Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Inside The Mind

Everyone on the 'upper' side of the crime blogosphere has been drinking, spanking, and snorkeling their merry way through Bouchercon, so I haven't had much to say lately, other than to repeat under my breath, over and over again, "Why couldn't I go to Bouchercon? Why, why, why?"

This obsessional trait does not bode well for my future sanity, especially in terms of the potential for violent, explosive crime. I say this because of a recent posting in an Australian newspaper's crime blog that goes by the catchy name of Gotcha. It's an excellent true crime blog run by Gary Hughes, a long time crime journo based in Melbourne, where most of the action is in Oz.

But back to my worries.

The post in question includes a list of attributes of serial killers put together by a Professor Paul Mullen, who is the director of the Victorian Institute of Forensic Mental Health. The list is referenced in relation to the latest headline serial killer, Charles Carl Roberts, the man responsible for the Amish school massacre.

But the really worrying thing is how many writers this list describes.

Here it is then:

• Male.
• Under 40 years of age.
• Socially isolated without intimate or close relationships.
• Unemployed, or in casual or marginal work.
• Bullied and/or isolated as a child.
• Fascinated with weapons and usually a collector of guns.
• Have no history antisocial, criminal, and specifically interpersonal violence.
• Have no prior contact with the mental health services or a diagnosis of serious mental disorder.
• Make no threats, or overt or covert statements that they intend to commit a massacre.
• Have no significant history of substance abuse.
• Show rigidity and/or marked obsessional traits.
• Are suspicious and may have think they have been persecuted.
• Have a tendency to resentment with intrusive ruminations about previous experiences of humiliation and injury.
• Prone to daydreaming, particularly about acts of individual, and usually murderous, heroism and of revenge against a rejecting and uncaring world.
• Have narcissistic and grandiose traits, which emerge in a profound sense of entitlement and over-weaning self-righteousness.
• Intend to kill as many people as possible then to die among their victims.
• Adopt an existing script for murder suicide that they have acquired from reading about or seeing it in news and dramas.

Try reading the list from the perspective of a writer and you'll see that most of us are constantly on the verge of blowing our stacks.

Must remember to have a social life. Must remember to stop daydreaming. Must remember to build a history of interpersonal violence.

No wait, that's a story I was thinking about. That's not reality.

Must remember the difference between reality and fantasy.

Must stop this obsessive need to remember a list of things I must do.


Stephen Blackmoore said...

Yeah, that does sound familiar. I'm safe, though. I got that tri-state killing spree out of the way years ago.

David Terrenoire said...

Am I also too old to be a mass murderer?


All the good jobs go to the kids.

Daniel Hatadi said...

Surprisingly, it seems that most of this stuff is environmental, but yes, you can't make number one tennis seed if you start at 30.