Josh Lamkin 12-9-17Q2 English Project/.Psychotic Psychology April 26th, 2002, a mass murder in Erfurt, Germany takes place.  18 people were dead inside the Gutenburg High School, the location of the massacre.  Mass murders like the event in Erfurt have only escalated throughout the world since 2002.  Killings went from a few incidents per year to a few incidents per month in the U.S. alone (Saindon). Along  with the increase of killings there have been an increase the number dead per shooting.  One example of this is when a man by the name of Omar Mateen killed 49 people in a nightclub (BBC).   So, what is a mass murder?  Researchers say, “Mass killings are events leaving four or more dead at the same place and time”(Corey).  These homicides are sometimes recognized as something like the Holocaust or the terrorist attack on September 11, 2002, however they can be very small yet yield huge impact.  Mass murders, like the murder in Erfurt, affects people throughout the world, from the murderer himself, families, and friends of the victims, to citizens across the globe.   The murder in Erfurt was one of many mass murders in 2002.  The shooting was the cause of a teenager by the name of Robert Steinhäuser, a 19 year old boy who had recently been expelled from the Gutenburg High School in Erfurt.  18 people, composed of students and teachers, were killed.  The victims were composed of mostly teachers, some students, and himself (Andrew).  The mental damages inflicted on the victims, the victims’ families, and on Steinhäuser himself can be observed. No true motive has been identified for the shooter’s homicide, due to the fact that Robert killed himself in the process of the shooting, however, the accepted guess is that Steinhäuser was stressed from being expelled and lacking a job opportunites.  The mental effects can be felt in the town of Erfurt as Deputy Mayor Dietrich Hagemann said, “The cloud still hangs over Erfurt,” he continues, “People carry themselves in a completely different manner, since that Friday, like a dark coat.  I don’t think our understanding will return to that previous reality — whatever that reality is,”(qtd in Erlanger).  The deputy specifically mentions how the murder has affected the town in a way.  A way that that can’t be undone or forgotten.  Although the killing of humans is a crime in itself, the murders do more than just execute humans, it hurts the victims’ families, friends, and the world as a whole.  Many families of homicide victims are afflicted with common physical responses of physical shock, numbness, disorientation, hyper-alertness, panic attacks, and constant crying.  Grief is another major effect of homicide or death in general.  Many are even affected by a simple notification.  Along with the physical effects, families have reported recurrent nightmares, rage towards the responsible person, anger towards the victim, depression, hatred toward God, and loneliness.The psychological effects often weigh more heavily the people related and connected with the victim, because of recurrent days of the year, like the victim’s birthday, holidays, or even the anniversary of the victim’s death (Anton, Ilse, Ferwerda  5).  The effects can be seen in International Review of Victimology, “As time goes by the co-victims’ feelings of loss grew stronger. The periodic outburst of anger and feelings of revenge they experienced immediately after the crime (against the perpetrator, but also against the police who had not always done a good job according to the co-victims) declined over the years. At certain moments that anger might be rekindled, especially at the time of the criminal proceedings.”  The growth of the feelings of loss showcases the effects.  Death isn’t something a person forgets, especially co-victims. The psychology of murder goes deeper than just the victims.  It goes into the mind of the murderer himself.  A common myth for murderers is that they are always psychotic.  That claim is not true however.  Although there have been a few reports of murderers being psychotic, most causes are not linked to mental illness according to statistics and information.  Approximately 65% of mass killers exhibited no evidence of a severe mental disorder.  According to Dr. Michael Stone, a forensic scientist at Columbia University, ” About one in five (murderers) are likely psychotic or delusional.” Only about 22% have truly been diagnosed with psychosis like schizophrenia (Carey).  Like an a person who is already angry and on edge, “The person may never act on the urge. But when they do, typically there’s a triggering event. It’s a loss in love or work — something that starts a clock ticking, that starts the planning,” says Dr. Meloy, a forensic psychologist at the University of California San Diego.  Mass murderers are often actually not psychotic, they are made that way by a stereotype in movies and TV shows like Mindhunter and Zodiac display murderers as psycho human beings (imdb).  Dr Stone says, ” The majority of killers were disgruntled workers or jilted lovers who were acting on a deep sense of injustice.”  This is proven by the murder in Erfurt, where Robert Steinhäuser is a ‘disgruntled worker’ (Carey).   Murders and homicide is more than meets the eye.  In fact it is inside the brain of the victims, co-vicitms, and families around the world.  It is the psychological effects of death that weighs on them.  Along with it’s effects there is more to a murderer than a stereotypical psychopath who goes on a rampage.  The psychology involved in homicide and murder is more intricate that a sudoku puzzle.

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