The theory that James Holmes was influenced by Heath Ledger's portrayal of 'The Joker' when he walked into a Denver cinema and shot dead 12 people was lent credence on Monday (July 23, 2012), when the suspect entered a court for the first time with dyed red-orange hair.
The world looked on as Holmes - a former neuroscience student - appeared dazed and a little confused, as the judge spoken about the case. At one point, he simply closed his eyes and appeared motionless. Tom Tevez, whose son Alex was killed in the shooting, watched on from the back of the courthouse. He later told the Associated Press, "I saw the coward in court today and Alex could have wiped the floor with him without breaking a sweat". The hearing was the first confirmation that Holmes' hair was dyed - there were numerous reports of his hair being red and that he told arresting officers that he was "The Joker", Batman's nemesis who also has brightly coloured hair. Authorities have declined to confirm if Holmes told officers that he was Batman's enemy, though investigators allegedly found a 'Joker mask' inside his apartment. The nature of his attack - which he began with tear gas in attempt to confuse the audience - echoed those perpetrated by the Joker in the Batman movies.
Meanwhile, Heath Ledger's father has rubbish suggestions that his son's Oscar winning portrayal of the villain should be blamed for the incident, telling Australia's Herald Sun newspaper, "It's terrible - the whole circumstances.I think what America should be doing is restricting the availability of ammunition or revisiting their gun laws, that's what they should be doing". James Holmes is likely to face 12 charges of first degree murder, as well as a long list of other charges related to the incident.