Why Rampage Killers Emerge: Conditions and Characteristics


Funk, S. Lee


S. Lee Funk is founder and lead consultant for Resources for Advancing Inquiry and Supporting Ethics (RAISE). With over thirty-five years as an educator in California, Dr. Funk brings wide-ranging experiences and extensive academic credentials to his analyses of the motives and psychological forces that shape the profile of a rampage murderer. For much of his career, Dr. Funk worked with young people with emotional disturbances, behavioral disorders, and anti-social inclinations. As the phenomenon of mass killings grew, he was able to combine perceptions based on daily interactions with his knowledge of cognitive theory and affective development to glean insights into the personal characteristics of perpetrators committing lethal acts that are not as random as many suppose. Dr. Funk received his doctorate from the University of San Francisco, where he was cited as “Doctoral Student of the Year” for a dissertation that combined scholarship with practical solutions for reducing student attrition. Dr. Funk has presented widely on issues related to classroom instruction, alternative schools, and behavior. While serving as a school superintendent, he was honored as “Administrator of the Year and as a “Star Administrator.” He remains an active member of the American Society for Criminology, the Council for Exceptional Children, the Foundation for Critical Thinking, and Phi Delta Kappa. Dr. Funk resides in Sacramento, California, with his wife of thirteen years. In his free time, he enjoys writing poetry, walking, traveling by train, and spending time with his family.

Until now, the influential agents in rampage killings have been described with unsatisfactory generalizations or chalked up to unconscious impulses. Instead of simply attributing lethal decision-making to distorted thinking, Why Rampage Killers Emerge proffers a conceptual tableau to explain the genesis of the mentality that engages in sudden acts of mass violence. Renowned psychologist S. Lee Funk applies psychiatric theory, case study methods, and statistical tools to define the external circumstances and excavate the internalized misconceptions necessary for the formation of a rampage mindset. Given the breadth of the construct and the anecdotal patterns supporting its categorization, there should be little doubt that an autogenic assailant will conform to the descriptive model diligently surveyed in this text. While by no means excusing the perpetrators of unprovoked mass attacks, this study does offer an explanation for the origins of the foreboding thought processes at work and contains valuable diagnostic implications. As such, it will be useful to mental professionals, school administrators, law enforcement professionals, business managers, and the public at large in the prevention of repeated acts of deadly spectacle. Dr. Funk’s premises are studiously supported by rigorous scholarship and engagingly written to attract attentive readers.

Social Science, Science, Medicine, Psychology, Sociology, Serial Killers, Rampage Killers, Violence Studies, Analysis
Release Date: 
December 15, 2023
9781680535440 Hardcover
Trim Size: 

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