My novel Compulsion
focuses on the mind of a serial killer, one who focuses his criminal efforts over a period of time and often develops a particular trademark to his murderous deeds. The studies I completed in criminology and forensic science were largely motivated by my interest in what makes these killers operate … what makes them tick. Unfortunately, another method of deadly crime has struck in several areas across the United States in the past week. If you have turned on the news recently, you know that three instances of multiple murders by one individual have claimed far too many innocent lives.
First we learned of the gunman who barricaded occupants into the American Civic Association in Binghamton, New York and shot thirteen people to death
before killing himself. Next, a 23-year-old Pittsburgh resident who was upset about losing his job and feared that President Obama would take away his guns killed three police officers
who responded to a domestic disturbance. The last incident occurred when a man, upset that his wife was leaving him, shot and killed his five children
and then ended his own life.
Even though two of these killers are now dead, their personalities will be analyzed, their family members and friends will be interviewed, and every possible detail concerning their lives will be uncovered. Psychologists and members of law enforcement will try to answer how such hideous crimes could have occurred. Were there warning signs that could have provided a clue to the eventual tragedy? Why were those particular victims targeted?
I certainly do not have any answers. I am saddened and shocked like everyone else who has followed these stories. My thoughts have been with all of the victims and their families and I hope that, most importantly, they are someday able to find some resolution to these horrible events.