It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.

Please white-list or disable AboveTopSecret.com in your ad-blocking tool.

Thank you.

 

Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.

 

Investigating: Masked Spree Shooters

page: 1
10
<<   2 >>

log in

join
share:

posted on Dec, 14 2012 @ 09:10 PM
link   
Hi ATS,

Obviously I do not need to explain the impetus for the creation of this thread. In fact, I honestly think this may be my own minds way of seeking to cope with my own feelings about the spate of spree shootings over the past few months.

In discussing these events, on more than one occasions, when the subject of the shooters being masked was tabled, I would rattle off a basic statement that the masks served as insulation devices, a means of separating the shooters personal identity with their act. This, I believe, is exactly how behavioralists also see the reasons for wearing a mask - personal dissociation from the act.

Further, I've suggested that media, and prior crimes, tend to have created an environment where these troubled people feel that wearing a mask is the appropriate, or correct measure to take. They learn, essentially, from example - something that can only be learned from news stories and fictional films.

A few minutes ago, however, this thought evolved, within my mind, and created a very troubling realization within me.

The wearing of a mask seems to imply that these shooters are morally aware of the actions they plan, undertake, and commit. They are, effectively, cogent and able to understand the implications of their actions. The mask is, I think, a way of mitigating or creating separation from the guilt of what they are planning to do, or doing.

As I write these words, 20 children and 6 adults died today at the hands of a masked spree killer named Adam Lanza

Just three days earlier, Jacob Tyler Roberts took three lives, including his own, and critically injured another girl - while hiding behind what is being described as a hockey mask.

In September a masked Richard Henry Bainm walked into the Métropolis, in Montreal, Canada, and opened fire - killing one and injuring another, before being wrestled to the ground and apprehended.

Less than five months ago, James Eagan Holmes, clad in a mask, opened fire on a crowded movie premiere and left 12 dead and 58 wounded in his wake.

This seems to be as far as the Google trail wants to lead me, currently, down the path of "masked spree shooters". It would not surprise me if there are more that I am missing. I am, very admittedly, frazzled and not at 100% today.

It is easy for us to point a ready finger towards films like Friday the 13th, , Silence of the Lambs, the newer film Savages - along with any other number of movies, television characters, comic book influences, music videos, and even the spread of the notion of the hacktivist Group "Anonymous" - as possible influences for this apparently new twist on the spree shooting concept. The mask.

Returning to my previous thought... using the mask as a device to separate the act from the person. An obvious sign of the recognition of guilt in my eyes. Mass murderers, serial killers, and even most spree killers are seen as sociopaths, incapable ( at least at the time of their planning and executing these events ) as being clinically insane and incapable of guilt.

I offer that this recent spate of masked attacks might well mitigate the veracity of that profile and that assumption. I submit that these shooters seem to me, at least, to be aware of their actions, the consequences of those actions, and of the fact that they are morally reprehensible and unconscionable acts.

Could we be witnessing the birth of a new class of killer here? Something not unlike the "kill for thrill" fame seeking characters in the film Natural Born Killers?

Some will offer a purely mental health based retort to my thoughts here. And they may well be right. Having said that, while I am not a professional in any psychiatric discipline, I am well versed in the subject matter, and have a great deal of experience in dealing with those with a variety of mental and emotional problems. In my experience, the rapidity with which these young, masked killers go from being well socialized, to their act seems to contradict customarily accepted models for most psychiatric illnesses. Illnesses that tend to be progressive in nature and not nearly as potent and short lived.

To me this phenomenon is, to mental health issues, what ebola is to the common cold.

As I know that there are quite a few mental health professionals, and LEO's who have real world experience and training in these subjects, I table this thread in the hope that we might shine some light on this issue, find some answers, and maybe enable people to have a list of warning signs to watch for or be aware of.

Tragedies are never positive things, but we can seek to learn from them as a means of preventing future events of the same nature. It is in that spirit that I post this thread.

Thanks ATS.

~Heff




posted on Dec, 14 2012 @ 09:26 PM
link   
Your asercion that the perps know what they are doing is wrong and are effectively masking the guilt associated with the horrible act by hiding their faces is quite valid. It is also possible that they have a glimmer of hope that they will not be recognized and will get away with the crime. It is most likely a little bit of everything including influences from movies. Most wore body armor so they either hoped to get away or wanted to kill as many as possible before they died. In some cases the mask may be what they wish to be identified by after their death.



posted on Dec, 14 2012 @ 09:43 PM
link   
I have a bad feeling that this is the incident that will create many more TSA search areas in public places as well as much more legislation that takes away more of our freedoms.

I've been wondering, if these killers know they are going to die, then why wear a mask? Everyone will find out who they are anyway afterwards whether they wear a mask or not.

It just seems a bit odd. The shooters know they're going into a suicide mission, and they're probably doing it for attention for whatever reason, or to make whatever statement and they wear a mask to hide their identity when they're trying to make an open statement? You're not going to hide your identity by doing an open act like that.

Think about it. If they wear a mask they want their identity protected. Why would they want their identity protected when making a statement and they know it's a suicide mission?

I'm beginning to think, because they had it IN THEIR MINDS to wear a mask, that they did not intend for it to be a suicide mission going in. If it's a suicide mission, doesn't matter if people see their faces or not. In fact, it doesn't matter if they wear a mask or not because the world will know who they are anyway afterwards.

It just seems odd they chose to wear a mask. It's like if they were hypnotized or programmed to do this act that wearing a mask is a sign or signal to someone, or someone's for whatever reason because the mask from the killers point of view is meaningless but still chose to wear one apparently.



posted on Dec, 14 2012 @ 09:51 PM
link   
Masks are a way of depersonalisation, and presenting another identity to the rest of the world. The wearer assumes another identity. In these cases possibly by assuming another identity, they are shielding themselves from the horror of the acts they are comitting. Depending on how fragmented their personalities are, they could even be wearing the mask as a sign that another personality is dominant and in control of their actions. Thus in one form or another they may be attempting to suggest that it is not really them committing the acts.



posted on Dec, 14 2012 @ 10:00 PM
link   
Have you ever considered some people can commit
horrific acts of any form, violence, manipulation,exploitation, etc,
while being completely rational and free from mental
disability. Maybe they willingly and consciously chose their actions.
In psychiatric circles murderers are usually
classified in three categories, mad, sad, or bad, to over-simplify it.
My personal opinion is that these are just some son's of b's that
are overdue an abortion. As for the mask angle, I do think it's
a dissociative technique for spree killers, as you said, many come
from 'normal' backgrounds and have little in their social history
that would suggest such an act was about to take place,
I think mentally there's still a part that doesn't want to commit to the act,
to look it's self in the face so to speak, and thus the mask.
'The mice experiment '
I don't know why but this research always comes to mind when I hear about spree killings.
The behaviour is very similar.

edit on 14-12-2012 by DelegateZero88 because: (no reason given)

edit on 14-12-2012 by DelegateZero88 because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 14 2012 @ 10:05 PM
link   
Since time began, the average citizen forever fell in line behind his / her mastering leaders and forever obeyed each simle, demanding order. Past few years have shown slight shades of average citizen developing a somewhat Rebellious attitude. To strike such back into place requires a large dose of constant Fear does it not ? And so...................



posted on Dec, 14 2012 @ 10:37 PM
link   
Interesting theory Heff. This discussion makes me think about comic books and their masked characters. You did give one of the many points used in discussing Batman. I am not trying to make light of the subject, just trying to wrap my mind around the fact that these "suicide runs" have so many commonalities. Are we looking at a domino effect of people snapping or something else? This thread ought to get interesting after more facts are made known.



posted on Dec, 14 2012 @ 10:48 PM
link   
I recall another incident where masked shooters were involved.

It was a Los Angeles bank robbery and it was shown on live TV.

It was one of the first incidences where the criminals wore body armor and had high powered automatic weapons.

The police were out gunned and as a result the police later acquired there owns assault weapons.

Also new gun laws were passed as a result of this.



Full Documentary



posted on Dec, 15 2012 @ 07:01 AM
link   
Masks facilitate disassociation.

Many of these guys aren't the classical thrill-seeking, poor impulse control style psychopaths. They're a lot more complicated, and they are largely self-made. They assign themselves a cause, or create a narrative that explains their sense of deep isolation. They aren't what you might call natural born killers, as most of them probably harbor the same natural aversion to bloodshed that you and I have. They commit themselves to a process that takes years to bring them to the point where they can carry out these inconceivably terrible acts.

Anything that allows them to disassociate themselves from their actions is used: sophisticated gaming of their own brains via drugs (pharmaceutical and otherwise), constructing a "new" persona, even using first person shooter games to "practice". Not for tactical purposes or accuracy- they are practicing an emotional state.

Sorry for the lack of back-up links, this is an off-the-cuff assessment and is offered merely as an opinion.



posted on Dec, 15 2012 @ 07:05 AM
link   
If we look at Facebook, we see a society that is effectively masked. They put there feelings out there for everyone to see. They argue and make enemies without the constraints associated with face to face confrontations that can basicly get them punched in the nose. Maybe the mask is effectively Facebook. Being a senior citizen myself i have honed my people skills over the years. I have the uncanny ability to look you in the eye and tell you what an asshole you are for whatever trangression i feel you are guilty of and have you laughing and leaving glad you met me. You can not learn social skills living on Facebook. The masks these killers use may in part represent Facebook in a twisted way.



posted on Dec, 15 2012 @ 07:12 AM
link   
I think it's odd that they wear a mask at all if they know their identity will be uncovered by the time it's all over with anyway. What's the point of that? Unless they're trying to send some kind of message. Which doesn't seem to be the case in the majority of these cases. They just seem to be psychotic murderers wearing a mask for no apparent reason. That makes me suspicious.



posted on Dec, 15 2012 @ 07:13 AM
link   
Thanks for the post, being a confirmed questioner I would add that you also consider the fact that a mask could also be used to ensure the anonimity of a second or even third shooter that was external agency trained. There has been discussion on the other shootings in many threads about possible government/hidden government agendas or participation in these terrible crimes.

One highly trained assassin and one young, supposed mental patient are easy to tell apart if you can see a face. Whereas two shooters clothed the same wearing the same mask would be impossible to tell apart.

I remind you all that a common denominator in the shootings that have or could have political agendas attached is that witnesses have claimed more than one shooter.


Respects to you all...



posted on Dec, 15 2012 @ 07:14 AM
link   
I have another question: Why do these shooters who usually commit suicide wear bullet proof vests? Obviously they have a death wish......but they want to take others with them first.



posted on Dec, 15 2012 @ 11:39 AM
link   

Originally posted by CosmicCitizen
I have another question: Why do these shooters who usually commit suicide wear bullet proof vests? Obviously they have a death wish......but they want to take others with them first.


I am not convinced that they, generally, have a death wish. To me these spree killers seem to be so caught up in the moment ( the act ) that they either willfully ignore the concept of consequences, or are incapable of seeing them.

My impression seems to suggest the same sort of behavior that a teenage boy might display when trying to get a girl to mess around with him. The risks of pregnancy, STD, getting caught, jail, etc. Don't even enter the kids mind. He just wants what he wants and is literally driven by his body chemistry to seek it. A single minded, blind pursuit of an objective.

Many of us are aware that "getting what you want" often is the quickest way of "waking up" to the fact that you might not have really wanted it that much to begin with, and certainly don't want it anymore.

In my analogy - there are quite a number of escape mechanisms to extract oneself from an unwanted social dalliance.

For a spree killer? One who spends months preparing, focusing upon the fantasy, working themselves into an emotional and mental frenzy and idealized way of thinking? After the first few shots are fired and they begin to realize it's not all that they dreamed or wanted?

Well there really are only three remedies. Run, surrender, or die. I think they tend to choose the latter two because they are just as "in shock" as everyone else around them is.

Who knows? Maybe they expect it to be like an action movie - or like playing Halo 3. Maybe they imagine that some pretty girl will approach them to praise them for being such a powerful man? Maybe they imagine themselves sparking a revolution - and imagine others in the crowd pulling out guns and joining them in their "crusade".

I honestly don't know. And that is the point of this thread.

Through history we can find some very sick people. Many of them. I cannot think of any who cared about hiding their identities from their victims. This is a new wrinkle.

It suggests to me that these young men, the ones in masks, are not insane - at least not in a way that we currently would recognize or understand. There behaviors don't seem to match-up to that conclusion - other than the spree killing aspect. The rest is just plain odd.



posted on Dec, 15 2012 @ 11:42 AM
link   



posted on Dec, 15 2012 @ 11:47 AM
link   

Originally posted by CosmicCitizen
I have another question: Why do these shooters who usually commit suicide wear bullet proof vests? Obviously they have a death wish......but they want to take others with them first.


It could also be a matter of maintaining control. The psychological profiles of most of these killers include that they believe their lives to be spiraling downward. This lack of control causes them to seek to maintain control over the final and most pointed aspect: not giving society the satisfaction of either their arrest.



posted on Dec, 15 2012 @ 11:51 AM
link   
Who knows? Maybe they expect it to be like an action movie - or like playing Halo 3. Maybe they imagine that some pretty girl will approach them to praise them for being such a powerful man? Maybe they imagine themselves sparking a revolution - and imagine others in the crowd pulling out guns and joining them in their "crusade".


Well, right there I think you hit it right on the head. What i notice about some (if not most) of these shooters is that seem to be imposing their view of "reality" onto the world. They construct a narrative of themselves as the "rebellious lone gun-wielding warrior" who strike back at the oppressive and suffocating authoritarians (as they perceive it), because the rest of the public is either to meek or to brainwashed. Thus in their own reality--they are the "hero" when they could (as they assume in their own minds) could never be the hero in normal society. In other words, they feel or believe they are dissociated from the rest of society and cast out, but they still want to be important and accepted---so they create a reality in which the society they have been casted out from is the world of the "bad guys" and they are the "heroes". Whatever they do now---even if it means killing unarmed children---is a heroic act. This is an extreme form of dissociation from reality---its quite evident in the fact that this Adam Lanza arrived at a pre-school with body armor. What type of resistance was he expecting? See? Completely divorced from reality.

-Ghoster
edit on 15-12-2012 by theghoster because: (no reason given)

edit on 15-12-2012 by theghoster because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 15 2012 @ 11:53 AM
link   
post removed for serious violation of ATS Terms & Conditions



posted on Dec, 15 2012 @ 11:55 AM
link   
 


off-topic post removed to prevent thread-drift


 



posted on Dec, 15 2012 @ 04:52 PM
link   

Originally posted by jimmiec
If we look at Facebook, we see a society that is effectively masked. They put there feelings out there for everyone to see. They argue and make enemies without the constraints associated with face to face confrontations that can basicly get them punched in the nose. Maybe the mask is effectively Facebook. Being a senior citizen myself i have honed my people skills over the years. I have the uncanny ability to look you in the eye and tell you what an asshole you are for whatever trangression i feel you are guilty of and have you laughing and leaving glad you met me. You can not learn social skills living on Facebook. The masks these killers use may in part represent Facebook in a twisted way.


I disagree in part with this. On facebook, it's not so much a mask because it is associated with you. Your name, your picture, your page. It's very personal there, not anonymous. People use their real identity and respond as themselves. It's not so much like it is here where you are "masked" and people don't know the real you. They know the screen name, they know the picture you use, but they don't know you, other than what you tell them.

Facebook is probably, in my opinion anyway, more of a demasking of the online personality than a covering up of it. This site, ATS, is very masked. I don't know if you, the person I am responding to, is male or female, old or young, poor, rich or middle class. I know absolutely nothing about you at all except what you tell me you are. If we were on facebook, I would know you, I'd know who your friends were, I'd know things about you such as where you live, where you went to school, where you work, what your interests are and so on. Facebook doesn't provide a mask, it lays it all out in the open.

I'm not defending facebook at all, it has its problems as does everything else, but in this case, the idea you are presenting about it is actually the total opposite of what it is. I'm also not attacking you at all, just the idea that you put forth. As it should be.



new topics

top topics



 
10
<<   2 >>

log in

join