In a sign that is all is not well for James Holmes, prison authorities have had to issue him at one point a face mask because he was incessantly spitting at them. Something that suggests that he is either convinced that he is still in some kind of role play as he literally takes on the recalcitrant villain character of the Joker to the hilt or that he is psychologically imbalanced something that could have been brought about via trauma of some kind.
Not helping matters for James Holmes was his loopy court appearance which had commentators if he was on drugs, in some kind of shock or simply putting on some elaborate ruse?
In another sign of the degree of discord of Holmes behavior, Holmes told police when he was first arrested that he was the fictitious Batman villain, the Joker, when cops put evidence bags over his hands to preserve traces of gunpowder residue. At the moment the bags were placed over his hands Holmes pretended the bags were puppets.
Offers Marissa Randazzo, former chief research psychologist for the US Secret Service and an expert in mass shootings:
“I think there are two possibilities going on here. One is that he is in the middle of a psychotic episode which is quite possible. We see him distracted at multiple points, an almost sort of ‘coming to’ and trying to figure out where he is and process what’s going on. The other thing that we’re seeing — and we’ve seen some of this behavior in the past couple months — might suggest mania. Meaning hyperactivity, hyper energy, been possibly up and not sleeping for days. What we might be seeing here is the post effects.”
That said Marissa Randazzo does offer for the time being the possibility that James Holmes is just faking his behavior.
Then there’s this point of view via the dailybeast that shed’s some light of the duplicity of pop culture/fantasy and how that may have played into a wavering mind that suddenly adopted it as reality:
A sick person’s inchoate feelings of resentment and persecution and alienation get some kind of coherence when they fit into a ready-made storyline—like the violent story of heroes and antiheroes told in the Batman movies. It would hardly be surprising for an underdog whose mind was already in some kind of chaotic state to have a fascination with the Joker, “a cultural antihero who brings chaos,”
Then discussing the idea that violence in film and wider culture feeding citizen’s reflex to resort to violence:
…..it’s easy to feel torn between the notion that violent movies breed actual violence, and the idea that James Holmes, the 24-year-old man police have accused of the crime, is just a madman whose actions speak only for themselves. But there’s a more credible position that includes both views: that Holmes went mad, and that the art and culture around him shaped the kind of lunatic he turned out to be. (Forget legal or medical definitions of insanity: anyone who does horrible damage to dozens of strangers, for no credible reason, is, in common parlance, nuts.) Movies don’t make us go insanely violent, but if you’re going to lose control anyway, they provide a model for how to go about it—a model for just how bad and mad today’s crazy person is supposed to be.
Time will tell how crazy James Holmes really is or if in some level how crazy our society has become which might in part be what the anti hero was trying to expose with his violent series of behavior….