SOC 2760 Chapter Notes - Chapter 13: Hardcore Wrestling, Genetic Disorder, Chromosome

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10 Aug 2016
Chapter 13: For Love, Money, or Revenge: page #159-169 & 177-181:
Pages 159-169:
Relative Obscurity:
Crimes committed against members of minority groups generally do not receive the same
level of attention or interest as those affecting White, middle-class Americans
In striking contrast to the expanding scholarly interest in serial homicide, mass killings the
slaughter of several victims during a single act or short-lived crime spree have received
relatively little consideration. Although there are exceptions
Unlike serial killings, massacres do not pose much of a challenge to law enforcement
authorities whereas serial killers are often difficult to identify and apprehend, a person who
massacres typically is found at the crime scene, slain by his own hand, shot by police, or
alive and ready to surrender
In some exceptional cases, however, and execution-style mass killing is designed to cover up
some other criminal activity
In contrast to serial murders, massacres do not tend to generate the same level of public fear
and anxiety until a serial killer is caught, he may be on the loose for weeks, months, or
A massacre, though catastrophic, is a single event and by the time the public is informed, the
episode is over
Another factor responsible for the relative lack of attention to massacres involves the limited
availability of primary data
Many mass killers do not survive their crimes and questions concerning motive and state of
mind often remain in doubt
Perhaps the most prominent reason for the relative neglect of mass murder as a form of
multiple homicide is that it cannot compete with the sensational character of serial murder
Sensationalism plays a critical role in the level of interest
A Profile of Mass Killers:
The moral panic and sense of urgency surrounding mass murder were fueled by various
claims that mass murder, and mass shooting in particular, were reaching epidemic
Several criteria for inclusion in its mass shootings database:
o The shooter took the lives of at least 4 people
o The killers were carried out by a lone shooter
o The shooting happened during a single incident and in a public place
o The murders were not related to armed robbery or gang activity
By virtue of these selection rules, mass shootings involving family members were excluded,
even though they too can involve large body counts
Other mass shootings were ignored because of their relation to gang activity or some criminal
Emphasis on two main themes: the need to focus more narrowly on “senseless” public
shootings and the importance of investigating mass shootings beyond just the incident counts
Widening the net by including mass shootings in all forms can only add to our understanding
of extreme killing
Mass murder consists of the slaughter of 4 or more victims by one or few assailants within a
single event, lasting anywhere from a few minutes to as long as several hours
The most publicized type of mass murder involves the indiscriminate shooting of strangers in
a public place by a lone gunman, but other kinds of mass killings are actually more common
The motivations for mass murder can range from revenge to hatred and from loyalty to greed,
and the victims can be selected individually, as members of a particular category or group, or
on a random basis
Massacres can be studied to some extent form police statistics routinely collected by local
law enforcement agencies and transmitted to the FBI for publication and analysis
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