Sunday, June 12, 2016

MO, not Motive is the Key to Labeling the Murder of Multiple Victims and the Key to Stopping These Crimes

The term "motive" has caused a lot of problems in crime solving, court cases, and in the public arena of understanding crime.

First, let me define "motive" properly. Motive is the reason someone THINKS he he has committed a crime or someone else THINKS he has has committed a crime. In reality, there is often little evidence that the claimed "motive" is the true reason for the crime and, in reality, it really doesn't matter a damn to the dead people or their families.

The problem with the definition of "motive" is that humans often do not understand themselves, others, or the complexity of why we do things and that we might claim one motive when another is totally the reason for our action or, as is often true, there are multiple motives for any action and focusing on just one is not giving the full story.

Take a action which is a non-crime: why does Pat Brown go on television? Is her motive the one she gives - a desire to educate the public about crime and criminals - or is it the motive some others claim is the truth - that Pat Brown is a narcissist who likes the limelight? Or that she wants to advertise her books? That she wants to make money? That she likes to ride in limos to the studio? Or that she likes the free hairstyle and makeup? Is she seeking truth or fame? Or, is it possible that she has multiple motives, some possibly stronger than others, that make up her choice to appear on television?

And killers? How do we KNOW their motive? Are they angry at the person they kill? Or was it just fun? Or did they want notoriety? Or was it a robbery gone bad? Or a supposed hate crime? If a killer says he shot a bunch of people down because they were African-American is this necessarily the truth? Or did he know he would get more publicity for saying so? Or the support of racists while in prison? Or did it just sound good after his plan to shoot up the white church next door fell through because the church went on a picnic and the black church next door was just a back up plan?

If a Muslim mass murderer yells "Allahu Akbar" does this mean the motive for his killing is truly to kill nonMuslims? Or is he just pissed off at his workmates? Or mad that his wife left him? Or does he simply want to justify in his own mind his desire to kill a lot of people and attain media fame?

Truth is, searching for an absolute motive is a waste of time. What IS important is determining how the crime was committed, who supported the killer (if anyone) and what we need to do to stop it from happening again. So far, there are a number of issues we need to address:

In a particular crime, we need to determine MO (modus operandi), how he did it.

1) Did he commit the crime all on his own? Then it is mass murder and we need to address the cause of mass murder in general and find any encouragers of the crime (the media) and stop them.

2) Did he commit the crime with the help of an organized terrorist cell? Then it is terrorism and we need to address the cause of terrorism in general and find any accomplices to the crime (other terrorists) and stop them.

Then we need to examine more deeply:

1) The increase of psychopathy
2) The increase of mass murder
3) The increase of terrorist attacks

There are real factors behind the increase of these three things: an environment that encourages the development of psychopathy, an environment that encourages the choice of mass murder as a tool of revenge and self-fulfillment, and an environment that encourages the choice of terrorist attacks to make a political statement.

These three factors should cause us to focus on how we raise our children, why we allow the media to make mass murderers famous, and how to stop the spread of radical Islam, especially within our own country (and that could be the US, the U.K., Malaysia, Nigeria, etc.)

While we are wasting time caring about some psychopath's excuse for why he committed his heinous crime, we could be using our time to stop these crimes from happening.

Criminal Profiler Pat Brown
June 12 2016

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