Disturbing photos taken by Aurora, Colorado, mass shooter James Holmes have surfaced in court on Wednesday, apparently depicting himself in a variety of poses with the weapons used in the July 20th murders.
Taken from Holmes’ confiscated iPhone, the pictures contain a number of disquieting images. One self-portrait of Holmes showed the gunman wearing a black skull cap and black contact lenses, his tongue sticking out at the camera while he grinned.
Three other photos were taken roughly six hours before the massacre. In those, Holmes is wearing the black contact lenses and making various expressions, as well as holding one of the semiautomatic pistols he brought to the theater.
Two photos from July 19 depict the homemade bombs he built. Another from that day depicts his weaponry and tactical gear spread across a “red sheet” on his bed.
A series of four photos taken from June 29 to July 11 are of the theater, indicating that Holmes cased the building for security measures and firing angles.
The photos will doubtless strike a heavy blow against any insanity defense raised by Holmes’ legal team, especially the pictures of the theater taken over the course of a month. They show evidence of meticulous planning and forethought into the massacre, potentially invalidating any argument that Holmes was psychologically incapable of understanding the impact of his actions.
On Monday, prosecutors revealed that Holmes had bought a ticket to the theater 12 days before the shootings. The release of the photos was the prosecution’s final move in a preliminary hearing schedule to run through the week. Arapahoe County prosecutor Karen Pearson said that the state had presented overwhelming evidence that Holmes was both sane and guilty.
Holmes took the photos “because he wanted to kill all of them, and he knew what he was doing,” Pearson announced to the court.