Media and copycat mass killings
Loren Coleman, who has studied copycat killings and runs a blog on the subject, cites an Op-Ed by Dave Kopel:
"Last April, The Denver Post published on its front page five "glamour shots" that the Virginia Tech murderer had taken of himself, and sent to NBC. On Wednesday, the Post ran a front-page picture of the young man who killed two at a youth missionary center in Arvada and two others at a church in Colorado Springs, along with very large-type excerpts from the killer's rantings. In the first sentence, the killer compared himself to the Virginia Tech killer.
The Post might has well have a run a sidebar: "Are you a hate-filled sociopath? Are you upset because you have an intense feeling of superiority to other people, even though you have accomplished little or nothing? Your hateful screeds will not meet our standards for publication as a letter to the editor. However, if you perpetrate a mass murder, we will put your picture on our front page, publish your writings there, too, and do our part to ensure that your name is remembered forever."
Loren Coleman's book The Copycat Effect convincingly proves that sensational media coverage of murders and suicides leads to additional murders and suicides. Coleman's weblog, copycateffect.blogspot.com, suggests that the Colorado attacks may have been triggered by media coverage of a similar attack on an Omaha, Neb., shopping mall a few days before."
From the Volokh Conspiracy
Reader Chris Allen sent the following comment, for some reason blocked by the spam filter:
I replied to the first comment in your post on Loren Coleman's cite of Dave Kopel on copycat effect.
I disagree. They do not match the wifebeater profile, because they are in many cases a suicidal act. Wifebeating is not asociated with suicide at all; at grades into wife murder, which is also only rarely murder-suicide, but are linked to personal honor and control of relted others.
Mass shootings generally are imitative, suicidal, and not related to control within the family at all.