Parents of Aurora theater shooter James Holmes pray for victims daily

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DENVER | The mother of Aurora theater shooting defendant James Holmes writes in a new book that she prays for the victims daily, “by name and by wound.”

Bob and Arlene Holmes told the Del Mar Times (https://bit.ly/1IKADqV ) about the book she wrote in their first interview since the 2012 shooting that left 12 dead and 70 others injured. In the forward of “When The Focus Shifts: The Prayer Book of Arlene Holmes 2013 -2014,” she writes that proceeds will be donated to mental health services, not to her son or his case.

“This book is being published to raise awareness of the immorality of the death penalty and the futility of seeking justice through execution,” she wrote in the book, a collection of prayers taken from her handwritten journals since the shooting. Holmes’ parents told the newspaper they still hope their son’s life can be spared through a plea deal, even as opening statements in the death penalty case are scheduled for April 27.

File--In this file photograph taken on Monday, Dec. 8, 2014, an unidentified woman, left, consoles Arlene Holmes, right, as she leaves the courtroom after a pre-trial readiness hearing in Centennial, Colo., in the murder trial of her son, James Holmes, who is charged with killing 12 moviegoers and wounding 70 more in a shooting spree in a crowded theatre in Aurora, Colo., in July 2012. Arlene Holmes and her husband, Bob, told the Del Mar Times in the couple's first interview since the mass shooting about the book she wrote after her son's rampage in which she said that she prays for the victims of the theatre rampage daily "by name and by wound."  (AP Photo/David Zalubowski, File)“The pretrial process has been lengthy, stressful for everyone, and expensive; the trial will be torturous and lengthy, and the appeal process in death penalty cases could last decades,” his mother wrote in the book’s forward.

The rest of the book contains prayers for prosecutors and defense attorneys alike, her feelings of guilt for not recognizing her son’s mental illness and getting him help, her experiences in the courtroom and reflections on her own struggles with depression after the shooting. She laments what she sees as a lack of compassion for the mentally ill.

Holmes’ parents and attorneys have said he was in the grips of a psychotic episode when he slipped into the movie theater and opened fire, but the book offers no new insight into his diagnosis.

In an entry from Jan. 12, 2013 called “Preliminary Hearing Memories,” she recalled the violence and wrote, “What were you thinking, Jim? And what are you thinking now? Praying for Jim in jail; please don’t commit suicide. You lived so that we could understand you and others could study you and learn to prevent future tragedy.”

In another from March 22, 2013, titled “Memories,” she wrote that her recollections of her son as empathetic and responsible don’t explain the shooting.

“My son never harmed anyone,” she wrote. “People think he is a monster, but he has a disease that changed his brain. … Praying for good men and women engulfed in psychosis and alone with their disease.”

Holmes’ parents told the newspaper, based near their home in Rancho Penasquitos, that they are bracing themselves for their son’s trial. They don’t explain the timing of the book, which comes as defense attorneys have asked a judge to move the proceedings out of the suburban Denver community where the attack occurred, saying pretrial publicity has made many prospective jurors biased against Holmes.

A spokeswoman for District Attorney George Brauchler declined to comment on the book, citing a gag order that prevents those involved in the case from talking about it. But in court filings released Monday, prosecutors, arguing against a change in venue, wrote that the one piece of pretrial publicity that may have been most memorable to prospective jurors was a letter Holmes’ parents wrote to The Denver Post, presumably to garner sympathy for their son.

Neither Holmes’ parents nor an attorney representing them immediately responded to requests for comment. Arlene Holmes said her son’s defense team had no knowledge of the book.

In other passages, she wonders if she can forgive herself for not predicting the violence. In “Praying for Prosecutors,” she writes, “I do not know why you want to pursue execution of a mentally ill man, But I pray for you … Please stop this quest for death so you may focus on those who are alive.”

After the trial, according to one passage, Holmes’ parents would like to meet with victims’ families to “give them information, when we get information.”

“We can answer some questions, but never can answer ‘Why?'”

___

Associated Press writers Donna Bryson and P. Solomon Banda contributed.

 

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Mary Colburn
Mary Colburn
6 years ago

While I’m no fan of the death penalty , I find this book insensitive to the community. And her first statement that her son never harmed anyone…..

AntiquatedEyes
AntiquatedEyes
6 years ago
Reply to  Mary Colburn

Prior to his psychotic episode which the University of Colorado had some awareness of he had never harmed anybody. So when are we going after the University?

gofastgo
gofastgo
6 years ago

They should lock them up also, what idiots. They raised a abnormal offspring capable of this kind of monstrous act, and they are ‘praying’ for the victims? Nah, they should be contrite for their sons acts, not saying ‘he didn’t harm anyone, his bad brain did that’ What rubbish!

AntiquatedEyes
AntiquatedEyes
6 years ago
Reply to  gofastgo

Wow! Think these idiots on the internet need to be educated about serious mental illnesses! Hate to think what might happen if one of their relatives ever developed one!

gofastgo
gofastgo
6 years ago
Reply to  AntiquatedEyes

If a relative of mine, ever committed a crime such as murder, not approaching this maniac’s massacre, I’d want them executed. They are not normal, not social, not worthy of drawing another breath.

AntiquatedEyes
AntiquatedEyes
6 years ago
Reply to  gofastgo

Then I feel sad for you then! And I hope no one in your family ever develops a serious mental disorder!

gofastgo
gofastgo
6 years ago
Reply to  AntiquatedEyes

When a mental ‘disorder’ becomes this far over the edge of reality, there is no hope, and shouldn’t be. I know it’s hard for some, including yourself to believe, but some are not ‘fixable’, they are broken irreparably, you can’t wish this kind of abnormality away.

AntiquatedEyes
AntiquatedEyes
6 years ago
Reply to  gofastgo

That still doesn’t give you the right to kill a sick person. They can be held in secure facilities and treated for the rest of their days. They are still someone’s family member!

Aldo Elmnight
Aldo Elmnight
6 years ago
Reply to  gofastgo

A very “progressive” comment.

Jaccs
Jaccs
6 years ago
Reply to  gofastgo

Producing a show on the Holmes Trial this Thursday, want to join us on the air?

https://talkcenteramerica.tv/?p=971

gofastgo
gofastgo
6 years ago
Reply to  Jaccs

Good luck with your show, thanks, I’m going to pass, thanks again.

random guy at AMT
random guy at AMT
6 years ago

James Holmes is a pasty and it was staged so well that even his parents don’t know. Its so obvious. THere is something wicked in Aurora/DIA area. You can feel it as you drive around. Go to the mountains and its nothing but American Spirit.

Dale Nichols
Dale Nichols
6 years ago

How can it be at the same time ” it was staged so well that even his parents don’t know” and “obvious.” As for the idea of Aurora being wicked, you sound like you’re at least half as nutty Holmes is.

random guy at AMT
random guy at AMT
6 years ago

Why arn’t more people trying to defend him? Why arn’t they releasing video footage? Why not toxicology screen while he was babbling when they caught him?

Name
Name
6 years ago

Disgusting!!!!! You’ve got some nerve, lady

AntiquatedEyes
AntiquatedEyes
6 years ago
Reply to  Name

She’s got some nerve expressing her feelings about not knowing that her son was developing a serious mental disorder? Really? Gosh, there was me thinking I was living in the 21st Century when it must still be the 1st!

gofastgo
gofastgo
6 years ago
Reply to  AntiquatedEyes

There is no hope for folks who think as you, you are the atypical liberal.

AntiquatedEyes
AntiquatedEyes
6 years ago
Reply to  gofastgo

There is no hope for folks who think as you, you are the atypical village idiot.

Jaccs
Jaccs
6 years ago
Reply to  AntiquatedEyes

Producing a show on the Holmes’ trial this Thursday, want to join us on the air? https://talkcenteramerica.tv/?p=971

AntiquatedEyes
AntiquatedEyes
6 years ago
Reply to  Jaccs

Just spotted your message but I am in the UK anyway so time-wise it would have been difficult for me to get involved probably. Thanks for asking though, I hope it was an interesting debate!

Jaccs
Jaccs
6 years ago
Reply to  AntiquatedEyes

Starting Monday 4.27 we are doing a daily half an hour strip of live trial coverage, 730 Eastern so 12:30am your time. Email [email protected] if you want more info on that

AntiquatedEyes
AntiquatedEyes
6 years ago

Everyone should watch the programme Louis Theroux : By Reason Of Insanity. That is all.

AntiquatedEyes
AntiquatedEyes
6 years ago

When is this report on UoC coming out so that we will know even more about how badly they failed James Holmes!