Following the tragic shootings in Colorado, a portrait of the shooter began to emerge in the press. It was the image of the typical mass killer as described by crime profilers. “He was a loner”, “He was quiet” and so on. One rather chilling description was, "NO ONE knew him.”

Now, as friends and former classmates of James Holmes are coming forward, a much different picture of Holmes is being described. It’s obvious that being the first to have a story about such a horrendous event is more important than the facts. The facts about James Holmes are quite different than those early stories.

Friends and people who knew Holmes confirm that he was, indeed, a bit shy. People also say that he was polite, highly intelligent and loved science.

One former classmate who spoke to the press under the condition of anonymity described Holmes as “dorky.” Another added, "He was a very nice guy. He was very, very smart; a little weird — kind of like you'd expect a really smart guy to be.”

Jessica Cade, 23, a graduate student at UC Riverside, lived in the same honors dorm as Holmes and said that she would occasionally go out with him with friends.

"They're calling him 'deranged' and a 'lunatic.' Never in a million years would that have crossed my mind," Cade said. "I was horrified when I saw his picture on the news. I was very close to fainting in the office."

All the statements from those who actually knew Holmes really only serve to deepen the mystery. When we read about the social lives of people like David Berkowitz (Son of Sam) or George Hennard (Kileen, Texas) or even Charles Manson, we can process the logic needed to say, “Oh, well, of course they were crazy.” But, the story of James Holmes just doesn’t answer the question we all have about such a tragic story. If anything, what we have learned about Holmes only serves to increase the tragedy of it all.

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