While gunning down a packed theater full of excited movie-goers is indicative of insanity, some experts believe Dark Knight Rises gunman James Holmes could actually be suffering from a mental illness such as schizophrenia, which can begin to manifest during the early twenties.
Here's what we know:
Reports claim that upon his arrest, James Holmes' hands were covered by evidence bags to preserve gun-shot residue, which he then proceeded to pretend were puppets.
"We don’t just hand out meds. It just doesn’t work like that. If he was acting sleepy, he was faking it. I heard he’s not cooperating. He’s trying to act crazy. I know the people here believe it’s an act, but only he knows for sure."
BUT, University of Virginia criminologist Dr. Joan Neff explains how Holmes' actions are consistent with someone suffering a mental illness such as schizophrenia.
"We know that certain types of psychoses tend to have an onset in the early 20s; if that's the case he may be in the midst of coping with that. He may not know what's going on."
Others involved with the Arapahoe County Detention Center have shared their own bizarre experiences with Holmes. One released inmate states:
"He was spitting at the door and spitting at the guards. He’s spitting at everything. Dude was acting crazy."
Holmes' jailers have also expressed how the gunman believes he is in a movie.
It has also come to light that Holmes' mother Arlene has supposedly feared for her son for years and urged him to seek counseling.
But could someone suffering such mental ills orchestrate such an elaborate, calculated attack? Is his strange behavior a result of something crippling like schizophrenia or is it all just some sick, f*cked up act?
And… will Holmes plead insanity?
Hopefully, every motive and cause of this horrific incident will be revealed during the trial, which could take up to a year according to Colorado DA Carol Chambers.