My col­league James Alan Fox and I have studied hun­dreds of cases of mass murder, including those com­mitted at random in shop­ping malls, churches, health clubs, and cinemas.

Almost every killer who opens fire indis­crim­i­nately in a public place seems to have been delu­sional, para­noid, and hallucinatory.

Yet no matter how defin­i­tive the evi­dence, this con­clu­sion does not sit well with Amer­i­cans who seek jus­tice for seem­ingly “crazy” acts of vio­lence. It seems to me that many people would prefer to believe that mass killers are evil rather than sick.

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