Getting Inside the Minds of School Shooters


It seems like once a month you hear about a new school shooting.  A 'troubled' kid walks into his high school seeking revenge and in most cases, looking to become infamous. The 1999 Columbine High School massacre is the source of inspiration for some of these kids that look up to the twisted ideologies of the two gunmen Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold.  

In 2014, John LaDue of Waseca, Minnesota was on his way to set off bombs and shoot his classmates when his plan was thwarted by a 911 caller who saw him trying to break into a storage locker. LaDue idolized the Columbine shooters and hoped to assault at least 40 people. 

He purchased a black duster jacket so he could dress just like Eric Harris, and made several references to Columbine in a 180-page journal that spelled out details of his plan. LaDue would later tell police about his obsession with the gunman and how he "kinda want to pay tribute to him." He sought to complete his attack on the Columbine anniversary, in honor of his idol. 

This 'Columbine Effect' is influencing kids more in the age of social media where word spreads fast and people have the stories in the palm of their hands almost as soon as it happens. 

Author Peter Langman has done his research in order to answer the burning questions of why these attacks happen and how anybody could commit such horrible acts. Langman's book Why Kids Kill: Inside the Minds of School Shootersdelves into the psychology behind 10 of the most notorious school shooters and his new book  School Shooters: Understanding High School, College, and Adult Perpetratorsbuilds more on that research. 

Langman joined John and Ken to talk more about his research.

Photo: Getty Images


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