The aptly named “Spree” killer’s have run Amok again . . .
"a frolic, drinking bout," 1804, slang, earliest use in Scottish dialect works, of uncertain origin. Perhaps [Barnhart] an alteration of French esprit "lively wit" (seeesprit). According to Klein, Irish spre seems to be a loan-word from Old Norse sprakr. Watkins proposes a possible origin as an alteration of Scots spreath "cattle raid," from Gaelic sprédh, spré, "cattle; wealth," from Middle Irish preit, preid, "booty," ultimately from Latin praeda "plunder, booty" (see prey (n.)).
in verbal phrase run amok first recorded 1670s, from Malay amuk "attacking furiously." Earlier the word was used as a noun or adjective meaning "a frenzied Malay," originally in the Portuguese form amouco or amuco.
There are some of them [the Javanese] who ... go out into the streets, and kill as many persons as they meet. ... These are called Amuco. ["The Book of Duarte Barbosa: An Account of the Countries Bordering on the Indian Ocean and Their Inhabitants," c.1516, English translation]
List_of_rampage_killersPantziarka, Pan (2000). Lone Wolf: True Stories of Spree Killers. Virgin Publishing. ISBN 0-7535-0437-5 .
“Why?” People ask. Why has this happened again? I’ve put the above suggested reading because this does keep coming up and everywhere there are people who are sure they have the answer, usually with very little to claim as authority, but yet they say they know why. Some of them are religious and would have us believe that the decline of religion is to blame.(and some the rise of secularism)
I take that as a serious question and so I need you my readers to take it seriously as well by becoming interested in the topic and history of Spree Killers yourself, because:
What if the average and below average human being just isn’t smart enough to deal with the emotional traumas of life without the prophylactic protection of religious belief?
How about the emotional trauma of wanting a human connection, sex with another person, and being repeatedly denied that comfort? (putting aside whatever reasons they may have been denied or any perception you might have of that as being a sick sense of entitlement for a moment. . . just think about that loneliness.)
Do I pity such a person? Of course I do. Does it excuse their murder of other human beings? Absolutely not! I do find it telling that the first news bite I heard about Elliot Rodger’s killing spree was about his motivations, his rejection by women he desired. I do think it’s ridiculous that the amount of media coverage and pure hype has gone into his motivation a great deal more than the misery of those victims’ families or what was done to who and when, but how long has it been since the Media was more concerned with factual details than emotional rhetoric? So am I really surprised? not in the least. Besides that, everyone does want to know “why” – Why did this happen, Again? and that’s the emotional news bite.
To say that guns are the reason is narrow minded and foolish. These crimes have been committed with knives. To say he was psychologically ill, is the easy and obvious answer. To even take the words of the Killer himself as the answer why, is foolish and lazy.
So I ask these questions: Why are so many of these spree killers so young? Why are they male? Pan Pantziarka’s book Lone Wolf: True Stories of Spree Killers mentions several contributing factors as well as pointing to some other issues that may be important items to consider too.
- Have access to and even fascination with guns or other weapons
- Are experiencing financial difficulties or other failure of life expectations
- Suffer from social dysfunction – described as awkward, timid, shy, keeps to himself
- Many of the Killer’s recently lost a dominating Father figure in their lives
- Create Manifestos or tell others somehow of their anger or even their plans before acting
- Have suicidal thoughts or impulses
- Use hate speech and dehumanize other people or extol things that do
- Express anger over small things, and take everything personally
There are other commonalities too I’m sure, but these are the ones I’ve noted or others who have written on the subject have noted. I’m not sure about whether being Male is really evidence of anything, even though I agree that there is still a sense of masculine entitlement in our culture that many have pointed to as the cause. It’s not necessarily the cause of all the other Spree Killer’s and women could be spree killers’ they’d just probably choose other means, fire, poison, or have skipped the violence altogether and gone right to suicide. Suicide is almost the defining factor for a Spree Killer vs. a Serial Killer. Most Spree Killer’s kill themselves or use suicide by cop and Serial Killers usually get caught, studied, jailed and or eventually executed. That and the rampage factor.
The Masculine issues, especially the dominating father figure, are still a huge cause and raise the question in my mind as to whether for some the sudden loss of the dominating sky father “god” might be too much of a strike against their identity. If it leads to floundering lack of direction, depression and feelings of inadequacy, it could result in a suicidal spree.
If we yet have religious folks and Aliens who don’t look human show up, then I predict there will be a huge number of people who will cease to feel special, they’ll have anger over being lied to for years and for having wasted years all to gain a lie. Such a proof of the lie of Abrahamic religions “in God’s image” will spawn either mass murder or suicides, or possibly both. I hope I’m wrong, but if you’ve read any H.P. Lovecraft, you know I’m not the only one to speculate on this particular cause of sanity loss.
So read up, talk to other people, pose the hypothetical situation to the religious especially:
“If you found out for certain sure that God did not exist, and you even had incontrovertible proof of this fact, then what would you do?, would you share it? How would you feel? And what would you do with the rest of your life?”