The Aurora theater shootings have generated plenty of sympathy online -- but also some twisted responses on the fringes. Now, in the tradition of Facebook tribute pages to James Holmes, the man accused of murdering twelve people and injuring dozens more at a midnight screening of The Dark Knight Rises, outlets are reporting about Twitter users who think he's cute.
The first tweets on this theme surfaced shortly after the news broke, when the photo above was released, generating responses like this one, posted at a time when there were thought to have been fourteen casualties:
I just saw a tweet that said "James Holmes is cute."... HE JUST KILLED 14 FU*KING PEOPLE. Are you serious right now? I hate humans.
— Elijah Daniel (@aguywithnolife) July 20, 2012
But they've continued even after the release of a mug shot depicting Holmes as dazed, glassy-eyed and sporting a mop of badly dyed hair. That got the attention of outlets like the New York Daily News, whose article on the subject features references to "Bonnie and Clyde syndrome."
Not everyone has been amused by this phenomenon. Salon reports that one woman who tweeted that she found Holmes attractive received death threats. But in general, most Twitter users appalled by this mini-trend have limited themselves to expressing their personal disgust. Here are ten examples:
I think it's disgusting girls are tweeting about how 'cute/hot' James Holmes is. So distasteful and sickening, people have no respect
— ☮ F i o n a ☮ (@FionaaCatherine) July 26, 2012
So pissed off with the media. Actually tempted to tweet things like "James Holmes is so cute" Just to be put in the article then slag it off
— HarleyQuinn. (@quinnsarrest) July 26, 2012
There's like a society of tumblr users who think James Holmes is "cute" so they post gifs and whatnot and the girl in my LRT reblogs them._.
— Danielle (@catchytitles) July 26, 2012
Dear god.. if girls are finding James Holmes cute, I wonder if Hitler were alive today would they have found him cute too.
— Phil Spain (@philenespanol) July 25, 2012
People like this should be locked up too! RT @___ASRxo: Is it weird that I thought George Zimmerman & James Holmes were cute.YESS!
— Eli Zbar (@elijzbar) July 24, 2012
I just saw a tweet that said "James Holmes is cute."...I no longer want to live on this planet anymore.
—B U L L Ξ H▲2 ∞ & → (@WhoaBulleh) July 21, 2012
Some girl on my timeline said James Holmes was cute.. You have a problem.
— kristen .(@kristendiior) July 21, 2012
there are actually people tweeting "james holmes is cute" o m g
— Sammi (@sammismosh) July 20, 2012
Everyone who's saying James Holmes is 'hot' should jump off of the nearest cliff.
— Tayler McMahon (@taylermc) July 25, 2012
W.T.F.... crushing on Colorado shooter? You're sick.... fb.me/1PtO6vjSf
— Ben and Kelly Show (@benandkellyshow) July 26, 2012
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More from our Aurora Theater Shooting archive: "Aurora theater shooting and Batman mythology: 'Going Sane' and 'Case Study.'"