Suspected Aurora shooter James Holmes brilliant? Not by a long shot, says former Salk Institute supervisor John Jacobson
‘He never completed the project. What he gave me was a complete mess,’ says Jacobson. ‘I basically fired him.’
By Nancy Dillon / NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
James Holmes brilliant? Not according to his Salk Institute supervisor John Jacobson: “His grades were mediocre. I’ve heard him described as brilliant. This is extremely inaccurate.”
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Accused movie shooter James Holmes wasn’t always the whip-smart whiz kid he’s being made out to be, at least according to one former supervisor.
John Jacobson helped guide Holmes during a 2006 summer internship at UC San Diego’s prestigious Salk Institute and said the suspected gunman in the Colorado movie theater massacre was thick-headed, uncommunicative and irresponsible.
“He should not have gotten into the summer program,” Jacobson, 37, told the Los Angeles Times. “His grades were mediocre. I’ve heard him described as brilliant. This is extremely inaccurate.”
Holmes’ high school transcripts showed Bs and B+s, and no Advanced Placement classes, Jacobson told The Times.
He was accepted because his resume indicated he had done some computer programming, Jacobson said.
Holmes had just graduated from Westview High School in San Diego and had not yet started his undergraduate studies at UC Riverside. He was assigned to work with Jacobson writing computer code for an experiment but refused to follow the graduate student’s instructions, Jacobson said.
“My experience with him was quite bad,” said Jacobson, who’s now a Ph.D. candidate at UC San Diego in philosophy and cognitive sciences.
The experiment — involving a game of rock-paper-scissors — was in Flash, a multimedia computer platform, but Holmes wouldn’t use it and insisted on an older method.
“He just refused,” Jacobson said. “Finally, I said, ‘Do it any way you can.’”
For the next six weeks, Jacobson dropped by the lab each day to make sure Holmes was present. He determined that Holmes was extremely receptive to compliments, and that was “how I got him to do the little that he did,” Jacobson said.
Ultimately, Holmes failed to finish the task, he said.
“He never completed the project. What he gave me was a complete mess,” Jacobson told The Times. “I basically fired him.”
He described Holmes as “a shy, pretty socially inept person,” and said he tried at one point to introduce Holmes around, taking him to another floor where a high-school girl was working.
“He just had no interest,” Jacobson recalled. “I’m trying to introduce him to the other high-school students, and he’s incredibly uncommunicative. … I attributed all this to adolescent shyness, maybe feeling intimidated to people around him.”
In a now widely distributed video presentation from the end of that summer — one that shows an awkward but seemingly confident Holmes discussing temporal illusions — Holmes named Jacobson as his mentor.
“That is not true. That’s almost slanderous,” Jacobson told The Times. “I was never his mentor.”
Aurora ‘Dark Night’ massacre: James Holmes’ assault rifle malfunctioned, potentially saving several lives, officials say
The movie theater massacre could have been much worse if suspect James Holmes’ gun hadn’t jammed, sources tell the Daily News.
By Matthew Lysiak In Aurora, Colo. AND Alison Gendar In Washington / NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images
Seven-year-old Serenity Brydon visits a makeshift memorial to the vicitims of the mass shooting in an Aurora, Colo., movie theater.
The military-style assault rifle that James Holmes used to massacre moviegoers Friday malfunctioned inside the theater — a stroke of luck amid the horror that may have saved numerous lives, officials revealed Sunday.
The AR-15 assault rifle police say Holmes was toting was capable of firing 50 to 60 rounds a minute.
The Batman-obsessed suspect could have stood in the front of the cinema and raked the rows of seated filmgoers had the gun not jammed.
Sources told the Daily News that the nearly 200 pounds of ammo were shipped to his apartment by FedEx and UPS.
Holmes apparently was forced to switch to his 12-gauge shotgun: many of the 58 people wounded in the attack were hit with buckshot, according to surgeons. Holmes also had two Glock pistols.
Veronica Moser, the youngest victim, was only 6.
Coloradans mourned the 12 victims and sought comfort at Sunday services and at a prayer vigil at the Aurora municipal center, and President Obama flew to the grief-stricken town to comfort victims — all as Holmes remained in solitary confinement in the women’s wing of the Arapahoe Detention Center, awaiting his first court appearance Monday to answer multiple murder charges.
Cameras will be allowed in the courtroom.
New details emerged Sunday about Holmes’ appearance when he was brought to the jail, where he has since been kept on 23-hour-a-day lockdown.
Tasha Taylor, who said a relative of hers is in the jail two cells down from the accused killer, described him when he first came into the lockup restrained to a wheelchair.
“He was brought in wearing his body armor,” Taylor said. “Once they got his armor off, his body was painted red. They had to shower him right away.”
Cops were probing the suspect’s past — and his computers — trying to find a reason why the 24-year-old grad student would meticulously plan a mass murder at the midnight premiere of “The Dark Knight Rises.”
More evidence of Holmes’ fixation with Batman emerged. Sources told The News a Batman poster hung in his apartment and The Associated Press reported a Batman mask was also found there. Cops discovered the items after bomb techs defused and safely removed a complicated series of explosive booby traps.
Holmes, who offered no resistance to arresting officers early Friday, reportedly told them “I am the Joker” — Batman’s sadistic nemesis.
Another poster in the apartment — visible through his window until cops put up shields — advertised “Soldiers of Misfortune,” a DVD about professional paintball players.
Holmes WHEELCHAIRED INTO JAIL- scrubbed from news!!!
Published on Oct 4, 2012 by Thomas Brinkley
unconscious. LIKE SHARE REVOLUTION. Just to confirm how big a deal this is, the New York Daily News removed it the next day! Love the official story on this one. Check out the other videos for more crazy shit like gas cans exploding in a theater he wasn’t even in, injuring people. – Thomas Brinkley
later one with no mention of justifying the removal:
People are noticing that he was witnessed being brought into the jail wearing body armor, and if true, it means all that staged body armor strewn out back wasn’t actually stripped off him. Obviously, it wouldn’t be easy to strip off an unconscious 6’3 man.
- UPDATE: PHOTO, James Holmes, Colorado Shooting Suspect Former Medical Student (sidewalkschalk.com)
- Colorado shooting: Picture emerges of chaotic scene, suspect James Holmes (csmonitor.com)
- Police: Colo. suspect planned attack for months (onlineathens.com)
- Shooting suspect James Holmes’ Apartment ‘Designed To Kill’ (mtv.com)
- James Holmes family connected to DARPA and mind manipulation work (intrepidreport.com)