Psychiatrist James Knoll told CNN’s Headline News today that Adam Lanza, the perpetrator of the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre, was acting in a “ritualistic” way during the horrific events. Knoll, who does research at the State University of New York Upstate Medical University, said in a recent report that killers like Lanza see themselves as “pseudocommandos … driven by strong feelings of anger and resentment, in addition to having a paranoid character. He plans out the offense ritualistically, and comes prepared with a powerful arsenal of weapons.”
The report continues: “[The pseudocommando] most often kills in public during the daytime. And has no escape planned. Pseudocommandos are ‘collectors of injustice’ who nurture their wounded narcissism and ultimately retreat into a fantasy life of violence and revenge.”
Knoll wrote that killers like Lanza have an “obliterative mindset … his ‘self’ is already dead and … his physical death is of little consequence” in his own mind.
Knoll emailed HLN to let them know that psychiatry couldn’t do much about these sorts of people. “We think far too shallow about these events. We concern ourselves with metal detectors, security systems, ‘profiles,’ preventing ‘the mentally ill’ from obtaining firearms. This is shallow, facile thinking. Want to make a material impact? Think deeper. Cultivate a respect for how to teach compassion, nonviolence and personal responsibility in individual minds.”