In the days since the Aurora theater shootings, the blogosphere has erupted with theories intended to explain the inexplicable -- why James Holmes allegedly opened fire at a midnight screening of The Dark Knight Rises.
Predictably, these analyses range from the somewhat plausible to the incredibly bizarre and frequently offensive. Here are five examples.
The Alleged Dangers of Zoloft
With all the speculation about whether James Holmes was heavily medicated during his first court appearance, expect to hear plenty of discussion about the subject of what pills he may have been taking -- with "Aurora, Colorado Massacre's Main Suspect James Holmes -- SSRIs?" on the Truth Is Contagious website offering one of the more extreme examples.
"The Pavlovian mass media-manufactured reaction to...Colorado bloodbath is 'Ban all guns!' However, the question in my mind is, was James Holmes on an SSRI?" the piece begins. "If so, it fits a pattern in the Prozac Nation.
"The Obamanation are in full force against the despicable diabolical evils of medical marijuana dispensers... but won't touch the walls around the pharmaceutical cartel even though most mass shootings of recent times have involved the killers on SSRIs, killers such as Virginia Tech monster, Cho Seung Hui."
According to the anonymous author, "Israelis kill Palestinians routinely, but they don't usually kill each other in US-style massacres, even though ordinary Israelis are heavily armed. Many Swiss households come equipped with assault rifles and semi-automatic rifles, yet US-style blood festivals are almost unheard of.
"Was James Holmes on Zoloft, Prozac, Paxil, Luvox or some other perfectly legal suicide and homicide-inducing drug?" the item wonders. "That is the question and if the answer is YES, how much longer will Amerika tolerate the problem-reaction-solution, War on Drugs, and then turn its attention to fighting a real war on drugs?"
The late FBI director J. Edgar Hoover.
Only hours after news of the assaults broke, NaturalNews.com had already come to the conclusion that the "Colorado Batman shooting shows obvious signs of being staged." And among the likeliest candidates fingered by author Mike Adams was the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
"This is not your run-of-the-mill crime of passion," Adams wrote. "It was a carefully planned, heavily funded and technically advanced attack. Who might be behind all this? The FBI, of course, which has a long history of setting up and staging similar attacks, then stopping them right before they happen....
"Remember that the FBI had admitted to setting up terror plots, providing the weapons and gear, staging the location of the bombings and even driving the vehicles to pull it off!" Adams maintained, adding, "This is not a conspiracy theory, it's been admitted by the FBI right out in the open."
Does the member of Occupy San Diego being carried away by police look to you like James Holmes? Most of us would answer "no." But as noted by JustPlainPolitics.com, someone saw enough of a resemblance to construct a tie-in between this dreadful act and the Occupy movement. One such claim reads:
Private Detective Bill Warner is reporting at his site that the Aurora, CO theatre mass murderer James E. Holmes was apparently a member of the Occupy movement's "elite" militant and violent Black Bloc unit. There is also a photo on the site showing Holmes being arrested by what appear to be San Diego police.
We already know that Barack Obama, Nancy Pelosi and a number of other Democrat lawmakers have praised the Occupy "movement" and Obama-mentor and boss George Soros has heavily financed it. Now, with the Black Bloc Uber-violent segment and its apparent hit-man James Holmes beginning to look, sound and feel like another ObamaFriend Bill Ayers' Weather Underground, we finally know who is really behind this violence.
The new Batman movie -- third of the trilogy -- is extremely critical of the Occupy movement. It strongly appears that Holmes didn't like that characterization. So, he killed 12 people and injured at least 71 others with a hail of bullets directed at the moviegoers. If Holmes' tie in to the Occupy Black Bloc unit is allowed to come to the light of day, it will finally be known that the Obama Police State will no longer allow anyone to even listen to those who criticize the dictator.
These false claims got enough traction that members of Occupy Denver found themselves in the position of refuting them via tweets like this one:
— OccupyDenver (@OccupyDenver) July 22, 2012
This labyrinthine web of paranoid thought continues to hang over plenty of right-wing and racist websites such as WhiteCivilRights.com, which outlines what it sees as "Suspicious Details of the Colorado Shooting" like so:
"Relatively few Americans are aware that the US Senate will be voting on a UN gun control treaty in the next few days," the piece states. "International treaties can effect ordinary Americans. Just ask all the people who lost their jobs due to NAFTA and GATT. At the very least the timing of this mass shooting in Aurora, Colorado, the worst mass shooting in years, is extremely suspicious."
In other words, the article argues, the tragedy was a political act intended to bolster support for restricting gun access. But who did it? Author James Buchanan doesn't know, but he's got some ideas -- ones he bolsters by referencing the skin color of victims.
"If this were a mind-control shooting arranged by rogue elements of the CIA and Obama himself, for the purpose of causing a large body count just days before a vote by the US Senate on a UN Gun Control Treaty, it would be no great surprise if Obama directed that the number of Black casualties and law enforcement casualties should be minimal," he allows. "Given the fact that Holmes was shooting people in a crowded theater, it's possible that a few Blacks may have been shot by accident. So far, the casualties appear to be mostly White."
During the initial hours after the shooting, plenty of so-called experts were called upon to profile Holmes even before his name was released. Among them was former FBI profiler Clint Van Zandit, who said on MSNBC that the gunman might be a "dark Trekkie-like person."
Yes, you read that right. Here's how one Twitter user responded.
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More from our Follow That Story archive: "James Holmes: Inside the courtroom with shock-haired Aurora theater shooting suspect."