unreal.  Tonight we send our sympathies to the families of the victims, our thoughts are with the survivors, and our prayers go out to the ones still waiting to hear about their loved ones.

I will just post some of the latest updates on the Aurora shooting, and we will just leave it at that.

First off, here is a few of the latest news items:

Is This Aurora Theater Shooter James Holmes’ AdultFriendFinder Account? | Mediaite

The crowd-sourcing magic of Reddit may have unearthed another side of alleged Aurora movie theater gunman James Holmes. Several Redditors dug up what might be Holmes’ personal account on AdultFriendFinder.com, a social networking site for casual sex seekers. The profile says that he is looking for a “fling” or “casual sex,” and his bio quote says “Will you visit me in prison?” The picture sure looks like Holmes but I am no expert on adult friend finder (I swear) so let’s evaluate.

UPDATE: Mediaite has learned that law enforcement are investigating the AdultFriendFinder page to determine its authenticity.

Colorado Movie Theater Shooting: Suspect Bought 4 Guns, 6,000 Rounds of Ammunition in Past 60 Days – ABC News

Suspected Colorado movie theater gunman James Holmes purchased four guns at local shops and more than 6,000 rounds of ammunition on the Internet in the past 60 days, Aurora Police Chief Dan Oates told a news conference this evening.

“All the ammunition he possessed, he possessed legally, all the weapons he possessed, he possessed legally, all the clips he possessed, he possessed legally,” an emotional Oates said.

Authorities have yet to identify all of the 10 victims who died at the theater. Two other people died at the hospital, for a total of 12 dead. Thirty people remained hospitalized, 11 of them critical, Oates said.

This next link is from the town of Aurora, it goes to a list of links about the massacre put together by The Aurora Sentinel…

Batman Movie Massacre – Aurora Sentinel

Aurora Massacre Coverage

National Coverage

The Tragedy in Pictures

The Suspect

The Victims

Witness Stories

A “timeline” of the  suspected Colo. theater gunman -From The Denver Post  It is rather thin…

Here are a couple articles about the shooter, as seen through people who knew him…

Colorado shooting suspect smart but ‘a little weird,’ classmate says – latimes.com

James Holmes, held in Colorado shooting, known as shy but pleasant – The Washington Post

And this last link goes to a op/ed:

After the Colorado massacre, it’s time to hit the Pause button | OregonLive.com

This is an open thread…