Virginia Tech Psychological Analysis Essay

Submitted By 13slahmeyer
Words: 928
Pages: 4

Monday, April 17th, 2007 the terrible crime of a Virginia Tech mass murder took place. The 23 year old student, Cho Seung-Hue, was responsible for this planned and executed event. Scary to imagine, but think about the fact that this student walked down the halls at school looking right at the people whose lives he wanted to end. What could possibly make this crime seem any type of appealing, how could anyone do such a thing considering the consequences. Most people could imagine themselves being the victim rather than the killer, we find it easier to think about having to beg for our lives than having to take the life of another. After such a crime like this it takes the hard work of many to make sense of it. What makes a normally compassionate type of being feel like this is a solution? Myself included, it seems almost unfathomable to think that I would have the power to take someones life. What makes the outcome of something like this seem satisfying? How can a being just simply turn off their feelings of empathy or any type of compassion toward others? How can this type of emotional distortion take place? Forensic psychologist and author, Stanton Samenow, who frequently studies cases like this says, "They seem to have an unfathomable ability to shut off knowledge of the consequences, of the difference between right and wrong. It's critical for us to try to understand that worldview and mental makeup." This is something I personally think is nearly impossible to do, when you can essentially just turn off your feelings, you have a deep problem. Fortunately mass murder is a rare crime, representing only 1% of all homicides. When a mass killing does occur the people likeliest to commit such a crime fall into a predictable group. They're 95% male, and 98% are black or white. Cho, being an native of south Korea is a rare exception. Although the description of the killers are more or less the same, the way they do the crimes are not. Some mass murders can even play out within long lengths of time. Murderers who carry out these cases are mostly driven by a dark or even sexual pleasure. A guilty conscience may come over a killer but the feeling is usually overcome by killing again. "There is a charge and a thrill associated with the murders," says Samenow. Through the eyes of the survivors the demeanors of the murders don't necessarily look as if they are thrilled in what they are doing, but more of a look of coldness and of faint expression. What makes the murderer do it? Usually it is a snapping moment that triggers the event. By saying that there is a snapping moment means that there have been a lot of other thing simmering in the past, its the letting out of the build up of emotion, it is rare that one thing could cause this kind of an outburst. In 2005, after Cho sent harassing messages to two students, court ruled him a danger to himself and others. Evidence of this was all in the package of angry, self-pitying videos, pictures and letters, that were sent to NBC News on the day of the killings, the materials probably took days to prepare. In this case, the profile of a mass killer looks a lot like the profile of the clinical narcissist, which is a very bad thing. Narcissism is a condition where a person is dependent on the reinforcement from others of their self image. When people don't respond