Author(s) Meloy, John Reid
Year 2014
Title The Seven Myths of Mass Murder
Published in Violence and Gender, Vol. 1, No. 3
Pages 102–104
DOI 10.1089/vio.2014.0012
Link [1]
Abstract For the past 15 years, my colleagues and I have conducted research on adolescents and adults who commit mass murder (see our research at We define mass murder as the intentional killing of three or more individuals, excluding the perpetrator, during one event. We have studied cases in both the United States and overseas, wherein this criminal phenomenon has its roots in the ancient behaviors called amok (Hempel et al. 2000).

With the second mass murder at Ft. Hood in April 2014, and the subsequent killing of six college students in Isla Vista, California, it is important to note the public misconceptions about these rare and frightening acts. I would like to take this opportunity to shed some light on what I consider the seven myths of mass murder.

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