Christopher Dorner's body has been identified, but there's some confusion as to what type of killer he actually was. Read More
I can see how it would be useful to make a distinction between a "spree" killing pattern (the killer is mobile, his victims are in different locations from each other, and the killings take place over a few days) and a "mass murder" killing pattern (the killer selects one location and multiple killings take place in under 24 hours.)
Understanding patterns of behavior can help law enforcement strategize the killer's capture more efficiently and with a greater chance of success.
Understanding specific key behavior patterns (or verbalized thought patterns) in individual mental patients may even help psychiatrists (or the parents or spouses of mental patients) recognize "red flag" warning signs, in effect helping those closest to a mental patient intervene proactively, BEFORE their patient or their family member acts on his thoughts, making his fantasies of revenge a reality.
We can only hope.
While we don't seem to have any real insight into Dorner's mindset between his first fill and his last, I agree that signs point to him being a spree killer. Just don't see anything that could be called a cooling off period. It was all one, long suicidal rampage.
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Katherine Ramsland, Ph.D., an expert on murder and other shadow themes, teaches forensic psychology and has published 46 books.
When and how should we open up to loved ones?