Monthly Archives: July 2013

Inside the Mind of a Mass Killer

The HOPE Columbine Memorial Library that replaced the library where most of the massacre took place. (PHOTO: BIGMAC/WIKIMEDIA COMMONS)

The HOPE Columbine Memorial Library that replaced the library where most of the massacre took place. (PHOTO: BIGMAC/WIKIMEDIA COMMONS)

In trying to understand the actions of a mass murderer, our instinct is to grasp blindly for answers, settling on one that feels right. Setting aside the debate over access to guns, this often comes down to a lay diagnosis that the shooter was probably a psychopath—cold, unfeeling, heartless.

A new analysis of the writings of three mass killers and one would-be mass killer, comes to a very different conclusion. A trio of University of British Columbia psychologists led by Donald Dutton report the gunmen appear to have suffered from an intense form of paranoia.