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The Mind of a Shooter: Mass Murder Tragedies
Family Security Matters ^ | 4-6-09 | Deborah Schurman-Kauflin, Ph.D.

Posted on 04/06/2009 10:59:51 AM PDT by serialcrimes

In the last few months, there have been several cases of mass murders on U.S. soil. On April 3, 2009, Jiverly Wong went into an American Civic Association and murdered 13 people. Wong wounded over 20 others and allegedly held hostages for hours before killing himself. The forty one year old had been going to the Civic Association to attend language lessons, and was angered over losing his job. He was teased due to to his lack of English language skill as well.

These massacres follow a predictable pattern, and it is certain that there will be more attacks as the U.S. struggles with a tumbling economy and marginalization of citizens. Such murders take place when one or two individuals with mental instability let their anger and depression drive them to get even with the world. They want to feel something one last time before they die. So, to elicit emotion, grab headlines, and exact revenge, they kill.

Mass killers believe society has been unfair to them and that others receive special treatment. Paranoia takes over their minds. They look around and see vultures everywhere. Everyone is out to get them, and nothing seems to go right in their lives. Everywhere they look, things are bad. They take hit after hit in their lives with no reprieve. They get fired. They get dumped. There are deaths in the family. There is no silver lining that they can see. Everything is negative, and often, they are in some kind of physical discomfort. Whether they suffer physically or emotionally, they blame others for their plights. With their negative attitudes, they drive people away, leaving them with no one.

This creates tremendous rage.

With isolation and no appropriate outlet, future mass killers ‘circle the wagons’ and turn further inward. Instead of being proactive, they are reactive. They wait for things to change instead of trying to change their own lives. This is a recipe for disaster because it assures another letdown in life. Living becomes unbearable as all seems lost. Offenders see no way out and are convinced their lives are over. In their despondence, they watch others who seemingly have the things that they want. Whether it is a happy family or a good job, mass killers just cannot hang on to anything that matters to them. They are critical, sarcastic, hurt, and continually discussing how much they dislike people. They quit in life when things get tough. They are edgy and prone to live in a fantasy world. As time goes on, they become emotionally flat. The only things they feel are shock and pain at how their lives have turned out. They feel as if they have been tossed aside, and this makes them even angrier. This is a dangerous state of mind.

“No one helped.” That is what the mass murderers in prison told me when I interviewed them about what they did right before they killed. It is common for such offenders to actually ask for help prior to committing a mass killing. Whether it is a parent, a spouse, or a friend, mass killers will talk about their suffering and their desire to act out. However, the pleas fall on deaf ears. No one seems to care about offenders who commit these crimes. They are life’s throwaways. People find it easier to look away than deal with them. And when this happens, plans for violence go into motion. This is when the killers get their weapons and conceptualize the attacks. They rigorously think through how they can kill the highest number of victims in an attempt to get attention and show the world how sad and meaningless their lives have become. They want to cause destruction because they have been destroyed. In their minds, it is only fair that other suffer too.

I have had many people tell me that they do not care about a killer’s pain and mindset, but if you do not understand your adversary, you have already lost the fight. One must examine the motivation in order to look for signs of an imminent attack. The more one learns about killers’ mindsets and behaviors, the easier it is to predict them.

Most often, these killers stalk areas that they know. A school. A workplace. They tend to gravitate toward areas with which they are familiar. It is also common for offenders to do a ‘walk through’ prior to the incident. They will have no official reason to be at the location, but because they have been there before, their presence does not raise suspicion. Usually during these reconnaissance missions, they linger for long periods of time so they can fantasize about killing. They tend to make others uncomfortable if they make eye contact because of their propensity to stare.

After visiting the future murder site, the killers write extensive diaries or tape themselves ranting about all of the terrible things that others have done to them. They want everyone to know why they had to kill. And they speak of the murders in that way. By life being so cruel, it forced them to kill. This takes their responsibility away. If they were forced, they are not to blame. This is how they justify murder in their minds.

As they spend more time alone, their paranoia skyrockets, and they visit websites that feed their paranoid thoughts. They will even post on chat boards about their perceived enemies and how those enemies should be destroyed. Others online may notice that the posts are a bit odd and not reply. Even online they become outcasts. This fuels them further. Since they are cut off, they have nothing better to do than spend time bubbling with hatred. Easily, their thoughts grow more deviant, and they work hard to figure out just what victims will create the most buzz in the media. These killers know their attacks will receive attention, and in delivering death (to others and themselves), they become immortal. Their names will live in infamy as people will finally have to look at them. “They’ll be sorry.” “Someone else will suffer.” These are more quotes from the offenders.

Key things to look for include:

Recently laid off Moody and sense of entitlement Excessive time alone Anger at ‘enemies’ Paranoid Fascination with weapons Asking for help because of fear of hurting someone Speaking of plans to kill Role playing as assassin Stalking former worksites/education sites

Though these factors in and of themselves do not indicate a threat, if taken as a whole, they point to potential trouble. Keep in mind that if you notice these key factors and hear someone talking about a plan to kill, notify someone. Tell a teacher. Notify law enforcement. The best weapon we have against such attacks is someone noticing these things and speaking out. Too many times, families and friends are in denial when they see such behavior. They tell themselves that the problem will go away on its own. But that does not happen. If someone is displaying these warning signs, it is imperative to get help. Offenders on their way to commit mass violence are in a downward spiral. They cannot pull out on their own. Do not ignore them. Believe someone when he says he wants to kill someone specific. And remember, taking guns away will not stop such attacks. That would only change the method of murder. One pair of mass murderers I interviewed used a gun, a knife, fire, and a car to inflict their rampage. Look at the mindsets and behaviors, and you have a much better chance at survival because those two things will tell you what an offender will do.


TOPICS: Crime/Corruption; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: banglist; binghamton; crime; disorders; gunfreezone; gunfreezones; massshooting; massshootings; mentalillness; murder; murdersuicide; paranoia; psychology; shooting; violence; voong

1 posted on 04/06/2009 10:59:51 AM PDT by serialcrimes
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To: serialcrimes
And remember, taking guns away will not stop such attacks. That would only change the method of murder.

I gotta admit that I didn't expect to see this in an article of this sort.

2 posted on 04/06/2009 11:02:39 AM PDT by Alberta's Child (I'm out on the outskirts of nowhere . . . with ghosts on my trail, chasing me there.)
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To: harpseal; TexasCowboy; nunya bidness; AAABEST; Travis McGee; Squantos; Shooter 2.5; wku man; SLB; ..
Click the Gadsden flag for pro-gun resources!
3 posted on 04/06/2009 11:04:17 AM PDT by Joe Brower (Sheep have three speeds: "graze", "stampede" and "cower".)
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To: serialcrimes

We now know the shooting, including the Wong-ending bullet, was over in 2-3 minutes....


4 posted on 04/06/2009 11:05:59 AM PDT by Shady (The Fairness Doctrine is ANYTHING but fair!!!!)
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To: serialcrimes
Keep in mind that if you notice these key factors and hear someone talking about a plan to kill, notify someone. Tell a teacher. Notify law enforcement carry a weapon at all times.
5 posted on 04/06/2009 11:07:33 AM PDT by Sans-Culotte
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To: serialcrimes
They will even post on chat boards about their perceived enemies and how those enemies should be destroyed.

Hey, my enemies should be destroyed!

6 posted on 04/06/2009 11:10:29 AM PDT by Mr. Mojo
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To: Mr. Mojo
Hey, my enemies should be destroyed!

If they're liberals, just inconvenience them... that is much worse as far as they're concerned.

7 posted on 04/06/2009 11:16:55 AM PDT by Tijeras_Slim
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To: serialcrimes

Don’t forget that they are all on legal drugs.


8 posted on 04/06/2009 11:20:37 AM PDT by Seruzawa (Obamalama lied, the republic died.)
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To: Tijeras_Slim

In 1999, John Lott and William Landes published an extensive statistical study of multiple shooting incidents. They showed that mass shootings occur less often in areas where responsible citizens are allowed permits to carry weapons discretely.

http://www.american-partisan.com/cols/brown/080800.htm

“Multiple Victim Public Shootings”

http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=272929


9 posted on 04/06/2009 11:21:15 AM PDT by WOBBLY BOB (ACORN:American Corruption for Obama Right Now)
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To: Shady
... but nobody shot back, (again). You look at these mass killings and nobody in the "crowd" has a weapon. You wonder what's going through their minds as the cower before a lunitic ... does any of them even think ... "geez, I wish I could shoot back?"...or are they still saying "I don't believe in guns!" By not protecting themselves, they are also not protecting others from these lunitics. Cops can't be everywhere ... takes average of 8 minutes for a cop to arrive, and most "shootouts" average 8 seconds. (And a lot of cops aren't good shots anyway :-).

Of course, my statement assumes you are not in a "GUN FREE ZONE" or a "NO CCW PERMIT" situation. When that is so, then the burden should fall upon the government for criminal liability keeping people from defending themselves as guaranteed in the 2nd amendment. Suit should be initiated and people should be paid handsomely for their loss CAUSED by the government not protecting them, as is assumed if they are not allowed to protect themselves.

PS: Goodyear Tire stores are all "Gun Free Zones" ... safer to buy your tires elsewhere.

10 posted on 04/06/2009 11:22:28 AM PDT by DHC-2
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To: serialcrimes
"And remember, taking guns away will not stop such attacks."

To be posted on Huffington Post, Daily Kos, etc...
11 posted on 04/06/2009 11:24:07 AM PDT by Old Teufel Hunden
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To: Tijeras_Slim
If they're liberals, just inconvenience them... that is much worse as far as they're concerned.

Heh. I'm a monster. I like to offend them.

12 posted on 04/06/2009 11:24:43 AM PDT by Knitebane (Happily Microsoft free since 1999.)
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To: serialcrimes

Most often, these killers stalk areas that they know. A school. A workplace...


Gun-Free Zones...

13 posted on 04/06/2009 11:25:42 AM PDT by EdReform (The right of the people to keep and bear Arms shall not be infringed *NRA*JPFO*SAF*GOA*SAS*CCRKBA)
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To: Shady
We now know the shooting, including the Wong-ending bullet, was over in 2-3 minutes....

When seconds matter...the police will be there in minutes. Wong had his plan set in motion the moment he barricaded the back door with his car. He knew the building layout as a frequent visitor for language classes. He knew where to find lots of victims quickly. He wore body armor in anticipation of some resistance. It is reported that he killed himself when the first siren was heard. It was also reported that he spent lots of time at the range prior to the incident. His shooting skills were well polished.

14 posted on 04/06/2009 11:33:12 AM PDT by Myrddin
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To: Joe Brower
I found my own answer as to what a "mass murder" consists of...
Criminal Justice Resources : Serial or Mass Murder
The USA Bureau of Justice Statistics defines a mass murder as "[involving] the murder of four or more victims at one location, within one event."

I can't find anything within the US Bureau of Justice Statistics to substantiate this so a grain of salt is required.

15 posted on 04/06/2009 11:34:50 AM PDT by philman_36 (Pride breakfasted with plenty, dined with poverty, and supped with infamy. Benjamin Franklin)
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To: DHC-2
Interesting side note . . .

Before 9/11, the single biggest "mass murder" incident in New York City involved no guns whatsoever. A total of 87 victims died in the infamous arson fire at the Happyland social club in 1990. The "murder weapon" was a dollar's worth of gasoline and a match.

16 posted on 04/06/2009 11:51:40 AM PDT by Alberta's Child (I'm out on the outskirts of nowhere . . . with ghosts on my trail, chasing me there.)
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To: serialcrimes

***This is when the killers get their weapons and conceptualize the attacks. They rigorously think through how they can kill the highest number of victims in an attempt to get attention and show the world how sad and meaningless ****

If you look at most of the receent killings they were meticulously planned. Body armor, guns, bombs everything well planned.

Now, suppose there was a magic magnet that flew over the US and sucked up EVERY semi auto rifle and pistol.

If you only had a six shot revolver and a lever action rifle could you still kill the same number? Yes, by simple planning.

If you set down in a historical archive you will find mass murders throughout American history.

1755 Pensylvania school house massacre.
1813 school children murdered in Illinois,
1867 school house massacre, Hamilton, Tx
The Spicer family murders

Lots of serial killers back then also.

John Turlow in Washington and Oregon
The deformed Indian of Osage County, Oklahoma.
Queho in Nevada
Ahvote in Nevada.

And Harry Tracy, who with just a lever action Winchester stacked up dead lawmwn like cordwood.


17 posted on 04/06/2009 1:24:55 PM PDT by Ruy Dias de Bivar (14. Guns only have two enemies: rust and politicians.)
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To: serialcrimes

Just for the record, Julio Gonzalez murdered 87 people in 1990 at the HappyLand night club in NYC.

His weapon, a gallon of gasoline and a match.

And then there is 9-11-2001, when 19 men with box cutters murdered 3000 innocent people in NYC.


18 posted on 04/06/2009 1:32:04 PM PDT by Ruy Dias de Bivar (14. Guns only have two enemies: rust and politicians.)
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To: Alberta's Child

D**N! Beat me to it!


19 posted on 04/06/2009 1:33:40 PM PDT by Ruy Dias de Bivar (14. Guns only have two enemies: rust and politicians.)
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To: serialcrimes
Mass killers believe society has been unfair to them and that others receive special treatment. Paranoia takes over their minds. They look around and see vultures everywhere. Everyone is out to get them, and nothing seems to go right in their lives. Everywhere they look, things are bad.

Man, this article just described 98% of the people who post over at the DUmp. Good thing that liberals don't believe in owning / are afraid of owning guns.

20 posted on 04/06/2009 1:48:56 PM PDT by wbill
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To: Joe Brower

Be Ever Vigilant!


21 posted on 04/06/2009 3:28:06 PM PDT by blackie (Be Well~Be Armed~Be Safe~Molon Labe!)
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To: Tijeras_Slim
Hey, my enemies should be destroyed!

If they're liberals, just inconvenience them... that is much worse as far as they're concerned.

Yabbut, liberals are the ones with a sense of entitlement, often overblown self-esteem, and a perennial sense of 'victimhood', coupled with the attitude that nothing is "their fault". Delusional paranoia (BDS) is common as cat crap in a tiger cage.

Sounds like fertile soil for the seeds of violent wacko-dom to me.

If they start showing interest in weapons...

22 posted on 04/06/2009 4:23:15 PM PDT by Smokin' Joe (How often God must weep at humans' folly. Stand fast. God knows what He is doing.)
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To: Smokin' Joe
Yabbut, liberals are the ones with a sense of entitlement, often overblown self-esteem, and a perennial sense of 'victimhood', coupled with the attitude that nothing is "their fault". Delusional paranoia (BDS) is common as cat crap in a tiger cage.

That is exactly the problem. They then project that same attitude to others, with guns.

They just KNOW that anyone with a gun will eventually be that way, because that is how they would end up.

23 posted on 04/07/2009 7:44:11 AM PDT by going hot (Happiness is a momma deuce)
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To: Joe Brower

Be Ever Vigilant!


24 posted on 04/07/2009 10:48:11 AM PDT by blackie (Be Well~Be Armed~Be Safe~Molon Labe!)
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