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Deciding which killers get psychoanalyzed

Discussion in 'Sports and News' started by Bob Cook, Feb 19, 2008.

  1. Bob Cook

    Bob Cook Active Member

    So we (especially those of us in Chicago) have seen reams of copy trying to figure out why a grad student shot up a Northern Illinois classroom. However, whenever there is an arrest made in the killing of five at a suburban Chicago clothing store, I expect to see no amateur psychoanalyzing or desperate search for the answer of why the alleged murderer did it. In fact, I expect the arrestee to be portrayed as a garden-variety thug.

    Why would that be the case? Is it race? Is it that one guy killed himself, and the other didn't? Is it that one shooting happened on a college campus, and the other didn't? Is that one was a robbery gone band, so there's no perceived need to dig beyond the surface motive? Is it the expected shock of the readership? I'm curious what everyone else thinks, and whether anyone else has had similar questions.
  2. alleyallen

    alleyallen Guest

    Bob, just a theory here....

    When the killer survives, there's always a chance we might find out why they did it. When the killer takes his own life, there's always speculation as to why.
  3. markvid

    markvid Guest

    One was a robbery, one was just calculated murder.
  4. Starman

    Starman Well-Known Member

    Both should be executed. The NIU guy, of course, saved us the trouble.
  5. markvid

    markvid Guest

    Actually, no. Should have used reverse order.
  6. Captain_Kirk

    Captain_Kirk Well-Known Member

    Good thread, Bob. Some good points to consider.

    I think the lack of apparent motive is the key here. In the other case, the robbery provides the why. In the NIU case, you can't answer the why did someone walk into a classroom and start shooting, so you have to dig into the killer's background to see if there are puzzle pieces to put together.

    Something also to be said about this happening on a college campus: young people, just coming into their own, becoming adults. There's something more tragic from a dramatic standpoint of young people dying in such a random manner in an environment that most would consider to be a safe haven from the "real world" (although I say that admittedly without knowing the ages of the Lane Bryant store victims).

    Could race be a factor? I'd like to think not, but I can't stand here and honestly say it isn't.

    I also think what else in the news cycle impacts the depth of the coverage to some extent.
  7. armageddon

    armageddon Active Member

    Do we know the race of the killer(s) from the store shooting? Or are you assuming he/she was black?

    The shooter at Va Tech was not a white male.

    The shooter at NIU was.

    I've seen comparable levels of analyzing and speculating.
  8. Bob Cook

    Bob Cook Active Member

    The suspect in the Tinley Park shootings is a black male.
  9. Mystery_Meat

    Mystery_Meat Guest

    a) shooting involving younger people (even if only a little younger, as in college students) grab our attention more.

    b) if a mall shooting last year claimed 32 lives, I would suspect the next mall shooting would get outsize coverage.
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