Why do people drive so badly
Why do people run amok?
Bannenberg analyzed the cases comprehensively. She not only studied the criminal files and personal testimonies of the perpetrators. She interviewed murder perpetrators, victims and people from the social environment around the killing spree.
This is the first time that a scientific survey is available that is of great importance for the further handling of amoctates.
Murderers are not victims of bullying
Contrary to what is often assumed, the murder perpetrators examined were not victims of bullying. They came from inconspicuous middle-class families who were well off financially. "There were no 'broken-home' relationships with violence and social neglect," writes Bannenberg in her report.
The siblings had described the murderers as "difficult to access and closed", as "overwhelmed at school, without friends or girlfriend, obsessed with computers, but also as lonely and needy".
The gunmen did not have a trusting relationship with their parents, the families lived side by side with an externally intact facade.
Assassins are predominantly male loners who have not learned to build and maintain friendships, summarizes Bannenberg.
Gunmen are extremely vulnerable
The psyche of the young gun killers shows a common pattern: a so-called narcissistic-paranoid personality disorder.
The narcissistic disorder is characterized by self-centeredness, a need for recognition and a lack of empathy and is an expression of a lack of self-esteem.
Paranoid disorder manifests itself through distrust, extreme sensitivity to criticism, and a tendency to perceive the world as hostile and directed against oneself.
Amok perpetrators develop "a bundle of motives of anger, hatred and thoughts of revenge", explains amok researcher Bannenberg. "They often feel humiliated and badly treated without the environment being able to understand."
According to the motto "It's everyone's fault that I feel so bad" they develop generalized thoughts of revenge. However, the environment does not notice this because they behave inconspicuously. They don't mess around or fight each other, instead they build up all their aggression for the big day X.
Killer games are amplifiers, but not the cause of murder
Instead of trying to establish social contacts, murderers withdraw more and more and look for role models and outlets for their anger on the Internet. There you will find, for example, reports of the rampage at Columbine High School in the United States (April 20, 1999), which has served as a model to this day.
Before that there is usually a long phase, which is characterized by killing fantasies and the coloring of the "grandiose" murder.
The recurring frustration about real life, in which they feel overwhelmed by school and the social demands, is discharged in the increasingly concrete idea of the act of revenge, in which as many people as possible should atone for their own suffering.
PC killer games and violent videos act as inspiration and amplifiers, but are not the cause of the rampage, emphasizes amok researcher Bannenberg.
The obsession with the subjects of amok and death "is reinforced by the chosen consumption of violent media". And it contributes to the conviction that "to be entitled to multiple murders".
Suicide as the culmination of self-presentation
Every rampage is announced somewhere, the justice professor found out - either in internet forums or to friends, who usually don't take it seriously.
The aim of an amoktat is to kill as many people as possible and to achieve as much media coverage as possible in order to make a lasting impression on the memory. The rampage is a demonstration of power and hatred of society.
The suicide, which usually comes at the end of the act, is not an expression of depression, but the climax of self-presentation. The copycat effect also plays a role in young perpetrators - they carry out the act in much the same way as their role models did from past amocts and shoot themselves.
Adult gun killers have different motives
Adult gunmen are also loners and almost always men. But their motives are more diverse than those of young gunmen.
Prof. Bannenberg examined 39 cases involving 40 perpetrators between 1913 and 2015. She found paranoid personality disorder in a third of the cases.
Just as often the perpetrators had a pathological psychosis, especially the form of paranoid schizophrenia. There were also psychopathic personalities with sadistic elements.
In contrast to young perpetrators, adults are often noticed in advance: They scold and accuse. Often it is people who have failed professionally and in relationships. Alcohol and drug use play a role. Similar to young people running amok, they drive hatred and resentment into action - they too want to take revenge.
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