In [James] Holmes’ 2010 résumé, he calls himself an “aspiring scientist.” The student experience he listed then, as he applied for lab-technician jobs online, is an impressive catalog of research in neuroscience: the study of the brain and nervous system:
Digitization of mouse muscle…
Neuronal mapping of the zebra finch..
Dissection, staining and photography of hummingbird flight muscles…
I’m not sure if the authors of this Denver Post article were so impressed with James Holmes’ resume or that they were asked to write 1,000 words and had to dig up something to fill the article. But they turned up another strange anomaly: James Holmes has superior intelligence and appeared to be using it wisely—right up until June 10th when he decided to chuck the whole PhD thing and become a mass murderer.
To me, that makes no sense. And so this brief additional glimpse into James Holmes’ life as a student (the court’s gag order is preventing the authors from doing much more than speculating) just adds to the increasing litany of “odds and ends” that serve only to confuse and confound. According to the authors:
Every year, 100 or so budding scientists apply to the CU Denver doctoral program in neuroscience. Ultimately, only about six are admitted, said program director Angie Ribera.
In 2011, Holmes was one of the six.
Then Holmes was chosen for inclusion in a National Institutes of Health grant program designed to train the best and brightest for careers as neuroscience researchers.
As one of the six, James Holmes’ schedule of classes and labs and homework would virtually preclude him from having any kind of life outside. The grant:
covers tuition and fees, and provides a stipend for living expenses, in part because the rigorous neuroscience program hardly leaves time for students to work.
So, how did Holmes find the time to build an arsenal and become an expert in electronically controlled explosives?