It happens every time. A tragedy like the massacre at the midnight showing of The Dark Knight Rises occurs, and suddenly the name of the suspect and every detail of his (or her) life is plastered on every TV screen, their face on every website. It's been no different with alleged gunman James Holmes, the 24-year-old medical school drop-out who cops say opened fire in a Colorado theater.
We now know more about Holmes than we do about members of our own families. And that's not just some cliche, folks ... unless you know the penis length of the male members of your clan? Didn't think so. But thanks to an adult dating site profile Holmes set up, that's one of the details about the alleged shooter that's out, one that I really wish I could "unknow" right now.
Cops have confirmed that Holmes set up a profile on AdultFriendFinder.com just days before they say he walked into a showing of the new Batman movie and opened fire. On it he describes himself as "as nice enough of a guy who does these sort of shenanigans" and says he's interested in "Erotic Chat or Email, Discreet Relationship, 1-on-1 sex or Group sex (3 or more!)." Then there's the penis length notation (if you must know, go look, I'm not telling).
Feeling creeped out yet? I know I want to go take a shower. And something tells me this is only the beginning.
I understand -- to a point -- why we have a desperate need to delve deep into the life of the people believed to be behind such atrocities. We want to make sense of the randomness of a mass shooting. We want to pin down a reason why this horror happened. Finding something in the Holmes' past to explain these allegations is part of the healing process for us as a nation.
But we have to draw the line somewhere! When we dig too deep for details, we risk crossing over from investigating a suspect's past to help prevent future tragedy and letting the creep get the attention he craved.
We can't ignore James Holmes' story, but that doesn't we have to know THIS much.
How do you feel about the details that are coming out on the alleged gunman so far? Is there a place where we can draw the line?
Image via University of Colorado