James Holmes killed or wounded seventy people in a movie theater in Aurora, Colorado. Only one man was allowed to record extensive interviews with the shooter. This is what he found.
On July 20, 2012 in Aurora, Colorado, a man in dark body armor and a gas mask entered a midnight premiere of The Dark Knight Rises with a tactical shotgun, a high-capacity assault rifle, and a sidearm. He threw a canister of tear gas into the crowd and began firing. Soon twelve were dead and fifty-eight were wounded; young children and pregnant women were among them. The man was found calmly waiting at his car. He was detained without resistance.
Unlike Columbine and Newtown, James Holmes is unique among mass shooters in his willingness to be taken into custody alive. In the court case that followed, only Dr. William H. Reid, a distinguished forensic psychiatrist, would be allowed to record interviews with the defendant. Reid would read Holmes’ diary, investigate his phone calls and text messages, interview his family and acquaintances, speak to his victims, and review tens of thousands of pages of evidence and court testimony in an attempt to understand how a happy, seemingly normal child could become a killer.
A Dark Knight in Aurora uses the twenty-three hours of unredacted interview transcripts never seen by the public and Reid’s research to bring the reader inside the mind of a mass murderer. The result is chilling, gripping study of abnormal psychology and how a lovely boy named Jimmy became a mass murderer.
About the Author:
William Reid, MD, MPH, is among the most experienced forensic mental health professionals in North America. He has received both the Manfred Guttmacher Award for forensic writing and the Seymour Pollack Award for Distinguished Contribution to Education in Forensic Psychiatry, and is a past president of the American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law. Dr. Reid has written, co-authored, or edited 16 professional volumes and over 200 professional articles and book chapters, many on antisocial behavior, terrorism and forensic practice. Dr. Reid was one of two psychiatric experts retained by the presiding judge in People of the State of Colorado v. James Holmes, and the only person allowed to record interviews with Holmes and access to the unredacted videos and transcripts. He currently resides in Horseshoe Bay, Texas.