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Homicide, Multicide and Institutions of Higher Education Safety: An Examination of Shootings at Institutions of Higher Education By: Professor Steve Christiansen-Psychology.

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Presentation on theme: "Homicide, Multicide and Institutions of Higher Education Safety: An Examination of Shootings at Institutions of Higher Education By: Professor Steve Christiansen-Psychology."— Presentation transcript:

1 Homicide, Multicide and Institutions of Higher Education Safety: An Examination of Shootings at Institutions of Higher Education By: Professor Steve Christiansen-Psychology St. Louis Community College Florissant Valley Campus

2 Lecture Learning Objectives At the end of this lecture participants should be able to:  Differentiate various types of homicide.  Define the insanity law or the M’Naghten Rule.  Define multicide and its components.  Categorize incidents as either spree, serial or mass murder.  Define the three categories of mass murder.  List common traits of homicides at Institutions of Higher Education (I.H.E.’s).  Differentiate common motivations of shooting at (I.H.E.’s).  List some common pre-incident behavior.  Describe implications of these statistics for I.H.E. staff.  Explain the importance of a threat assessment team at I.H.E.’s.

3 Basic Homicide Homicide-the killing of one human being by another human being. Murder-the unlawful killing of one human being by another with malice aforethought. Multicide is a form of murder.

4 M’Naghten Rule-also called the “right and wrong test.” This rule states that a person is legally insane if at the time of the crime, the person can not differentiate right from wrong. Over half of the states use a form of the M’Naghten Rule. – Examine David Berkowitz case – Examine the Lorena Bobbitt case Insanity Rule

5 Multicide Multicide consist of three types of criminal homicide: –S–Spree Killers –S–Serial Killers –M–Mass Murderers (school shootings)

6 Spree Killers Definition-When someone murders at two or more separate locations, but with no emotional cooling off period between homicides. This is the least common of the 3 types of multicide. Spree killer only stop when they are killed, captured or commit suicide.

7 Example-Andrew Cunanan An American spree killer who murdered at least 5 people, including fashion designer Gianni Versace during 3 month period. Worked as gay prostitute. First killed friend Jeff Trail on April 25, 1997 in Minneapolis. Next victim was architect David Mason in Rush City, Minnesota on April 29, 1997. Drove to Chicago and killed 72-year-old real estate developer on May 4, 1997. *Was added to FBI most wanted list. Killed 4 th victim, 45-year-old cemetery care-taker William Reese on May 9, 1997. On July 15 th killed fashion designer Gianni Versace in Miami Florida. On July 23 rd, eight days after killing Versace, shot himself in the mouth on a Miami houseboat. Probable motive was jealousy for Versace as gay icon; diagnosed as psychopath.

8 Serial Killers Definition-someone who has murdered on at least 3 occasions, with what can be called a cooling-off period between each incident. The cooling off period can be days, weeks, months & even years. Typically the cooling-off period grows shorter as the killer increases his/her technique.

9 Example-Jeffery Dahmer Murdered 17 men and boys in Milwaukee between 1978-1991 Majority of murders involved necrophilia, cannibalism and body dismemberment. Sentenced to life in prison; murdered in prison in 1994. Dahmer Interview In 1990’s Dahmer picked up the pace of his murders, by the summer of 1991 he was killing about 1 person per week. Tried unsuccessfully to make “zombies” out of his captives by drilling holes in their skulls and injecting acid while the victims were still alive. Details: What led to his apprehension was a body disposal problem.

10 Mass Murder Definition-someone who kills four or more victims in one location in one incident. The killings are all part of the same emotional experience. School shootings are one example. Mass murderers often kill themselves after they have completed their deadly rampage Most offenders are: white males; middle- aged; frustrated/angry.

11 Mass Murder Continued Mass murder typically takes place in one of three possible locations: – The home – The workplace – The school Murder is the 2 nd leading cause of death in the workplace. Murder in school is sometimes committed by students who have been “picked-on” or bullied.

12 Example-James Holmes Colorado Theater Shooter  Accused of killing 12 and wounding 58 moviegoers.  He was a 1 st year Neuroscience Ph.D. student who dropped out.

13 Example-James Holmes (Continued) Warning Signs:  Was psychiatric patient of Dr. Fenton at University of Colorado. Dr. Fenton’s specialty is in schizophrenia.  Was rejected for membership in a local gun club because of incoherent mumblings on answering machine. Holmes sent a notebook to Dr. Fenton illustrating a mass killing scene. Dropped out of PhD program 3 days after failing comprehensive oral exam.

14 Three Categories of Mass Murderers Three categories of mass murderers: – Psychopaths – Delusionally insane – Suicidally depressed

15 Murders at Institution of Higher Education’s (IHE) Common Traits The majority of incidents affected IHE’s designated as 4-year institutions (84%, N=228). The minority of incidents affected IHE’s designated as 2-year institutions (14%, N=38). The majority of these incidents occurred during the 1990’s and 2000’s (60%) since the study in 1990’s (N=272) Generally as enrollments increased over time, so did the number of reported incidents.

16 The majority of incidents occurred on-campus (79%, N=214). The majority of incidents were perpetrated by one individual (99%, N=270) with 94% being male. The age range was between 16 to 64 years old. Firearms were used in 54% (N=148), knives in 21% (N=57) and a combination in 10% (N=26) Murders at Institution of Higher Education’s (IHE) Common Traits

17 Of the 272 incidents, the subjects caused the deaths of 281 and injured 247 people. Of the deaths, at least 190 (67%) were students and 72 (26%) were employees. Murders at Institution of Higher Education’s (IHE) Common Traits

18 Factors that Motivated or Triggered the Directed Assaults CategoriesN=% Related to an Intimate Relationship7733.9 Retaliation for Specific Action(s)3113.7 Refused Advances or Obsession with the Target2310.1 Response to Academic Stress/Failure2310.1 Acquaintance/Stranger Based Sexual Violence229.7 Psychotic Actions187.9 Workplace Dismissal/Sanction146.2 Other1911.9

19 Pre-incident Behavior In 13% (N=35) of incidents, subjects made verbal or written threats to harm the victim. In 30% (N=52) of incidents, subjects committed stalking or harassing behavior. In 10% (N=26) of incidents, subjects made prior physically aggressive acts towards the victim. In 31% (N=85) of incidents, these behaviors were observed by friends, family, associates, professors and/or law enforcement.

20 Murders at Institution of Higher Education’s (IHE) Common Traits In U.S. Secret Service study of 26 years, almost all were male, 81% warning someone overtly that they were going to do the act. A staggering 98% had recently experienced a significant failure or loss. Secret Service found 93% planned the attack in advance. Most mass murderers intended to die in the act.

21 Recent Mass Murderers Anders Breivik Planned attacks in Norway that killed 77 people on July 22, 2011. Court psychiatrist found him insane. Jared Lee Loughner Went on shooting rampage in Tucson, Arizona on January 8, 2011. Left 6 dead & 14 wounded. Seung-Hui Cho School shooter on April 16, 2007 at Virginia Tech that killed 32 people & wounded 17. Was previously diagnosed as severely depressed and mentally ill.

22 Implications for IHE Employees IHE’s are microcosms of the society around them. IHE’s may want to create “threat assessment teams” consisting of representatives from Academic Affairs, Student Affairs, Campus Police, Legal Affairs, and Student Counseling along with outside mental health experts.

23 Threat Assessment Team Threat Assessment Teams (TAT’s) basic goal a three step process: 1.ID individuals whose behavior causes concern, affecting IHE members such as students, faculty, or other staff. 2.Assess whether the identified person possesses the intent and ability to carry out an attack against the IHE or if the person has taken any steps to prepare for the attack. 3.Manage the threat posed by the individual to include disrupting potential plans of attack, mitigating the risk, and implementing strategies to facilitate long-term resolution. ***The key issue & challenge is identifying specific behaviors that are suggestive of an attack against the IHE and whether these homicidal/suicidal or threats are warning signs of a future violent act while still fostering academic freedom.

24 In Conclusion History and current research indicate over 80% of killers warned someone ahead of time. The majority of killers had significant behavioral problems noted by friends, relatives and teachers. Over 90% of killers experienced a significant loss in their lives.

25 Should we allow people with Concealed Weapons Permits to carry weapons on campus? Should we allow specially trained faculty to carry weapons on campus, with CW permits? How can we help prevent these seriously ill and dangerous people from going on a killing rampage? If a shooter began a shooting rampage on our campus, could law enforcement get to the scene in time? Your questions? Discussion Questions

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