Essential Reads

Inside the Mind of a School Shooter

A Case Study of Triunal Rigidity

An Open Letter to the President from a Forensic Psychologist

Reflections on our mass shooting epidemic.

Oregon Murders and Risk Factors for Mass Shootings


Inside The Mind of the Mass Killer

Can psychology prevent killers such as Oregon gunman Chris Harper Mercer?

Recent Posts on Law and Crime

Inside the Mind of a School Shooter

What may cause a person to become a school shooter is when his mind becomes so disorganized that the three brains that make up his triune brain react by becoming "locked and loaded" and focused on a mission to get in and get even with a world that caused him to feel put down and pushed away.

Radicalized Islamic Youth

By Paul Rhodes Ph.D. on October 06, 2015 Post Clinical
Why we need socioculturally-informed community-based intervention for radicalized young people.

The 5 Core Skills Of Hostage Negotiators

By Jeff Thompson, Ph.D. on October 05, 2015 Beyond Words
Learn the five core skills taught to law enforcement hostage negotiators and apply them to your next crisis situation at work or home in order to get what you want. Sure police crisis incidents are much different but the underlying similarity is emotions dictate people's actions when they are in crisis. Therefore, these are five skills that you will be able to use too.

Ten WHYS? (Agonizing, Infuriating, Shameful), and One WHEN?!

The United States is an outlier among Western nations in their healthcare, preschool education, and other social programs, but the most glaring, humiliating way we stand out is in terms of the sheer numbers of privately owned weapons we harbor, and the extraordinary numbers of shooting victims in homes and public places, especially in schools.

An Open Letter to the President from a Forensic Psychologist

By Stephen A Diamond Ph.D. on October 04, 2015 Evil Deeds
Dear Mr. President....As a forensic psychologist and an American, I empathize with your profound frustration, pain, sadness, disgust and anger regarding the most recent mass shooting on the campus of Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, Oregon this week.

The Psychology of Guns

By Joe Pierre M.D. on October 04, 2015 Psych Unseen
If meaningful gun reform is to ever occur, legislation much acknowledge the beliefs of the Americans who own guns.

Christopher Harper-Mercer fits the profile

By Clark McCauley Ph.D. on October 03, 2015 Friction
Could we have predicted violence from Christopher Harper-Mercer?

Oregon Murders and Risk Factors for Mass Shootings

There are clear psychological, biological and situational risk factors for mass shootings. Greater public awareness of what they are can help us figure out preventions.

Inside The Mind of the Mass Killer

Knoll wonders if the true solution to mass murder might involve a three pronged approach - better media responsibility over reporting these incidents, tighter gun regulation and improved mental health services.

Social Engineer Gun Violence or Accept the Consequences.

We have made the country safer by socially engineering car safety as well as other issues related to smoking, vaccinations, and various consumer protections. Other developed countries have much better track records regarding gun safety than we do. Perhaps taking a page from their playbook isn’t such a bad idea if we have the will to do so.

A Profile of Oregon's Pseudocommando Killer

Dr. Park Dietz has identified three types of mass murderers—family annihilators, pseudocommandos, and set-and-run killers. The killer who targeted people at Umpqua Community College was a classic pseudocommando.

Rampage as a Team Instinct

By Kirby Farrell Ph.D. on October 01, 2015 A Swim in Denial
Humans have evolved powerful social bonding that shows up in group rivalry and team spirit. In civilization, where strangers can live together, the lethal competition of warfare is safely symbolized in team sports such as football. In rampage killing, as in the Roseburg Oregon massacre, that symbolic quality breaks down.

Antidepressants and Violence: A Link in Search of a Cause

A controversial study links higher youth crime rates with antidepressant use. Before making broad conclusions, however, it’s worth reading the fine print.

The Tipping Point and the Serial Killer

By Katherine Ramsland Ph.D. on September 29, 2015 Shadow Boxing
What's it like to befriend a serial killer? Martha Elliott offers her no-holds-barred account.

Dangerous Daydreams

What do future serial killers think about before they kill someone? In the beginning, not much more than many traumatized children.

Is This the Kind of Country We Want to Be?

By Allen J Frances M.D. on September 28, 2015 Saving Normal
"Fraud, Theft, Waste and Private Profits: The Fate of Money Intended to Treat People With Serious Mental Illness” is an shocking report exposing a disastrous misallocation of resources that leads to shameful neglect, avoidable imprisonment, and massive homelessness.

The Pope Would Like H.R. 2646

Whether Pope Francis’ visit is a pastoral one or a political one, his messages of inclusiveness and humanity must be heeded. It’s long past time to demand that our federal legislators pay attention to the needs of citizens with serious mental illness.

Who is responsible for violent dreams?

By Patrick McNamara Ph.D. on September 26, 2015 Dream Catcher
Mental content of dreams can sometimes perfectly coincide with mental content of overt behavioral acts and that fact can raise thorny legal and philosophical issues.

Total Mind Control, Possible?

In the dark and sinister underworld of spies and madmen many things are possible. So, has hypnosis been used to program people to do something illegal or even diabolical?

Art Therapy With Sex Offenders: Exposing the Fragile Self

By David Gussak Ph.D., ATR-BC on September 24, 2015 Art on Trial
Guest blogger Cindy Chen focuses on the challenges of using art therapy with sex offenders to identify treatment barriers, build alliances and establish resiliency, and even to work with her own counter-transferential issues.

The Sex Offender Next Door: Why Reintegration Helps

Ex-offenders are less likely to re-offend if there are people who will support their recovery.

Caution: Releasing "Non-Violent" Offenders

How much do we really known about offenders who may be turned loose?

The Zodiac and Other Thrill Killers

By Scott A. Bonn Ph.D. on September 21, 2015 Wicked Deeds
Thrill killers like the Zodiac are perfectionists and often have narcissistic personalities. Such traits may drive them to pursue the goal of a perfect murder. Their motive is to induce pain or terror in victims prior to killing them. Victims are generally strangers but the killer may stalk them for a period of time before the attack to fuel the the excitement of the hunt.

Rewarding Executive Incompetence

By Ken Eisold Ph.D. on September 20, 2015 Hidden Motives
Researchers at Notre Dame’s business school “have found a correlation between generous option grants and the incidence of serious product recalls.” How could that be?

The Hero Round Table With Phil Zimbardo: Prepare for Heroism

At the Hero Round Table conference, Dr. Phil Zimbardo explains how to become heroic. How does a person prepare for heroism? Heroism, according to Zimbardo, is positive deviance. What distinguishes the reactive hero from the reflective hero? How do bystanders stop standing by? And what does wearing orange pants have to do with standing up, speaking, out, and taking action?

Rehabilitation Benefits Young Offenders

Should youth be put in solitary confinement? The evidence suggests not.

Understanding the School-to-Prison Pipeline

By Jamie Zibulsky Ph.D. on September 16, 2015 Book Smart
At first, when I would look through the school records of a troubled 15-year-old and see notes on his report cards as far back as kindergarten that said, “Please be sure to practice reading at home every night,” I would feel like a clever detective. Over time though, I realized that almost every student I was working with had notes like that in their school files.

Mental Illness Does Not Equal Dangerous, Mostly

By Carrie Barron M.D. on September 14, 2015 The Creativity Cure
There are many different kinds of mental illness and most people with these conditions are not dangerous. However a certain mix of psychological ailments combined with other known risk factors can be a set up for violent crime. If we can clear up the misunderstandings we will be in a better position to predict and protect.

Harsh Justice

By Michael Cholbi Ph.D. on September 13, 2015 Ethics in Question
It seems natural to think that the harsher the punishment, the more it will deter crime. But some recent studies suggest that isn't the case. Here some tools from economics and philosophy are used to explore why.

Shattered Families: Collapse of our Mental Health System

By Stephen Seager M.D. on September 13, 2015 BrainTalk
For those with serious mental illness, our care system has totally collapsed.