Dr. Websdale will define mass and spree killing and explain the differences between familicidal, felonious, and non-felony related forms of these offenses. The Webinar will concentrate on two forms of "public" mass and spree killings. The first form consists of those cases where the complex dynamics of domestic violence are of central significance and appear to be the principal precipitant of the killings. These cases involve offenders killing former or current spouses/partners and/or those such as family law attorneys, allied professionals, and/or friends who may have supported the spouse or partner. The second form involves those public mass killings, usually shootings, where domestic violence forms but one aspect of the case but may nevertheless be central to developing an understanding of the killings. Dr. Websdale will use case illustrations to flesh out themes across case types, examining, for example, the gendering of these offenses, the signaling of offenses, histories of intimate terrorism, planning and preparation, the possible role of mental illness, the social isolation of offenders, fascination and proficiency with weaponry, threatening changes in the life circumstances of offenders, and the role of suicidal feelings, depression, rage, extreme hatred, and vengefulness.
Presenter: Dr. Neil Websdale, Director, Family Violence Institute, Northern Arizona University