A Batman mask was found, along with other items, at the apartment of James Holmes, who carried out the July 2012 massacre in a Colorado movie theater.
When police searched the shooter’s apartment they discovered a “unique symbol” on a calendar marked on the day the attack took place. They also found a Batman mask and a drawing depicting extreme violence.
A pre-trial hearing is trying to establish whether the evidence taken from the apartment after the massacre can be used in the trial. There was no testimony though relating to the fact that the latest Batman movie, The Dark Knight Rises, was showing in the cinema when Holmes killed 12 people and wounded 70 others.
The accused man’s attorneys have accepted that their client was the shooter, though they have put forward a not guilty plea on the basis of insanity at the time of the murders.
Thomas Wilson, a detective from the Aurora police department, said that on searching the apartment, as well as finding the Batman mask, he found a spiral notebook in a backpack with a picture of: “some kind of maze game involving a serial killer.”
In order for prosecutors to obtain the death penalty for Holmes, they will need to prove he was not clinically insane at the time of the shooting. The prosecution wants to undermine any suggestion from the defense that Holmes was not in his right mind at the time of the attack.
It appears that, at least in some ways, the Colorado shootings were premeditated. In the weeks leading up to the attack, Fox News reported that Holmes sent a notebook containing violent sketches depicting death, to a psychiatrist.
There were a number of other very incriminating items found in Holmes’s apartment after the shooting. Special agent Leslie Kopper said the following items were found when the FBI searched the residence:
• Plastic Batman mask
• Calendar with July 20, 2012 marked
• Cardboard box labeled ‘Remington Rifle’
• Fandango movie receipt for “The Dark Knight Rises”
• Black contact lenses
• Target stand and targets
• Roll of aqua-colored tape
• Black powder found in a trash can
• Wire and thumbtack
• Frying pan
• Paint brushes
• CPU fan
• Shoes and gloves
• Air freshener
• Tactical mirror
The defense team are attempting to have the evidence thrown out because the police gained entry and searched the premises before they received an official warrant.
On the other hand, the prosecution team say that the search of the apartment was legal due to the fact they had been told there were explosives present in the apartment by Holmes.
It remains to be seen whether or not those pieces of vital evidence, including the Batman mask will be allowed into the courtroom when the trial date arrives.