Sunday, November 18, 2007

Criminal Profiling Topic of the Day: School Mass Murders not for Americans Only

It turns out the Finnish boy who shot up his school killing nine of his classmates had been on line exchanging emails with another kid who had planned to do a Columbine on his own school (and thankfully has been arrested). The Internet is providing loners with something they never have had in the past: a demented peer group that they can be part of without actually having to hang around with them. These disturbed kids can now surf the Internet to find like minds instead of only being able to choose mates from just those available teens in their community. In this larger ocean of humanity they are sure to eventually find some other sick puppies out there who glorify violence and mass murder in the same way they do.

This new accessibility to ideas, encouragement, and validation is a serious problem for society. Psychopaths who are able to plug into such a system find fertile ground for sowing ideas that will eventually cause them to act out perverse behaviors. Rape sites, murder sites, bomb-making sites: sites like these allow teens with personality disorders to develop their fantasies. If these sites didn’t exist, the psychopath might never reach that level of obsession and simply be an annoying human being with slightly peculiar ideas, an oddball, but not necessarily a danger to others.

A diet of violence and a hungry psychopath is a deadly combination. Unfortunately, the Internet contains a veritable smorgasbord of evil ideation and the price to consume it is negligible.

Criminal Profiler Pat Brown

1 comment:

preraphazon said...

I believe the ideation or compulsion exists before the influence of the media. The internet can give the illusion that something is normal and acceptable to a person looking to rationalize their leanings. I think they must already be teetering on the edge to be willing to believe that just because other people are invested in the subject, that it must be acceptable and normal and to begin to cross over from fantasy into executing the idea.

Bomb making seems to be in a different category than, for example, someone who has a sexual compulsion who seeks out likeminded porn and its followers on the internet. These people are just as often soothed by finding an outlet rather than incited to escalate in real life and would probably only act out in a violent way if they were building up to it anyway.

But when you're talking about bomb making, you may not be dealing with a fantasy or compulsion at all but simply a wingnut who wants to experiment and see if he can build the thing and make it work. You may be dealing with a teenager whose brain isn't yet developed enough to predict or understand the consequences of his actions. Or you may be giving a calculated would-be bomber all the instruction he needs to carry out a crime he would not otherwise be able to execute in the manner he fantasizes about.

Since we have no control over many countries and what they allow to perpetuate on the internet, all we can do is control dangerous ingredients to the best of our ability and hope that someday there is a way to control content on the international internet. But like everything else, it should all begin at home, cleaning up our own backyard -- and our XBox 360s.

Nonetheless, a ray of hope may be found in that the internet also throws light into every corner of the world and offers a worldy view which makes it harder to cultivate by brainwashing and isolation cult-like fundmentalism of every variety.