Aurora Shooting Raises Questions, Should Suspected Killer James Holmes Be Blackballed By Media?

Kim LaCapria

The James Holmes/Joker connection after the Aurora shooting has fascinated a horrified public after a spree killing -- for which Holmes is assumed to be responsible -- killed 12 theater-goers at a midnight screening late last week.

James Holmes has been suspiciously quiet since the murders, appearing subdued or even drugged at his first court hearing on Monday in relation to the shocking spree murder.

No one knows why James Holmes affected a Joker-like appearance and shot up a group of innocent individuals out to see a new summer movie, but speculation has been rife -- that he was unemployed, that he had been rejected by women, that he was a member of the Tea Party or Occupy movements and his lashing out was a natural progression.

What many believe, however, is that Holmes was motivated in part by a desire for notoriety -- and after all, had he just been bloodthirsty, he could have committed far more murders in a less theatrical way and evaded capture far longer.

Which has prompted an interesting question in the media -- should suspected killers such as James Holmes be thwarted in receiving attention in the media in the days following a massacre?

In the US, arrests are a matter of public record, and the job of the media is to report upon an incident factually with information available at press time. But in a world eerily foreshadowed by the film Natural Born Killers nearly 20 years ago, crime and notoriety are a sickening form of fame in our social media-driven world -- akin to the similar issue of criminals profitting financially off their crimes via book and movie deals.

Leading the charge to funnel ill-gotten fame away from suspected killer Holmes in the media is the brother of one of the first victims to be identified in the media, aspiring sports writer Jessica Redfield's sibling Jordan Ghawi. Ghawi even implored President Obama to cease using Holmes' name, a plea he says the President was amenable to when meeting with victims' families in Colorado:

— Jordan Ghawi (@JordanGhawi) July 23, 2012

— Jordan Ghawi (@JordanGhawi) July 23, 2012

— Jordan Ghawi (@JordanGhawi) July 23, 2012

— Jordan Ghawi (@JordanGhawi) July 23, 2012

— DrewCurtis (@DrewCurtis) July 23, 2012

Do you think that the media should largely ignore the perpetrators of high-profile crimes that appear fame seeking, or does the public have a right to know what happened, for better or worse?