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Shooting Alone: The Pre-Attack Experiences and Behaviors of U.S. Solo Mass Murderers

forensic-sciencesJournal abstract

This paper outlines the sociodemographic, developmental, antecedent attack, attack preparation, and commission properties of 115 mass murderers between 1990 and 2014. The results indicate that mass murderer attacks are usually the culmination of a complex mix of personal, political, and social drivers that crystalize at the same time to drive the individual down the path of violent action. We specifically focus upon areas related to prior criminal engagement, leakage, and attack location familiarity. Whether the violence comes to fruition is usually a combination of the availability and vulnerability of suitable targets that suit the heady mix of personal and political grievances and the individual’s capability to engage in an attack from both a psychological and technical capability standpoint. Many individual cases share a mixture of unfortunate personal life circumstances coupled with an intensification of beliefs/grievances that later developed into the idea to engage in violence.