April 20, 1999: Columbine High School shooters Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold walk into their school wearing t-shirts emblazoned with the phrases “Natural Selection” and “Wrath,” respectively; by 11:35 AM, they’ve killed thirteen people, and at 12:08 PM, they commit suicide in the school library.
Countless replicas of their shirts can be found online, either in photos of Tumblr users or on Zazzle, a site that allows one to customize products and put the designs up for sale.
July 20, 2012: James Holmes is arrested behind the Century 16 theater in Aurora, Colorado, minutes after a mass shooting during a midnight screening of The Dark Knight Rises. According to reports, he is wearing a plaid shirt at the time of his arrest.
Tumblr erupts with an outpouring of support from plaid shirt-clad Holmes fans.
March 19, 2013: Chardon High School shooter T.J. Lane enters his sentencing hearing, removing his pale blue dress shirt to reveal a white t-shirt with the word “Killer” handwritten across the front. The statement he gives after hearing that he will serve three life sentences without parole is “This hand that pulled the trigger that killed your sons now masturbates to the memory. Fuck all of you.”
Immediately after the hearing, T.J.’s popularity skyrockets among the gaggle of mass murderer fangirls on Tumblr. It doesn’t take long for bloggers to post images of themselves in their own homemade “Killer” shirts.