Walter Mencken 1 p.m., May 1
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Eerie Mass Murderer Similarities
JAMES HOLMES is extremely intelligent. A gifted scientist, he came from the affluent neighborhood of Rancho Penasquitos. Described by friends as a "polite young man with a ready smile," his father is a mathematician, and his mother is a psychiatric nurse. He graduated from college with a bachelor's degree in neuroscience and received a federal grant to attend the most competitive neuroscience program in the country. Unfortunately, he could only find work at McDonald's. News reports say he had a posting on a kinky-sex website and that he dropped out of a PhD program at the University of Colorado shortly before going on a rampage. He used the Joker from Batman comics as a role model and even dyed his hair red. Authorities say he most likely used his knowledge of science and position as a graduate student to plan his attack on a movie theater. They also say that psychopaths like Holmes have a sense of entitlement and commit murders to gain world-wide attention.
ANDREW CUNANAN was extrememly intelligent and spoke seven languages. His IQ was 147. He was from Rancho Bernardo and was living there when he went on a killing spree. His home was only four-five miles away from the home of the parents of James Holmes in Rancho Penasquitos. Like Holmes, Cunanan was described by friends as a "polite young man with a ready smile." He too dropped out of college (UCSD), and could only find work as a clerk at Thrifty Jr. News reports said he enjoyed Kinky sex, pornography, and was a pathological liar. When one after another of his wealthy lovers left him, he became depressed. He used drugs and after killing several people, he ultimately killed Gianni Versace because he was jealous of the "gay icon." He had a sense of entitlement and thought the world owed him success. He committed suicide.
JOHN GARDNER also lived in the affluent community of Rancho Bernardo at the time he killed Amber Dubois and Chelsea King. His mother and the mother of James Holmes were both psychiatric nurses.
JOHN HINCKLEY came from an affluent family from Evergreen, Colorado. He was an on and off student at Texas Tech University. He lied to his parents about having a girlfriend, took antidepressants, and in the 1970s and 1980s began purchasing guns. When his attempts to contact Jodie Foster were unsuccessful, he plotted to hijack aircraft and to commit suicide in front of her to get her attention. He thought publicity would make him her equal. Lee Harvey Oswald was his role model.
TIMOTHY MCVEIGH was so intelligent, he managed to hack into the federal government's computer system on his Commodore 64 while still attending high school. He brought guns to school in order to impress his classmates. An Army veteran, he was awarded a Bronze Star, but after leaving the military, could only find employment as a security guard. Shortly before he blew up the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Okalahoma, he received the highest store on a test to become a toll booth operator, but didn't get hired; and, a co-worker had turned him down for a date. He dropped out of Bryant & Stratton College, and was obsessed with owning and reading about guns. He said he hoped to inspire a revolt against what he considered a tyrannical federal government.
TED KACZYNSKI had an IQ of 167. He was an intellectual child prodigy who like James Holmes' father, was a mathematician. He earned his undergraduate degree from Harvard University, and a PhD from the University of Michigan. After becoming an assistant professor at the University of Berkley at twenty five, he abruptly resigned after receiving numerous complaints and low ratings from undergraduates that he taught. Uncomfortable in a teaching environment, he often stuttered and mumbled during lectures, was excessively nervous in front of a class and ignored students during designated office hours. When alone, he performed mathmatic equations obsessively. He said he committed the unibomber crimes to "attract attention to erosion of human freedom necessitated by modern technologies requiring large scale organization."
ERIC HARRIS AND DYLAN KLEBOLD came from an affluent neighborhood. Harris was said to be the leader of the two. In an official report, Harris was referred to as a "psychopath" while Klebold was called "depressive." Harris' probation officer wrote that he was "a very bright individual who is likely to succeed in life." Friends said he took his studies seriously. He is known for creating the "Harris levels," seven known levels for a computer game called "Doom." He wanted to join the United States Marine Corps but was rejected because he took antidepressants. At the time of his death, he was taking Flouvoxamine and was said to have obsessive-compulsive disorder.
Of Klebold, the probation officer wrote, "intelligent but needs to understand that work is part of fulfilling a dream." Journal entries revealed that both boys were inspired by Timothy McVeigh, possibly because he too had been bullied in school. They wanted to "outdo" McVeigh and so scrapped plans to blow up the high school and used guns instead. They were fans of the movie, "Natural Born Killers."
Like Cunanan, Harris and Klebold committed suicide after committing murders, and like Hinkley, they once considered hijacking planes. Harris' older brother attended the University of Colorado like James Holmes. Harris and McVeigh look alike, while Klebold and Holmes look alike.
The apartment where Cunanan lived at the time of his crimes is in Rancho Bernardo, approximately 1.2 miles away from the home where Gardner was living at the time of his crimes. While these two men were gaining notariaty, Holmes was living in Rancho Penasquitos, which is about four to five miles away from Rancho Bernardo. He subsequently went on a rampage near Columbine. Was he inspired by these mass murders? Experts say that this personality type would rather go down being famous for destruction than live in obscurity. Murder is their way of leaving a lasting impression on the world.
Wikipedia and my own memory are the sources for this blog entry.