Where Is James Holmes Now? Education Background & Parents

By Asmita Neupane | On:
Where Is James Holmes Now? Education Background & Parents

James Holmes, the infamous mass murderer, shocked the states and the whole world when he went on a killing spree back in 2012 and murdered a dozen people at the Century movie theater in Aurora, Colorado.

Considered a brainiac, James was least expected to turn out as a mass murderer; however, a close look at his life and time suggests something else.

His transformation from a shy guy to self-professed 'the Batman Killer' shook the world, but let's get to know more about his bringing up, childhood & parents.

James Holmes's Childhood, Education, Parents, and More

Born in San Diego, California as the son of parents Robert Holmes and Arlene Holmes, James was raised in a well-educated family.

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James' father had received education from well-renowned universities like Stanford and UC Berkeley and worked as a mathematician-scientist, whereas his mother previously worked as a registered nurse.

James Holmes's parents: Robert and Arlene Holmes

James Holmes's parents: Robert and Arlene Holmes (Photo:

The Holmes couple were actually his foster parents. During his younger days, James's parents were unaware of his mental issues, which went unchecked for years and had to be paid with the lives of innocent, leaving his parents shocked.

James also has a sister named Chris Holmes but no brothers. His sister was one of the few who spoke against a death sentence for James.

James grew up in Oak Hills, California but moved to San Diego with his parents at the age of 12. During his childhood, James was a soccer enthusiast and had even run cross-country while in high school. 

After completing his university education, James joined the Ph.D. program in neuroscience in 2011.

While attending the University of Colorado, he started dating his Biology class fellow student Gargi Datta. However, the relationship became over in a short span of two months. 

Despite receiving a grant from the National Institutes of Health and a regular stipend from Colorado University, James's educational performance began to decline by 2012. When James failed an oral exam in June 2012, he dropped out of his Ph.D.

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Failing to complete his Ph.D., he started working as a minimum-wage laborer, and after a few months, he became known as one of the most murderers in American history.

Mass Shooting

James suffered mental issues from his early childhood days and had even attempted suicide at the age of 11, claiming that he had seen ghosts and shadows at night. 

Some months prior to the shooting, James had already stocked up his weapons which included a Glock 22.40 Pistol with 3000 rounds, a Remington 870 Express Tactical gun with 350 shells, a Smith & Wesson M&P15 Rifle also with 3000 rounds, a knife, and an assault vest. 

On 20 July 2012, James went to the Century movie theater located in Aurora, Colorado, and purchased a ticket for The Dark Knight Rises.

While in the breaks, he left the theater and brought his guns from his car to the theater, where 400 people were unaware of James's plans to massacre them.

James wore a gas mask along with a loaded-bearing which the audiences thought to be a funny prank.

But, it wasn't going to be fun for long as he threw two canisters and started shooting at the public with the semi-automatic rifle.

After the rifle jammed, he began firing from his pistol, which hit some audiences in the room and 3 people in an adjacent theater. 

The police acted swiftly and reached the theater based on a 911-call where they arrested James without any resistance.

While being arrested, James had neon orange hair and claimed to be the joker.

Police Officer Jason Oviatt was the one to capture James. The shooting incident caused total casualties of 12 people, while 70 more were seriously injured.

James had even set booby traps in his home, which had to be diffused by the bomb squad. 

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Later during the trial, James confessed to the shooting but pleaded not guilty, claiming insanity.

The jury found James as mentally ill but sane as he was aware of his actions. He was found guilty on 165 counts of murder, but the jury could not award the death sentence as they could reach a unanimous verdict.

He was sentenced to life imprisonment with no chance of parole. Further, James was also ordered to pay an amount of $955,000 to the victims, which he easily paid due to his net worth of $25 million.

James Holmes at Arapahoe County District Court in 2015

James Holmes at Arapahoe County District Court in 2015 (Photo:

James, who is currently age 34, was assaulted by a fellow inmate while serving his prison sentence, due to which he had to be shifted out of the state to an undisclosed location.

Furthermore, his whereabouts are now kept a secret, and there are very few people who are aware of James's current predicament. 

But according to the Washington Post, he was sent to the United States Penitentiary in Pennsylvania, where he is serving his life-long imprisonment. 

As of now, James is serving his sentence at a prison in an unknown location believed to be somewhere out of the United States.

Further, he has no option of getting out of prison now that he has been sentenced to life in prison without parole.