Mass Murder in the United States
Mass murder in the United States
Author(s) Ronald M. Holmes
Stephen T. Holmes
Published 2000
Publisher Prentice Hall
Country United States
Pages 143
ISBN 9780139343087

Mass Murder in the United States is a book by Ronald M. Holmes and Stephen T. Holmes, published by Prentice Hall, Upper Saddle River, NJ, in 2000.


This book presents readers with a comprehensive and readable manuscript dealing with the social issue of mass murder. By examining each type of mass killer using the same format, the authors hope that readers will be able to distinguish between mass and serial murderers. Because looking at particular cases provides understanding as to the mentality and the mind of a mass killer, each chapter includes cases that illustrate the different types of mass killers. This coverage details the disciple mass killer, the family annihilator, the disgruntled employee mass killer, the ideological mass killer, the set-and-run mass killer, the disgruntled citizen mass killer, the psychotic mass killer, youthful killers in school shootings, and problems in mass murder investigation. For professionals in the fields of Criminal Justice, Sociology, Psychology, and Law Enforcement.

Table of contentsEdit

Chapter Page
Preface and Acknowledgments ix
Chapter 1 – Mass Murder in the United States 1
Introduction 2
Incidence of Murder in the United States 3
Conclusion 10
Discussion Questions 12
Chapter 2 – History of Mass Murder in the United States 13
Introduction 13
Charles Whitman: The Killer from the Tower 14
Michael Carneal: A Youthful Mass Killer 16
Other Mass Killers 20
Conclusion 21
Discussion Questions 21
Chapter 3 – What Is Mass Murder: Theory and Types 23
Introduction 23
What Is Mass Murder 24
Case Study: News Account of the Drega Mass Murder Scene 25
Differences between Mass and Serial Murder 29
Theory and Classification of Mass Murder 32
Behavioral Background 32
Motivation 33
Anticipated Gain 33
Spatial Mobility 34
Victim Characteristics 34
Typology of Mass Murderers 35
Conclusion 36
Discussion Questions 36
Chapter 4 – The Disciple Mass Killer 39
Introduction 39
Traits of the Disciple Mass Murderer 41
Case Study: The Charles Manson Family 44
Conclusion 46
Discussion Questions 47
Chapter 5 – The Family Annihilator 49
Introduction 49
Traits of the Family Annihilator 52
Case Study: Ronald Gene Simmons 53
Case Study: Jeffrey MacDonald 55
Case Study: John List 57
Conclusion 60
Discussion Questions 61
Chapter 6 – The Disgruntled Employee Mass Killer 63
Introduction 63
Traits of the Disgruntled Employee Mass Killer 64
Case Study: Joseph Wesbecker 67
Conclusion 73
Discussion Questions 73
Chapter 7 – The Ideological Mass Killer 75
Introduction 75
Traits of the Ideological Mass Killer 76
Case Study: Jonestown 77
Case Study: The Heaven's Gate Cult 81
Conclusion 84
Discussion Questions 85
Chapter 8 – The Set-and-Run Mass Killer 87
Introduction 87
Traits of the Set-and-Run Mass Killer 87
Case Study: Timothy McVeigh 89
Case Study: The Tylenol Mass Killer 92
Conclusion 94
Discussion Questions 94
Chapter 9 – The Disgruntled Citizen Mass Killer 95
Introduction 95
Traits of the Disgruntled Citizen Mass Killer 96
Case Study: James Oliver Huberty 99
Case Study: George Hennard 101
Conclusion 102
Discussion Questions 103
Chapter 10 – The Psychotic Mass Killer 105
Introduction 105
Traits of the Psychotic Mass Killer 107
Case Study: Ronald De Feo 111
Conclusion 111
Discussion Questions 112
Chapter 11 – Youthful Killers: School Shootings 115
Introduction 115
School Shooters: A Working Profile 115
Case Study: Kipland Kinkel 122
Conclusion 123
Discussion Questions 123
Chapter 12 – Problems in Mass Murder Investigation 125
Introduction 125
Community Reactions to a Mass Murder 126
Special Problems in a Mass Murder Investigation 129
Determining a Mass Murder Case 129
Protecting One's Turf 130
Determining the Type of Mass Murderer 131
Dedication of the Agency toward a Successful Resolution 131
Training and Education of Responding Police Personnel 131
Identification of the Victims 131
The Mind of the Mass Murderer 132
Conclusion 132
Discussion Questions 133
References and Further Reading 135
Index 141
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