Is a mass mur­derer like James Holmes, the sus­pect in the shooting at an Aurora, Col­orado movie the­ater that killed 12 people and wounded 59 others, men­tally ill or simply seeking revenge for per­ceived wrongs? Experts who study the moti­va­tion of mass mur­derers dis­agree on the answer.

According to James Alan Fox, a crim­inal jus­tice pro­fessor at North­eastern Uni­ver­sity in Boston, most mass mur­derers are not men­tally ill. Fox, who has written sev­eral books on mass murder and school vio­lence, told MSNBC:

It takes a cer­tain degree of clear-​​headedness to plan and exe­cute a crime like this.”

 

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