Thursday 18 January 2018

Christina Reihill: Batman's nemesis can give us an insight into mind of this mass killer

The Joker is a character who uses his talents to wreak vengeance on a rejecting world, writes Christina Reihill

MOVIE HORROR: Murder accused
James Holmes
MOVIE HORROR: Murder accused James Holmes
Members of the prosecution team
Christina Reihill

Christina Reihill

If James Holmes, the 24-year-old charged with the Colorado massacre in which he killed 12 and injured more than 50, faces first-degree murder charges tomorrow, my heart will go out to the team of psychiatrists and psychologists advising the prosecutors' case, as well as the families distraught beyond words by what the self-confessed 'Joker' has done.

Because if the latest news reporting is accurate -- that a psychiatrist was posted notebooks, ahead of Holmes' rampage, with stick drawings of a shooter on the loose -- the healthcare professionals who failed to report this will have a part to play in any conclusion that he was sane at the time of the killings.

And if the prosecution succeeds in fending off an insanity plea, they will be partly responsible if the neuroscience graduate faces the death penalty. As a therapist, I can't imagine what it would be like to be accountable for such an action in the name of justice.

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