Sunday, October 17, 2010
I recently read a book by Elliott Leyton called Hunting Humans: The Rise of the Modern Multiple Murderer.
The book is about 25 years old and is written by a professor considered to be a leading expert on serial murder.
The central thesis of Hunting Humans is that most mass murderers tend to be socially arrested or inept conservative men who are very conscious of their inability to progress beyond their class on either a social or professional level. Feeling trapped or restrained, they kill those they believe are preventing their ascent.
One of Leyton's case studies in the book is Mark Essex. Essex's murderous rampage ended up in a shootout at a New Orleans Howard Johnsons. Leyton notes police were stymied, in large part, because many citizens started showing up with firearms to participate in the shootout. As a result, Essex was able to hold off police for nearly half a day until a USN helicopter was called in to gun him down.