Posted in homicide, homicide investigation, justice, massacres, murder, news, spree killers

Aurora Cinema Shooter ‘Sent Warning Package To Doctor’

Alleged movie theater gunman James Holmes mailed a notebook “full of details about how he was going to kill people” to a University of Colorado psychiatrist before the attack, but it sat unopened in a mail room until Monday, Fox News reported.

According to Fox, police and FBI agents were called to the University of Colorado Anschutz medical campus in Aurora on Monday after the psychiatrist said he received a package he thought was from Holmes. While that package turned out to be from someone else, a search of the mail room netted another package for the psychiatrist with Holmes’ name in the return address.

“Inside the package was a notebook full of details about how he was going to kill people,” a law enforcement source told Fox. “There were drawings of what he was going to do in it – drawings and illustrations of the massacre.”

According to Fox, “among the images shown in the spiral-bound notebook’s pages were gun-wielding stick figures blowing away other stick figures.”

One source said the package had been in the mail room since July 12, eight days before the shooting.

The notebook is now in FBI possession. The agency declined to comment on the matter, citing a gag order on the case.

According to Fox, the psychiatrist the package was meant for is a professor at the school who treated patients at a psychiatry outpatient facility. It was not clear whether the psychiatrist had ever had contact Holmes, who dropped out of the school’s neuroscience doctoral program last month.

Twelve people were killed and 58 others injured when Holmes allegedly opened fire during a midnight screening of the new Batman film, in City of Aurora, Colorado, last week.

Ref: The Blaze

Posted in homicide, homicide investigation, julkisuus, massacres, murder, spree killers, trials

Amy Bishop: ‘It wasn’t me, I wasn’t there’

Amy Bishop is a Harvard educated neurobiologist, former professor of the University of Alabama in Huntsville (United States) . In February, 2010 during a faculty meeting, Bishop, 44  went on a shooting rampage, killing three of her colleagues and wounding seriously three more.

She was arrested shortly after the shootings.

As she was escorted away by the police, she told the reporters: ‘No way, they are still alive’.

Amy Bishop arrested

bishopApparently the motive for the shooting was that she was recently denied tenure which means she was about to lose her job.

It was also reported that she was a sole provider for the family, her husband James Anderson and their four children. Perhaps she was under a lot of pressure and she snapped.

However, soon many alarming details started to emerge from her past that suggested this may not be the case.

>In a bizarre twist, it was revealed that more than 20 years ago Bishop fatally shot her 18-year-old brother, Seth Bishop. It was concluded that Seth’s death was an accident.

Bishop shot her brother at the family home in Massachusetts. Based on the recollection of an arresting officer, Bishop, then 20, shot her brother three times, then ran from the house and attempted a carjacking, Boston Globe reported. Police arrested her at gunpoint and were booking her when the former chief ordered a halt to the process and released her to her mother. He later said the gun went off accidentally when she was learning to unload it.

It is not known what would have been a motive for the alleged killing. She reportedly had an argument with her father that morning, possible motive could have been revenge. Perhaps she responds to stress or stressful situations by going ballistic which suggests mental issues. According to some reports she was never properly questioned, because she was ‘highly emotional’ and the case was closed quickly. If it was a cover up, it was more likely a family cover-up than police cover up, they didn’t want to lose both of their children. And Amy may have gotten away with murder. Her parents still insist it was an accident. The case may be hard to prove decades later. The case was re-opened after Alabama shootings and Bishop was indicted in brother’s death.

In another twist, Amy Bishop and her husband were also questioned in mail bombing incident of Harvard professor Dr. Paul Rosenberg, in 1993. Their home was searched, but no evidence was found to link Bishop to the incident. Investigators believed she had a motive to target Rosenberg,  allegedly she was concerned that she was going to receive a negative evaluation from Rosenberg on her doctorate work. The bomb never exploded. A medical researcher, Rosenberg had recently attended a seminar on letter bombs—the Unabomber had struck twice that year—and this heavy package looked suspicious. So, gingerly, he cut the tape around the edge with a knife and peeked inside. Two pieces of pipe, each about 6 inches long, were fixed in place. Wires were visible. He carefully shut the box, alerted his wife, and fled. No-one was ever charged with the crime which would have been an attempted murder.

After Alabama shootings the court ordered mental evaluation which will likely be submitted into evidence.

Madison County corrections officers escort accused UAH shooter Amy Bishop to a courtroom for her plea hearing on Thursday, Sept. 22, 2011. (Photo

The crimes she committed are outrageous, but the media coverage at least to some extent, has been unfair. That was hardly a first time such incidents took place, but most commonly shootings are carried out by men. In those cases suspects are often described as ‘ordinary’, ‘quiet’, ‘normal’ or even ‘loving husbands and good friends’, etc. As it would be more acceptable if perpetrator is a male. There were reports that Bishop was an ‘oddball’, ‘crazy’, and ‘bully’. That neighbours ‘cheered’ when she moved out and colleagues and the students just couldn’t wait to get rid of her. Also claims that ‘she was dangerous’ and she was out of control and mentally unstable according to court documents in civil case Johnson vs Karbhari, Bishop and Anderson link

Jane Velez-Mitchell; HLN even made an assumption that all professors, scientists are somehow suspicious.

They can walk around in their white coats and keep their heads in some laboratory cage and nobody questions them.’

Hilarious. Whatever one may think about ‘nutty’ professors, Bishop is first academic in US history to be accused of such crime. If  she was a taxi driver, would they draw similar conclusions?! Of course not.

Given that mental illnesses are poorly detected and treated in US, it is likely we will never know what is wrong with Amy Bishop.

However there is nothing to suggest she suddenly snapped. The crime was planned, she went to a shooting range before the murders, she bought a gun.

She appears to be in denial, during her interrogation hours later Bishop would insist, “I wasn’t there” and “It wasn’t me’. But it is possible she was just setting herself up for insanity defence.

A trial date has been set for Amy Bishop-Anderson for March 19, 2012.

She pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity.

Interestingly, Amy Bishop is a second cousin to famed author and Academy-awarded screenwriter John Irwing, best known for his novels ‘The World According to Garp’ and ‘Cider House Rules’.

Posted in massacres, murder, spree killers

Drinking Deadly Kool-Aid

Folie à deux is a psychiatric syndrome in which symptoms of a delusional belief are transmitted from one individual to another.

It is very interesting phenomena and there seems to be little research available about mental disorder called Folie à deux (Those are french terms, in english ‘a madness shared by two’ or ‘shared psychosis’) The same syndrome shared by more than two people may be also called ‘folie à plusieurs (madness of many).
The cause of the syndrome is not known and it is generally poorly understood.

The phenomena can be related to many events some less harmless than the others, for example UFO sightings, but also cult culture and many very serious crimes.

I am not an expert and the issue is poorly researched and explained. One reason for that is obviously that it is believed that disorder is very rare.

I am not going to focus on UFO sightings, but rather on criminal cases and criminal behaviour.

First, I would say the mental disorder may be more common than generally believed.  While scientific community almost ignores the disorder, it is possible that this is the cause of atrocities that killed millions.

Actually the whole nation may be affected by it. Did Germans drank Hitler’s kool-aid when they believed he is a great leader and doing the right thing. That wars and holocaust were justified because their leader said so?  Hitler was obviously paranoid schizophrenic and it is particularly dangerous if country’s leader is a mentally ill person.

In the history of crime perhaps the most publicized cases about ‘madness shared by two’ are ‘The Papin Sisters’ case link (via crimemagazine) and more recently the case of two identical Swedish twins sisters Sabina ja Ursula Eriksson. (link v Wiki)

In both cases it is assumed that the sisters had psychosis they shared. Madess of two can develop between two people that have unusually close relationship. For example 15 year old boy’s case, his mother was considered the dominant psychotic individual. The son was the passive recipient. It is common in such cases one person is more dominant and the another one is more like associate.
The parent-child relationship, also spousal and sibling relationships, is very common in folie à deux. There are numerous cases where heinous crimes are committed by man and wife/girlfriend is more passive accomplice. Of course it doesn’t mean that all those cases are cases of shared psychosis.

In United States expression ‘They have been drinking Kool-Aid’ is well known. For example in Casey Anthony case many suggested that Cindy and George ‘drank Casey’s kool-aid’, which means her parents believed something that is not true, they were delusional.

“Drinking the Kool-Aid” refers to the 1978 Jonestown Massacre; the phrase suggests that one has mindlessly adopted the dogma of a group or leader without fully understanding the ramifications or implications.

More than 30 years ago in Jonestown the members of the cult led by Jim Jones committed mass suicide by drinking deadly coctail of syanide, drugs and Kool-Aid (some believe it was Flavor Aid, both are soft drinks). More than 900 people died. One witness said: ‘There was no panic or emotional outburst and people looked like they were in a trance’ link v wiki

Photo mass suicide in Jonestown

It can be also concluded that some spree-killers may copy crimes committed by person they idolize. For example in Finland Pekka Auvinen killed 8 people in 2007 and wounded 12 more in shooting spree that occurred in Jokela High Scool where Auvinen studied. It is known he idolized  Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold who commtted similar crime in 1999 at Columbine High Scool in United States. Auvinen believed some people are superior than others and declared that ‘humanity is over-rated’. In Finland Matti Saari shot and fatally injured ten people  at Seinäjoki University of Applied Sciences in Kauhajoki in 2008. It is believed he was influenced by Auvinen.

Norway’s Anders Breivik allegedly idolized ‘Unabomber’ Ted Kaczynski. He copied them both – bombing carried out by more or less trained terrorist-style that included planning for years and killing sprees carried out by so-called ordinary schoolboys. Breivik’s motive for unleashing his vendetta was allegedly political.

There are many similar events, shooting sprees most commonly occurring in United States, but also spreading to other countries. In Brazil gunman killed 12 children at a school in Rio de Janeiro this year. In Netherlands Tristan van der Vlis shot dead 6 people in shopping mall in April this year. The list goes on and on.

It seems likely that one highly-publicized event triggers many similar attacks.

If those are cases of ‘shared psychosis’ it is not clear, but apparently one perpetrator seem to be influenced by another.

Some researches say that people who develop that kind of psychosis are often isolated and they may have stress issues. Likely the disorder can be related to some sort of trauma or traumatic events.
However this doesn’t explain why some individuals are more vulnerable to develop the disorder than the others.

Hopefully in the future there will be more studies about the phenomena.