I know that in 2012, James E. Holmes killed
12 people seated in the darkened Aurora motion
picture theatre, at the preview of a Batman
film, and wounded 58 others. Sadly, about one
month before the rampage, Holmes told
a university psychiatrist that he was having
homicidal thoughts, and she concluded he could
pose a danger to the public. There was, clearly,
no adequate follow up.
mass murders occur with devastating regularity
in the United States. Other murderers have "taken
out" many more victims in a single-killing
a matter of minutes, mass killers destroy lives
and families, create orphans, and disable individuals
for the remainder of their lifetimes.
us, Jesus of Peace, to find effective ways to
identify these potent killers among us,
to prevent their murderous rampages, and to
stem this tide of senseless, impersonal slaughter.
receive the victims of these crimes into the
glorious peace of Your Heavenly Kingdom. Please
aid the surviving victims in putting their lives
back together again in the terrible enduring
aftermath of such unspeakable traumatic tragedy.
Help us all do what we can, Sweet Jesus,
to raise children who will never resort
to these atrocious bloody crimes, and to detect
and care for in time, persons with lethal mental
mercy on the victims, and their killers, Jesus.
May they all rest in peace.
this I pray to You, Our God of Love
and Life, in fervent hope.
of mass attacks In the United States include
- Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev
3 dead, 176 injured - Boston Marathon.
apparently motivated Islamic Jihadisism
- Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold
13 killed, 24 injured - Columbine High School.
The two committed suicide in the library,
where they had killed 10 of their victims. Although
early media reports attributed
shootings to a desire for revenge
on the part of Harris and Klebold for bullying
that they received, subsequent psychological
analysis indicated that Harris, who conceived
the attacks, was a predatory psychopath
with a deep superiority complex who lacked remorse
or empathy for others, and sought
to punish them for their perceived inferiority.
- Seung-Hui Cho
32 killed 24, injured -
In middle school, Choe was diagnosed with
a severe anxiety disorder known as selective
mutism, as well as major depressive disorder.
He received therapy and special education support
until his junior year of high school. During
Cho's last two years at Virginia Tech, several
instances abnormal behavior, as well as plays
and other writings he submitted containing references
to violence, caused concern among teachers and
classmates. In the aftermath
of the Virginia Tech massacre, a panel established
by Governor Tim Kaine criticized
the failure of the educators and mental health
professionals to notice his deteriorating condition
and help him.
- Charles Whitman
17 killed, 32 injured - Austin, Texas. He had
made many notes, including one saying that
he was the "victim of many unusual
and irrational thoughts." He left loving
notes at the corpses of his mother and wife
before going to a Tower at the University of
and firing randomly at strangers from the 28th-floor
observation deck until he was killed b a police
- Julio Gonzales
87 killed - Happy Land Social Club
Arson NYC. On the evening of the fire, González
had argued with his former girlfriend, Lydia
Feliciano, a coat check girl at the club, urging
her to quit. She broke off their relationship.
González was was ejected from the club,
screaming drunken threats in the process. He
then returned with a container of gasoline which
he spread on the only staircase into the club,
and set the blaze. Fire exits had been blocked
to prevent people from entering without paying
the cover charge. Ms. Feliciano was not harmed.
Mr. Gonzales will be eligible for parole in
- David Burke
47 killed in a plane crash after he
shot two pilots. He had been recently terminated
by USAir for petty theft of $69 from in-flight
cocktail receipts and was suspected of other
- Priscilla Joyce Ford
6 killed, 23 injured, by driving on three Reno,
NV sidewalks. She told authorities that some
people called her "Jesus Christ."
She also claimed to be the first man, Adam,
and also a prophetess. She said that she was
tired of life and had deliberately planned to
kill as many people with her car as she could
as a way to get attention. She was sentenced
to death, but died in prison in January 2005
of natural causes.
- Mark Essex
19 killed, including ten police officers, 13
injured. Essex was discharged from the US Navy
for "character and behavior disorders."On
New Year's Eve 1972, in New Orleans, he killed
a policeman but escaped. On January 7, he shot
a grocer, drove to a Howard Johnson’s
Hotel, and made it to the top floor of the building,
telling employees he was there to kill white
people. He killed a honeymoon couple and set
their room afire. He then shot two hotel managers
and two police officers. From the roof of the
building he exchanged fire with police and a
US Marine helicopter throughout the day, protected
in a concrete cubicle. At nightfall he stepped
out into the open and died from more than 200
wounds from the helicopter and from sharpshooter
on the roofs of adjoining buildings.
- Thomas Doty
45 killed - Over Centerville, Iowa. Doty, a
suburban Kansas City salesman facing armed robbery
charges, was responsible for the explosion of
a commercial aircraft, killing all aboard. He
detonated six sticks of dynamite in the plane's
rear bathroom as part of a botched plan for
his wife, 5-year-old daughter and unborn son
to collect on a life insurance policy he purchased
moments before takeoff. Investigators found
that he had purchased six sticks of dynamite
shortly before the crash.
- Charles Starkweather
11 killed on road trip
teenaged spree killer, Starkweather murdered
eleven people, all but one during a two-month
road trip with his 14-year-old girlfriend, Caril
Ann Fugate, in Nebraska and Wyoming, ending
in early 1959. The e3xtend of Fugate's complicity
was never determined. The couple was captured,
and Starkweather was executed seventeen months
later, while Fugate served 17 years of a life
sentence in prison, paroled for good behavior.
- John Gilbert Graham
45 killed in an airplane explosion. On November
1, minutes after departing from Denver, a plane
exploded. There were no survivors. Aboard was
Graham's mother, who had bought $37,500 worth
of life insurance money in the airport terminal
just before the aircraft's departure. The bomb,
wrapped in Christmas paper, was in her suitcase.
Graham confessed, then recounted. His defense
was unable to counter massive evidence against
him. A suicide attempt in his cell failed, and
he was convicted and executed. Before his execution,
he said about the bombing, "as far as feeling
remorse for these people, I don't. I can't help
it. Everybody pays their way and takes their
chances. That's just the way it goes."
Donn B. Murphy - 2012
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