Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Colorado Clusters and Copycats

by Loren Coleman ©2012

Aurora did not happen in a vacuum. Media spin would have you believe that only two major incidents of mass violence have occurred in Colorado in recent years. Aurora is one. And the other is Columbine, which, of course, happened in nearby Littleton.

But such things are told to you by a few newspeople who have no sense of history. Or they wish to ignore the vortex that Colorado has become for acts of violence and mass manias. California gets all the bad press, but sometimes the reality of pain happens in Colorado.

Today, few remember that suicide clusters were the behavior contagion phenomena that spread like a wildfire across America beginning in the 1980s. One of the first clusters began when twelve teens killed themselves in the northern Denver, Colorado suburb of Loveland in 1980-1981. The word "suicide cluster" refers to a concentrated number of self-deaths occurring in a specific location in a short amount of time. Some in the media disputed the fact that "suicide clusters" actually existed. But Loveland was a classic suicide cluster that began to start appearing in news stories and documentaries, which attempted to acknowledge this supposedly "new" behavior by teenagers.

Movies and suicides were identified as being interwoven, and special studies were made of The Deer Hunter. Here again, Colorado cropped up. Philip J. Hinshaw, 22, of Boulder Colorado, killed himself acting out a scene from The Deer Hunter with a .38 caliber automatic in front of his cousin, noted the Rocky Mountain News on February 9, 1980. He died five months later. According to a January 20, 1982, news report on KMGH-TV, Paul Whittaker, 17, of Denver, Colorado, killed himself with a .22 caliber revolver while playing Russian roulette with his brother and two girls the day after The Deer Hunter was shown on broadcast television. Four other Russian roulette deaths occurred across the country within six days of this Colorado 1982 incident. The copycat effect was subtly occurring, linked to suicides, by professionals in the social sciences, like myself.

I ended up writing a book, Suicide Clusters in 1987, about how the phenomenon was not new - first records date to 4 BC Greece - and detailing how they were rather consistent in their appearances. I began to talk about the copycat effect, but most people only were relating it to suicides and murder-suicides in the 1980s. The copycatting of one suicide after another was seen to jump, via newspapers, news magazines, and marginal television media attention, from well-publicized events to smaller ripples.

The copycat effect became so predictable, however, and the media coverage of these events so thorough, that I began to observe them almost as they would occur, in realtime. For example, on Friday afternoon May 16, 1986, former police officer David Young and his wife Dorris took over the Cokeville (Wyoming) Elementary School, and held 167 students and teachers hostage. The siege ended when one of the Youngs' homemade gasoline bombs went off, burning scores of fleeing, screaming children. David Young apparently then killed Dorris, wounded teacher John Miller, and then turned his Colt .45 on himself. (Months later, it was revealed that several children reported seeing angels in the classroom that day, including many children who claimed to have seen a "beautiful lady" who told them to go near the window. Other children reported seeing an angel over each child's head. A police photo taken during the incident - above - also reportedly shows "angels.")

The nationally broadcast Cokeville hostage situation, turned murder-suicide, was followed by the killing that night of five people at a bar and nearby convenience store in Colorado Springs, Colorado. When cornered by police, the killer, plumber Gilbert Eugenio Archibeque, shot himself once in the head with his .237 caliber handgun at 2 A.M., Sunday morning, May 18, 1986.Throughout the 1980s, it was individual acts of suicides, with occasional outbursts of murder-suicide incidents that grabbed the media's attention. The clumping and repeating of these suicides in specific geographic areas, like Loveland, were noted by social scientists as suicide clusters.

Suicide clusters of the 1980s - with Loveland's being the first epicenter - would be replaced by the school shootings of the 1990s, almost all conducted by suicidal male youth. The copycat effect had merely shifted its target as the media had shifted its focus. School violence has been around for a long time. but America’s “first” modern school shooting took place on Groundhog’s Day, February 2, 1996, at a school at Moses Lake, Washington State.

The Moses Lake killings set the pattern for what would follow in America--a student (not an outsider) killing other students and teachers. This is the horror--the danger from within of students killing students--that appears to have captivated the media. On that day, Barry Loukaitis, 14, dressed all in black, with boots and a long coat that hid his father’s hunting rifle and two handguns, walked into his Frontier Junior High fifth-period algebra class at Moses Lake and started shooting. He has cut the pockets out of his long Western duster and was able to use the .30-.30 lever-action hunting rifle without taking his hands out of the long, black trenchcoat. Loukaitis killed two classmates (Arnold Fritz and Manuel Vela) and then severely wounded another (Natalie Hintz). Hintz, sitting beside the boys, was shot in the stomach, with the bullet traveling through her elbow and almost tearing her right arm off. Next, Loukaitis aimed at the back of his algebra teacher, Leona Caires, and killed her as she was writing an equation on the chalkboard. With the carnage around him and 15 students in the room crying hysterically, Loukaitis calmly turned toward them, smiled and said: “This sure beats algebra, doesn't it?” The line was a quote from the Stephen King novel, Rage. Physical education teacher Jon M. Lane then rushed into the room, knocked the rifle away from Loukaitis, and wrestled him to the floor to end the shooting.

Loukaitis said his murderous loss of control was inspired by King’s Rage, Pearl Jam's music video “Jeremy,” and the movies Natural Born Killers and The Basketball Diaries. Unfortunately, the explosive media attention to Loukaitis’ school shooting triggered a series of similar events. Today, Stephen King says he wishes he had never written Rage.

Then Columbine happened. On April 20, 1999, Eric Harris, 18, and Dylan Klebold, 17, killed one teacher and 12 students and wounded 23 others at Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado. Centering their attack on the cafeteria, Harris and Klebold spoke German and worn trench coats, as they reenacted scenes from Matrix and The Basketball Diaries in the nation's deadliest school shooting. They had plotted for a year to kill at least 500 and blow up their school. At the end of their hour-long rampage, they turned their guns on themselves. Harris and Klebold appeared to have deliberately chosen the anniversary date of Hitler’s Birthday for their attack. At one point, Harris and Klebold had considered the highly important date of April 19, too – the anniversary of Waco and the Oklahoma City bombing – but transportation problems forced a delay in their plans. They finally carried out their attack on the 20th – speaking German and “honoring” Hitler. (They had also discussed that after the attack, they would hijack a jetliner, fly it from Colorado, and crash it into Manhattan. This was two years before the 9/11 terror of 2001.) In the wake of the shootings in Littleton, the nation’s schools were under attack by copycats. Some 450 related incidents were reported in the month following the Columbine killings.

The decades-long impact of Columbine copycats is well-documented today, and I captured that research in my 2004 book, The Copycat Effect.

But in 2006, another shift occurred. Before 2006, most of the school shootings involved students or former students firing on students and teachers, and ending the incidents with the shooters' death, suicide by cop, or capture, often when attempting suicide. But something changed, and once again, Colorado fostered a model that was to be repeated in copycat situations.

Before the Colorado milestone incident of 2006 occurred, the following shadowy Columbine copycats took place:

Wednesday, August 29, 2006 - Hillsborough, NC - one dead (father of teenage shooter) - two wounded (two students) - shooter showed up in a trench coat, with guns, pipe bombs, in a copycat of Columbine - Asked by police why he went to Orange High School, Alvaro Rafael Castillo, 19, responded: "Columbine. Remember Columbine."

Wednesday, September 13, 2006 - Montreal, Quebec - Based on the pattern I see behind this shooting, Quebec was a logical next location (near Vermont and French-linked). Kimveer Gill, the 25-year-old shooter, a self-described atheist Goth with an Indian Sikh heritage, wearing a trenchcoat, dark clothing, and a Mohawk haircut, came to Dawson College, fully armed. He appeared to target what students call the "Jew Caf" and opened fire, killing Anastasia de Sousa, 18, and wounded 19 other students. Police fired upon him, and then Gill turned the gun on himself. Gill was obsessed by the Columbine massacre. He mentioned online being a fan of several computer games (e.g. Super Columbine Massacre) and movies (e.g. Natural Born KillersMatrix) with violent themes that have been played out in several school shootings.

Thursday, September 14, 2006 - Green Bay, Wisconsin - Matt Atkinson, a 17-year-old senior, told an associate principal at Green Bay East High School on the day after the Montreal college shooting that a Columbine-like plot was being planned by two teens. It was said to be a "suicide-by-cop" plot. Police arrested the boys and then found sawed-off shotguns, automatic weapons, pistols, ammunition, several bombs, bomb-making materials, camouflage clothing, helmets, gas masks, and suicide notes. Brown County District Attorney John Zakowski said: "This was a Columbine waiting to happen."

But then something different happened at Bailey, on the edge of Pike National Forest. On Wednesday, September 27, 2006, at Bailey, Colorado (39 miles from Columbine), a man named Duane R. Morrison, 54, (DOB July 23, 1953) walked into an English classroom at Platte Canyon High School, and took six young female students hostage. The media and local law enforcement officials conducted detailed press conferences as the drama unfolded, giving exact details about why they could not rush the building; the hostage taker had chained the doors.

After releasing four hostages, one at a time, the students told the police that sexual assaults were occurring. As the situation neared a 4 pm deadline and discussions broke down, a police SWAT team blew open the door to Room 206 with explosives. Morrison fired a handgun at entering SWAT officers, and then at 16-year old Emily Keyes, fatally wounding her. The gunman then killed himself. The last hostage was saved. (A suicide note from the shooter was found on September 28th.)
In the wake of Bailey, Colorado's former assistant attorney general Dave Kopel wrote a thoughtful column, "Kopel: Only Press Itself Can Stop Copycats" in the October 7, 2006 issue of the Rocky Mountain News. In that piece, he said, "In the 2004 book The Copycat Effect, Loren Coleman documents, in horrific detail, how the publicity about mass murders and suicides leads to more murders and suicides."

It is good to know someone was listening.

Nevertheless, the days that followed were filled with media reports giving in-depth details about what had transpired.
Then, on October 2, 2006, came the shooting in Amish country, the deadliest of that week's 2006 cluster, with five dead. I was quoted by Canadian media (who were not afraid to openly talk about the copycat effect in 2006) that I saw these violent shooter, intent on shocking the public, sometimes "compete for the highest body count."

In America, the copycat effect was downplayed, and often skeptically challenged.

Col. Jeffrey Miller, commissioner of the Pennsylvania State Police, held a widely reported news conference on October 3, 2007, the day after the Amish school shooting.

The public was looking for answers, of course. Miller wanted to communicate some, from his point of view. Many people clearly saw that the Amish attack bore similarities to a deadly school shooting on September 27, in Bailey, Colorado, in which police said an older white man (Duane R. Morrison) molested girls in a classroom before killing a 16-year-old and himself. But Miller said he believed the Pennsylvania attack was not a copycat crime. "I really believe this was about this individual and what was going on inside his head," Miller reportedly said.
The media detailing of the events in Bailey, however, I would point out, very definitely influenced the Nickel Mines shootings - including the over-identification between the shooters (both suicidal sexual molestors), the victims (little girls), the hostage situation (plans carried out), the use of the school (location of opportunity with girls), and the response to the police (which ends badly but with the shooter dead - a probable goal). Both also involved using chains on doors to keep the police out. The overlapping outrage between the sexual assault actions of Morrison in Colorado and the thoughts, feelings, and history of Roberts, the Amish killer, are too obvious to ignore. The eventual outcomes - suicidal thoughts being acted out in a horrible scenario of taking the lives of these young females and then ending the shooter's own through suicide (or if need be, via suicide-by-cop) - are the same.

The media, however, is always hostile to the "copycat effect" and so one spin on information shared by Col. Miller was done thusly:
Investigators also said that Charles Carl Roberts IV, 32, plotted his takeover of the school for nearly a week and that the items he brought — including flexible plastic ties, eyebolts and lubricating jelly — suggest he may have been planning to sexually assault the Amish girls before police closed in.
"It's very possible that he intended to victimize these children in many ways prior to executing them and killing himself," State Police Commissioner Jeffrey B. Miller said. But Roberts "became disorganized when we arrived," and shot himself in the head.
But if you read on, you will see that it is not this simple:
Roberts had planned the attack for nearly a week, buying plastic ties from a hardware store on Sept. 26 and several other items less than an hour before entering the school, Miller said.
So the facts are that the plastic ties, which are produced for many reasons, would become "hostage restraints," were purchased the day before Bailey. Other items were purchased after the Bailey hostage-school shooting-suicide incident, up to Monday, October 2nd's Amish killings.

How do we know what Roberts was thinking? He tells his wife in his note that he had been struggling with thoughts about molesting girls again. Perhaps his internal demons were being stirred up? He bought plastic ties to do "something." Then the media's wall-to-wall coverage of the sexual assaults on the six young female hostages in Bailey, Colorado, gave Roberts the canvas to paint his horrible scenario. Yes, something snapped inside of Roberts. To say that Roberts was not influenced by Bailey seems to be a form of denial.

The Amish school shooting at Nickel Mines, Pennsylvania, was the 24th school shooting in the United States in 2006, according to the National School Safety and Security Services.

The model of what happened at Bailey and Nickel Mines would be repeated during the next shooting season - spring. On April 16, 2007, in a backpack, Seung-Hui Cho carried into Norris Hall at VA Tech, several chains, locks, a hammer, a knife, two handguns with nineteen 10- and 15-round magazines, and almost 400 rounds of ammunition. In the largest mass school shooting in America, he left 32 people dead, 17 wounded, and himself killed by suicide. What was one of the newest elements that the VA Tech killer brought to this mass shooting? It was those chains Cho used to lock out law enforcement officers trying to save the students. That was one of the copycat elements that lead straight back to Bailey, Colorado.

There have been other violence events coming out of Colorado. On December 9, 2007, at Colorado Springs, Colorado, three people are killed and five wounded in two shooting rampages, one at a missionary school in suburban Denver and one at a church in Colorado Springs. The gunman in the second incident is killed by a guard. On Monday, June 9, 2008, the Colorado media reported a teenager was arrested in Fort Collins, who was also allegedly linked to three attacks, including a stabbing at a Wal-Mart. Police arrested the 17-year-old at the Wal-Mart Supercenter at 1250 E. Magnolia Street, in Fort Collins, Colorado, after they reported a 20-year-old man, Frank McConnell, of Ault, was stabbed in his abdomen. Police believe the suspect may be the same person who assaulted another man and harassed a cyclist earlier in the day during a series of random attacks.

There was even a "workplace shooting" in Aurora's past. A former kitchen worker, Nathan Dunlap, 19, who had been fired, went on a shooting rampage at a family restaurant that left some of its employees dead. On December 14, 1993, his shooting spree left four Chuck E Cheese employees, Ben Grant, 17; Colleen O’Connor, 17; Sylvia Crowell, 19; and Margaret Kohlberg, 50, dead.

Colorado is more than Aurora and Columbine. More than Bailey and Loveland. It is a state with a good deal of history that has yet to be fully appreciated. 

The recent red dawn event of Aurora, I predict, will call forth an era of reflective recall, to look at the morrow in a new way.

No kids should see that kind of violence where 
Batman is killing as many people as the bad guys. 
~ Burt Ward


For the links to recent other postings about The Dark Knight Rises, Colorado's Aurora red dawn event, and copycats, please see also:

Recent interviews, about the Aurora shootings:

WGN - Mike McConnell: Loren Coleman

The Corbett Report: The Copycat Effect with Loren Coleman

Binnall of America: Loren Coleman and Bruce Rux

Talk Shoe - 42 Minutes: Loren Coleman

Red Ice Creations

(NY: Simon and Schuster, 2004)

Monday, July 30, 2012

Holmes' Harlots

by Loren Coleman ©2012

The women involved in the private lives of James Holmes ~ whether called harlots, whores or prostitutes ~ are coming forward with interviews and supposed insights.

Are we really learning anything? 

And what does it matter? 

Is this all another distraction?

Isn't it just the media trying to keep this story going?

The known or used names are intriguing, nevertheless: Roxanna, Tiffany, and Monica Hall.

What's "Roxanna" mean? Dawn, bright, star. Roxana, sometimes given as Roxanne and Roxane, was a Bactrian princess who became the famed wife of Alexander the Great. 

The meaning of the name Tiffany is "manifestation of god."

The origins of "Monica" is unknown, and thus is said to mean "uncertain, perhaps counseller."

Just like John Dillinger's "woman in red" (Ana Cumpănaş or Anna Sage) who resulted in his death, the phrase has been associated with prostitution, fairly or not. (See "Blood Red Movie Massacres" for more.)
A redheaded hooker from Colorado's Aurora (red dawn)? Now that's a turn of a phrase, isn't it? I could think of several alliteration headlines that would have had more shock value, and you will find some of those around the web. "Holmes' Harlot" got across what part of this media circus I think we are traveling into now.

TMZ said they spoke to three of the sexually marketing women Holmes supposedly reviewed. TMZ used the labels #1, #2, and #3.

The New York Post picked up on it too, and tracked down one woman, who allowed herself to be quoted, using her name ~ Monica Hall (because they picked it up from The Sun of London):
A redheaded hooker says that she had sex with murderous Colorado “Joker’’ James Holmes — and that he became obsessed with her flaming locks and dyed his hair the same color before his theater massacre.
During their sometimes violent trysts at her apartment — less than a mile from the Aurora, Colo., movie theater where he later allegedly shot dead 12 and wounded 58 — Holmes would grab her hair, sniff it and repeatedly pester her with questions like, “Are you a natural redhead?’’ prostitute Monica Hall, 25, told The Sun of London.
“He was mean, and during sex he kept gripping my hands and wrists,’’ she said. “Next morning, I discovered I had bruises. I saw two sides, like Jekyll and Hyde — sweet and later mean.’’
When he would act “aggressive and controlling, he threatened me, saying, ‘You’re going to do this because I told you.’ His eyes were wild-looking.
“He was big-eyed, like someone who had done drugs. But I don’t think he had,’’ she said.
“I was so scared. I thought I was going to get really hurt. [But then] after sex, he wanted to lounge around and talk about himself all night.”
Hall is apparently among a slew of prostitutes who serviced him in the months before.
Another working girl, named Tiffany, has told TMZ that she, too, had hooked up with the madman last August and that he “was really nice.”
Holmes had posted online critiques of his liaisons with Tiffany and two other hookers, although one of them said she couldn’t even remember him. The other prostitute only said that he “looked very familiar.”
Meanwhile, the New York Daily News lets us hear from Roxanna:
Just one week before the Aurora cinema carnage took place, Dark Knight massacre suspect James Holmes paid $240 for an encounter with a prostitute, but in the end was too freaked out to perform. A Denver-area prostitute told the Daily News that the baby-faced 24-year-old hired her for sex about a week before the July 20 attack, but the alleged killer of 12 paid for little more than talk.
The shapely blond escort, who gave her name only as Roxanna, said Holmes contacted her online and made arrangements to meet her in a tawdry bedroom at a Denver cathouse. 
The other mystery woman in Holmes' life is turning out to be the person he was supposedly seeing in a therapeutic relationship. In the week after the shooting a notebook thought to be from James Holmes was found to have been mailed to a University of Colorado psychiatrist, Dr. Lynne Fenton.
Media created imagery of the "notebook."
"There were drawings of what he was going to do in it – drawings and illustrations of the massacre," a source told FOX News.

The notebook could debunk rumors that Holmes originally wanted to attack the Dark Knight Rises cast and crew. The National Enquirer (obviously not the greatest source) reported that Holmes was about to unleash his plan at the New York City's premiere showing, but then Holmes became too paranoid after he was denied access to a local gun club and launched his assault in Aurora, Colorado instead.

Dr. Lynne Fenton

Questions are being raised about Dr. Fenton. According to the Los Angeles Times:
Dr. Lynne Fenton, the University of Colorado psychiatrist who was treating James E. Holmes, according to a court filing by his attorneys, was disciplined by the Colorado Medical Board in 2005.
State records show Fenton was reprimanded... for prescribing medication to herself, her husband and an employee. The medications, prescribed in the late 1990s, included prescriptions for Vicodin, Xanax, Lorazepam and Ambien.
For more on this part of the story, see also Andrew W. Griffin's "Was unethical psychiatrist the 'Aurora massacre' gunman's mind-control doctor?"


Another Woman in Red

By synchromystic coincidence, a mystery woman at the London Olympics popped up in the middle of the India delegation during the march of nations. What was she wearing? Red, of course. She was not even trying to merge in with the other Indians wearing yellow and black.

She was not suppose to be there: "Indian officials said they had no idea who the woman was. The country's Deccan Chronicle newspaper said she was likely Madhura Nagendra, a graduate student from the southern city of Bangalore who had been living in London."

A circle? Really? Like she can't be seen? Jagran Post marked the photo and reported: "An unidentified lady (in red shirt) walks besides flag-bearer Sushil Kumar during the Indian team's parade at the opening ceremony of the Olympic Games 2012 in London. A mystery woman who gatecrashed India's march past at the Olympic opening ceremony has reportedly been identified as Madhura Honey."

The meaning of "Madhura"? "Sweet."

"Nagendra"? "Chief of serpents; chief of the mountain." Apparently, "Nagendra" does not mean "honey," so who knows what mystery has been solved here, yet?

[Hat tip, in part, to Django, for Olympics news.]

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Aurora Copycat Effect: The Complete List

by Loren Coleman ©2012

The copycat effect is real. A new wave of violent copycat incidents has begun due to the Aurora shooting event that left 12 dead and 58 injured on July 20, 2012.

If you've been reading here for long, you know this. If you are a person only following the mainstream news, you may have not realized the extent of how widespread the copycats are already. Downplaying the copycat effect has been the modus operandi of the media, but there does seem to be some movement to be a bit more open about the reality of behavior contagion after Aurora.

Still, the confusion about "how many" copycats is beginning again. For example, despite the first weekend after the Aurora event resulting in at least three media-mentioned incidents, you can read statements like the following one on July 27th: "In the wake of the Aurora, Colorado mass shooting — which may have spawned at least one would-be copycat thwarted today in Maryland — some of the violence-based laughs in the Ben Stiller-Vince Vaughn comedy [The Watch] might hit too close to home for some moviegoers," (Movieline, July 27, 2012).

Even New York Magazine today counted only three (involved one different copycat than noted in the "first three" mentioned last weekend) in "Aurora Shooting Copycats: Part III".

One copycat? Three? No, no, no.

The media and most of the general public have short memories. Both have forgotten about the Joker copycat violence after 2008's The Dark Knight. In 2012, the mainstream news organizations forget, from day to day, what copycats and near-copycats have occurred. They recall the large events, the ones that go wall-to-wall, but the general practice has been to downplay the resulting ripples, the "lesser" copycats after the larger events.
The Dendermonde Joker (wearing a bulletproof vest, with a backpack, and makeup like The Joker) struck on January 23, 2009, at a "Fairytale-land" or "Fabeltjesland" creche or daycare in Belgium. He killed two babies and a teacher, and also injured 12 others in his rampage stabbing. Although July 18, 2008 was the date of the first release of The Dark Knight, Warner Brothers re-released The Dark Knight in traditional theaters and IMAX theaters in the United States - as well as in other countries - on January 23, 2009. That date is exactly the same one as the Dendermonde Joker. The trend of Joker copycats is a recent phenomenon (see Joker Copycats: 2008-2112).

On this blog, I will keep track of the fact that an active series of copycat incidents (in the wake of the July 20, 2012 midnight mass shooting during The Dark Knight Rise) is occurring right now. I'm going to start posting all the probable occurrences here, in an active listing that I will update, as needed, to track the copycats.

Copycats, of course, mirror each other, and especially the initial "new" incident in simplistic terms. They usually involve elements of the reference event, such as the suspect's same gender and race, the killer's methods, the overall framework, and other reflective details that can only be inferred from reported accounts. (For professionals in the fields of law enforcement, security, mental health, education, media, entertainment, sports, and, yes, specifically now, theater management, I recommend reading The Copycat Effect for more in-depth insights about copycats and the prevention of them.)

With regard to weapons used, for example, the blueprints of future copycat armaments were mapped out graphically in the first accounts flashed across your television screen on July 20th. Let me show you. Below are sample pictures of what suspect James Holmes allegedly used in Theater No. 9. Also, the exact details are repeated often, as they were again this weekend: "He was caught carrying an AR-15 assault rifle, a Remington 870 shotgun, a .40-caliber Glock handgun and a hunting knife. He had purchased nearly 6,000 rounds of ammunitions and multiple magazines for the rifle, including a 100-bullet drum that can unload 60 rounds a minute, according to Aurora police chief Daniel Oates," mentioned the New York Daily News on Saturday, July 28, 2012.

What Holmes allegedly wore, what he allegedly used for the attack, and even what he was allegedly wearing under his body armor (the Joker attire) were all visually (in images or words) shared in the media.

Photographs at the crime scene also demonstrated what was used.

Descriptions of the probable use of tear gas canisters were all over the news too.
How completely does this copycat effect work? Well, early written and spoken reports that Holmes had a goatee apparently were incorrect as demonstrated when his mugshot was released days after his arrest. But the first weekend's copycats had marginal facial hair, not too surprisingly.

With the news filtering through of the copycats, various elements of Aurora are clearly visible in the unfolding imitations.

I will keep this list current as I receive confirmation of new incidents, organized from most recent to the older stories. You may wish to check back here to see if research has uncovered more info or others have been added to the data reflecting shadowy Colorado, Joker, and The Dark Knight-related copycats in the wake of the abhorrent Aurora red dawn event. You will note there is a progression in these copycat events, from incidents that might be called "forestalled," "threats," and "weak," to ones that end in more increased "drama," then heightened danger and deaths. Just as the awareness and alerts begin to drop off, the actual acuteness of the copycats increase.

A storm is still coming. The red dawn event of Colorado's Aurora is not finished. Be aware. Beware. Be safe.

The Aurora Copycats: The List

(15.) Sunday, August 4, 2012. Oak Creek, Wisconsin.
The Sikh Temple shooting leaves seven dead, including the shooter Wade Michael Page (who lived on Holmes Avenue in nearby Cuhady, Wisconsin) and use to live in Littleton, Colorado (location of Columbine). See "Sikh Temple Shooter: First News," "Dark Knight's Sikh Link," "Sikh Shooter Id," and "Who Was Wade Michael Page."

(14.) Saturday, August 3, 2012. Westlake, Ohio.
Several local television stations have identified the suspect who walked into a Westlake movie theater with a cachet of weapons Saturday as Scott A. Smith, 37, of North Ridgeville.
Police said the suspect was arrested just after 10 p.m. without incident after a theater employee alerted an off-duty officer working security there that one of the patrons was acting suspiciously.
The officer asked to search the suspect's bag and discovered a loaded 9mm handgun and two magazines of ammunition, along with knives.
The incident occurred during a showing of The Dark Knight Rises, the same film during which a 24-year-old gunman opened fire in an Aurora, Colorado theater last month.
Investigators executed a search warrant Monday at the suspect's home in North Ridgeville. 
He is being held in Westlake jail on local weapons charges while agents from the FBI assist in the search for clues. The suspect could face federal charges related to the incident.
In July, immediately following the Colorado shootings, Westlake Police Capt. Guy Turner told theatergoers to remain vigilant as they went about their business at Crocker Park.
Turner said police and security workers would be "highly visible" at Crocker Park in the wake of the Colorado incident.
"Keep calm and carry on and do what you were going to do," Turner said. "But if you see something suspicious, something that bothers you, your first instincts are usually correct. Tell a police officer, tell a movie theater employee and let them check it out."

(13.) Tuesday, July 31, 2012. Eagan, Minnesota.
(I must point out that "Eagan" is the middle name of James Eagan Holmes.)
Eagan, Minnesota, police say officers responding to a report of loud music ended up arresting a man making repeated references to "the Joker" and the Colorado theater shooting, telling police he understands the shooter's motives and would embark on his own rampage.
At 6:13 p.m. on July 31, officers responding to the scene on the 4000 block of Ridge Cliff Drive found 56-year-old Thomas Michael Casper standing in his neighbor's driveway.
Once identifying Casper, police learned he had an active misdemeanor warrant out of Dakota County and they placed him under arrest. Police said he voluntarily put his hands behind his back as the officer put him in handcuffs; however, he became agitated and started cursing as he approached the squad car.
Officers say while he was being escorted, he began making reference to "the Joker" and the shooting suspect facing trial for the shooting in Aurora, Colo.
As Casper was being put inside the squad, he told police he was "the Joker" and shouted "I'm coming back. You guys are done!" at his neighbors.
While he was being taken to the Dakota County Jail, Casper kept referencing "the Joker." Soon, he began making threats toward the officers, saying, "I'm such a criminal. I should be the Joker. If I had a gun, I would kill you."
Casper then told officers he should have dyed his hair orange, and he wavered between asking them to let him go and urging them to keep him in custody.
Casper said, "My home is in foreclosure. I have been kicked out of my house. What else can go wrong? It doesn't matter. I wouldn't own a gun, but if I did, I would do what Holmes did. I would blow people away. Put me in jail for the rest of my life, I don't care. Put me in jail with criminals. I grab them by the throat and kill them."
Police said they believe Casper's threats are genuine, saying that he would attempt to carry out some of the threats against his neighbors and officers.
"You better not let me go, or I'll go after the neighbors," Casper told officers while in custody. "I don't own a weapon, but I'll come after you f------ and I'll shoot you. I can understand why Holmes does it. Let me have your gun, I'll shoot in the f------ head. I'll find you sometime."
Casper repeatedly told officers that he has nothing going for him anymore now that his home is in foreclosure.
Casper is being held in the Dakota County Jail on $80,000 bail as he awaits charges of terroristic threats.

(12.) Tuesday, July 31, 2012. Miami Beach, Florida. 
David Martin Escamillo, 44, of Miami Beach, after walking up and down a theater's aisle, arguing with a patron, leaving the theater, then returning wearing black gloves, caused a panic at a midnight showing of The Dark Knight Rises. When he came back in, he was shouting, "This is IT."
About 140 moviegoers blotted out of the Regal South Beach theater on Lincoln Road at about 12:15 am Tuesday. Police then received multiple reports of gunshots inside Theater #2. When they arrived, however, there was no evidence of gunfire, and they found several moviegoers detaining Escamillo. Escamillo, who lives near the theater and sports a tattoo reading "Las Vegas 777," smelled of alcohol and kept yelling "I didn't shoot anybody."

(11.) Sunday, July 29, 2012. Kent, Ohio. 
Brunswick, Ohio native 19-year-old Ohio student William Koberna has been arrested after posting a Twitter message saying he planned to "shoot up" the Kent State University campus, just like the Aurora movie theater. (Articles used "Copycat" in their headlines.)
Koberna was arrested at his parents' Brunswick, Ohio home on Sunday on charges of inducing panic and aggravated menace related to the tweet.
Koberna's friend Ashley Mikulec confirmed that he was indeed arrested, saying:
"Holy sh*t I can't believe bill got arrested for a tweet. If they saw half of his tweets and took them seriously he'd be in a mental asylum."
The University took swift action. Kent State University President Lester Lefton said:
"Any threat to our campus community is taken seriously and immediately investigated…Our students, employees, and all those who come to campus should know that their safety is our top priority."

(10.) Friday, July 27, 2012. Pendleton, Indiana. 
Jim Kenneth Bailey, 59, ended his shooting rampage by killing himself in the early hours of Friday. What Bailey brought to the incident appears to have copied some elements of the Aurora shooting. Among Bailey's alarming hoard of weapons were a pistol, an AK-47, a flak jacket, and a gas mask. The reality is two men were dead, one K-9 officer was also killed, and a police was severely injured, when this incident was finished.
An innocent bystander, Neal Shull, the owner of a local painting business, was fatally shot by Jim Kenneth Bailey when the killer opened fire on two policemen responding to reports of shots being fired. The victim was driving by in Pendleton, Indiana, when he got caught in the crossfire. After a seven-hour stand-off Bailey turned the gun on himself.
One of the officers, Marty Dulworth, was shot in both legs during the violent attack. Adding to the tragedy Dulworth's K-9 dog, Kilo, was also caught in the gunfire and was killed.
Homeowner Angela Reynolds made the first call after hearing rapid fire shots coming from her garage on the 300 block of East Water Street.
The town was sealed off while police hunted, then found Bailey, using helicopters, supported by SWAT teams.
(Pendleton, Indiana, is historically recalled for the Fall Creek Massacre, the name given to the brutal murders by white settlers of nine members of a peaceful group of Seneca and Miami Indians, led by Chief Logan. The actual massacre occurred on March 22, 1824 in Madison County, Indiana between Fall Creek and Deer Lick Creek. The Massacre's leader, James Hudson's trial was held October 7–9, 1824. Trials of the other men were held in 1825. The trial set an important precedent in recognizing the civil rights of Native Americans. The three men were hanged for their crimes at Falls Park in Pendleton, Indiana. This marked the first time white men were executed for the murder of Native Americans in the United States. There is a historical marker in Falls Park at the place of the hanging. The inscription reads: "Three white men were hung [sic] here in 1825 for killing Indians.")
Sources 1, 2, 3.

(9.) Thursday, July 26, 2012. Crofton, Maryland. 
Neil Prescott (above), 28, called his workplace, called himself "a Joker," and threatened to "shoot the place up." His job was at Pitney Bowes, a software and mailroom supplier in Prince George's County. Prescott was arrested because the officials believed the threat could have been carried out "as a copycat of the shooting massacre one week ago in Aurora, Colorado, in which 12 people were killed and 58 injured during a midnight viewing of the new Batman film The Dark Knight Rises."
The fact he said, "I am a joker. I'm gonna load my guns and blow everybody up," to his supervisor was key. The suspect was also wearing a T-shirt that said, "Guns don't kill people. I do," when taken into custody, according to authorities.
"We can't measure what we prevented here," Prince George's County Police Chief Mark Magaw told reporters Friday. "We averted a significant...and violent episode."
Police said that when they took the man into custody, they found an "arsenal" of weapons (shown) inside his home. Police raided the man's apartment in Crofton about 3:20 am on Friday and found a cache of 25 guns, including semi-automatic rifles as well as pistols and thousands of rounds of ammunition.
Asked by a reporter if, given the possible reference to the Joker, a Batman villain, the shooting plot was inspired by the mass killing in Aurora, Colorado, Chief Magaw said: ''It's fairly obvious.''
Prescott was being held Friday at Anne Arundel Medical Center in Annapolis, where he was undergoing a psychological evaluation. Crofton is located between Washington, D.C., and Annapolis, Maryland.
(The Katcef Archeological Site is an archaeological site near Crofton in Anne Arundel County, Maryland. It is a series of overlapping base camp sites dating from the Clovis phase of the Paleoindian period, through to the Late Woodland period. Thanks CC.)
Sources 1, 2, 3.

(8.) Thursday, July 26, 2012. Bronx, New York, New York. 
Moses Flores, 38, and Damaris Sanchez, 29, began fighting with officers who were called to the Concourse Plaza Multiplex (shown above) on Sherman Avenue at around 11:20 p.m. Thursday to remove them. Two NYPD officers suffered injuries while trying to eject two disorderly movie-goers from a showing of The Dark Knight Rises in the Bronx. A NYPD male officer suffered lacerations to the head and finger and a female officer suffered ringing in her ears after being hit in the head. Flores and Sanchez were charged with assaulting police officers.

(7.) Wednesday, July 25, 2012. Brooklyn, New York, New York.
Unnamed male, 60. A Department of Education worker was taken into police custody after he told police he was obsessed with the Colorado movie theater massacre suspect when authorities questioned him about photos of the alleged shooter he had at his office desk. Police responded to DoE's Brooklyn technology offices Wednesday night after receiving complaints of the employee's suspicious activity. They found a photo of suspect James Holmes on the employee's computer screen and photos of the alleged killer "all over his desk," a source familiar with the investigation said. The staff member was not at work when police arrived at the offices. Police went to his home, where he allegedly told them he was obsessed with Holmes. He told police Holmes reminded him of himself when he was younger and that he sympathized with the accused killer because he doesn't like his co-workers. The man seemed dazed and appeared to be drinking. Police found pill bottles and alcohol in his apartment. The employee lunged at cops while inside his apartment, sources report. He was taken into custody and brought to Bellevue Hospital for a psychiatric evaluation.

(6.) Tuesday, July 24, 2012. Lexington, Kentucky. 
Steven Kennedy (above), 28, a University of Kentucky political science student, is facing terroristic threat charges after he emailed a picture of the Batman character, "the Joker" to a school administrator, Terry Allen on Tuesday. The email was viewed as a threat in light of last Friday's mass killing in Aurora, Colorado at a premiere showing of The Dark Knight Rises. The student reportedly emailed the picture after a complaint about the administrator was investigated and dismissed. Kennedy was arrested on a charge of Third Degree Terroristic Threatening, and entered a plea of not guilty to the misdemeanor at his arraignment in Fayette District Court.
Kennedy allegedly sent Allen an email on July 24th, asking why no one was responding to his emails, according to the warrant. "Kennedy then sent Mr. Allen a picture of the Joker from the Batman movie, and the Joker is holding a playing card and smiling," the document said.
Kennedy was released on bond, and scheduled to appear before Judge T. Bruce Bell on August 8, for a pretrial conference.

Read more here: http://www.kentucky.com/2012/07/26/2271633/university-of-kentucky-student.html#storylink=cpy
Sources 1, 2.

(5.) Tuesday, July 24, 2012. Woodward, Oklahoma.
Timmy Dean Eike (above), 18, a senior at Woodward High School, was arrested on Tuesday night and police seized a shotgun, rifle and 250 rounds of ammunition from the bedroom of his Woodward home. He bought the 20-gauge shotgun July 5 and the rifle July 9, as well as handcuffs and a ski mask, the records show. A taxi driver, Travis Ballard, reported to authorities that Eike's relatives told him they had witnessed Eike watching videos of the 1999 Columbine, Colorado, school shooting while loading his 20-gauge shotgun. Eike was then charged Wednesday in Oklahoma City federal court with illegally possessing firearms and with making false statements to purchase the weapons. He was being held Thursday in the Logan County jail.
The taxi driver, Ballard, reported to the Woodward County sheriff's office that Eike had talked that day of avoiding arrest for murder. Eike had used the taxi service regularly in recent months to get from his home to a job at Walmart.
“During these trips, Eike had been asking Ballard very odd questions. Eike had been asking Ballard about how to hide dead bodies and what countries will extradite back to the United States,” agent Chad Oubre with the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives wrote in a court affidavit.
“On July 22 ... Eike asked Ballard if he had a warrant for his arrest, how hard the police would look for him. Ballard stated it would depend on what the warrant was for. Eike replied, 'It would be for murder,'" the agent wrote.
(The name "Eike" means "edge of the sword.")

(4.) Monday, July 23, 2012. Waunakee, Wisconsin.
Waunakee police are investigating a threat made on ESPN's website a week ago to shoot people in a movie theater during a screening of The Dark Knight Rises, similar to an attack that happened on July 20 in Colorado. According to a search warrant filed in Dane County Circuit Court, someone using the screen name "Penn State Joepologist" posted on July 23, "I'M GOING TO SHOOT PEOPLE AT A BATMAN SHOWING NOW!!!!!!!!!!!!"
According to the warrant: The IP address for the person posting the comment belonged to TDS Telecom, which provided subscriber information for a home in Waunakee.
After police arrived at the home they found a 27-year-old man seated at a computer, and he admitted to police that he had been on the ESPN website and may have commented in a chat room when others were talking about the movie theater shooting in Aurora, Colorado, in which 12 people were killed and injured 58 others. But the Waunakee man, who is not being named by the State Journal because he has not been arrested or charged with a crime, told police that he didn't recall making any comments about shooting anyone.
Waunakee Police Chief Kevin Plendl said he couldn't discuss details of the case while it's being investigated but said that police "absolutely" investigate threats of this nature that come to their attention. The man and his mother gave police consent to check the home for evidence of a planned movie theater attack, but the search warrant does not mention finding any. The computer was seized with the permission of the man's mother for analysis.
(Waunakee is a western suburb of Madison. "The Only Waunakee in the World," as the natives would have it. ~ R.H. "Waunakee" means the "peaceful one.")

(3.) Sunday, July 22, 2012. Sierra Vista, Arizona. 
Michael William Borboa (above), 27, apparently intoxicated and with a backpack, caused "mass hysteria" during a screening of The Dark Knight Rises and about 50 people fled the Cinemark 10 in the Mall at Sierra Vista. Off-duty Border Patrol agents tackled him and he was arrested by authorities.

(2.) Sunday, July 22, 2012. Norwalk, California. Clark Tabor (above), 52, was arrested at a showing of The Dark Knight Rises after witnesses said he made threats and alluded to the Aurora shooting when the movie didn't start. Los Angeles County sheriff's deputies were called at 5:15 pm to the Norwalk cinema after moviegoers said Tabor (with a backpack) shouted: "I should go off like in Colorado. Does anybody have a gun?"

(1.) Saturday, July 21 - Sunday, July 22, 2012. Maine Turnpike, Maine. 
Suspect Timothy Courtois (above), 49, took a gun to a Saturday afternoon showing of The Dark Knight Rises.  
When arrested on Sunday, Maine State Police found an assault rifle and several handguns, 10,000 rounds, and found newspaper clippings about the theater shooting in suspect's newly purchased black Mustang that is like those used by the Maine State Police. He was stopped on the highway going 112 mph, and then said he was on his way to kill an employer. Other weapons were found at a search of his home.
Source, and see more here.

(000.) Saturday, July 21, 2012. Aurora-Denver, Colorado. 
Yeom Pyo Lee (shown above), a fellow PhD student of James Holmes at the University of Colorado, made a phone call to police threatening violence if James Holmes was not released from police custody. According to KDVR, “someone called from [his] phone and threatened violence if Holmes is not released.” Although the call came from Yeom’s phone, police were unable to determine if he was the one who made the actual call. After receiving the threatening phone call, police began to question whether or not James acted alone. Police questioned Yeom on July 21, but determined, "There is no reason to believe that he is involved."

(00.) Friday, July 20, 2012. Worcester, England, UK. 

An inappropriate cinema attendant walked into a British showing of The Dark Knight Rises dressed in a gas mask - just hours after Colorado gunman struck wearing the same costume. The prank took place at the Vue cinema (above) in Worcester on Friday, less than 24 hours after the massacre in Aurora. While the trailers were in progress, one of the cinema attendants entered the screen room wearing a gas mask and stood to the side looking at the audience. As one eyewitness said, "This is exactly as the gunman in Colorado was reported to have been dressed," as Bane.

(0.) Friday, July 20, 2012. Aurora, Colorado. 
Suspect James Eagan Holmes (shown above; this mugshot was released days after his arrest). Initial event. See here (Dark Knight Shooting: 12 Dead, 58 Injured).


For the links to recent other postings about The Dark Knight Rises, the Aurora red dawn event, and copycats, please see also:

Recent interviews, about the Aurora shootings:

(NY: Simon and Schuster, 2004)

"Other readers were concerned about the potential for copycats. Susan Goewey of Vienna wrote this: 'Studies and interviews indicate that many mass shootings are carried out because the perpetrator wants to be famous. I highly recommend that the Post editors read the book The Copycat Effect by Loren Coleman.
'If they do, they will stop putting photographs of these disturbed killers on the front page of the paper. By using this . . .image, you are giving James Holmes exactly what he wants, and are perhaps stimulating copycat fantasies in other sick minds.'" ~ Patrick B. Pexton, "Photos of James Holmes draw readers' ire," Washington Post, July 27, 2012.


A word about mugshots and photographs: By definition, a mugshot of an individual apprehended during a criminal incident represents a factual event. All it means is that the person was arrested and a photograph was taken. Anything else is indeed an assumption, until a conviction is made. Official Records in their original form ("as is") under the First Amendment to the United States Constitution, allows the press (the media, including Internet sites, in general, nowadays) the freedom to publish them as true and factual information. Other photographs shared may not show the suspect as he appears currently or at the time of mugshots, please note. Of course, mugshots are a moment in time, but then again, remember, some people do get convicted of their violence against others, eventually.