1983 Mass Shooting is Hauntingly Familiar

A brutal slaying from decades ago could easily make today's or tomorrow's headlines. A newly released book -- "A Voice out of Nowhere" by Janice Holly Booth -- reveals that violent crimes committed by the untreated mentally ill are nothing new.

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A Voice out of Nowhere

Schizophrenia doesn't discriminate -- it's an equal opportunity affliction.

Charlotte, North Carolina (PRWEB) October 31, 2013

It happened suddenly but not without warning: a 22-year-old mentally ill man with no history of aggression murdered his family during one night of psychotically-fueled violence. He’d been under psychiatric care for six weeks and was supposedly on stabilizing medication, but it was not enough to quiet the voices that commanded he kill his family in order to “save the world.”

“The recent shootings at Sandy Hook, Aurora, the Navy Yard, and the altercation on Capitol Hill are grim reminders that untreated, severe mental illness poses a threat to community and individual safety,” said Janice Holly Booth, author of “A Voice out of Nowhere: Inside the mind of a mass murderer.” Booth worked in the criminal justice system in the early 1980’s. “A Voice out of Nowhere” chronicles the true story of what came to be known as the Blackman family massacre. “In the wake of the murders, everyone asked ‘Why? How could this happen to such a normal family?’” says Booth. “The truth is, it can happen to any family, any person, at any time. Schizophrenia doesn’t discriminate – it’s an equal opportunity affliction.”

Written as a non-fiction novel, Booth takes readers deep inside the mind of an inadequately treated schizophrenic and follows his trajectory from gentle, happy-go-lucky young man to mass murderer. “His spiral was quick,” she says. “The time between the first really obvious symptoms to when he killed his family was a mere 46 days and yet there were many, many signs that were either ignored or minimized. In recent shootings, it's the same story -- there were plenty of indications that the killers were unbalanced before going on their rampages, but little was done to intervene.”

Since its release, the Kindle version of “A Voice out of Nowhere” has been an Amazon best-seller in the category of schizophrenia. “It’s not an academic text by any means,” Booth says, “but readers will come away with a new-found appreciation for mental illness and for those who become victims of it. Unfortunately, it isn’t just lack of treatment we need to worry about,” she says, “Inadequate treatment is just as worrisome. If a person is under psychiatric care, is being medicated, and is still capable of mass murder, then we have more of a problem than we are willing to admit.”

BIO: Janice Holly Booth was born and raised in British Columbia. Her first book, Only Pack What You Can Carry, was published by National Geographic in 2011. She has a master’s degree in Leadership and was a non-profit CEO for more than 20 years before becoming a full-time writer and speaker. She currently lives near Charlotte, North Carolina.


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