Despite our best efforts, there will never be a 100% foolproof way of preventing school shootings and other mass murders. The only conceivable way would be a total ban on firearms, which is not going to happen. And even that would only cut down on the body count since numerous other weapons are still available. But that doesn’t mean we should just throw up our hands and do nothing.
I was particularly distressed and saddened to hear about the tragedy at the Quantico, Virginia, Marine Base last week. I spent most of my career there since Behavioral Science was located at the FBI Academy, a Marine Corps tenant. And also because I know the kinds of stresses and conflicts that undoubtedly contributed to this tragedy.
Exclusive: Legendary FBI Profiler John Douglas Talks to BTK, the Most Disturbing Serial Killer Ever
What happens if you find yourself looking into the eyes of a vicious serial killer? I suggest you look away fast, and get far away even faster—it’s a sight that may haunt you for the rest of your life, which might not be long if the killer is a free man and has taken an interest in you.
But in John Douglas’s world, it works differently—he seeks these predators out. It was not only his job (he was the man who cultivated the science of profiling within the FBI in the late ‘70s) but an obsession. Maybe it was Douglas’s calling, or perhaps it was destiny, but somehow his life turned into a mission to help catch human monsters who commit unpardonable acts against helpless victims.
The profiler has paid a severe price for his work—a tortured psyche, sleepless nights, terrifying nightmares, and a cataclysmic descent into a near-fatal coma from nervous exhaustion—by climbing inside the minds of the killers and their victims. (Don’t even try to imagine what this is like.)
Doctors are supposed to save lives, or at least make them better. But Dr. Harold Shipman wanted more. Rather than the satisfaction he could have derived from extending lives, he craved the power that comes with knowing he was snuffing them out.
Shipman is the British physician who was recently found guilty of murdering 15 of his female patients, all middle aged or elderly, by injecting them with deadly doses of morphine. The speculation is that he may have killed 150 women, maybe more, and there are reports that he might have started targeting his patients 25 years ago.
But They Know the Difference Between Right and Wrong
Angel Maturino Resendiz, the so-called Railway Killer, has admitted killing nine people in two years. His victims were bludgeoned, raped, beaten, stabbed, clubbed or shot. Some were hacked into pieces.
In his death penalty trial for the Dec. 17, 1998, murder of Dr. Claudia Benton, Maturino Resendiz has entered a plea of not guilty by reason of insanity. His attorneys have stated that he committed all the murders he’s accused of, including Benton’s, but insist he was “insane at the time.”