James Holmes.
James Holmes.

James Holmes: CU releases 3,800 e-mails about him, to him and written by him

Today, the University of Colorado released about 3,800 e-mails related to accused Aurora theater shooter James Holmes, a neuroscience student at the school who had begun to withdraw more than a month before the July 20 attack. Most of the e-mails we've combed through are unremarkable, but some provide a window into how staff reacted in the immediate aftermath. Read several e-mails below, with more to come.

One e-mail sent on the morning of July 20 by Larry Hunter, a professor in the university's computational bioscience program, indicates Holmes had a "brief romantic relationship" with a graduate student in Hunter's program. Read it below:

E-mail about James Holmes, July 20 11:10 a.m.

The e-mails released also include some written by Holmes, like the one below:

E-mail from James Holmes, September 18, 2011

Other e-mails shed light on how faculty and staff reacted to the news:

E-mail about James Holmes, July 20 11:48 a.m.

Continue reading for more e-mails about Holmes. The e-mails were produced in response to open-records requests by several media outlets, including Westword. CU searched its e-mail servers for the terms "James Holmes" and "James E. Holmes" and came up with 3,272 e-mails. Of those, CU has released nearly 2,300. The rest are protected because they're student records, health records or attorney-client privileged communications. See an example of a redacted e-mail below:

Redacted James Holmes E-mail

CU also reviewed Holmes's two university e-mail accounts and found approximately 2,700 e-mails. About 1,500 were released. In addition to weeding out e-mails the university considered privileged, CU is holding back one hundred e-mails that Holmes's attorneys assert are "personal and private" and not subject to open-records requests.

Many of the e-mails released from Holmes's accounts are essentially junk mail, including group e-mails about events or solicitations for study participants. See an example below:

E-mail to James Holmes

After the shooting, the university received hundreds of requests for information from the media. Many of the released e-mails ask for interviews with faculty. The e-mails show that CU employees were instructed to forward all such requests to the university's media relations team. See below for an example of a professor who did just that:

E-mail about James Holmes, July 20 10:59 a.m.

And still other released e-mails are more cryptic, such as the one below between Jim Finster, the director of academic support services, and campus police officer Lynn Whitten. A court order issued in October indicates that Dr. Lynne Fenton, a psychiatrist who was seeing Holmes, admitted that she spoke with Whitten. Read the e-mail below:

E-mail about James Holmes, July 20 9:24 a.m.

More from our Aurora Theater Shooting archive: "CU releases some documents related to James Holmes, including a second ID photo."

Follow me on Twitter @MelanieAsmar or e-mail me at melanie.asmar@westword.com


All-access pass to the top stories, events and offers around town.

  • Top Stories


All-access pass to top stories, events and offers around town.

Sign Up >

No Thanks!

Remind Me Later >