Jack Levin, professor emeritus of Northeastern University conducted a research on the criminal psychology of mass murderers, a topic that could shake people just with its title. Interviewing mass murderers and doing his own research, Levin was able to bring out some interesting discoveries about the thoughts that go on in a criminal’s mind.
Mass murderers, Levin points out, maybe amoral but are extremely smart. Most crime cases get solved within the first 48 hours of the crime, if the criminal is not smart enough. This is where skilful criminals get away with their shrewdness. What gives them more pleasure than the act of killing itself, he says, is the act of planning out the crime while everybody else is unaware of it. This is why killers who end up committing suicide do not feel a pointlessness in the act because the reward was the planning itself. According to his research, most mass murderers have a revenge that they seek vengeance for through their crime. They may not accept this to themselves but such a pattern can be traced. This revenge could be against one’s spouse, a particular gender or even the entire society. With more men committing planned mass murders, Levin finds out that women are more spontaneous in their crimes and join hands with men even when they are serial killers.
Differentiating between mass murderers and serial killers, Levin talks about how the former come with a background of depression and social isolation while the latter are sociopaths who do need a motive. Levin’s research becomes important in understanding how psychology plays a crucial role in one’s development.
N Malavika Mohan