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Common Dress, Behavior of Mass Shooters Identified

Update Date: Apr 03, 2014 06:20 PM EDT

A new study reveals that mass shooters dress and behave similarly.

Researchers found that many recent mass shooters have been male and dressed in black. Researchers believe that these perpetrators might share other similar characteristics that could be used to identify potential shooters before they attack.

Researchers in the latest paper "Costuming, Misogyny, and Objectification as Risk Factors in Targeted Violence," identified and explored some risk factors related to the antihero, dark-knight persona adopted by these mass shooters.

Researchers Brian Van Brunt, EdD and W. Scott Lewis, The NCHERM Group, LLC (Malvern, PA) discuss reasons why people who commit mass shootings are attracted to dark popular culture imagery. They also explain how pop culture could contribute to the violence and identify risk factors that could be useful to law enforcement and behavioral investigation teams on the lookout for individuals who might be preparing for an attack.

 "'Objectification' of victims and 'costuming' are specific offender behaviors that will give threat assessment teams throughout the world greater insights into the motivation of mass shooters and just how ceremonial their preparations are," Mary Ellen O'Toole, PhD, Editor-in-Chief of Violence and Gender and Senior FBI Profiler/Criminal Investigative Analyst (ret.), said in a news release. "The value of this information in being able to identify these offenders beforehand based on their behavior so that we can prevent future acts of mass murder is very significant."

The findings are published in the journal Violence and Gender.

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