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The Origins of Mass Murder

February 15th 2018

Ammo

Author and clinical psychologist Jordan Peterson, who has frequently locked horns with government authorities and leftists in his native Canada over issues related to free speech and crime, has frequently offered analyses of criminal acts. In a lecture at the University of Toronto, Peterson sought to analyze the minds of several notable mass murderers. 

Describing one of the two killers held responsible for the mass murder at the high school in Columbine, Colorado, in 1999, Peterson said that killer Dylan Klebold had brooded on his “isolation, his segregation from mankind. He’s out there in a chaotic domain, and because he is tortured by that, his thoughts take an unbelievably dark turn.” Peterson also described Carl Panzram, a child of German immigrants who had his beginnings as a juvenile delinquent and went on to become one of the worst serial killers in U.S. history. Panzram claimed to have raped more than 1,000 men and committed at least 21 murders, one of which was of a child.

Peterson said that Panzam committed these acts, “clearly and with malevolent intent.” Panzram wrote a book to boast of his claims.

Disputing the notion that many people have that most people have “good intentions,” Peterson asserted that “many people have very dark intentions that a fully conscious and very well elaborated. Panzram was no fool: he was smart. His book was very well written. It’s a good glimpse of exactly this sort of thing when you can get to by brooding on your specific misfortune.”

Describing Panzram’s motivations, Peterson said, “His basic credo was that human beings were so reprehensible that they should be eliminated. Believe me, that’s what he was trying to do. People who do terrible things, like the Columbine shooters, that’s -- for lack of a better word -- what they’re possessed by.”

Peterson explained that the Columbine shooters had planned an even more spectacular crime and knew full well that there would be widespread media coverage. “The people who engage in these kinds of mass murders, they know about the other mass murderers and are engaged in a competition as to who can do the most brutal thing and the fastest, something like that. So you can be thinking about just people with good intentions that somehow have gone wrong. If you ever meet someone who is like that, and you think that, you’re just a tree with ripe fruit to be plucked.”


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