Mass Murderers Fit Profile, as Do Many Others Who Don’t Kill

They have become one of the most notorious and alarming stripes of evil. People who, when you think back, seemed off. Didn’t dress right. Kept to themselves. Were nursing a bitterness that smoldered inside of them.

And then they picked up guns and went out and killed as many as they could.

In the aftermath, the same questions arise: Why didn’t everyone know? Why weren’t they stopped?

Now those questions are being asked aboutChristopher Harper-Mercer, who for reasons yet to be deciphered slaughtered nine people at Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, Ore., on Thursday. They have been asked about the man who killed nine people in a church in Charleston, S.C., in June. The man who killed six people in Isla Vista, Calif., last year. The man who killed a dozen people at the Washington Navy Yard in 2013.

And so forth.

What seems telling about the killers, however, is not how much they have in common but how much they look and seem like so many others who do not inflict harm.

– The New York Times

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