Disturbed

Criminal profiling and the deviant mind

Mass Murderers: 'Some People Deserve To Be Killed'

The minds of mass killers

There are different types of mass murderers. Psychotics are out of touch with reality, but the psychopaths know exactly what they are doing. Though both are equally deadly, the psychopath is usually the most feared of these killers. Psychopaths plan and do their best to target specific people. That means if you have wronged this individual, then you are on the menu.

The golden rule to the public is if you see something, say something. That is, if you notice warning signals, you should speak up and notify authorities. However, when it comes to psychopathic mass murderers, few people do.

A psychopath is fully in touch with reality and plans murders carefully. These are the people who know exactly what they are doing and want to inflict as much damage as possible. With no remorse, they are free to do as they please. Being the narcissists that they are, mass killers make everything about them. The entire killing is meant to highlight the wrong that has been done to them while at the same time punishing those responsible.

When you look at motivation, you find that what lies at the heart of their anger is victimization. Whether real or imagined, the psychopathic mass killer believes that he or she has been ruined in some way. Some lost their careers. Others lost relationships. Some feel victimized by the government. In any event, they lost something very near and dear to them. In their eyes, they were ruined, and a ruined person is a dangerous person. Think of a wounded, cornered animal. What do they do? They lash out from their pain and fear. This, of course, makes them less predictable and more lethal.

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In the world of profiling, we usually say that psychopaths are more traceable. In short, they follow easy to see patterns. This is true in mass murder; however, there is a twist here. While psychopaths are very meticulous in how they go about killing, those who go down the road to mass murder are especially careful to avoid detection. They know they can easily get on the radar, so they take steps to stay just below it. They see the writing on the wall which to them spells the end. Accordingly, they scheme in a way to hide as much as they can.

But their anger leeches out; they can’t help it. When you hate something or someone that much, it is bound to show. Little bits here and there come out. They may make cutting comments about their targets or even out and out make a threat. Yet when they do, the killers pretend it was simply a bad day or a joke. They do their best to reassure those who may be suspicious. If that doesn’t work, then they threaten. In both cases, they tend to be effective in quieting people they may have upset.

So the problem is that in most of these cases, there are people who know about the killers’ plans but say nothing. Out of fear or denial, they stay silent. It is easier not to get involved as the public has become increasingly detached. Our society has turned very selfish, and few will stick their necks out to save others. As long as it is not them, then they will look away. This naturally is devastating because the killers are free to move about and get closer to their targets.

I’ve interviewed several mass murders on Death Row. They were strikingly the same in how they viewed people and what they said about their crimes. Some of the more interesting quotes were:

-You’re not going to live while I die.

-You pushed me too far, and now you are going to pay.

-I’m going to hurt you, and there is nothing you can do about it.

-You can’t think you can kill me and ride off into the sunset.

-Some people deserve to be killed

From those statements you can see the common thread. They are saying they’ve been hurt at such a core level that the only recourse they can see is murder. It also is clear that they want their victims and the public to feel fear. After all, how many hidden killers are out there muttering these very words right now? Does it make you want to look over your shoulder? Are you sure you haven’t done something horrible to someone? Are you next on the list? Will your past behavior come back to haunt you?

This is what is so frightening about these killers. There are a lot of people out there who can look back and secretly admit they did someone really wrong. That very well could mean you have a target on your back. Knowing this instills fear, which is what these offenders want.

Don’t ever underestimate the desire to kill when someone is full of rage and despair. When you pair those two things together, look out. If someone thinks that there is no future and his or her life is full of nothing but pain, then violence is a very likely scenario. It may not rise to the level of mass murder, but these factors fuel many assaults and murders. For those with a propensity toward psychopathy, rage and despair often equals murder.

Too many people are at a loss to understand such killings. They can’t comprehend the deep pitted hatred that fills the black hearts of these multiple murderers. A shooting or mass event shocks the public which doesn’t spend its time dreaming of murder. However these killers do just that. Every waking moment is focused on their deviant desires. By rote, they practice over and over in their minds how they will destroy as much life as possible. They live and breathe an inevitable revenge. Fueled by continuous anger, they prepare for their destiny. That is how they see it. Every mass killer I interviewed said they always knew they would kill. In a way it is a self fulfilling prophecy.

Whatever method they choose to execute their plan, they practice ad nauseum. They go to the location they want to attack. Once there, they watch. They want to memorize the patterns of the people at the location. They want to see who is there and where they go. What is normal for this area? Yes, killers profile too. They need those patterns so they can predict the behavior of their targets. When they can anticipate how a victim will react, they can cut off escape routes.

Weapons are obtained, and very often, they tell someone of their goal. Though they are deadly serious, the threat is blown off. People have a hard time believing that this person could do such a thing. Or, the person is too frightened to say a word. Thus, the behavior and words do not get reported. And the plan continues.

Can you stop them? The honest answer is: sometimes. Sometimes you can stop them before they act out. But these are your clever, anger, revenge driven killers. You can’t get revenge if you announce it to the world. They try to keep to themselves and contain their hatred until they lash out big time. Prior to that, they mask their behavior and intentions to keep you from finding them out.

Once the deed is done, their only regret is that they could not torture their victims and make them suffer more. Remorse is foreign to them. They have none of it and would gladly kill again.People often ask why the murderers don't just kill themselves. Why do they have to take so many lives?

The reality is, if you wonder why they don’t just kill themselves, then you really don’t understand them. The whole point is to crush as many people as possible, to destroy them as the killer has been destroyed. The more victims, the more people left behind in misery. The plan is like a spider web of destruction. Little lines go out everywhere to hit their mark. The media becomes alarmed. The public is shocked. Family and friends are left behind. Fear sets in when people realize that no one is truly safe. This is mission accomplished for the mass murderer.

Researchers have used PET scans, functional MRI, and other head scans to help determine what damage to the brain could be correlated to this violent behavior. We have looked into their backgrounds and found commonalities. Chemical imbalances have been examined. Yet, still, no one can predict with one hundred percent certainty who will become a mass murderer. That is because the mass murderer is a wild card. He or she acts in one event, making it very difficult to stop.

These killers have their agendas and will do anything to make their fantasy into a reality. Woe to the person who stands in their way. At least that is how they think. The destruction will take place. It is simply a matter of when and where. Our best bet to stop these offenders is to encourage people to come forward if they know about such plans for violence. Eyes and ears on the street can identify risk. If you have heard someone make threats, please tell authorities. Don’t think your information is too insignificant. You may think that you cannot make a difference, but in cases like these, you absolutely can.

Remember, these killers are out there just waiting for their chance. If you know someone planning mass murder, don't let them have the opportunity. Come forward and say what you know. 

Deborah Schurman-Kauflin, Ph.D., is a criminal profiler and expert on serial crimes.

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