Skip to comments.'Spree' shooter straying from typical serial killer motivation - main desire is to provoke terror
Posted on 10/12/2002 6:52:21 AM PDT by MeekOneGOP
'Spree' shooter straying from typical serial killer motivation
Gunman's main desire is to provoke terror in community, experts say
Experts who study serial killers say the Maryland sniper, unlike most serial killers, kills from a distance because he is more interested in causing terror in the community than he is in getting to know his individual victims.
The Maryland gunman is a "spree killer," someone who kills several people in a small window of time, some experts say, as opposed to a serial killer, who may space his killings over months or years or a mass murderer, who kills many people all at once.
Charles Patrick Ewing, a professor of law and psychology at State University of New York at Buffalo, said the sniper, who has used a rifle at distances of more than 100 yards, appears to be more like the anonymous attacker who mailed last year's anthrax-laced letters.
The anthrax attacks "were driven by the desire to terrorize the community, and the person who mailed the letters didn't appear to really care about who died as a result of them."
"I don't recall a case like this where the murders have been committed at such a distance," Mr. Ewing said. "It is so impersonal."
Classic serial homicide theory is based on sexual motivation, and the killer often stalks or tortures the victim and kills at close range.
The classic view is spelled out by Robert Ressler, a former FBI agent who pioneered psychological profiling and interviewed infamous killers such as Jeffrey Dahmer, David Berkowitz and Ted Bundy.
"To a man, they [serial killers] were dysfunctional sexually," Mr. Ressler wrote in his 1992 book, Whoever Fights Monsters. "They were unable to have and maintain mature, consensual sexual experiences with other adults, and they translated that inability into sexual murders."
Several Northern California cases underscore the classic view. The Zodiac killed six during a series of homicides in the late 1960s, then taunted police in letters to newspapers and law enforcement agencies. Though the Zodiac killer was never captured, many officials who worked the case are convinced that he was Arthur Leigh Allen, a convicted child molester who died in 1992 at age 58.
Similarly, Ed Kemper killed eight Northern California women in the early 1970s and enjoyed visiting his mother afterward while his victim's body was hidden in the trunk of his Volkswagen.
Mr. Kemper said he hated his mother, and she was one of his final victims before he turned himself in.
And Charles Chitat Ng, who killed 11 people in the mid-1980s, made videotapes of himself and his accomplice, Leonard Lake, sexually torturing two of their victims in an isolated shack.
Brent Turvey, a professional profiler from Sitka, Alaska, and author of the textbook, Criminal Profiling: An Introduction to Behavioral Evidence Analysis, agrees that the Maryland sniper is different from classic serial murderers.
"Those comparisons are completely inappropriate," he said. "The reason why everybody is making those comparisons is because they are all talking to the retired profilers who made those kinds of cases in the 1970s."
Mr. Turvey said he thinks the Maryland sniper is more like Andrew Cunanan, who killed five people, including designer Gianni Versace, during a cross-country rampage in 1997.
"Cunanan was a classic spree killer," Mr. Turvey said. "A serial killer will kill multiple people on multiple dates with a nice cooling-off period in between. A spree killer will kill a bunch of people in a very narrow window of time.
"Most of these Maryland-area crimes occurred in a very short period," Mr. Turvey said. "He did his killing, then went home to watch the coverage on TV."
Distributed by Scripps Howard News Service.
"I don't recall a case like this where the murders have been committed at such a distance. It is so impersonal."
Charles Patrick Ewing, a professor of law and psychology at State University of New York at Buffalo
If the Great Satan is right about the anthrax being a threat to our leaders, the shootings may be the same. And Saddam Hussein may be behind both.
It is probably a teenager into Satan stuff. That involves Tarot cards.
There is a sniper video game that at one point says "I am God".
It is probably like the teenagers in Colorado who shot up their school and killed a bunch of people.
They are looking at the wrong profile.
I believe this is a sleeper cell that has been activated.I believe there are at least two in what ever vehicle they are using, with possibility of others in covering positions around them.
I believe they will continue to kill until caught, at which time they will be killed in a major gun battle.
I am hoping the authorities are publicly treating this as a criminal act while privately treating it as a war.
I believe that there have been several acts of terrorism already committed against us, but because the government is not ready to act yet, they have been covered up as unconnected acts of violence.
The terrorist have gone along with this game by not publicly proclaiming responsibility, possibly because they know the government knows, and they know that the American people will demand vengence when the truth come out.
I tend to lean towards the terrorist explanation (on a poll on www.courttv.com early this morning only 30% felt it was a case of terrorism.)
It could also be members of Hispanic gangs active in the DC area, perhaps part of initiation into the superviolent Salvadorean MS-13 which has chapters across the country. Or one of the many Asian gangs active in the DC area. So far no Asian victims.
It could be also some crazy cult members, such as surviving member of Rev. Jim Jones's Death Squad. Jones used to scream "I am God." The black cult leader, Father Divine, likewise declared himself as God.
Cab driver from India.
What's the name of the game in question? Personally, I think that's just tripe served by Bo Diddle to justify his talking head appearances.
The sniper murder of a woman holding an infant child at Ruby Ridge in Idaho and the killing of the women and children witnesses to the initial ATF attack and helicopter strafing at Waco, Texas do come to mind....
Really? Please remind me where it was they publicly admitted the attacks of September, 11.
Liberal DIMocRATS are the party of the Ethically Challenged....
If these shootings are terror related, we can expect them to stop, with similar shootings to begin in another city with long lines of sight and with substantial tree cover.
The fact that such shootings have not occurred elsewhere, at least so far, is the biggest argument against this being Middle Eastern terrorism.