chapter  Chapter 3
26 Pages

On a Mission

ByMark Safarik, Katherine Ramsland

Mission killers have a sense of purpose for their rampages, sometimes clearly articulated but sometimes disjointed and delusional. Although there are many different motives for mission-based murder, we subcategorize the nature of these motives as psychotic and nonpsychotic. The former involves a major psychiatric disorder, according to criteria in The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (fifth edition), and the latter is usually a hate-inspired crime or an act of terror, often viewed by the killer as a noble cause. Some sprees arise from a group mission, but most mission spree killers are lone agents who act out what they imagine is consistent with a certain ideology or goal.