It takes all sorts to make the world go round and apparently even alleged mass murderer James Holmes has his admirers. Thirty year old resident of Aurora, Colorado, Misty Benjamin, takes true love to a new level, declaring her undying devotion for Holmes, dyeing her hair orange to match his hair color on the night of his alleged shooting rampage and even appearing in criminal court to proclaim her love and lend her support.
For those of you who may not be aware of the details of the rampage that left 12 people dead and injured 58 others, it took place in Aurora, Colorado, the same town where Misty Benjamin lives, and as you might imagine, she has managed to infuriate many local residents with her antics.
Some of Misty Benjamin’s comments are certainly seen as rubbing salt in the wound by the good citizens of Aurora and by anyone familiar with the case:
“Tons of people are hating me because I’m deciding to be compassionate and show compassion for a person that committed a horrendous crime. When I get upset, I look at his picture and I calm down. Holmes isn’t a bad guy, but what he did was bad.”
The worship and admiration of James Holmes first came to public attention in July of 2012 with the disturbing news of Facebook pages devoted to Holmes and chat rooms for his supporters to discuss details of the case. Calling themselves Holmies, they posted cheerful YouTube videos drinking Slurpees, as a tribute to a one time ambition of Holmes to own a Slurpee machine of his own. Holmies dress in plaid to emulate the plaid jacket the suspect was reported to be wearing when he was arrested and they write to him constantly.
Apparently, Holmes is such a popular recipient of letters from admirers that the Arapahoe County Sheriff’s office was forced to post a set of rules and regulations on the Internet for those who wished to communicate with the prisoner. Cards and letters continue to pour in, loaded with photos of the senders, drawings, and marriage proposals.
A true Holmie, Misty Benjamin has given her heart to James Holmes. She attends his hearings when they are open to the public, carries his photograph in her wallet and communicates regularly with other Holmies on Facebook.
‘When they showed photos of him, everything I saw were cries for help. When I first saw him, I was physically attracted to him. I thought, oh crap. I think he is cute.”
Of course, the phenomenon of killers and alleged killers with legions of fans and lovers is nothing new. Charles Manson received fan letters for decades and John Wayne Gacy’s demented clown paintings were in high demand for years until he was finally executed in 1994. Several well known, convicted killers married people they met after they were sentenced to prison for life or sent to death row. Although Misty Benjamin’s love for James Holmes may be shocking and offensive to many, it is hardly exciting or original.
One youngster described his life as an admirer of James Holmes, “Wearing plaid, sippin’ on a slurpee. Just a typical Holmie.” Is our younger generation so devoid of purpose that they seriously worship killers? There is nothing to be admired about mass murderers. They are bringers of pain and death. Instead, emulate the builders who help to create a better world for us all.