Psychiatrist says killers fall into one of three categories - New York News

Psychiatrist says killers fall into one of three categories

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BIRMINGHAM, Mich. (WJBK) -

Four days after being arrested, James Holmes, accused of killing twelve people and injuring dozens more in a Colorado theater, is still being questioned.  Investigators are likely asking one question.  Why.

"It's horrendously personal," said Birmingham psychiatrist Dr. Howard Belkin.  He explained killers can be classified into three categories.

"An absolutely normal person that gets overwhelmed with a situation reacts, does it out of a sense of frustration.  There can also be the type that are the sociopaths or the anti-social personalities.  They really have no respect for society's rules, think they can do exactly what they want to do when they want to do it, and they act out on these really terrible thoughts."

Then there are people like James Holmes, who told investigators he was the Joker from the Batman movie, even dying his hair color red like the character.  Delusional at best.

"That sounds to me like a psychotic symptom.  That sounds to me like a delusion.  A delusion is a fixed false belief.  It's something that someone believes they are or they have or they've heard that's clearly not true.  Clearly this appears to be a fixed belief.  It's obviously a false belief," Belkin said.

Initial reports indicated that Holmes' mother said "you have the right person" when asked by a reporter about how son being a suspect.  Experts say we should all be watching our loved ones closely.

"Sometimes when people are closest to someone, they may have a feeling that the person could do something horrendous, and a parent who knows the child well and who's been able to speak to the child, especially in a recent period of time, may have an idea in the back of their mind," said Belkin.

Experts are also urging people to watch loved ones' behavior and point out that they're aware of suspicious activity.  Holmes, investigators say, was stockpiling weapons in the weeks leading up to the shooting.  Help is never far away to keep a disturbed person from crossing into the danger zone.

"If we know somebody who has a tendency towards violence, perhaps a tendency towards hurting other people, they've committed a violent act in the past, it's someone that you always want to keep a watch out for," Belkin remarked.

Belkin said if you feel like you're loved one has a problem and is maybe teetering on the edge of dangerous to call a therapist.  If you don't feel comfortable with that right away, at least take them to the family doctor.  They usually know the patients well enough to tell if something just isn't right.

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