Did family pressure cause James Holmes to snap?
Criminal psychologist Dr. Alan Lipman weighs in
- Duration 6:03
- Date Jul 27, 2012
Criminal psychologist Dr. Alan Lipman weighs in
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-- reports out today that could potentially shed light on what led a seemingly once normal guy in Colorado to murder twelve people and shoot over seventy.
Experts now suggest the father of the suspect in the Colorado movie massacre set a very high standard.
And that the sun was not living up to it.
Moreover we are now learning that he bought his weapon at least one of them after failing a key exam at the University of Colorado and then he dropped out.
With no explanation why all of this as we get at least one report that the mother had once urged the sun to seek counseling.
Joining me now doctor -- -- criminal psychologist executive director of the study center I'm sorry for the study of violence doctor -- welcome back.
Hello -- -- -- I'm great thank you so much for being here in trying to help us make sense of this the reports are today that the father has degrees from Stanford UCLA Berkeley.
And that's his son who you know their -- mentioning these were in these reports that he and his son was an adopted son.
Was not living up to those standards was -- said originally to be some sort of brilliant guy but now some of his professors are coming -- saying actually that's not true at all that's right and a B student.
And you actually see all of this is consistent with the profile.
Of what we now believe he.
Absolutely in -- what you see with a psychotic illness and we've seen this time and time again.
And viewers this is counter intuitive that wouldn't necessarily expect that's the fact is but before that first explosion that first psychotic break.
A person can be functioning OK some people before hand they actually have a higher intellectual level.
But in the late teens.
By the way right at the gates that he start to show -- at eighteen.
When he did his internship but the salt institute and was described as very often bizarre they start to show the one sign.
Which is acting very very bizarre what's called -- premarket social competence.
And that as the beginning -- a clock work timeline and we saw with homes where he became from the age of eighteen.
Increasingly preoccupied with violence.
And what happens is there's an underlying predisposition.
You have the readiness for disorder almost like you have a weak -- that you were born where.
And then with more and more pressure.
Here the pressure of the father to succeed.
On that -- when you reach a certain age which is almost always the early twenties how old was Holmes 24.
They explode it's a combination.
Of an underlying genetic propensity.
And that stress.
Right on the arm that during that peak period of the early twenties cause -- crack -- you is absolutely a textbook case of psychotic disorder.
You know genetic -- part genetic it do you believe that do you believe that there is some.
You know and somebody who's going to wind up being an alleged mass murderer -- genetic predisposition do you think this family sitting there asking themselves.
You know where their signs do we do they have -- a younger daughter I don't know whether she is up their biological child or not but.
That that that there's some sort of genetic predisposition to violence and some people.
I want people to understand this everyone who was listening.
We need to understand this for going to prevent -- okay.
We don't wanna worry about a on the other end and start thinking about how we're going to take things away from people we wanna stop and on the beginning and and -- -- We know.
I'd have known since 1980 in my early days -- -- an established fact.
That there is a genetic predisposition.
To schizophrenia and that what does that mean.
Well -- with some other disorders.
It means you have a greater likelihood because of genes that you were born with to develop that disorder.
In schizophrenia it's a significantly higher likely -- -- But perhaps to be something in the environment.
Genetics in the world come together.
And the environment -- stress.
Like a break up.
Like family pressure like social pressure and Alex Graham -- and -- -- out of school yes exactly what we've seen with homes.
Three weeks before he committed the act.
He failed that exam and -- those tremendous pressures on him.
When he snapped when he had a psychotic episode now look I'm also a lawyer.
I want your viewers to understand something.
This does not necessarily excuse homes.
Insanity is a legal term it's a legal question and the question of insanity is at the time of the -- -- Did the person know the difference between right and wrong but they know that there I ask you -- wrong we get we only have a minute left -- -- at this and another so much here what what can.
Can we look for doctor what signs should we be looking for in in particular for this age person.
Three things that you could look for and I want you if you have children or friends or colleagues -- students I want you to look for these things.
I want you to look for.
Bizarre or odd behavior.
-- talking to themselves they seem to be responding to voices that are going on their head.
They seem to be obsessed with violence with guns a change in behavior that represents -- -- obsession number one.
Due date withdraw from the world whenever they were interest and remember the seem to be very happy friendly sweet guy.
And we've heard again and again and these reports after the age of eighteen right at that age that's when he started to become withdrawn and isolated and third.
Triggering a -- to fewer child.
Has been through a serious romantic break up has been -- failure -- school of job loss you should no matter what.
Even though it feels a little uncomfortable going and -- make sure okay prevent this don't let it happen again.
-- -- thank you so much for expertise sir I've seen.