I DONT LIKE MONDAYS: Female Rampage Killers (Women Who Kill, Book 1)

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While it can't be said that the first post-Elliot-Rodger killing spree had a female perpetrator — killing sprees are just too common for that — the fact that one of these killers wasn't a dude makes for at least an interesting footnote. Instead, maybe look into the history of why and when women snap and get all murdery. Who knows, you just might relate to them the way you related to Rodger. While we shouldn't forget the carnage men, including Elliott Rodger himself, so often create with well-aimed automobiles, it's still worth noting that out of the handful of female spree killers, cars were the weapon of choice for two, and the body counts were shockingly high in both cases:.

Screencap via youtube user Hartsword. A letter to a newspaper included this excerpt:. I am a loner. A destroyed woman. A woman destroyed by people It would be too easy to leave this world as an unknown suicide. The society is too indifferent, rightly so. Having carefully planned her crime, and being vocal about her regret that she hadn't killed more people, no insanity defense stuck. Her crime was also seemingly spontaneous.

Nonetheless, she too was given the death penalty, but she died before it could be carried out. They said their children were having nightmares and could not sleep unless the lights were on. They wanted to know if this normal. They were told it was. But mostly they wanted a detailed account of the incident itself. Up and down the affluent North Shore suburbs of Chicago, the authorities are calling for tougher gun control laws and added school security. In Winnetka, particularly, parents are much more protective of their children.

Donald Monroe, superintendent of Winnetka School District The incident has overshadowed class work all week. It is the subject of essays, watercolor paintings and poems. It is also showing up at recess. Monroe said. It's a way of acting out the hurt. It's a way to get it out of their system. Psychiatrists and psychologists are urging parents and teachers to encourage such expressions. Eitan D. Schwarz, a child psychiatrist working with the families of the shooting victims. Schwarz said that unresolved emotional trauma can become like an abscess that can cause pain if touched the wrong way or flare up unexpectedly.

You can't drain the reality that happened to them, but you can promote healthy emotional growth. Going over the incident is a way for the victims to resolve the trauma. Ira Sloan, the psychiatrist who is heading the team of professionals working with the school. It is unclear what effect such an experience will have on these children in the long run because there has been little research on the topic.

Psychiatrists hope to learn more about the effects of tragedy on children by keeping track of the victims here. In older people, reaction to a major disaster can appear without warning months or years later, psychiatrists say. Reactions may include depression, insomnia, drug abuse and alcoholism. Some children are already showing signs of stress. Sloan said. Others appear untouched, while their parents are unable to sleep. Hoff said. A child's insouciance may be deceptive, experts caution.

But the recovery does not have to be painful. Schwarz said. By Lisa Anderson - Chicago Tribune. In the emotionally fraught, compromise-ridden world of American child care, a real-life Mary Poppins is a rare thing. Luckily, so is a Laurie Dann, the baby-sitter whose rampage earlier this month in Winnetka, Ill. Dann's notoriety raises uncomfortable questions about the nature of child care throughout the nation. The parental anxiety and guilt that attend child care in general may be even more acute in the case of in-home care.

In essence, parents are inviting strangers into their homes and leaving them alone with their children. Still, in-home care constitutes only about a third of child-care arrangements nationwide and includes many families in which relatives are the care-givers. And despite all the problems, there is a happy ending for most families. Most often the choice of affluent families, whose workdays or business travel may take their child-care needs beyond the hours of day-care centers, daily and live-in nannies are usually found through agencies or word of mouth.

Most parents interviewed said they much preferred the word-of-mouth method, not only because of the agency's fee but because they suspected that nannies wind up at agencies only when they have trouble getting jobs through the neighborhood "nanny network" of parents and child-care workers.

Winnetka investigators who traveled last week to Tucson and Madison, Wis. John Greist, who was treating Dann in the period leading up to her May 20 shooting rampage in which she killed a boy, wounded six people and killed herself. Joseph Sumner, a member of the task force. Laurie Dann, the woman who shot and killed a Winnetka 2d grader and wounded six people on May 20, was being treated with an experimental drug used to control a psychiatric disorder, Cook County Medical Examiner Robert Stein said Wednesday.

Stein said that traces of a drug called clomipramine, which is known by the trade name Anafrail, were the only drug that turned up in blood tests performed in conjunction with Dann's autopsy. Dann killed herself after the shootings. It is unclear where Dann, 30, received the drug, but her University of Wisconsin psychiatrist was authorized to dispense it as part of clinical tests being performed to meet federally mandated Food and Drug Administration requirements.


Laurie Dann, the woman who shot and killed a Winnetka 2d grader and wounded six people on May 20, was being treated with an experimental drug used to control a psychiatric disorder, according to Cook County Medical Examiner Robert Stein. Winnetka Police Lt.

Joe Sumner said Thursday that Dann, 30, obtained the drug in March from a pharmacy in Canada using a prescription reportedly written by a Chicago psychiatrist. The drug was found last week when police searched Dann's room in Madison, Wis. Sumner said police are still investigating how Dann obtained the drug from the pharmacy and how she got the prescription. Officials with the Food and Drug Administration said no federal law would have been violated if a physician prescribed the drug, but that Dann may have violated federal laws by bringing it into the country.

State officials said Thursday that they were investigating how Laurie Dann, the Glencoe woman who shot and killed a Winnetka 2d-grader and wounded six people May 20, obtained an experimental drug used to treat a psychiatric disorder. Additional tests, disclosed Thursday, also revealed that Dann had levels of another drug, lithium carbonate. A Madison psychiatrist, who had been treating Dann until March, had prescribed this for Dann. Clomipramine, manufactured under the trade name Anafrail by the Ciba- Geigy Corp.

John Greist, the Madison psychiatrist, was authorized to dispense Anafrail, but did not prescribe it for Dann, police said. The Many Faces of Laurie Dann. She lived in luxurious houses in Glencoe and Highland Park but ended up with a desire to sleep inside her car. At age 30, Laurie Wasserman Dann lived with students 12 years her junior in off-campus housing at the University of Wisconsin, never enrolling in class.

The teenager who once enjoyed carefree rides in a convertible preferred to ride aimlessly in the elevator. The drug was prescribed by a Chicago psychiatrist and obtained from a pharmacy in Canada. Falling Through the Cracks. Why the system didn't stop the Winnetka killer. To the Illinois police, there were blood-chilling similarities between Sheri Lynn Taylor and Laurie Dann, the babysitter who killed one eight-year-old and wounded five other children at Winnetka's Hubbard Woods Elementary School last month.

Like Dann, the year-old Taylor made threatening calls to her former husband. Like Dann, she owned a. And the two women were friends. After Dann killed herself following her murderous rampage, Taylor stepped up her menacing phone calls. After being involuntarily committed to a psychiatric hospital, Taylor agreed to extend her stay. But their success in the Taylor case only intensified the authorities' regrets about the one that got away.

Though known to the police in three states, says Timm, Dann "just fell through the cracks. Laurie Dann's numerous run-ins with the law make it tempting, in hindsight, to believe that someone should have known just how disturbed she was, and how dangerous. But despite a long history of antisocial behavior, her criminal record was deceptively short: she had been charged only with making hang-up phone calls to her former in-laws, a misdemeanor that was never prosecuted, and with shoplifting earlier this year.

Profoundly shaken by the shootings, acquaintances, mental-health professionals and police in Chicago's suburbs and beyond are asking themselves whether they could have done anything to stop Laurie Dann, a woman who acted out her private demons very much in public. Her case underscores some troubling issues:. Earlier this year Dann's nuisance calls to an ex-boyfriend, a Tucson doctor, escalated into death threats. Police there were planning to file charges against Dann as soon as subpoenaed phone records arrived.

Says Lake County State's Attorney Fred Foreman: "We were working as fast as we could to put together a case against Dann to get her off the street, because we knew she was exhibiting bizarre behavior. Both Illinois and Wisconsin have strict commitment standards, which might have made it difficult to prove that Dann was dangerous. Critics say the law should be changed to allow involuntary commitment of a person who is determined to be mentally ill and unable to make an informed decision about treatment.

But some mental-health experts and civil libertarians oppose the idea. The Winnetka tragedy has also reawakened support of gun-control legislation. Because Dann had neither committed a felony nor had been in a mental institution in the previous five years, she obtained her three weapons legally. But just four days after the Winnetka tragedy, Illinois lawmakers voted down strict new handgun legislation. Illinois investigators believe that her Madison psychiatrist was getting ready to start commitment proceedings.

But even the most experienced doctors might have trouble detecting genuine homicidal tendencies. In the end, society may simply be unable to protect itself against random psychotic acts. Dann's Father Wanted Her Committed. Laurie Dann's psychiatrist in Wisconsin was unaware of important information, which could have been provided by her parents, that might have helped commit her involuntarily, Winnetka Police Chief Herbert Timm said Wednesday. John Greist, the psychiatrist in Madison, Wis. Dann stopped seeing Greist "on approximately March 18," according to the page report.

After that, the report said, Greist, who cooperated with police, discussed "his intention of committing Ms. Dann to a mental health facility.

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Unfortunately, insufficient data was available to this physician to substantiate a petition for involuntary commitment under Wisconsin law. Laurie Dann's psychiatrist in Wisconsin was stunned to learn after Dann's May 20 shooting spree that she owned three guns and that she had been in trouble with police-information he might have used to build a case that she was dangerous and should be committed, Winnetka Police Chief Herbert Timm said Wednesday.

Her father, Norman Wasserman, of Glencoe, had appealed to his daughter to voluntarily commit herself to a hospital, Timm said. Timm made his comments in an interview after releasing a report on Dann based on the work of a police task force. Because the Wassermans have been unavailable for interviews, Timm said, their side of the story has not been told, and the report fails to answer some questions involving Dann's deteriorating mental condition. The task force was set up after Dann's shooting spree May 20 left one dead and six wounded.

It has been several weeks since the incident involving Laurie Dann in Winnetka and I am still astounded by the reactions of the community. I am a student at the University of Wisconsin who lived in the building where Laurie Dann resided. I saw her nearly every day, sometimes several times a day.

I ate lunch and dinner at the same time she did and even had a few conversations with her. When I spoke with her she seemed shy and withdrawn and I kind of felt sorry for her. There are many stories I could tell about the events which involved Laurie Dann in my dorm, events which were not noticed by just myself. I'm sure other residents observed her behavior. Dann's Kin Named in 2D Lawsuit. The father of an 8-year-old boy who was shot to death in his Winnetka classroom by Laurie Dann last May filed suit Thursday against Dann's parents, alleging they ignored a recommendation that their daughter be committed to a mental institution.

She next shot year-old Philip Andrew in his Winnetka home. Dann then killed herself. Winnetka Park District board members Thursday night voted to name a park in the North Shore village after Nicholas Corwin, the 8-year-old boy who was shot to death by Laurie Dann after she stormed into a Winnetka elementary school last May Edgewood Park, which is near the Corwin family home and is also where Nicholas used to play soccer, will be renamed Nick Corwin Park. On Aug. The original park name came from Edgewood Lane, which dead-ends at the open field.

When Laurie Dann went on her shooting spree in a Winnetka elementary school last May, Herbert Timm, police chief of the affluent North Shore suburb, was in church just a block and a half away. Timm and other village officials were attending the funeral of a retired firefighter when they heard police sirens. Timm ducked out to a drugstore and called the police station to ask what was happening. Minutes later Timm was kneeling in a classroom at the Hubbard Woods elementary school, cradling a wounded boy. I can't breathe.

Reporters describe a young woman's descent into hell. Undoubtedly, someone is working - or has completed - a book on the murders of 14 women at a Montreal polytechnical school last winter. The book will undoubtedly focus partly on the mental instablity of the man who caused their deaths. This book, by three Chicago Tribune journalists, Joel Kaplan, George Papajohn and Eric Zorn, examines another tragedy: the slaying of one boy and the wounding of five other students at a Chicago-area elementary school on May 20, The authors look at the unhappy and muddled life of Laurie Wasserman Dann, the year-old woman who did the shooting.

She also attempted to poison at least 50 people the day of the shooting by leaving arsenic-spiked fruit juice at their residences. She ended her rampage of hate by shooting herself when cornered in a private home. Like all retrospective examinations of a major event, the tale of Laurie Dann is enhanced by the ability of the writers to gather together most of the known facts months after the event and weave them into a story that chronologically becomes much more interesting than the initial bits and pieces that em erge at the time.

In this way, the reporters have put together a fascinating story of a young woman's descent into madness over a prolonged period of time. The thought that will occur to every reader at the conclusion of the book is: why didn't someone do something? The writers make it fairly clear that if anyone, other than Laurie Dann herself, was to blame for the tragedy, it has to be her parents. They, and particularly her father, are portrayed as having little or no insight into their daughter's problems particularly in her early and adolescent years.

That laissez-faire attitude has caused several lawsuits against them. One lawyer notes that the actions will have a significant bearing on the responsiblity of parents for the actions of adult children. People who run amok like Dann don't often come from a totally unscathed background. The authors point to numerous instances over the years where authorities were warned about her erratic and harassing behavior. And, sadly, she was treated for mental disorders, but when there was an attempt to find out about them, patient confidentiality intervened. While it's important to protect that, the shootings might have been avoided had officials been able to get more information about Dann from psychiatrists.

And, like other books about similar tragedies, the age-old controversy over gun laws in the U. Faced with ample evidence that a very sick individual was able to buy three handguns, legislation was amended in Illinois prohibiting "violent, suicidal, threatening or assaultive" individuals from having the necessary papers to own weapons. The case of Laurie Dann was mimicked by two other individuals, once the following September in a South Carolina elementary school and the following January in a Stockton, Calif.

And, of course, who will forget the Montreal massacre? Book Review. Laurie Wasserman, the daughter of a startlingly unemotional mother and a workaholic father, grew up an isolated and unattractive child. Plastic surgery turned her into a beautiful young woman, popular with men, and she married Russell Dann. After her marriage, however, her behavior, which had included some eccentricities of a compulsive nature, became more and more bizarre and the marriage fell apart.

Moving from college campus to college campus, passing herself off as a student, Laurie Dann became increasingly psychotic, making hundreds of phone calls to fancied enemies, degenerating physically and attempting to kill her estranged husband. While the lay people she encountered considered her extremely troubled, the suburban Chicago police and the psychiatrists she visited foresaw no danger; the authors, Chicago Tribune reporters, suggest that these latter groups were totally inept.

Finally, on May 20, , she went on a rampage that included arson, poisoning and shooting up an elementary school classroom in Illinois, after which she killed herself. This account of the complex and highly publicized case is memorable. Literary Guild and Doubleday Book Club alternates. When it comes to made-for-TV movies, taste is a function of time and distance. The closer we are to a real tragedy -- whether physically, emotionally or in terms of time passed -- the more tasteless it seems when one of the networks turns it into a movie.

The NBC movie about Waco, Texas, for example, filmed as the hostage situation was still unfolding, seemed like a particularly tacky example of ratings-driven ambulance-chasing. It's possible, of course, that those who were directly affected by the tragedy will find closure or catharsis in the movie. I don't know. And it may be that gun control advocates will see in the story a clear argument for stricter gun laws, although NRA types may see an entirely different lesson. It's also possible that the film will reopen old wounds in the name of morbid entertainment.

The movie, airing at 8 p. Although the movie gets most of the facts straight, names have been changed to protect both the guilty and the innocent. Valerie Bertinelli, queen of the TV B-movie, turns in a disturbing, convincing portrait of a woman disintegrating into madness. In the beginning, Dann here renamed Laurie Wade charms her new husband Stephen Caffrey with good looks and playful unpredictability. Within days of their marriage, she begins sending little signals of distress -- such as writing PAIN on the wall in lipstick, tearing up the bedroom and hiding in the closet with a butcher knife.

While her husband soon gets the picture, no one else seems to. A series of psychiatrists shows an appalling lack of intelligence and professionalism, but her parents are shown as the real culprits. It is never clear whether they are nuts themselves, are in heavy denial or are just mind-bogglingly stupid. Whatever it is, their insistence that everything is fine is fatal. The acme of incomprehension is when Laurie calls her mother after going on a bloody rampage at a Winnetka grade school. Throughout, the dialogue is so banal you have to figure it's real. According to "Murder of Innocence," none of these people ever talked much to each other.

But if the script is docudrama dull, the direction is surprisingly artsy for this kind of film. Director Tom McLoughlin uses a variety of techniques, including flashbacks, very tight close-ups and MTV-style cuts to illustrate Laurie's frightening decline. Ultimately, though, we never gain any insight into why Laurie Dann was the way she was.

The film suggests that Laurie, as an adorable but alienated child, stood in the schoolyard pretending to shoot her little playmates. Other than that, there is no explanation for her behavior, nor even a convincing diagnosis for her illness.

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It may very well be that there simply is no explanation. No one ever understood what was going on in her mind or what her parents were thinking. It was incomprehensible when it happened, and it's no more understandable in the made-for-TV version. Turmoil, reform hit schools. Many Chicago area schools--and parents--never were the same after One child was killed, and five were injured. Blood puddled the floor of Classroom 7, but Dann killed herself before explaining why. As anxious parents milled outside, the principal emerged, covered in blood.

He pointed in Agnew's direction. Agnew froze. It turned out, however, that he was pointing to another mom, whose daughter was one of those shot. The nation shook as well; murder had pierced the sanctity of the classroom. And it happened in the well-manicured, stately North Shore suburb of Winnetka. The incident was the first of a string of fatal school shootings that stunned the country through the end of the s. But in its immediate aftermath, Agnew recalled, "All of a sudden, doors were locked" at Chicago area schools. Visitors were screened. Three suburbs passed handgun bans that year. The shooting prompted gun debates nationwide.

Mayor Daley left seated with Gov. James R. Thompson right as he signed the Chicago school reform law. Meanwhile, drastic change was brewing for the Chicago public school system--the nation's third-largest. Parental anger had boiled over the year before when schools were idled by a day teachers strike--the ninth since and U. Education Secretary William Bennett labeled Chicago schools the "worst in the nation.

That spring, as city parents and businessmen joined forces to demand school reform, nine outraged Chicago aldermen helped "arrest" a painting of the late Mayor Harold Washington donned in women's undergarments. That summer, the city sweltered through degree heat. By summer's end, on the North Side, the Chicago Cubs got lights--only to be rained out on their inaugural night.

By fall, Gov. Thompson signed the Chicago school reform law, giving parents more power than anywhere else in the nation. In , Natividad Hernandez's daughter had classes in a rat-infested mobile trailer at Chicago's severely overcrowded Hammond School. Other classes met in the basement. Kids were using year-old books.

But after the legislation passed, Hernandez was among more than 5, residents elected to local school councils. She even was named president of her LSC. Like three-quarters of the schools in the first four years of reform, Hammond changed principals--but only after a fight. The new principal brought in new books, new teachers and new programs for kids.

Flexing new political muscle, Hernandez and other LSC members lobbied for another school. It opened in the year lawmakers amended the reform law to solve nagging financial and academic problems. LSCs stayed, but Mayor Daley was given control of the city's schools in reform's "second wave. By then, reform had changed not only Hammond, but Hernandez, a native of Mexico, and many like her. She learned English through a new Hammond program for parents. She got a job. Reform, said Hernandez, "changed my whole life.

The Education of A Crusader. In the five years since Laurie Dann shot him in the chest, Philip Andrew has learned a lot about life, his government, and the pervasive reach of violence in society. Like most year-olds, Philip J. Andrew still has much to learn about the world. But he has received an education in real life during the last five years that most people never get — or want.

The education of Phil Andrew began early on May 20, , the first day of a summer break that looked especially promising for him. A year-old student, he had arrived home the previous evening in the tony Chicago suburb of Winnetka from his junior year at the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign.

Andrew had been training all year with the college swim team and felt, he recalls, "in the best shape of my life" — more than ready for the competitive swim meets scheduled for the summer. Even more exciting for him were the two internships he had lined up: one in U. John Porter's office, the other working for the Lake County state's attorney. By all appearances, he was laying the groundwork for a future involved in public service. Andrew was sitting in the kitchen of his family's comfortable home talking to his mother, Ruth Ann, when an unwelcome visitor arrived at the back door.

Her name was Laurie Dann, and she would turn his plans for the summer upside down and alter the course of his life. Dann, a name many Illinoisans never will forget, had just left Hubbard Woods Elementary School, where she had shot several children. Eight-year-old Nicholas Corwin, who was shot in a second-grade classroom, died; five others survived their wounds. Police already were searching the neighborhood for Dann when she entered the Andrews' large home, clad in a T-shirt, shower curtain and plastic garbage bag, and carrying two handguns.

At first, Andrew and his mother were sympathetic toward Dann, who told them she had been sexually assaulted and was afraid she would be in trouble with police because she shot her attacker. But it soon became apparent Dann's story made little sense. Dann allowed Ruth Ann to leave the house to wait outside for her two daughters' return from high school. Andrew's father, Raymond, also was allowed to leave when his son promised Dann he would stay. At a moment when she seemed to let her guard down, Andrew grabbed one of her guns, a.

But when Dann heard police outside the house, she told Andrew she wanted him to stay with her. Then, without warning, she shot him point-blank in the right side of his chest. The bullet punctured both of his lungs, severed his esophagus and ripped through his stomach and pancreas before lodging in the left side of his back. His lungs began to deflate.

Andrew dived into a pantry to reload the Beretta, then held it aloft to cover himself as he ran from the house. Outside, Andrew collapsed in his family's driveway. Inside, Dann went to a bedroom, put the barrel of her. Thus began Philip Andrew's education — about the violent nature of modern America, about the way his government really works, about shootings so epidemic that some people no longer regard them as a crime issue but rather as a public health menace. The ordinary looking profile on MySpace. But the profile notes, "I am a bit crazy and suffer from Obsessive Compulsive Disorder.

The profile is for Laurie Wasserman Dann, who in walked into a public school classroom in north suburban Winnetka and shot six children, wounding five and killing one. She later killed herself. The profile includes a black-and-white photo. The profile was one of million on the social networking site used by teenagers and others worldwide to communicate with friends and meet new people. But it was also one of several purporting to be posted by dead killers, including John Wayne Gacy and Jeffrey Dahmer. This phony profile of Laurie Dann, whose rampage ended in her suicide, was removed after MySpace officials were notified of it.

Herb Timm, who was Winnetka's police chief at the time of the gruesome crime, said the profile was "terribly offensive. That sickens me. Timm said whoever created the profile is "one insensitive sick person. We remove imposter profiles when they are brought to our attention. The spokeswoman later said such postings were rare and accounted for "a very small percentage'' of profiles.

However, the "imposter'' behind the Dann profile is apparently "Jason," a year-old white male who responded to queries from the Sun-Times.

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In an e-mail, the man said he created the account because he is a "murder junky'' who reads tons of true-crime books. He chose Dann because of the obscurity -- many other killers already had profiles. You know, the clingy, crazy bitch thing. Jason said "myspace is about having fun. Creating profiles and taking their personalities online.

He also maintains a site for Gacy, which is far more graphic than the one for Dann.

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He said he expected someone to take offense to the Dann site -- he has already had two other profiles removed. I'm not a mean-spirited person, I just have a sick sense of humor. MySpace officials said they can also remove profiles for offensive content, hate speech or nudity. As of Sunday night, sites for Gacy and Dahmer had not been removed. One of the "friends" listed on the Dann site was the metal band Macabre, a Chicago trio that has recorded several songs about serial killers in its 20 years together. Band manager Rodney Pawlak of Chicago said he wasn't sure why the band was listed as a friend, but he noted the group does have a song about Dann.

He said the group uses MySpace to help promote its music and sell merchandise. He said the sites and the music appeal to "a whole subculture for true crime. Pawlak noted the ease of creating a false profile on MySpace. Pawlak said he didn't believe the music was offensive. Early life Dann was born in Chicago, Illinois and grew up in Glencoe, an affluent northern suburb of Chicago, the daughter of accountant Norman and Edith Wasserman. Separation and divorce Laurie and Russell Dann separated in October , and the divorce negotiations were acrimonious, with Laurie claiming that Russell was violent and abusive.

Last year Laurie Dann worked as a babysitter, and some employers were happy with the care she provided their children. Attacks During the days before May 20, , Laurie Dann prepared rice cereal snacks and juice boxes poisoned with the diluted arsenic she had stolen in Madison. Aftermath Despite the severe injuries that some had received, all the wounded eventually recovered. Search for a rationale Investigations were made difficult by the Wassermans' refusal to be interviewed by the police or to allow access to her psychiatric records, though the latter were eventually obtained by court order.

I'm going to a house that's not too far away I'm gonna shoot one more Then take my own life away SKcentral. Juan Ignacio Blanco.

StevenWarRan Research: Brenda Ann Spencer

MALE murderers. Classification: Murderer.

Serial killer says he's killed around 90 people

Characteristics: Shooting rampage - Wounded two girls and three boys in a school. Date of murder: May 20, Date of birth: October 18, Adam wanted to take five classes, but Peter said it was more than he could cope with, and suggested two classes that they could work on together. Peter went to pick him up for a weekend visit, and Adam refused to go.

I have been trying to reason with him to no avail. He did introduce her to Ryan, who had moved to New Jersey after graduating college. He was still doing so a month before the shootings. I wondered how Peter had felt through this period. I never expected that I would never talk to him again. I thought it was a matter of when. Nancy tended to, as did I. According to Peter, Ryan reached out several times, but Adam never responded. Peter and Shelley now suspect that Adam deliberately shut them out to hide his psychological decay. He is starting to talk about going back to school which would be nice.

In early , Nancy said that Adam had agreed to see Peter in the spring, but nothing came of it. Nine months later, Peter protested that Adam never even acknowledged his e-mails. He has had a bad summer and actually stopped going out. Yet similar choices have worked well for others: some people with autism respond best to a mixture of laissez-faire and active indulgence.

Peter wanted to give it to Adam personally. I just feel sad for her. She slept with her bedroom door unlocked, and she kept guns in the house, which she would not have done if she were frightened. Peter does not think that Adam had any affection for him, either, by that point.

The reason he shot Nancy four times was one for each of us: one for Nancy; one for him; one for Ryan; one for me. On the morning of December 14, , Peter went to get lunch at work and found colleagues clustered around a television. Then news reports mentioned that a twenty- and a twenty-four-year-old were involved the ages of his two sons and that the shooter had attended the school. Unable to get any work done, he drove home to watch the coverage. A reporter was waiting in his driveway, and told him that somebody at his house was involved in the shootings. But he knew better, and called Shelley at work.

As soon as she got home, they called Ryan and began the two-hour drive to his place, in Hoboken. Ryan had also left his office early; by the time he got home, the police had taped off his apartment building.

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They were questioned for a couple of hours and were made to wait for two more before they were allowed to see Ryan. I asked what they had done about a funeral for Adam. Two of these acts are explicable; the third, incomprehensible. There are many crimes from which most people desist because we know right from wrong and are careful of the law. Most people would like to have things that belong to others; many people have felt murderous rage.

Since , according to a USA Today study, there have been two hundred and thirty-two mass killings—meaning, more than four deaths apiece, not including the killer—in the United States. But fewer than fifteen per cent involved random, unknown victims. The problem with generalities about mass murderers is that the sample size is tiny, and most die before they can be examined. Almost half of all mass murderers commit suicide in the act, and many others are killed by police. But, for Adam, killing others and suicide were both crucial.

The link seems clear: the more Adam hated himself, the more he hated everyone else. And yet, if someone has committed heinous crimes and is then found to have bad genes or a neurological abnormality, should we presume that biology compelled him? Will such knowledge also bring deeper understanding? Legal definitions of insanity still focus on psychosis, the delusions of which are held to diminish responsibility.

Medical conceptions include many additional bizarre behaviors, thoughts, and feelings. Peter has searched the psychiatric literature on mass killers, trying to understand what happened to his son. He wrote that we insist that mass killers are insane only to reassure ourselves that normal people are incapable of such evil.

So Sandy Hook was a culmination—neither sudden nor entirely calculated, at least until the very end. Peter wanted the writers to know how much their words helped him. Saying how sorry she is. There was a woman whose husband stabbed and killed a child. People having Masses said for Adam. Other letters were peculiar: one suggested that Adam had been drugged by the C.

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