Monthly Archives: December 2012

Analysis: CU Holmes Emails

My eyes are tired.

After scrolling through 1,000s of emails, I can report a TAD bit of new information.    To be honest, nothing really significant came out of these emails.

But here are the emails I personally found slightly interesting:

The fMRI Email

Holmes received a lot of request, sent out campus wide, to participate in studies. He responded to a Jason Smucny, to participate in some sort of “fmri” study.

I’m not an academic, but this may have more info on what exactly an fMRI is….apparently brain mapping.

“Hey Jason,

The fmri study sounds interesting and I would like to be a subject if possible.


James Holmes.

Why is this interesting?

I’m still trying to do research on exactly what the brain mapping study was about. But it’s clear it peaked Holmes’ interest. Was the study seeking people with certain mental conditions? I found this after a google search:

Did this study interest Holmes?

Did this schizophrenia study interest Holmes?

The Relationship email

A CU pharmacology professor wrote James Holmes may have had a girlfriend for a brief time.

“Yeah, he was a grad student here, and, it turns out, had a brief romantic relationship with one of the grad students in my program last fall.  She, fortunately, it turns out is in India right now.  She knows, and is pretty freaked out.”  -Dr. Larry Hunter / July 20th

Why is this interesting?

We heard rumors Holmes may have had a girlfriend, but nobody verified that and the people who have spoken publicly about him never mentioned anything about a girl.  If he did have a relationship, what did she know?  Did she see any danger signs?

The Rejection email

The same professor who mentioned a relationship also indicated Holmes was rejected for lab rotations.

“He rotated in the labs of two professors I know (one of whom just walked out of my office), and was rejected for a rotation by one other.  The guy I talked to didn’t’ say that he had any indication of anything, but I would be very cautious about saying anything like that if I were him.”

Why is this interesting?

Several universities expressed deep interest in Holmes and courted him to study on their campus.  One professor in Iowa, after meeting him in person, changed his mind about Holmes.

Why would Holmes, who was a star student, be rejected?   Exactly when did the “downward spiral,” as prosecutors noted in documents, begin?

The Social Media email

One of the heads of the CU Neuroscience Department made an effort to keep a lid on information coming out of her department during the morning of July 20th.

“In the meantime, I’m requesting that you please not post anything on Facebook, Twitter, etc.” –Dr. Cammie Kennedy

Why is this interesting?

This email possibly stifled loads of first-hand observations about the suspect and his behavior at the university before the shooting.

Students and faculty in the department may have a wealth of anecdotes that the public would definitely find of serious interest, especially if anybody saw hints of violence or concerns.   We can learn from them and what they may have seen.

I don’t remember any significant tweets coming from students or staff within the neurosciences department.

It’s clear the university moved FAST to keep this information from going public through social media and it worked.

Was it for the best?

Many questions remain…..