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December 18th, 2012
07:03 AM ET

CNN Chief Medical Correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta looks inside the violent mind; researchers say none of 10 killers studied had just "snapped"

Newtown, Connecticut is a town in mourning in the aftermath of the tragic shooting that took the lives of 20 children and six adults at Sandy Hook Elementary School. Many questions are being asked in the wake of the devastation, especially why the shooter did what he did. A body of research on previous mass murders may provide clues as to what the killers share in their minds. CNN Chief Medical Correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta is exploring that story.

“A close look at ten of the most analyzed mass murder cases in history provides some remarkable insight,” Dr. Gupta says. "According to this research published in the journal, Aggression and Violent Behavior, doctors typically start by placing killers into three categories: traumatized, psychotic,  psychopathic."

In each case studied, "the killers showed signs of psychotic behavior, severe delusions and paranoia," Dr. Gupta says. "Looking back, none of them had snapped. They had all left clues, pieced together after it was too light. Hindsight.”

soundoff (One Response)
  1. johnguerin

    The shooting information that I'm hearing sounds a bit like one possibility is a psychosis caused by the use of "bath salts". Has anyone heard or read anything about toxicology looking at that angle? I'm hearing about genetic testing, which would seem to be a red herring, but we are seeing incidents of unpredictable aggressive behavior by ingestors of bath salts. Any input?

    December 19, 2012 at 6:36 pm | Reply

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