You may be sitting there viewing this post asking what the hell is Proctor talking about, what is clustering and how is it pertinent to both stalking violence, murder, mass murder and the like. One of the things we unfortunately see when a Virginia Tech…the perpetrator of which was also a serial stalker (although that does not really matter for us to discuss this phenomenon), Santa Barbara…the perpetrator of which also was reportedly stalking at least one female, the thirty-two year old milk truck driver who killed young Amish girls in a school environment, (who by the way observed,and planned his crime over a period of time), etc. is a cause and effect action we refer to as clustering. In this day of the Internet, 24 hour news broadcasts, and commentary, any of these incidents that transpire, the press reports the crime over and over again. Their commentators describe everything the killer(s) did and why they believe they did it. The crime is described in minute detail. So what does that do to some disturbed individual who is sitting in front of his computer or television; continually watching this type of reporting over and over again. What we see is that these individuals have been thinking about doing something like killing multiple persons or one person for that matter for any reason; perhaps going out in a blaze of glory or because of some other delusional or perceived fantasy. Once they have absorbed all this information made available to them via constant coverage; they now can develop a plan utilizing what someone else has already in their mind “successfully” accomplished. An example of this is when Cho Seung-Hui conducted his rampage at Virginia Tech, one of the things he did was to chain and lock the doors of the multi-story class building he then entered and began executing people. Even though Cho had issues he was intelligent, do you think he thought about this maneuver himself, or did he see that our milk-man in Nickel Mines, Pa., had also chained the classroom doors of the Amish school he entered and took over a dozen girls hostage, killing at least three. The Amish incident took place and around Oct. of 2006, Virginia Tech., was April of 2007. Something to think about.
I am still waiting for a similar cluster to transpire from The Santa Barbara Killings; however I am aware of some multi-killing/suicides did take place within the state closely after the Santa Barbara incident, one of which was perpetrated by a male in his twenties against three family members. Unknown if the Santa Barbara incident figured into that case or not.
I doubt that heavy and detailed media coverage of these incidents will ebb anytime soon if ever. What I am saying is when one of these incidents take place those of you that have a close association with troubled persons, be on the look out, and if you see anything that you might feel is leading to aggression, please notify local law enforcement and try and get them up to speed. Or at the very least try and get those troubled individuals in your life to seek out some type of therapy. We don’t need more of these crimes to take place. Stay safe, and bless you and yours.