Evil Deeds

A forensic psychologist on anger, madness and destructive behavior.

Race, Rage & Revenge: Forensic Commentary on the Dorner Case

Can racial discrimination create mass murderers? Read More

Good article

No, discrimination of any kind doesn't create mass murderers. It may be blamed as the trigger, but it's absurd to think there can be 7 billion people on the planet, and these small handful are the only ones to suffer the indignity of those slings and arrows.

The real trouble comes from hoarding those barbs, and wiggling them, and making sure they still hurt and the pus still runs. Wouldn't want to pluck them out and risk healing.

Race not the issue here.

This really isn't, or shouldn't be, a post about race. If 'race' was the main thing here (or in our society), you'd have seen a whole lot more blacks commit mass murder, everyday.

Just to be clear...most 'mass murders' are committed by whites, or, as we know, foreign extremists. Blacks may unfortunately do the neighborhood-shoot thing all too often, but when you hear 'mass murderer' in the US, first think white.

I hope that somebody--CNN, Robin Sax or whomever--follows up with investigating Dorner's claim because it sounds like he was an upright guy in many ways. He loved his work and saw a clear line between right and wrong (maybe too hard a line). He felt he was wrongly fired for reporting (if true) a rogue cop who kicked/abused a detainee.

I don't usually feel sorry for murderers, but I do hurt for Chris Dorner. Getting fired broke his spirit because he LOVED his work---you can see it in his smiles.

His getting fired broke him and he wanted his name back; and we all have our breaking points.

I hate, however, that he took the route he did in order to reclaim it. But I do hope the info comes to light.

You shouldn't feel sorry for

You shouldn't feel sorry for this guy. He's a killer. Simple as that. He took the lives of four innocent people. Why? Because people call him names? Because he was wrongfully fired. Alot of us have been through that. Myself included. But we don't killing because of it. It's tough when those things happen, but all you can do is put it behind you and move on. He was hoping someday to have his name cleared, but he will always be known as a murderer.

Nice Analysis Mr. Diamond.

Nice Analysis Mr. Diamond. One thing strikes me. The article references ten other criminal cases (Christopher Dorner, Colin Ferguson, James Holmes, Charles Manson, Ted Kaczynski, Adam Lanza, David Koresh, Tim McVeigh, Anders Breivik, Seung-Hui Cho).

The perpetrators in these cases have different character structures. Different character types have dissimilar emotional struggles and they tend to commit crime with different motivation in different way. When you compare Christopher Dorner to Anders Breivik you are comparing an apple to a banana. Other forensic experts often fall into this trap (Ramsland, Navarro etc.).

In my opinion criminal cases are comparable when the character type of the perpetrators are identical. When you have a set of criminal case with the same character type you will be able to derive valuable information about their thinking pattern and behavior.

You are on the right track when you evaluate Christopher Dorner, Colin Ferguson and Charles Manson together. Each of them have narcissistic traits. I would like add Nidal Malik Hasan to this set. The other perpetrators mentioned in the article have different character types. Those are completely different stories.

I wonder whether law enforcements have experts who can read character types quickly and accurately. The FBI must have some of these people.

I'm curious

how you see Dorner/Breivik as apple/banana. Both exhibit a high degree of narcissism, think they have a right to kill people who have nothing to do with their perceived wrongs in order to right those wrongs, both used guns, killed multiple people and made excuses for it.

How would you have law enforcement "read character types quickly and accurately"? It's not carved on their foreheads. The ones that leave written justifications can be read from their writings and all of them can be read from their actions, but that's usually *after* the fact, not before.

Dorner and Breivik are like

Dorner and Breivik are like an apple and a banana.
These perpetrators have different personality structures. Their lifestyle, thinking pattern, motivation, strengths and weaknesses are different. A better way to understand this subject is to study the works of T. Millon and M. Stone. For Breivik case the works of R. Hare and H. Ceckley are relevant.

How would you have law enforcement "read character types quickly and accurately"? Law enforcement agencies must have crisis centers supported with type experts who can evaluate the perpetrators in real-time if necessary.

In my opinion it is relatively easy to read character types quickly and accurately but it impossible to predict who will commit crime and when. Certain personality subtypes represent higher risk. Unfortunately this does not help in prevention.

Criminals have the advantage to make the first move, law enforcement makes it the last one.

If you recognize

that law enforcement can't act before the criminal, and that character assessment does not equate to predictability of violence, then the character assessment becomes both a moot point and a civil rights problem. Observe the current outcry over illegal immigrants howling that profiling is "unfair". They're ILLEGAL, have already broken the law, and it's still somehow "unfair" to profile them.

How much more "unfair" to profile someone, decide they are a mass murder risk, and just lock them up and shove meds down their throats? I don't think it will fly.

Once the criminal starts acting, law enforcement can do its thing and it's usually over with pretty quickly; just not quickly enough for the victims.

racial discrimination as a subset of more general factor

I think that racial discrimination (as a motive or factor for mass murder) could be considered a subset of a more general causative factor: the sense of having been wronged, having been denied justice, and the sense that one has the right to seek revenge or get justice in whatever way presents itself.

Those who commit mass murders or spree murders all seem to have that feeling that their acts are *justified*, that they are just making "justice" happen for themselves.

Feeling wronged: rejected and disrespected, was apparently a major precipitating factor with Adam Lanza (Connecticut elementary school shooter), John Holmes (the "Batman" movie theater shooter) and the two Columbine high school shooters, as well as being a major factor RE Christopher Dorner.

I think this feeling of justification to wreak vengeance for *perceived* wrongs, injustices, or grievances is called the "talionic impulse."

Those who have personality disorders, particularly borderline pd, and those who have paranoid ideation or have fixed delusional modes of thinking tend to perceive or interpret slights, insults and injustices aimed at them where none exist, or none were intended.

"In the case of those with borderline pd, NO amount of justice-seeking, retribution and/or revenge or punishment meted out will atone or make up for the huge, gaping HOLE in the psyche of the individual with BPD, that is the core wound of abandonment and its legacy." from "Punishment & Revenge in BPD" by A. J. Mahari 2009.

I think the general public needs more information about the psychological history and diagnoses of the various mass murderers, and of other criminals like this Castro guy who kidnapped and held three women captive for 10 years.

Me personally, I'm willing to bet that each of these perpetrator individuals have (or had) some form of Cluster B personality disorder (including psychopathy) *in combination with* some form of psychotic disorder.

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Stephen Diamond, Ph.D., is a clinical and forensic psychologist in LA and the author of Anger, Madness, and the Daimonic: The Psychological Genesis of Violence, Evil, and Creativity.

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