The mind of the mass killer

Take someone who is mentally ill/unhinged, add rage, and paranoia, then weaponize this individual, and you’ve got a murderer/mass murderer on your hands.

The “rage + paranoia” is a highly incendiary combination. In these mass murders it strikes me that “paranoia” is almost surely present and necessary—the murderous individual believes that it’s “him against a world” that has “screwed him over,” the world (and everyone in it) becoming a global, generalized “object” and “target” of his violent contempt and rage.

His is a worldview in which he is the “outsider” and everyone else is “on the inside;” in his paranoia, immaturity and narcissism, he has divided the world into these rigid categories—himself on the “outside,” and everyone else “on the inside” (literally and figuratively “on the inside”); the latter become “fair game” for the vengeance he has accumulated and the plans he incubates to ventilate it.

This is how innocent people, and small children, seemingly inexplicably get lopped into the vortex of his rage: as members of the “inside,” everyone in his warped mind becomes a “target”–a generalized, deserving target of his hatred (again, by virtue of merely being “on the inside,” where he, alone, is not.)

I worked for two years, weekly, with a client who, two years after I last saw him at the community mental health center where I worked, gunned down seven children at a hotel swimming pool. He had been full of rage, paranoia and was mentally unhinged. He found himself some weapons, big surprise, with perverse ease. Having weaponized himself, he went to town and shattered the lives of these innocent kids and their families.

He was on the “outside,” perceiving himself to be alone there; where the world, and everyone in it, had it easy, he perceived himself as a “victim,” as an “outsider,” as not belonging, as ignored and persecuted; blatant paranoia and delusions warped his thinking terribly; his rage was chronic and rose as implacably as flood-waters, becoming uncontainable.

Finally, easy access to weapons was the final stage of what, in retrospect, seemed an almost inevitable outcome.

(This article is copyrighted (c) 2012 by Steve Becker, LCSW.) 




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40 Comments on "The mind of the mass killer"

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I dont agree at all with the “easy weapons” bit. and here’s why.
folks, a gun is a tool. it can be used responsibly. and they usually are..even as a tool in war, those with conscience avoid using them on civilians or non combatants. if there were no guns, these disordered folks would find a baseball bat or a piece of rope etc. always remember how driven they are. it is the individual holding the weapon who pulls the trigger. the gun didn’t do it.
furthermore, if we were to take away all the guns from society, there would still be the military. and they are controlled by the most powerful group of liars and disordered we know. our government. we throw the same disillusion at our politicians as we do at these maniacal killers only we ask different questions such as “how can they lie to us?’. I am shocked by our nations debt and the insane belief by a large portion of us that BELIEVE the govt. can and will provide for us under these circumstances.

Steve, good heavens, how horrible. Thank you for posting this professional experience and I am so sorry that this happened.

As a mental health professional, I would really like to read your views on the obvious symptoms of this type of paranoia, how it’s generally addressed, and if you see any methods of preventing the “inevitable outcome” in cases like this.

To me, it seems that there is really no method to manage the dangerously disturbed. In the case of my own eldest son, he’s violent, reclusive, manipulative, and (IMHO) very, very dangerous. In 2004, he was diagnosed by military psychiatrists with Borderline Personality Disorder Cluster B. He is also armed and I have contacted numerous agencies with regard to these facts. The answer has ALWAYS been, “Until something happens, our hands are tied.”

So, I’ve kept all of the documentation with regard to his diagnosis, and other evidence for lo, these many years. I am fearful that he will, indeed, go on a rampage in a fit of rage, one day. When the shootings at VA Tech occurred, I spent the entire day attempting to track down my son to find out if he had been involved – he lives near VA Tech.

What options does a concerned and conscientious parent have when they are fearful for their disordered children?

Again, thank you for sharing your professional experience in this matter. I imagine that it’s been a difficult one to process.

Brightest blessings

EDIT ADD: I don’t feel that this is the appropriate time or place to discuss gun control. I feel that sorting out disorders and engaging in “people control” is a far more appropriate focus. Just my 2 cents.


I, like you, have no belief that anyone hears me “crying in the wilderness like John The Baptist” or believes a word I say about how dangerous my son Patrick is EVEN THOUGH HE HAS ALREADY KILLED ONE GIRL and as NEVER HONORED ANY CONDITIONAL RELEASE, PROBATION OR PAROLE.

Though “the best indicator of future behavior is past behavior” and his past behavior has been violent and criminal, even in prison it continued to be criminal….the parole board wants to decrease prison populations.

Here iin Arkansas they cut down the number of NEW prisoners by DECRIMINALIZING all robberies less than $1000. It used too be a felony to steal a GUN, any gun, now it is ONLY if it is worth more than $1000, and most guns are NOT worth that, so gun theft is essentially NO LONGER A FELONY. All the guns in my house total are not worth $1000 so it wouldn’t even be a felony to steal them all. NO prison time. Before, if someone stole my grandpa;s old squirrel gun, worth about $20, it was a FELONY, but not now. And prison population is dropping because of fewer people going in in my state.

The state can say “CRIME IS DOWN!!! FEWER FELONIES COMMITTED IN ARKANSAS, FILM AT 6:00” yea right. Just quit calling it a crime to steal and theft is no longer a crime. Less arrests, less paper work, and less people in prison. Works for my state.

I agree with your comment above: “I don’t feel that this is the appropriate time or place to discuss gun control. I feel that sorting out disorders and engaging in “people control” is a far more appropriate focus. Just my 2 cents. “

I am so sorry for you to have had such an experience with such a client. I think you are spot on about the rage these type feel and exhibit. Whether the rage comes from only disorder or whether it comes from history of constant invalidation and abuse, the rage is real and constant. I agree it is a THEM vs VICTIM rage.

I don’t know if you intend to imply that the Sandy Hook murderer is the same but I am thinking while terribly sad and tragic, there are facts that have yet to come out. Just knowing that Adam smashed all the hard drives on his computers tells me that he was able to process extrapolation to the future. I think the questions, what makes a ticking time bomb vs where are the rights of a person who has yet to commit a crime are the Flustrating questions we all ask, flustrating b/c we can all see the travesties done.

EDIT ADD: Like others, I agree this is not the venue to discuss gun control. I will say for 50 years I was VERY afraid of guns and people who carry guns, that is until I took gun classes. Now I understand and I am no longer afraid of ANY guns or those who use/carry them.

Oxy, I have kept the physical evidence and documentation with regard to my eldest son because, GOD FORBID, the day that I hear a knock at my door and am required to hear from the mouth of some law enforcement individual that my son has committed the worst crime imaginable, I can hand this pile of 4 lb of documentation to them and say, “I TRIED to tell people that he was a danger, and nobody heard the words.”

Oxy, I do not want my eldest son to be disordered. I do not want his violent tendencies to ever manifest themselves in the worst crime imaginable. I do not want to believe that my son is dangerous. No parent wants to accept these truths. But, my son IS disordered, he HAS been diagnosed, he HAS attempted to choke a pregnant ex-wife to death in a rage, and, he IS in possession of firearms. And, there is nothing more that I can do as a parent or citizen to warn any agency or individual that he is, indeed, dangerous.

I feel very impotent in this matter. I feel an almost desperate inevitability that my son will, in due time, really inflict irrevocable harm on someone in a fit of rage. His father often threatened to kill our children, murder me, and then commit suicide – and, I believe that he might have followed through with his threats if I had not finally left him. This is clearly a situation of genetics PLUS environment PLUS a dangerously disordered adult, and the only response for my concerns was “tsk, tsk, this is your own SON that you’re talking about.”

WTF?! It’s the worst feeling that I can think of, Oxy. To know that my son is dangerous and to have no means to protect society from his violent nature.

Brightest blessings


The FIRST thing my son did when he got out of prison was to secure a GUN. It was a FELONY for him to even be in control of one, much less to OWN one.

He obtained this gun ILLEGALLY and committed a FELONY in doing so.

He did not try to hide the fact he had it. In fact, one of his ex convict friends who was questioned by the police said that he constantly played with it, jacking rounds back in and out of the chamber of this semi automatic pistol.

He even told some of his friends e intended to kill Jessica and WHY (she had ratted hiim out) told them “Sunday or Monday” and asked where thhey thought a good place to hide the body might be.

THEY DID NOT WARN JESSICA…WHY? Because they didn’t believe him? thought it was just “big talk”??? or was it because they didn’t care? One “friend” said he was AFRAID of Patrick. Maybe FEAR is why they didn’t warn Jessica. But I wonder if they HAD warned her if she would have believed them?

Yes, Patrick is FILLED with rage when he doesn’t get his own way, just like my P sperm donor was. No tolerance for frustration or being thwarted.

Our system of laws and our constitutional freedom hampers some “people control” because until a crime has been done, you can’t put someone in jail for it. However, there are some “three strikes” laws in many states in fact, but it is rarely enforced…there are only about 4-5,000 people sentenced to life without parole for frequent felonies and believe me I know many that qualify and should be in prison FOREVER but the “plea bargaining” and so on that goes on to keep the “system” going actually I think subverts real JUSTICE.

I have a brother. When I was little, he’d chase me around the house, shooting his bb gun at me. I was terrified. He was sexual abused by my pedophile father. My mother, who hated men, would put him in dresses and ridicule him, taking him to town in his dresses. Took pictures of him. My mother would beat the shit out of us, on a whim. She vented whenever she felt flustrated or angry. She liked to beat until she ran out of energy, liked the blood running. She did it to me, and many times she beat him the same intensity. When he was in third grade, he started playing with matches, started many fires, burned the corn cob pile, burned down two barns. We had to move. He tortured animals, pulled feathes out of birds, skinned kittens. My cat disappeared and I did not get another b/c I was sure he killed her. He wet the bed, and was ridiculed at school. They called him Peewater. He was a very angry teenager. When I was 17, my mom moved to another state and did not tell me. He moved with her. So I lost touch until he graduated and wanted me to give him a present. He demanded b/c he said I owed him b/c I had a very good job and he didn’t. He married at 18, and immediately had kids, they had 9 kids in 7 years.

Anyone want to predict what my brother did? (I will answer in a post later.) Do you think, based on genes and nurturing, that he should be one of those isolated and housed to protect society?

Hi KatyDid,

The ‘obvious’ answer is your brother is now a menace to his family and society. I have a feeling you may tell us otherwise.

Not everyone who is abused becomes an abuser…not every child who does awful things turns out to be a monster…

Not every child who has a nurturing, loving family turns out well…my son is a perfect example of a child with many GOOD tings who became a monster.

Unfortunately PREDICTION is limited to crystal balls and God…but the BEST INDICATOR OF FUTURE BEHAVIOR IS PAST BEHAVIOR so my son and those like him who have shown they are violent to other humans should be kept locked up.

You’d be right. When I was younger I would have expected my brother to be a mass murderer. He was DISconnected. He still is. He thinks whatever he decides is RIGHT. I can’t stand him. He’s this huge fat blob, gapped/missing teeth, eating junk food, watching tv, playing his video games. Over sexed (don’t think that part works anymore). Yet, he didn’t cross over into crimes, no more animal torture. Doesn’t even hunt. So WHY didn’t he? (personally I think he’s too lazy.) He is the epitome of the definition that turns into a predatory sociopath. Yet, he’s in his 50’s and since he hasn’t started yet, I don’t think it likely. He’s a pig, he lets his kids take care of him. He’s an ASS and he’s disgusting but he’s not in the realm of EVIL. Thus my issue with people screaming to screen and isolate people by definitions. People like him are the reason why cops say they can’t arrest people BEFORE they commit a crime, even if WE say they are dangerous.

Oxy makes a GREAT point, about her son showing the depth of his psychopathy and why LIFE should be LIFE. Thus I mailed my letter Monday 17 Dec, and her attorney should have it by today. I’m betting her son will eventually get released and his next victims family will be asking WHY couldn’t anyone predict his crime and keep him in prison.

SOME people CAN be predicted, likely to kill based on past behavior. Some can’t be predicted b/c what gets done TO people doesn’t mean they automatically BECOME. And SOME stuff is boy stuff, like picking on small critters and being fascinated by fire – SO typical of country boys.

There are no words to express my deep sadness.
Our love and prayers are with you Sandy Hook.


Katydid, When I was little my older brother thought it would be fun to see how close he could shoot at my head with his bb gun without actually hitting me, well I stood up against the wall and got shot in the ear. My brother isnt a mass murderer but he did turn out to be an asshole.
IMO if a hunter cant hit a deere with one or two shot’s he better just go home for the day. Hunter’s dont need machine gun’s….but then again when we live in a world where gun’s are made to kill masse’s of people..we live in a fucked up world,.

MoonDancer my dearest cyber sweetheart,
I am a country girl. If a guy can’t drop a deer with a bow, he’s not much of a hunter. Yer right, a hunter doesn’t need a machine gun in order to get his own meat. But my weapon that I use for personal protection has ammo to do the most damage on a wide spread. It means I don’t have to depend on perfect aim to kill the person attacking me. It is the ammo that people want to take away from me. So I stocked up. ps I will say I am more afraid of my government than I am of a LEGAL gun owner. How many people do not know yet that the police do NOT HAVE to answer a 911 call, it is up to their DISCRETION.

Yer right. We live in a phkd world. But it has ALWAYS been so. MAD WORLD. Adam Lambert. Youtube it. pps. Hope yer brother married my sister. THAT would be divine justice for BOTH of them.

KatyDid, thanks for the letter…I hope that he never gets out but you are right, 99% of them DO get out at some point in time. I will keep him in as long as I can, but it is not up to me, unfortunately.

I just have to keep as much pressure on the politically appointed parole board and hope that they will try to cover their own arses by keeping him in prison. Maybe the letters from all over the world protesting his parole will make them think that if they let him out and he does try to kill me, or does kill me, that they will face an international hew and cry. But you never know, I just think about the judge that let Dr. Amy Castillo’s x husband have unsupervised visits with her kids after threatening to kill them, and HE DID KILL THEM. What happened to that judge? Is he still on the bench? Can he sleep at night? I hope he has the fleas of 1000 camels in his crotch for the rest of his miserable life and I hope there is a hot spot in hell for him. Unfortunately, there are more incidents of that kind of thing than we realize until we start to look at it.

I am just doing what I can to keep myself and my sons safe…and I too sleep with a gun near by head and one in every room of the house, and a trained guard dog by my bed (as long as she lives then I’ll get another dog) and if the day comes that he or one of his friends comes to my door, I will do what I have to do. You can only back a badger so far back into its hole before it comes out fighting, tooth and claw. I’ve backed down as far as I intend to go.

I do wonder how people can live with themselves when their actions freed the person who murdered the innocent, the person that others BEGGED to be protected from. For the few cases I’ve heard, they rationalize. I do agree with you Oxy, about backing a badger back into it’s hole. I realized when I had nothing left to lose that anyone (my husband or anyone he sends) who comes on my property to harm me will find themselves in more danger FROM ME. I don’t have a guard dog but I do have a sensitive dog who runs to me for protection. That’s all I need to go on alert.

I have my 3 wiener alarm system ~! Nobody can come on this place that I dont know about it. If they can get past that and my shotgun they can have what ever they want. I will even help em load it up.

I wish all Patrick wanted was money or stuff….but this old badger is backed as far down her hole as she intends to go…so I hope he doesn’t stick his nose in the opening to see what’s there. LOL

if enough people back you up with letters, he won’t see the light of day for a long time.

Furthermore, this could be another opportunity to get media attention on the problem of psychopathy. Your son was actually diagnosed as anti-social, right? The timing is right, unfortunately, because of the recent infanticide/matricide.


I am hoping you are right! I have written and re-written my own letter over and over….and re-re-re-written, and I don’t know how to approach it. I don’t want to “tell the same story” over and over, I want to put something PERSONAL in it…yet some how I seem to end up retelling the story over and over….and maybe I will just start from scratch and tell it from the point of view of Alan Lanza’s DEAD mother…

Rather than try to educate the parole board about ASPD so much, and quoting Hare and Cleckly etc, as in just looking at it from the point of view of the mother who tried to get her son “help” when there was NO help for him and look at what happened. While last time I focused on educating the board about psychopaths, this time I may just focus on the school shooting and the MOTHER who cried out for help and no one listened. Apparently she DID try to get him help, and when there was none forthcoming she tried to take care of him herself and look what happened.

I can’t imagine being a professional who dealt with one of these mass murderers prior to their attack. It would be so difficult and a load to carry. On many levels the cards are stacked against help for the people who need it. They themselves hinder help for them.

I am frustrated with those who don’t believe in true evil. Dr. Drew is a voice that from what I am seeing, is more trouble than help. He’s nice and all but he’s in denial about what humans are capable of and he’s still believing those false teachings we have overcome like “everyone’s good deep down inside” or “with the love these people never got they can change”. I really see him as reckless but wanting to do good.

This is why this website is so essential for getting the word out. I fear the overreaction now that everyone is standing at attention from what this guy did to those kids.

As far as the guns go, I am glad I know what weapons are being used. I FEAR guns being taken away as I can totally see these psychos with bombs, poisons and any means of destruction they can think of when they decide to do this. An attack with poison or bombs can take a whole heck of a lot more innocent people and these guys haven’t been stupid. These most recent killers have been very smart.

OxD, I don’t feel believed about the father of my child. He is holding that job making $180k per year (of course as it’s 4 times any pay he ever made) and he spent the first 3 years of prison release with us as targets so he was having revenge, destroying lives, while getting a life. He has since started abusing others but nobody seems to wrap their mind around THEY DON’T CHANGE! It’s not what we want to believe. It’s just the darn truth. It’s so difficult to stay strong against all who look at me like I am the disgruntled ex now! It’s even been said I only wanted money (child support) but I didn’t ever even file for child support! It came with the attack. I feel like it’s blood money. What about the decade I got nothing? I begged to forego child support to just be left alone but that just fed the beast. What about the attorney bills we all pay to protect ourselves? Why don’t people get it? It’s exhausting. I am struggling with this holiday season. It’s the one where you are left looking around at the wreckage and wondering what’s gonna happen……


I am sorry about your son. It must be awful to be in your shoes and I don’t know what I would do but I would hope and I believe I would be honest with myself like you are and OxD is. I think to myself a mother brought them into this world so if they really feel they are such a danger……well………..These offspring destroy their own parents and families with their actions.

Skylar, it’s like I typed before: this is our opportunity as individuals and a group of recovering individuals to finally “Do Something” that could not only have an impact, but to spread knowledge about sociopathy and psychopathy through media coverage.

I have, up until Oxy’s request, felt as impotent as a rotten salmon with regard to my own experiences with the exspath and my eldest son. I have felt that my voice has not only been muffled, but completely ignored. From my concerns about my son’s probable actions (based upon PAST patterns) and the exposing and pursuing the exspath’s forgeries, I have cosistently felt that I was insignificant and invalid. Even though I’ve been working on self-validation, being ignored and actually ridiculed by People In Authority is demeaning and defeating.

So, again. This is MY chance to “speak” truthfully and have a positive impact that would not only protect Joyce, but society, as a whole.

As individuals, and as a group in recovery, the simple act of putting our concerns on a paper and placing a postage stamp on an envelope to Joyce’s attorney is a self-validation and helps Donna to spread the word about the disordered.

Whether or not it’s the proper perception, I “owe” this site and its many readers my very life. Without this site and the readers who have posted, responded, written articles, and caused me to THINK, I don’t believe that I would be here typing, this morning.

Eralyn, as for my son and his actions, they are HIS and I don’t own them, nor am I responsible for them. It used to be “awful” to walk my mile, but I put that baby to bed a few years ago. Yes, I still feel love for the infant that I gave birth to. But, the adult that shares my DNA is a complete stranger to me, and I prefer it that way.

Everyone…..from Joseph Stalin to David Koresh to the exspath……was somebody’s child. But, learning that I am not responsible for my son’s choices and actions was a hard lesson, but valuable. I’ve made the calls, I’ve alerted the appropriate agencies, and I’ve done all that I could without sitting on the steps of the Veteran’s Administration Building and dousing myself in gasoline and lighting a match in protest. There is only so much that any human being can do, and I’ve done what I could. Writing my letter to the TX Parole Board is something that I know that I can do.

Brightest blessings


I know that feeling of complete inability to control what I know to be true but others just don’t want to see. It goes with the serenity prayer which is hanging on my wall. My personality literally goes until I drop to (which I have dropped) make a difference or alert or right a wrong. It was when I was a teenager that I would attempt to get justice outside of my FOO as their was no justice in my household. Some things never change.

OxD is in that position of trying to get that point across to the parole board which we already know and it’s that these people don’t change.

I wanted to make sure to mention what I kept thinking reading your post and it is if you have a chance and can afford it, I would make a copy of the records or at least the parts which matter most. It’s just a thought. 🙂

Donna creating Lovefraud has helped a lot of people. I read over and over again many who write they would not be here if it weren’t for this board and all the support and information here which validates all of our experiences. It isn’t about political correctness or bitterness. It’s about facts of our lives and those who are disturbed walking among us.

Eralyn, I have made 5 copies of the original documentation and sent copies to the Veteran’s Administration, FBI, Social Services, and to an organization that exposes military fraud as Stolen Valor. That’s a total of 20lbs of paper and probably $60 in shipping. None of the agencies or organizations that I alerted ever responded. Not one.

It is that lack of response that caused me to feel that my concerns were meaningless and that, until he finally does inflict irrevocable harm, he will continue using, abusing, manipulating, and committing fraud. So, I’ve done everything that I could humanly do.

Brightest blessings


I know that feeling of complete inability to control what I know to be true but others just don’t want to see. It goes with the serenity prayer which is hanging on my wall. My personality literally goes until I drop to (which I have dropped) make a difference or alert or right a wrong. It was when I was a teenager that I would attempt to get justice outside of my FOO as their was no justice in my household. Some things never change.

OxD is in that position of trying to get that point across to the parole board which we already know and it’s that these people don’t change.

I wanted to make sure to mention what I kept thinking reading your post and it is if you have a chance and can afford it, I would make a copy of the records or at least the parts which matter most. It’s just a thought. 🙂


Your attempts to get the word out ARE not meaningless. I picture someone who is shuffling papers, shuffling your very important ones around and around not knowing what to do with them. I believe mainly because of “procedures”. It seems free thinkers and troubleshooters don’t live here anymore. They surely aren’t working in the government jobs. There is nothing in their employee manual about a mother sending a packet to inform them of what may be to come. I bet they don’t even have procedures to cover their arses after you sent it. If anyone runs across this info you’ve sent any time soon, they are going to be VERY uncomfortable with it. It’s protocol and nonfunctioning without direction. I think this is much of the problem with all corporate America.

I thought of the copies as I imagined much trauma if something does happen and I would not want you handing that over without the originals in your posession.

This is so wrong on so many levels. I also believe there is absolutely no line to be drawn in the sand for a parent or loved one who is disordered, just like living with an abuser. We don’t know where we finally say “this is hopeless. I have done all I can possibly do” and be done with it. Heck my parents threshold was very low. I was disowned for “being the family problem” after exposing abuse that was confessed to me and was done to ME! My life hasn’t been a picnic but I sure wouldn’t have minded having a kid like myself. I got good grades, started my own business, was self sufficient and left home at 17 not asking for anything. They actively took part in the destruction of my life and I don’t even have a traffic ticket. I am just the scapegoat. So the line is different to each person.

I believe like OxD does. Liars are not to be tollerated. Voilent criminals will not get support from me. Know the bucket of cold water for what it is.

Biohazard father of my child’s aunt got the water bucket upon her first visit with him when he was released from prison. She went to visit him and saw in his eyes what he was doing to us. She says it is absolutely NOT what she wanted to see but she became VERY concerned because he is sober doing this to us. See his excuse was drugs and/or the devil. His mother still believes he’s changed and he is using the crap out of that. (praise JESUS) I have become a money grubbing, alienating bitter mother who won’t let him see his daughter. BUT I have to wonder if his mama knows with his bible in tow, he has a brand new order of protection from a man who filed it against her crazy more polished from prison son……….?

My first love/sociopath or psychopath, I left no stone unturned in attempts to give him excuses while giving myself NONE. His parents came to my door 20 years after I had first been with him and apologized to me. His mother said she didn’t want to believe it was her son. While this was bitter sweet, it was way late as they validated my damaged feelings about myself all those years which I learned from my upbringing. I do understand and I am grateful for the validation. Only I know how much they hurt me by blaming me for years. 🙂

Just a little food for thought about school massacres.

What strikes me is that these people can be easily profiled. They ARE all the same. They may not all explode due to luck or opportunity, but they all have the potential for violence, guns or no guns.

With their extreme intelligence, they can rig explosions or sabotage aircraft. It’s not hard for them because they take GREAT PLEASURE in it. They love knowing that their victims are taken by surprise and NEVER SAW IT COMING.

It’s true that guns make it easier for them but lack of guns has never stopped them.

I can imagine that working with a client who is paranoid and who is full a rage and capable of minimizing any acting out he does is dangerous in itself. There is more to this story I think. In Canada we are bound by law to report to police anyone who poses a danger to themselves or others. Often this ends up escalating the stress and can result in aweful things happening ie. the police haven’t a clue about how to deal with psychotically angry people.
I think it takes a team of very skilled and experienced people to work with a seriously disturbed paranoid. You can’t make them take medication or force them to get psychiatric help. Add a minor or major head injury to that mix and it means meltdown.

I would think that this affected you deeply. However, it is society that pays for not doing anything about its dark side. One person can’t stop it. One therapist can’t stop a homocidal paranoid delusional person from thinking that it is ok to kill because the bad guys deserve it. It is part of the psychopaths profile to minimize their crimes and blame the victim.

I live in Canada and lots of people have guns. They don’t usually kill people. Not at the same rate as in the States. Why are people killing each other so much? Why are people so afraid? I live alone in the country and I don’t have a gun. There is even a bear that walks through my property. It does not occur to me to get a gun.
When the Constitution was written a gun was a blunderbuss that could fire one shot and that was it. There is a climate of rage brewing in the States and people are afraid of each other. It is being promoted by gun manufacturers, violent movies, violent video games, tv that makes people into fools, disenfranchisement, poverty etc. Put a gun in a peaceful person’s hand and nothing happens. It is not about guns.

sea storm:

Great question! What IS it about America? I have asked the same question. We are all humans, we are all flawed, we are all sinful by nature no matter where we come from or what nationality we are so WHY are there so many more murders in American compared to other countries? I would love to know. It’s a cause worth investigating and studying.

Perhaps we have to start thinking about the necessity of *profiling* patients who exhibit a certain frequency and intensity of very specific negative behaviors and negative thought patterns that are red flags warning of impending violence directed at either the self or at others, or both: patients with severe paranoia or delusional thinking,
perceived narcissistic injury (they feel shamed or humiliated) grudge-holding/grudge-collecting,
a sense of entitlement to seek revenge,
the outsider mentality,
feeling disrespected or disenfranchised,
feeling frustrated or blocked RE achieving a goal,
feeling “robbed” of an earned reward,

And if such a patient seems to be getting worse or even if they have simply ceased improving, then perhaps such patients need to be identified and placed under professional 24/7 supervision in some way.

In each case of mass murder and homicide/suicide and even serial killings, the perpetrator has been mentally ill yet free to move about unrestricted in his community, with easy access to transportation and weapons.

It seems to me that the sad conclusion is that when certain mentally ill individuals reach a certain point of deteriorating functionality, they need to be assigned a team of full-time “babysitters” or locked up and medically supervised for their own safety and for the safety of others before their freedom results in tragedy.

as much as I can relate to your thought process about profiling, the traits you mentioned could very easily apply to the victims of spaths. There is good reason for this, it is the intent of spaths to make us feel the way they do.

The difference between us and them, is that they wear the mask of sanity. They can hide their pathology when it suits them. If you haven’t read “The Mask of Sanity” by Hervey Cleckley, you might want to. It’s a free download online.

In this book, Cleckley describes about 16 different patients who fooled him repeatedly. They seemed like they understood what they had done wrong and how to fix it. He would release them, and almost immediately they would be back to breaking the law, hurting people and generally causing mayhem. They would quickly end up back in his hospital.

So he wrote “The Mask of Sanity” to describe people who can fool even an expert like him.

The experts are not the ones who will be able to profile the spath, it will only be the victim who can do this. When he is preying on us, he drops his mask and reveals the red flags. At this point there isn’t much we can do except to run away. The spath has already slandered us and made us look crazy to all the community. They prepare before they ever attack the unsuspecting prey, so that nobody believes us.

There is no easy answer, we just have to be vigilant, know and recognize the red flags. AND determine to NOT participate in their evil. Whenever we have the chance we must unmask them, shun them and refuse to play their games.

Skylar, 100% spot-on! The first several months out of the spath marriage, I could easily have fit Babs’ profile!

IMHO, it’s not a matter of profiling which is an attempt to predict a certain individual as being a certain type based upon collected data. It’s more a matter of altering HIPPA laws and the mental health professions to address dangerous individuals BEFORE they gain access (legal, or illegal) to firearms or weapons.

I am very, very curious to know what steps are available to mental health professionals when they’re clearly dealing with a disordered client. What are they “allowed” to do, and what does HIPPA legally prevent them from doing that might otherwise make a difference?

A very sticky wicket, to be sure.

Brightest blessings


I can speak from what my therapist told me. He was the one I went to for about six sessions. In the first or second session when I was a little reluctant to tell my story due to confidentiality reasons, he assured me that the only way he would ever say anything is if I said I was going to harm the spath or myself…then he had full right and responsibility to go to the authorities and things would be no longer confidential. Soooo, it looks like to me that is the law…therapists are required by law to report if you are a threat to anyone or yourself. At least in my state of residency.

Louise, I kind of get that understanding that they’re obligated to “report” threats, etc., to authorities, but THEN what? What steps are taken to address the issues? Are the clients arrested? Are they put on a “watch list?” Are they admitted to a psychiatric unit for more intensive treatment? Those are the questions that concern me, most.

Brightest blessings


I think the person is then evaluated; perhaps even kept at a facility for a bit. I have a girlfriend whose mom just in the past month was having some major mental health issues and she was put in a hospital mental ward (I believe), but after seven days they released her. Probably some type of law that if they check out to be “OK,” they can’t be held any longer than that. It’s all a messy web. I totally agree that there is no clear answer right now, but we NEED some answers to all the mental health issues out there. UGGHH. SIGH.

Louise, that’s precisely what I’m concerned with. There doesn’t seem to be a clear or concise way to “treat” people who may be a danger to themselves and/or others.

I’ve heard a number of stories about people being admitted to facilities, only to be handed a fistful of prescribed medications and released back into the community when they were clearly dangerous.

It does cause one to sigh out loud, doesn’t it?


I agree! It’s extremely frustrating. Perhaps you and I could be advocates and start a crusade?? 🙂

Did his psychologist fail him and society? Or is there just no way to tell when someone is going to break and do something bizarre? Guns are not the cause of violence, they are only a tool in the wrong hands. To prevent more mass killings, we need more armed citizens and fewer gun free zones. People tend to protect each other more often than the other way around.

Many non-violent mental patients are on the streets freezing to death because they would rather do that than become victims of the government system. Many potential mass murderers are living next door to someone who doesn’t have a clue. Mental illness does not equal mass murder. Perhaps we need to let the help for the mentally ill go private and keep the government out of our lives except where they help…like protecting us from illegal aliens and balancing the National debt.

And one big preventative measure government could do would be to stop letting these known psychopathic rapists, murders and child molesters out of jail.

Did his psychologist fail him and society? Or is there just no way to tell when someone is going to break and do something bizarre? Guns are not the cause of violence, they are only a tool in the wrong hands. To prevent more mass killings, we need more armed citizens and fewer gun free zones. People tend to protect each other more often than the other way around.

Many non-violent mental patients are on the streets freezing to death because they would rather do that than become victims of the government system. Many potential mass murderers are living next door to someone who doesn’t have a clue. Mental illness does not equal mass murder. Perhaps we need to let the help for the mentally ill go private and keep the government out of our lives except where they help…like protecting us from illegal aliens and balancing the National debt.

And the one thing the government could do to help prevent these crimes and will not do is to not let these psychopathic, murders, rapists and child molesters out to do it again and again. That is the insanity.

betsy bugs said

And one big preventative measure government could do would be to stop letting these known psychopathic rapists, murders and child molesters out of jail.


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