VERY interesting paper on mass killings
Here's a very interesting short paper (small pdf) on mass slayings, with emphasis on the shootings at Port Arthur.
The gist of it is that, before that massacre, a national TV program had laid out a "how to do it" segment, with features that would predictably have appealed to a potential mass murderer, and ended with "We are going to have a massacre in Tasmania like those elsewhere."
He concludes what is needed for such a killer is rewards and guidance, and the media gives both. It rewards them with publicity, turning a bitter loser into a national figure. It gives guidance on how to do it, and once the first case occurs, lays out just how the killer went about his crimes.
I might add that what's needed for murder-suicide mass slayings is a person with a serious case of narcissistic personality disorder. That involves, not just a big ego, but a mass of inner self-hatred, from which the person is shielded by the enormous ego. Thus the murders satisfy the ego -- they feel godlike, able to strike down people on a whim. The suicide satisfies the self-hatred. The prospect of publicity is very appealing to such killers; it stokes the ego. "Celebrity" defines their idea of heaven -- not to be a hero, that requires heroism, but to be a celebrity, celebrated. In an instant, they can be on every new channel, the cover of Time, be talked of overseas, an experience that would otherwise take a lifetime of hard work and luck. Why, Nobel Prize winners don't become celebrities like that, despite decades of hard work and genius!