From: The New York Times

Mass Killings May Have Created Contagion, Feeding on Itself

The New York Times:

The horrifying rash of massacres during this violent summer suggests that public, widely covered rampage killings have led to a kind of contagion, prompting a small number of people with strong personal grievances and scant political ideology to mine previous attacks for both methods and potential targets to express their lethal anger and despair.

The Iranian-German who killed nine people at a Munich mall was reportedly obsessed with mass killings, particularly the attack by a Norwegian that killed 77 people in 2011. The Tunisian who killed 84 people at a Bastille Day celebration in Nice, France, also researched previous attacks, including the mass killing in Orlando, Fla. The Orlando gunman had reportedly researched the San Bernardino, Calif., attack.

The vast majority of people who take their lives kill only themselves, leaving no evidence that they wanted to kill others. But experts suspect that murder-suicides are subject to contagion effects from high-profile cases, though the numbers are too small to establish that statistically. Only about 1 to 2 percent of murder-suicides target random people outside immediate family or friends, said Matthew Nock, a psychologist at Harvard.

Read the whole story: The New York Times

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