01 August 2011

Spotting the violence-prone

Apparent 'senseless' shootings such as the one in Norway leave many asking why no-one noticed that the suspect might be disturbed and capable of such deadly violence before?

Any time there's a violent tragedy - such as the killing of at least 86 people at a youth camp in Norway - one question seems to ring clearer than others: Why didn't someone notice beforehand that the suspect might be disturbed and capable of committing deadly violence?

But the experts also warn that a breakdown rarely leads to violence. "It's the rare person who has an extreme form of behaviour that becomes either violent or self-injurious," said Dr Thomas Wise, a professor in the psychiatry and behavioural sciences department of Johns Hopkins Medicine in Baltimore and chairman of behavioural health services for Inova Health Systems in Fairfax, Va.

How to spot a psychopath


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