Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Hierostratic Behavior Meets Video Gaming

From the March 17, 2013 New York Daily News:

It has been reported previously that law enforcement found research about previous mass murderers at the Newtown, Conn., home the shooter, video gamer Adam Lanza, shared with his mother, the first victim of Dec. 14.

It was more than that, and worse than that.

What investigators found was a chilling spreadsheet 7 feet long and 4 feet wide that required a special printer, a document that contained Lanza’s obsessive, extensive research — in nine-point font — about mass murders of the past, and even attempted murders.
It appears that Lanza was intent on making it to the top of the list -- you know, like getting the top score on a video game in an arcade, so that you have bragging rights.

I am not saying that video games made him do it.  But it sure says something tragic about his disconnect from the rest of the world.


  1. Because the report is from a "doesn't want to be named" police officer unrelated to the investigation, reporting secondhand what he has learned at an "off the record" police conference presentation, my BS detector is going off. It is very hard to distinguish what elements of this report are "facts" and what bits are "informed conjecture", nor even how "informed" the conjecture might be.

    I also find it extremely disturbing that a newspaper would print the line "He didn’t use Lanza’s name, saying he did not want to give him even an hour more of fame, just because that is what Lanza wanted; what all these shooters want, from Tucson to Newtown to Virginia Tech." right above a massively blown-up photograph of the perpetrator, and include links to his bio and graphic descriptions of the event.

  2. There is a sort of fascination with it. Off the top of my head I can name a few serial/mass killers, Gary Ridgeway, Charles Manson, Jeffery Dahmer, Timothy McVeigh, John Wayne Gacy, Ted Kaczynski...

    I couldn't tell you, without looking it up, the names of the police officers who caught them.

  3. This was a plot point in the movie "The Frighteners".