Questions Surrounding ‘Dark Knight’ Shooter James Holmes Linger, Aurora Community Tries to Heal

Batman The Joker

James Holmes, Aurora, CO massacre suspect, is described as a loner.

The 24-year-old murder suspect attended his court hearing Monday appearing bright-eyed and having red hair. Law officials allege Holmes has been referring to himself as “The Joker.”

“The Joker” persona is drastically different from Holmes’ past as a gifted student. Labeled a “bright student,” he earned an academic scholarship in 2006 and went on to graduate with highest honors majoring in neuroscience in 2010. Besides receiving a speeding summons in 2011, Holmes has no prior offenses.

In 2011, Holmes enrolled in the Anschutz Medical Campus in Aurora, receiving $26,000-a-year stipend for living expenses, university spokeswoman Jacque Montgomery said.

While a syllabus shows he enrolled in medical school, he withdrew from the program in June 2012, giving no reason for his departure from the program, CNN reports.

Holmes was not active on popular social media sites, such as Facebook and Twitter. He did, however, have a profile on and the sex website Adult Friend Finder, according to CNN.

A profile was found with a 24-year-male having red hair similar to Holmes. The owners of Adult Friend Finder will not confirm Holmes’ identity citing privacy issues.

Holmes allegedly applied online to join a gun range in June. Glenn Rotkovich, managing partner of the Lead Valley Range in Byers, CO, called the number Holmes left and was “disturbed by the weird and bizarre message” that was left on the answering machine. He described Holmes as sounding “guttural, freakish, maybe drunk.”

There was no mention of Holmes at the Colorado Massacre memorial service held Sunday night, where President Obama made a brief appearance. During the service the names of the 12 victims were read off. After paying their respects, several attendees of the service placed gifts at the massacre memorial located outside the Aurora movie theater.

The pain of this senseless tragedy may not go away anytime soon, but the service was the first step in the Aurora community’s healing process.

Brittany Reese is a freelance writer studying mass communication at Arkansas State University. Follow her on Twitter @brittayus.

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