Inside the disturbed mind of the man who shot 12 people dead.

In 2012, it was the news that shocked the world. A man stormed a US cinema and shot 12 people dead, leaving 58 injured.

Later called the ‘Batman’ killings, cinema goers were there to watch a midnight screening of the final installment in Christian Bale’s Batman trilogy, The Dark Knight Rises.

The alleged shooter, 27-year-old James Holmes, is now on trial for the massacre. His notebook, which had previously been in possession of the psychiatrist treating Holmes, was admitted into evidence and released to the public this week.

James Holmes. Image via Getty.

The spiral notebook is more 30 pages of wild scribbling (scroll down to read in full) that provides insight into Holmes' mindset during the weeks and months prior, with an ominous opening page query: 'The Questions: What is the meaning of life? What is the meaning of death?'

"Giving it the title 'Of Life,' Holmes describes his 'broken mind' and years long obsession to kill," CBS reported.

"Some of his rantings include 'all men are uncreated equal' and 'life's fallback solutions to all problems - death'."

He details different ways to kill in the journal, but rules each out for one reason or another. He says serial murder is “too personal, too much evidence, easily caught after few kills”.

The former doctoral student in neuroscience has plead not guilty by reason of insanity, but prosecutors argue the notebook shows the attack was carefully planned and that Holmes was sane at the time of the shootings. They are seeking the death penalty.


James Holme's 'Of Life'.

The Questions

What is the meaning of life?

What is the meaning of death?

Holmes dedicates the journal to 'Goober, Chrissy, Bobbo. Love yahs'.


'Insights into a mind of madness.'

'All men are uncreated equal'.

'Infinity = ultimate good/evil.

Can a person have both no value AND be ultimately good AND/OR ultimately evil? Unknown.'

Holmes battles the question of life value for the next couple of pages.


Holmes outlines the 'alternatives to death'.

'1. Ignore the problem.

2. Delay the problem.

3. Pawn the problem.

4. Love. Hate.'

'Self diagnosis of broken mind'


Holmes outlines the symptoms attributed to his self diagnosis, including excessive fatigue, isolation and avoiding social interaction.


'Crazy concepts


 - Futility

 - Homosapiens

 - Nothing

 - The Blind

 - The number line

 - Everything

 - The ripple/butterfly effect'


Several pages of 'why?' that become increasingly larger.



Holmes begins to plot -  note the tick next to mass murder/spree.


'Maximum casualties, easily performed with firearms, no fear of consequences, being caught 99% certain.'


He selects his location because it is, 'Isolated, proximal, large. What better place to case than that of  an inconspicuous entertainment facility?'


He lists the medical experts he has been to.



Above - a breakdown of the symbol that frequently appears in the journal.

'What kind of GOD commands his people not to murder yet cowers behind free will?'

'The reason why life should exist is as arbitrary as the reason why it shouldn't.'

'Life shouldn't exist.'

Why not try ...

‘Stay on the main path': What it’s like inside the silent suicide forest.

The school where EVERY male teacher molested young children.

‘I look out the window. Outside, my mother is trying to hang herself.’

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