By Douglas J. Hagmann
While in police custody, the suspect Holmes did not appear to present any threat to police, who were able to converse with him in a normal manner. They did not transmit any communications that would suggest that he was acting aggressively, was overtly threatening or “insane.”
Holmes was reportedly “captured” by police at his vehicle, although he made no attempts to escape, nor was he aggressive or threatening to the police. He was identified by his attire and possession of weapons or weapons near his person. He was not identified by witnesses to the extent the surviving witnesses saw his face or even the bright color of his dyed hair.
It is relevant to insert here that throughout history, most of the perpetrators in “active shooter scenarios” has either been killed by police or killed themselves. For example, the August 1, 1966 shooting rampage by Charles Whitman, who killed a total of 14 people and wounded 32 others at and near the University of Texas when he began shooting people from the university’s tower was shot on the scene by police.
The mass shooting at the McDonald’s restaurant on July 18, 1984, nearly 28 years to the day from the Aurora shooting, left 21 people, including 5 young children, dead and 19 others injured. The shooter, identified as James Huberty, was shot by police inside the restaurant.
There are many other such instances, yet there are exceptions as well. Notable examples include Sirhan Sirhan, who was convicted of the shooting death of Robert F. Kennedy in 1968, to Jared Lee Loughner, the shooter who killed 6 people (including U.S. District Court Judge John Roll) and wounded another 14 (including U.S. Representative Gabrielle Giffords) in January, 2011.
Dr. Randall Strandquist, a licensed forensic psychologist, offered interesting analysis and commentary about the behavior of suspect James Holmes.
The public has many questions about James Holmes: Was he wasted on drugs? Was/is he crazy, like schizophrenia? Is he/has he been faking mental illness? Not having the ability to evaluate James Holmes or review police reports I can only offer my opinion based on the data available and my experience. There are no data from police communications available that indicate James Holmes appeared wasted or crazy when initially detained. The communications indicate that the commanding officer wanted to make sure that he was detained, indicating that he likely did not appear as the shooter (decked out in body armor, touting guns).
One of the detaining officers reported that James Holmes claimed he was alone (which may or may not have been true) but the officer did not believe him, based on reports from eye witnesses describing the shooter. The fact that the officer’s inclination is to believe James Holmes is lying gives us information about James Holmes’ presentation at the time. James Holmes appeared to have the cognitive ability to communicate sufficiently and respond accurately to the detaining officer’s questions. The officer appears to find no indication of cognitive impairment and that James Holmes understands the questions asked of him. Again, these are my conjectures, based on limited information and lack thereof.
The next report we get, as far as I know, is the jailers reporting that he is acting incoherent manner, flopping in his cell, spitting everywhere, and talking about the Batman movie. They said they forced him to wear a spit mask, for the protection of the correctional officers (or anyone else) interacting with him. There were reports that he initially told officers he was “The Joker” but it appears that his condition had significantly decompensated from the time he was initially detained.
The first time we see James Holmes (other than a college photo and the mug shot) was in the courtroom, this is presentation number three. (I find it interesting that, considering the theater had cameras in the front, the interior and the back of the facility, we still have seen no film of James Holmes’ entrance or his detainment). When I saw his demeanor and facial expressions, my first thought was, “This guy’s mind is wasted.” His demeanor and expressions appear inconsistent with an individual with whom you would be able to have productive communication. I have no information to even conjecture as to the reason for his presentation on that day. I will say that if he were faking, he’s pretty sophisticated. Typically, individuals who are faking mental illness go for the typical Hollywood presentation. For example, sudden jerks of the head and laughing, as if they’re hearing voices or seeing things. That was not what I saw.
Presentation number four is that James Holmes is reportedly coherent, complaining about the food and reporting that he has no memory for the incidents which led to his arrest. In cases where malingering is considered, amnesia is an unsophisticated attempt in pursuit of being acquitted of charges based on a mental illness. There are no reports of a continued need for a spit mask and no reports of him thinking he is acting out a part in a movie.
Four different presentations within a short period of time is atypical of a malingerer. Typically the individual will claim to have certain symptoms and stick with that. They may increase the intensity of the symptoms or add more on, if they think that the evaluator isn’t buying the “crazy card” they’re trying to play. In this case, James Holmes appears to go from relatively cognizant, to incoherent, to coherent. Not a typical pattern of an individual facing the death penalty and trying to get off as insane.
It would be my opinion, with the limited data I have, that this presentation would be more consistent with someone coming off of mind-altering drugs, than someone trying to fake a mental illness. I will conclude by stating that these are only conjectures, based on limited data, and all possible causes considered (including some not mentioned) are possible.
To anyone who read the first part of this report of the Aurora shooting, it should be clear that there are serious questions pertaining to the information thus far disclosed to the public. It is unlikely that answers to legitimate questions will not be forthcoming, considering that Judge William Blair Sylvester issued an order on the very the day of the shooting to seal all investigative records and documents pertaining to this case. Not only have the investigative documents been sealed, but also sealed is the complete list of court filings.
There are legitimate reasons for sealing records and reports, but taking the extra step to seal the list of court filings themselves raises even more questions about the areas of potential interest, most likely to the defense. Ostensibly, the disclosure of the court records would be “contrary to public interest,” according to the judge. How so?
History has illustrated cases where public reports, when compared to actual facts, are significantly different. One of the most striking examples of this difference in a high-profile murder is the case of Sirhan Sirhan and the shooting death of U.S. senator and presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy. Having interviewed Rose Lynn Mangan, the indefatigable investigative researcher of the RFK assassination on The Hagmann & Hagmann Report, it is evident that things are not as they always appear, or as we are told.
I asked forensic psychologist Dr. Randall Strandquist about mind control and hypnosis, a subject I viewed with a great amount of distrust until I saw a stage act in Las Vegas many years ago that involved audience participation. I’ll spare the details, but I became convinced on that day that mind control is very possible. Given the odd behavior of the suspect, I broached the subject with Dr. Strandquist. What follows is his response.
Another possibility frequently discussed on many internet sites is, “Is this guy a mind-control/Manchurian candidate?” Uh, oh, here we go, break out your tinfoil hats…this guy is actually going to consider this? Yes. Now, let’s look at this reasonably. First issue: Can the mind be controlled? Answer: Yes. A simple example of this would be hypnosis. Some people are more vulnerable or easily hypnotizable than others. Another example is called NLP, or NeuroLinguistic Programming. Simply by altering how one communicates, can alter/influence/control an individual. For an example of this, search “Derren Brown” on you tube. One of my favorites is when he goes to the racetrack and convinces the cashiers that a losing ticket is actually a winning ticket. A final example is one that is the most prominent, one that most of us are exposed to on a daily basis, that is television. It is my understanding that just by watching television, it alters your brain waves. There’s a reason why the television line-up is called “programming” folks.
What about the Manchurian Candidate stuff, when a person is allegedly programmed to respond in a certain manner after being prompted by a certain phrase or sensory experience. From the psychological perspective, this would be called a “dissociative episode.” This is when a person splits from their normal reality into another, be it via personality or perceptual experience. Dissociation happens to all of us. On a very basic level, it’s called daydreaming, we find our minds wandering from what we had been focusing upon but then snap out of it. Another example is when traveling down the highway and you realize that a few exits have gone by and you don’t recall passing them. It happens. Whether you believe in multiple personalities is up to you, but you need to understand that the brain has the capability to switch off, so to speak, while your body is still operating.
Is there an organization out there creating Manchurian Candidates? According to the Church hearings, the CIA performed mind control experiments on many individuals. This became to be known as the MK Ultra project. Ewing Cameron, in a Canadian psychiatric facility, performed these experiments for the CIA. This is documented, folks. A few of the patients/victims of Cameron sued and WON. What they learned from these experiments, I don’t know for fact. The CIA claims that this type of experimentation no longer occurs, but the fact is that it did, at one time, occur.
Is it still occurring? Reportedly, James Holmes’ father, Dr. Robert Holmes, worked for a company named HNC, which contracted research with DARPA (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency). I don’t know for fact what Dr. R. Holmes did for them, but there is a connection. James Holmes, at the age of 18, was a research intern at the Salk Institute, participating in research regarding enhancing certain chemicals of the brain to increase the endurance of a soldier and prevent combat fatigue. (By the way, folks, when I was 18, I was washing dishes in the school cafeteria, trying to put myself through undergrad. This guy, Homes, was no slack, he was cream of the crop in the scientific braino’s camp). There are reports that indicate James Holmes, during this internship, worked on something called “Flicker Fusion” and how it can manipulate/control the mind. Later, at a science camp, James Holmes identified his mentor as John Jacobson. He did this during his presentation on “temporal illusions” when he was reviewing the data on how to “manipulate temporal order” such that sensory experiences originate in the mind rather than from the environment. In other words, manipulate such that you could create any world/reality for an individual.
I am not saying that James Holmes was a Manchurian candidate. I’m not saying he wasn’t. But there appears to be evidence that research into the mind continues, some of that involving mind control, and mind manipulation. To dismiss this as a possibility is naive, in my opinion. Most people do not want to perceive themselves as “vulnerable” to such manipulation. We want to believe that we have complete control over our minds and no one can take that. We want to believe that everyone out there is benevolent and no organization out there would be doing things like creating Manchurian candidates to do evil. I’m not going to tell you what to believe. I do not claim to know what went on with James Holmes. Keep in mind that there does not appear to be any evidence that he committed the shootings, just that he was standing outside the theater by his car when police arrived. I have not heard any quotations that he admitted to doing the shooting, just that he was alone. There is no indication from the dispatch recordings that he reported his apartment was rigged with explosives, at least prior to 4:00 a.m. The fact is, folks, we don’t know all the details of what went down that night, and we may never, despite what the talking heads tell us while we watch the nightly programming.
Speaking earlier of Las Vegas, it is a good bet that in the case of James Holmes, answers to legitimate questions will not be forthcoming. We’ve asked ourselves whether this analysis of the Aurora shooting is an attempt to make sense out of a senseless, random act. After all, we’ve been told that Lee Harvey Oswald is the lone shooter in the JFK assassination, and attempts to paint that as a larger conspiracy is a natural human response in attempt to rationalize a random, senseless act.
Could it be that the entire scenario is as simple as one guy going off his nut? While it’s possible, there are enough oddities within this event that suggest it isn’t quite that simple. Accordingly, we will continue to ask questions, and probe into the events surrounding this incident to expose the truth, wherever it leads.