Tuesday, July 24, 2012

The Silent Joker

There are no chances being taken with James Holmes.  Perhaps ensuring he would not meet the fate of President John F. Kennedy's killer, Lee Harvey Oswald, he was given a back-stage entry, and was wearing a stab-proof vest under his prison garb.  He was also very obviously medicated.  He was observed to be appearing groggy, slumped in his chair, disinterested in the proceedings, unresponding and dazed as he stared into space.

He was dressed in body armour a few days earlier when he appeared far different:  confident, prepared, in control, armed and dangerous.  He wore, at that time, a ballistic helmet, a ballistic vest, ballistic leggings, a throat protector, a groin protector, tactical gloves.  He would have been impervious to any action anyone alert enough in that Aurora theatre to respond might have been after James Holmes fired off his first killing shots.

Question: why the body armour?  To look the part?  Or to brook no interference with his deadly carnage before completion of his goal?  On the other hand, to survive himself, after he had played out his comic book fantasy of killing machine?

He is called a 'suspect'.  There were countless witnesses, including many of the 58 people whom he placidly succeeded in wounding.  He was arrested after the fact with more than enough hard evidence in his possession.  Let alone what was discovered when police arrived at his booby-trapped apartment, neutralizing it, disposing of the explosive chemicals meant to further destroy lives.

He is 'alleged' to have committed an atrocity.  He will not be held to be guilty until he has undergone a trial, to ensure that justice will have been done.  He is denied bail, and he is maintained in solitary confinement.  The condition of solitary confinement is quite likely one he is familiar with; not necessarily physically but certainly within his headspace. 

"Ordinarily individuals are entitled to bail.  Given the nature of the charges, you are currently being held on a no bond hold", Judge William Sylvester of courtroom 201 at the Arapaho County courthouse in Centennial, Colorado advised the 24-year-old for whom the words seemed not to register anything at all, for there was no response.

Justice Sylvester was not yet finished at this most brief of hearings.  He added:  "You shall not harass, molest, intimidate, retaliate against or tamper with any witness or victim.  You must stay away from the homes of victims or any location where the victims are likely to be found."  As though James Holmes was in the cusp of being set free on his own recognizance, being cautioned to behave.

He was, in fact, finished with his lethal display of 'harassing, molesting, intimidating, retaliating against, tampering with any witness or victim'.  There are twelve dead people, children and adults of varying ages and genders to prove it.  Let alone the 58 people whose anguish continues as they recover from the mass shoot-out in appeasement of some derangement in the young man's mind.

James Holmes has a mother and a father, and perhaps siblings.  "The family wants to reiterate that their hearts go out to the victims", repeated the family's attorney, Lisa Damiani.  "Yes they do, he's their son", she responded when asked if his family stands by him.  "They're doing as well as they can under the circumstances."

And what dreadful circumstances those are.  A cartoon character come briefly to life to choreograph a nightmare that has left all whom it has touched reeling in disbelief.  Believe it.

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