I’m not thrilled about publishing this and putting it out there. I’m deeply upset by what happened in Colorado and I feel for all of the families, victims and people effected by this tragedy. However, I feel like I’m faced with a situation where I have to at least ask the question and let you, the people out there reading this, decide for yourself. After some soul searching and staring at pictures of James Holmes for hours, I’ve come to feel that some of the pictures just don’t add up. Let me please state for the record that I am in no way, shape or form an image analyst, do I have any graphic design experience or anything that certifies me to be asking this question. I am just a journalist seeking the truth and looking for answers.
The Picture Comparison Is At The Bottom
I didn’t come up with the idea of these pictures of James Holmes not matching myself. In order to stay on top of trends, news and things that could become potential news, I follow and track at least thirty different websites and tools. I ran across a post on a conspiracy website called Godlike Productions that posed the idea that a picture comparison of these two pictures reveal differences as quoted from the site, “NOT THE SAME NOSE and EYE COLOR.” This site is good at uncovering news and finding breaking trends but it really does run on the line of insanity, speculation and sometimes just ridiculousness.
With that said, I took the pictures from two prominent news websites myself and analyzed them. The extremely amateur analysis I did below tries to compare features from James Holmes’ facial structure, his eyes, ears, eyebrows, Adam’s apple, the base of his nose, bridge of his nose and his forehead.
I didn’t find answers but only more questions. Now I’m looking for your opinions and comments about what I did wrong and how my analysis doesn’t add up.
The first picture on the left I found on a story in USMagazine.com titled, “The Dark Knight Rises Shooting Suspect James Holmes Told Police He’s “The Joker”.” The second picture on the right I found on a story from the NYDailyNews.com titled, “Aurora, Colo. theater shooter James Holmes makes first court appearance for killing 12, wounding 58 at ‘Dark Knight’ screening.” USMagazine.com says their picture came from the University of Colorado / Splash News and NYDailyNews.com says their picture is the official mugshot picture of James Holmes.
So let’s jump onto the crazy train and look at the differences between these pictures and see where we end up, shall we?
First Comparison James Holmes’ Bottom Part of Nose
Okay, so really, what is the deal here? Is it because James on the right is titling his head up and it makes the base of his nose less fat and less wide? Is that possible? The tip of the nose on James with red hair is much more pointy and shaped like a ball with the James with dark hair from University of Colorado’s source is less pointy and flows down into the nostrils more. The nostrils on James on the left seem to be wider in circumference as well with the left nostril almost possibly being bigger than the right. The James on the right with red hair has a nice small set of rounded holes for nostrils. The skin below the nose that connects down to the lips also seems to be more prominent, up higher and more visible on James with red hair. However, the skin below the nose differences I could completely let be a lighting anomaly.
Second Comparison James Holmes’ Right Eye
Let’s start off this one with the obvious, the lighting of these pictures clearly makes the color look quite a bit different. The James on the left from University of CO still looks to have much darker eyes than Red haired “Joker” James. The eyes on red haired James also seem to be a lot smaller with more white in the eye with the James on the left having more prominent and bigger eyes with the white being a smaller portion of the eye. James on the left at University of Colorado has big puffy bags under his eye where the James with red hair in the mugshot really has almost no bags of puffiness under his eyes at all. The bone structure above the eyelid seems to curve differently in both James pictures with more space for the eyelid to show on James on the right. This could be because the James on the right has his head tilted back revealing more eyelid providing an illusion. The eyelids are also bigger on the James on the right compared to the James on the left but this could be that he is extremely tired after a shooting rampage and being jailed?
Third Comparison James Holmes’ Adam’s Apple
Now this one is really stretching it, I know, but the Adam’s apple on the James Holmes on the right really seems to be more pointy and bony with the James Holmes on the left being more smooth and not sticking out of his neck as much. Once again, did James on the right have his head tilted back making his Adam’s apple stick out? Quite possibly. Look to the left of red haired James Holmes’ Adam’s apple and notice that little freckle or mole, see it? Well, I clearly don’t see that freckle or mole on the James Holmes on the left hand side, it’s just simply not there.
Fourth Comparison James Holmes’ Right Ear
Okay, I’m not going to lie, this comparison is pretty weak on this part of James’ features that don’t match up. The ear looks to be smaller and pushed back further to the back of the head on the James picture from University of Colorado. The earlobe on the red haired “The Joker” James on the right seems to be fatter and wider but it’s really hard to tell with the sideburns getting the way of James Holmes’s ear on the left.
Fifth Comparison James Holmes’ Right Eyebrow
A smiling face and a blank look could really produce a different curvature of an eyebrow on just about anyone I would think. That makes the case for the curvature of the eyebrow being much more curved on the red haired James on the right side compared to the James on the left side not very concrete. What does stand out to me though is that the amount of hair in the eyebrow on the James Holmes left picture is thicker on the left but has some weird absence in the middle. The James Holmes on the right has a very light amount of hair in the eyebrow and it is pretty consistent all the way through without any weird breaks in the hair from left to right. The hair on the red haired James Holmes also seems to trail off into a point where the James Holmes on the left really end quite weird and choppy.
Sixth Comparison James Holmes’ Left Eyebrow
I see big difference in the curvature of the eyebrows on the left eyebrow as well. The red haired James on the right has an arched curve that sharply goes down on the left hand edge towards his ear. The James on the left has a broad thick eyebrow that doesn’t have an ending arch that goes downward but just kind of fades away at the end. Another bizarre thing about the James Holmes eyebrow on the left is that it seems so close to the crease of his eyelid where the James Holmes on the right has a lot of space in between the bottom edge of the eyebrow and the top crease of the eyelid.
Seventh Comparison James Holmes’ Nose Bridge
This is another comparison where the lighting of the pictures really stands out and makes a case for the fact that any discrepancies could just be a light illusion. The bridge of the nose on James Holmes with red hair is much more prominent and bony with sharp lines and a steeper drop towards the eye. You can see red above the bridge and below on the nose, this may be sunburn or from the gas mask that James was wearing when he went into the theater. The James Holmes nose bridge on the left from the University of Colorado is wider and with that thickness to it, it also has a more gradual slope down towards the eyes. There are no sharp lines on the bridge of James Holmes’ nose on the left hand side with all smooth contours.
Eighth And Last Comparison James Holmes’ Forehead
This comparison between the two pictures could describe some of the differences we see in all of the comparisons to be completely honest. Is James Holmes lifting his eyelids and scrunching his forehead on the right hand mugshot photo? Or as I’ve seen with other guys they have creases in their forehead most of the time. Either way, in the picture on the left the James Holmes picture from the University of Colorado is smooth as can be.
That is it for me, I really want to move beyond this and let you all decide. Do you think these pictures match up? If not, what are your opinions on why they don’t? It seriously feels like a Where’s Waldo game at this point to me and I’m ready to let other people take a stab at this one. The picture is below for you to analyze yourself or you can visit the links above where I got the original pictures to analyze.
James Holmes' Pictures Don't Match,