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BOA : Audio


Loren Coleman / Bruce Rux

(2 Hours, 29 Minutes)

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(MP3 A : 72 minutes)
(MP3 B : 77 minutes)


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BoA:Audio pauses our usual paranormal pursuits for some extended coverage of the Aurora, Colorado theater shooting which took place last Thursday evening. Joining us on the program are a pair of longtime BoA:Audio friends: Loren Coleman, author of The Copycat Effect: How the Media and Popular Culture Trigger the Mayhem in Tomorrow's Headlines as well as Bruce Rux, a lifelong resident of Aurora who happened to be attending a Dark Knight Rises midnight premiere at the infamous Century 16 Cinema, but in a different theater, on that fateful evening.

Loren discusses the 'twilight language' surrounding the events in Aurora as well as how the tragedy may constitute a new twist in the troubling trend of mass shootings. He also speculates on the mindset of shooter James Holmes and responds to the overwhelming media coverage of the event. Plus, of course, much, much more.

Following that, Bruce shares his story of attending the Dark Knight Rises midnight premiere in theater 16 at Aurora's Century 16 Cinema. He recounts the fortuitous events which led him to the cinema but, fortunately out of harm's way and then retraces the fallout of the shooting, including the initial alarm and evacuation, the confusion and complacency of the evacuated crowd, the stunningly massive police response, and the subsequent quarantine and questioning of the many people who were unfortunate enough to be there that fateful night. He also shares his thoughts, as a native of Aurora, on both the shooting as well as the city's response to the tragic event.

Altogether, it is a somber and sobering look at a tragic event which has shook the nation to its core, combining thoughtful analysis with a truly rare first-hand perspective on an evening not long to be forgotten.

Full Preview: We begin the program with Loren Coleman and start by talking about how, on the day before, he'd warned his readers about the potential for violence surrounding the Dark Knight premiere. Loren explains what informed his warning and also shares the truly bizarre story of how he was woken up on the morning of the 20th by a disembodied voice calling his name. Loren then discusses some of the twilight language elements that have emerged in the wake of the shooting, notably the idea that the event was some kind of 'red dawn.'

This leads to some discussion on the myriad of 'coincidences' that surround the event and the film, such as the James Bond trailer that airs before the Dark Knight and features a shot of the skyline of Shanghai and its Aurora building. We reflect on how these subtle 'coincidences' suggest something beyond human intervention or conspiracy.

From there, we turn our attention towards 'alleged' shooter James Holmes and muse about the mysterious nature of his 'downfall' and actions as well as ponder what may have driven him to the events of July 20th in Aurora, Colorado. Loren explains how we can derive some information from his actions that shed light on what may have been going on in Holmes' mind. He notes the abundance of body armor and quick surrender as clues that, unlike the 'typical' mass shooter, Holmes appears to have no suicidal endgame in mind. From there, Loren also shares his informed speculation on why Holmes would reveal the booby trapped nature of his apartment, which seems counter intuitive to the mayhem he wished to cause.

Our conversation then leads to the media coverage and how they are playing a dangerous role in facilitating future events by spelling out, point-by-point, how Holmes acquired his arsenal and the 'mistakes' he made which led to his attack being less deadly than he'd planned. Loren also warns about the 'internal anniversary syndrome' which suggest copycat events that could happen a week later, two weeks later, a month later, and a year later. He also talks about the copycat events that have already followed the Aurora shooting.

Heading towards the close, we talk about how the Aurora shooting constitutes a major change in these mass killing events, as the trend has gone from suicide clusters to school shootings and now have taken on the form of attacks on 'soft targets' such as theaters and malls. He also, chillingly, notes the subliminal 'competition' amongst these shooters to increase the body count with each subsequent attack. He also shares his concerns that sporting events could be the next realm which sees this kind of random and unthinkable violence. And, closing out the conversation, we muse about how the world of fiction has become reality and what happens next is anyone's guess.


Up next, we look at the event from an entirely different perspective as we welcome lifelong Aurora resident and longtime friend of BoA:Audio, Bruce Rux, who was in attendance at Century 16 that fateful night, watching The Dark Knight in a different midnight screening, and saw the fallout and police reaction to the event firsthand. Bruce begins by retracing his day leading up to attending the midnight premiere of The Dark Knight and reflects on how even the slightest change in the chain of events could have resulted in an entirely different story for him that night. In taking us through that night, Bruce recalls some specific details about the parking lot of the cinema which made it stand out from any previous visit he'd ever made there.

Bruce then details his arrival inside the theater and how he ended up seeing the 4th screening of the film. This segues into an aside about what may become of theater 9, following the crime scene cleanup, and the overall need to 'move on' and persevere without fear following the shooting. Getting back to Bruce's story, he explains the layout of the Century 16 theater and where his theater was in relation to the location of the shooting. He then takes us through the alarm notification, the evacuation of Century 16, the very initial police arrival and what he thought may have been happening at that early stage. Bruce also talks about how some cars did leave the area in the early ensuing aftermath, but clarifies that these were likely theater goers who had grown tired of waiting outside with no answers as to what was happening and decided to go home.

Continuing the story, he recall encountering some people who were witnesses to the shooting, albeit they appeared to be in shock and were not discussing what had happened. He also recounts early rumours of a gun and why the collective crowd did not seem to be overtly trying to discern what had happened inside the cinema. He then shares his one true, brief, panicked moment of the evening, when a louder more urgent mention of a gun sent the collective crowd briefly ducking for cover.

Next, he recalls the arrival of some heavy police presence, including heavily armed police, bomb sniffing dogs, and a massive mobile command center. Bruce reveals that it was at this point that he realized his evening was far from over and that the crowd was quarantined. Bruce then shares his subsequent observation of how the quarantine area continued to grow as the investigation unfolded and, two hours after the evacuation, the police simply and only informed the crowd that they and their vehicles were now quarantined and, as such, the people were being taken to a nearby high school.

From there, Bruce talks about his journey from the cinema to the high school via paddy wagon, which includes a rare moment of humor during the tense evening. He also reveals when and how he first got word of the large number of casualties inside the theater. Bruce also reflects on why his evacuation location was much more serene than could be expected for an event of such magnitude. He then walks us through being processed, having his mugshot taken (along with every other witness), being questioned by the FBI (again, along with every other witness), and, ultimately, being taken home by the police.

Looking at the aftermath of the shooting, Bruce gives us an idea of the mood in and around Aurora in the subsequent days. We also get Bruce's thoughts on James Holmes and what he thinks caused his rampage. Bruce also speculates on why Holmes surrendered so quickly and why he revealed the nature of his booby trapped apartment. This leads to some discussion on the conspiracy theories that have emerged after the shooting and we reflect on why such theories, at this juncture, are futile and foolhardy because we have yet to get the official story of what happened, thus deconstructing the story becomes an impossible task.

Wrapping up the conversation, Bruce speculates on the ultimate fate of James Holmes, regardless of how his criminal case unfolds. Bruce also talks about what the local discussion on Holmes has been since the event. We ruminate on why Colorado is now the home of two notorious shooting incidents and Bruce reflects on Columbine. And, closing out the conversation, Bruce gives us his final thoughts on the event and stresses the importance of both remembering the victims of the tragedy as well as not living afraid.

Loren Coleman Bio

Loren Coleman of Portland, Maine, has studied, written and lectured extensively on the impact of media. Coleman offers illuminating insight on the fascinating relationship between American violence and the media in the United States.

He first began working in the mental health field in 1967 before moving on to his consultant work of today. As a senior researcher at the Muskie School of Public Policy, University of Southern Maine, from 1983 through 1996, he was the director of eight million dollars' worth of federal projects, which investigated epidemics in suicide, arson, substance abuse, child maltreatment, sexual crime, and other behaviors. He continues be consulted on media and group violence topics. Coleman was an adjunct associate professor at the University of Southern Maine for twenty years, and produced award-winning documentaries. Additionally, he has taught at Boston University, St. Joseph's College, Bunker Hill Community College and Southern Maine Community College for 20 years. He was a visiting Associate Professor in the graduate School of Social Work at the University of New England in the mid-2000s.

Coleman is the author, coauthor, or editor of over 30 books, including the acclaimed Suicide Clusters and The Copycat Effect. His work on suicide clusters and school shootings has been covered in Boston Globe, USA Today, The New York Times, and extensively on CTV & BBC. His study of baseball suicides has been highlighted in Sports Illustrated, The Sporting News, and ESPN. His work has involved trainings and manuals for law enforcement officers and forensic guidelines for child abuse and suicide investigations, and dealing with the media. Coleman has appeared on many programs, including The Larry King Show, All Things Considered, Inside Edition, and other media forums as an authority on suicide clusters, Heaven's Gate, Waco, Hemingway, Columbine, and VA Tech. Since the mid-1980s, Coleman has trained and consulted around the country and in Canada on suicide clusters and school violence.

His website, Twilight Language, explores hidden meanings and synchromystic connections via onomatology (study of names) and toponomy (study of place names). This blog further investigates "name games" and "number coincidences" found in news and history.

Bruce Rux Bio

Bruce Rux was an actor for twenty years, and is still current on his Actors' Equity card though he hasn't performed on stage since the early 1990s. He appeared in perhaps eighty shows, winning numerous acting awards in several states.

Bruce received his BA in theater from Loretto Heights College in Denver in 1979, and an MA in Mass Communications, emphasis on playwriting, from Kansas State University in 1988. In 1980-81, he performed for a year with Wayne State University's prestigious Hilberry Classical Repertory Theater in Detroit, toward an MFA that was never completed.

He won the first annual Jerome D. Johanning Playwriting Award in 1987 at K-State, for his four act historical drama, The Grave Affair, which he directed as an American College Theater Festival entry the same year. He has written several plays since. For the past ten years, he has been an upscale security officer (USO) for Wackenhut.

Bruce has studied UFOs his entire life. After the Mars Observer probe failure in August of 1993, Bruce wrote to share his findings with several researchers in the field and with a few elected representatives. As a result, he found himself invited on ancient astronaut author Zecharia Sitchin's first tour of Egypt in the Spring of 1994.

During that trip, Bruce decided to write a book containing the results of his own UFO research and conclusions, which resulted in Architects of the Underworld: Unriddling Atlantis, Anomalies of Mars and the Mystery of the Sphinx in 1996.

The following year, he wrote a companion volume that turned out to be even more massive, Hollywood Vs. the Aliens: The Motion Picture Industry's Participation In UFO Disinformation. Both were published by Frog Books in Berkeley, now part of Random House.

Next Week:

Adam Gorightly

Esoterica's crackpot historian makes his long-awaited return to BoA:Audio
for a discussion on his new book Happy Trails to High Weirdness.

BoA : Audio, Season 7 archive