Why Kids Kill: Inside the Minds of School Shooters
Why Kids Kill
Covers of the hardcover and softcover edition.
Author(s) Peter Langman
Published 2009
Publisher Palgrave Macmillan
Country United States
Pages 231
ISBN 9780230608023

Why Kids Kill: Inside the Minds of School Shooters is a book by Peter Langman, published by Palgrave Macmillan, New York City, NY in 2009. A German translation was published by Beltz Verlag, Weinheim in 2009 under the title Amok im Kopf: Warum Schüler töten.


Ten years after the school massacre at Columbine High School in Colorado, school shootings are a new and alarming epidemic. While sociologists have attributed the trigger of violence to peer pressure, such as bullying and social isolation, prominent psychologist Peter Langman, argues here that psychological causes are responsible.

Drawing on 20 years of clinical experience, Langman offers surprising reasons for why some teens become violent. Langman divides shooters into three categories, and he discusses the role of personality, trauma, and psychosis among school shooters.

From examining the material evidence of notorious school shooters at Columbine and Virginia Tech to addressing the mental states of the violent youths he treats, Langman shows how to identify early signs of homicide-prone youth and what preventive measures educators, parents and communities can take to protect themselves from the tragedy.

Table of contentsEdit

Chapter Page
Acknowledgements ix
Preface xi
Note Regarding the Text xiii
1. School Shooters: Beyond the Sound Bite 1
Psychopathic Shooters
2. "I Am the Law": Two Psychopaths 21
Psychotic Shooters
3. "A God of Sadness": A Schizotypal Youth 49
4. "None of This Is Real": Four Schizophrenics 73
Traumatized Shooters
5. "Every Man's Nightmare": Three Traumatized Children 105
The Bigger Picture
6. Beyond the Typology 129
7. Kids Caught in the Nick of Time 155
8. What Can Bwe Done to Prevent School Shootings 177
Notes 195
Bibliography 211
Index 227


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