The Psychology of Mass Killings

Topics: Columbine High School massacre, Autism, Asperger syndrome Pages: 12 (4543 words) Published: April 17, 2014
The word ‘premeditated’ is defined as, an act done with willful deliberation or an act that has been planned in advance. Many murders and crimes are usually premeditated, they can be linked back to something that may have been done or planned days, months or even years before. Many of these can be traced back by looking at the journals, notebooks, or video entries that these people may have kept.

The Columbine High School massacre was a school shooting which occurred on April 20, 1999 at Columbine High School in Columbine, Colorado. In addition to shootings, the complex and highly planned attack involved a fire bomb to divert firefighters arriving to the scene, propane tank bombs placed in the cafeteria, 99 explosive devices set around the school, and bombs rigged in cars. Two senior students, Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold, murdered a total of 12 students and one teacher. In addition, they injured 24 additional students. The pair then committed suicide after causing the mass hysteria within this school. The two students, Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold both began keeping journals and making frequent videos before April 20, 1999. Their journals documented their plan for a major bombing to compete with the recent Oklahoma City bombing. Their intense journal entries had explained their ways to escape to Mexico, hijacking an aircraft at Denver International Airport and crashing into a building in New York City. The pair hoped that, after setting off home-made explosives in the cafeteria at the busiest time of day, killing hundreds of students, they would shoot survivors fleeing from the school. Then, as police vehicles, ambulances, fire trucks, and reporters came to the school, bombs set in the boys' cars would detonate, killing these emergency and other personnel. In the event, the explosives in their cars did not go off. They kept videos of the explosives, ammunition, and weapons they had made or bought illegally. In these videos, they showed one another doing target practice in nearby foothills, as well as areas of the high school they planned to attack. On April 20, approximately thirty minutes before the attack, they made a final video saying goodbye and apologizing to their friends and families. As psychologists still are continuing the search to find out the reasoning behind this massacre, a few good ideas have come up in the past decade. Both of the shooters were classified as gifted children at Columbine High School and had allegedly been victimized of bullying for four years. There were rumors around the school that the two had been Neo-Nazis, the choice of the date for this massacre was April 20, also known as Hitler’s Birthday. Eric and Dylan were both into violent video games such during this time and would play them all the time which could have led to this violence. In one of Eric Harris’s scheduled meetings with his psychiatrist, he complained of depression, anger, and suicidal thoughts. Because of this, he was prescribed the anti-depressant Zoloft. He complained of feeling restless and having trouble concentrating after taking this drug so in April, his doctor switched him to Luvox, a similar anti-depressant drug. Psychiatrist Peter Breggin, argued that one or both of these medications may have contributed to Harris's actions. He said that side-effects of these drugs include increased aggression, loss of remorse, depersonalization, and mania. Eric was said to have a huge influence on Dylan and could make him do whatever he wanted whenever he wanted. Many would say it was because Dylan was afraid of Eric and did not want to anger him in anyway. Asperger syndrome is often considered a high functioning form of autism. This very rare syndrome can lead to difficulty interacting socially, repeat behaviors, and clumsiness. Adam Lanza, the twenty year old from Newtown, Connecticut was recently diagnosed with the Asperger’s syndrome. After shooting twenty first graders, six adults and his own mother, Asperger’s is...

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