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Shooting Alone: The Pre-Attack Experiences and Behaviors of US Solo Mass Murderers

NCJ Number
Journal of Forensic Sciences Volume: 62 Issue: 3 Dated: 2017 Pages: 710-714
Paul Gill; James Silver; John Horgan; Emily Corner
Date Published
5 pages
This article reports on a study that outlines the sociodemographic, developmental, antecedent attack, attack preparation, and commission properties of 115 mass murderers between 1990 and 2014.
The findings indicate that mass murderer attacks are usually the culmination of a complex mix of person, political, and social drivers that crystallize at the same time to drive the individual down the path of violent actions. The study focused on areas related to prior criminal engagement, leakage, and attack location familiarity. Whether the violence comes to fruition is usually a combination of the availability and vulnerability of suitable targets that suit the heady mix of personal and political grievances and the individual's capability to engage in an attack from both a psychological and technical capability perspective. Many individual cases share a mixture of unfortunate personal life circumstances coupled with an intensification of beliefs/grievances that later developed into the motivation to engage in violence. (Publisher abstract modified)