Broken Heart Incited Colorado Theater Shooting

Broken Heart Incited Colorado Theater Shooting
Love Alejandra Quiroz / Unsplash

Colorado theater shooting suspect, James Holmes, was suffering from a broken heart and low self-esteem, which made him decide to go on a shooting spree on July 20, 2012 to increase his self-worth. This was the argument of prosecutor George Brauchler during the opening trial on Monday. On the other hand, Holmes pleaded not guilty of all 166 charges against him by virtue of insanity.


James Holmes was dumped by first love

Brauchler told the court that Holmes was dumped by his first love in 2012. Their relationship was something extraordinary. When they were still a couple, the two would talk about hardcore topics like neuroscience, cannibalism and a gerbil he named Lucifer, Brauchler narrated in court as told by The Telegraph.

However, on March 17, 2012, Holmes experienced his first broken heart. The girl denied that she was his girlfriend when another man approached her while they were hanging out at an Irish bar, Braucher told the court.

Holmes used to have a stellar performance in school while taking up neuroscience. But he started getting bad grades since the break-up.

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“He had a break up with his girlfriend, he had poor lab results, and a poor graduate school experience generally. This was when he lost his last battle with biology, his last great battle of falling in love. His girlfriend doesn’t want a long-term relationship with him,” Brauchler said.

The break-up may have been the inciting incident, but Brauchler said Holmes had been breeding a “longstanding hatred of mankind” inside him. He said that Holmes previously told his girlfriend that he has homicidal tendencies, and to kill people would mean his life will be more meaningful.

After the break up, Holmes started thinking of launching biological warfare, Brauchler said. He later opted for mass shooting.

Prior to launching the shooting spree at the Aurora theater, Holmes listed the pros and cons of his plans.

“The cons typically involve situations when he can’t kill enough people,” Brauchler said.

And on that fateful day, July 20, 2012, while his headphones were blasting with techno music, he engaged in a shooting spree, killing 12 and injuring 70 people.

“He (Holmes) also described himself as a moral relativist. You just decide for yourself what’s right and wrong. There is no concrete set of moral standards. He tried to murder a theatre full of people to make himself feel better and because he thought it would increase his self worth,” Brauchler told court.

James Holmes not guilty by reason of insanity

Defense lawyers for Holmes argued that he has a history of mental illness coming from both sides of his families. One of defense lawyers, Daniel King, said that Holmes started suffering from mental illness when he was in middle school. By the age of eleven, Holmes had attempted suicide, King told the court.

Another defense lawyer, Katherine Spengler, said that the mental illness worsened when he was in his 20’s. She said that Holmes decided to take up neuroscience to find a cure for his brain.

To prove their point, defense attorneys showed the court a video of Holmes taken shortly after his arrest. His hands were covered with paper bags by investigators to preserve evidence.

The video shows Holmes playing with the paper bags, The Associated Press reported. Asked by an officer what he thinks the bags are for, Holmes said they were for “popcorn.”

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