James Holmes

Another proposed “solution” to the mass shootings in America is sure to upset many camps; privacy advocates, mental health care advocates, and even those calling for the heads of the murderers. Soon…






The bodies in Aurora, Colorado weren’t even cold before the inevitable conspiracy theories began to propagate in the bacterial petri dish that is the internet. While most people are content to let the investigation into the Dark Knight Rises murder spree evolve under the auspices of local and federal law enforcement, there exists a fringe for whom no amount of physical distance from, or baseless conjecture about, a national tragedy is too far to not support unlikely theories of United Nations false-flag attacks and other tinfoil cap speculations.

The current conspiracy du jour is that James Holmes’ attack on a packed audience watching a midnight screening of The Dark Knight Rises was in actuality an atrocity planned in advance by elements within the federal government and/or the United Nations. Those advocating this claim are pointing to several shaky bits of “evidence” that are in actuality nothing of the sort. This isn’t surprising, though: it costs practically nothing to make baseless accusations under the guise of “just asking questions”, and there’s much to be gained by doing so in terms of attention and notoriety. (Just ask Glenn Beck.)


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In the pre-dawn hours of July 20, a heavily armed 24 year-old doctoral student named James Eagan Holmes entered an Aurora, Coloroda theater and started firing during a midnight screening of The Dark Knight Rises. In a matter of minutes, a dozen men, women and children were dead, and scores more wounded. Holmes turned himself over to police, reportedly telling them that he was Batman’s nemesis The Joker.

It was an incomprehensible crime, but only on in a long line of mass murders committed in the United States. What drives people to do such a thing? Troubled by this perhaps unanswerable question, I called Emil Chiaberi, the director, writer and producer of a gripping new documentary on the phenomenon of mass murders: Murder by Proxy: How America Went Postal.