Volume 42, Issue 2 (March 1997)
Predatory Violence During Mass Murder
A case of mass murder by a 35-year old male is reported. Following a week of separation from his spouse and temporary loss of custody of his son, the subject went to his wife's worksite and murdered her and the store manager, wounded a passerby in a car, and murdered a police officer arriving on the scene. Weapons used were a .32 caliber revolver, a 9-mm pistol, a 7.62-mm assault rifle, and a .50-caliber rifle. The fact pattern of the case is shown to be quite consistent with a predatory mode of aggression—violence that is planned, purposeful, emotionless, and not preceded by autonomic arousal. The forensic importance of considering mode of violence, whether predatory or affective, independently of psychiatric diagnosis, is emphasized.