The news media’s focus on Holmes also inspired some familiar criticism. Was the attention to the details of an alleged mass killer’s life not just wrong but also potentially lethal? Could the media’s gaze inspire the next nobody to commit a similar act in a sick attempt to become somebody, too?
“How often must we see the alleged murderer’s name in print and his face shown in photographs from happier times?” asked noted criminologist James Alan Fox in a blog posting. “It is perfectly reasonable to shed light on the tragic event without a media spotlight on the alleged assailant. It is shameless, if not dangerous, to transform” an obscure individual into “an infamous somebody who may be revered and admired by a few folks on the fringe.”