Nation: The Symptoms of Mass Murder

ALL murder is horrifying, but the work of such as Charles Whitman or the Chicago nurse-killer produces an almost hysterical quality of shock and dread. Numbers of dead alone cannot entirely account for it. Nor can the unsettling plaint of Austin's police chief that "this kind of thing could have happened anywhere." What is ultimately so disturbing about the 23 lives so taken is that nearly all were snuffed out for no reason and at random. In almost every case, they were unnamed and unknown to their...

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