3 Sep 2012

Why James Holmes Has Fans On the Internet

There are fans of everything on the internet. Even James Holmes, the 24-year-old accused of killing 12 and injuring 58 in the Aurora, Colorado theater shooting. What would drive a bunch of seemingly normal internet geeks to worship a mass murderer? To understand this, you'll have to journey to the dark heart of internet fandom.


BuzzFeed's Ryan Broderick has unearthed a small group of "Holmies," die-hard James Holmes fans who gush supposed love for the alleged killer on Tumblr like he was a teenage vampire. Not just that: Holmies are fixated on every minute detail of Holmes', from the plaid shirt Holmes was caught in to his bright-red hair, to the few childhood photos that have surfaced. Holmies post pictures of themselves drinking Slurpees, inspired by a video of an 18-year-old Holmes that shows he's a Slurpee fan; they pass around instructions for sending letters to Holmes in jail; there is the requisite bad anime-style fan art and animated .gifs ("hugs for holmies!"). I've yet to see any explicit fiction detailing James Holmes' romantic tryst with Ryan Gosling, but I'm not looking too hard because I'd like to be able to fall asleep in the foreseeable future.