What Are Mass Killers Really Thinking? New Book, "A Voice Out Of Nowhere," Is a Glimpse Inside the Troubled Mind of a Mass Murderer

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Untreated mental illness can sometimes lead to the worst kind of violence, says author Janice Holly Booth. That's why early intervention is key to preventing these all-too-familiar tragedies.

A Voice out of Nowhere

Mass killers usually show signs that something's wrong with them days, weeks or even months before they go on their rampage.

When 22-year-old Bruce Blackman slaughtered six members of his family on a rainy, winter morning just outside of Vancouver, British Columbia, the nation was stunned. He had no history of violence, and no motive. What he did have was severe, ineffectively treated schizophrenia. Bruce Blackman was charged with six counts of first-degree murder and found not guilty by reason of insanity. He was committed to an asylum and eventually released. His story is chronicled in a new book, “A Voice out of Nowhere: Inside the mind of a mass murderer.”

“The recent, inexplicable killings in Santa Barbara, Seattle, and Moncton are a reminder that mass killers usually show signs that something’s wrong with them days, weeks or even months before they go on their rampage,” says author Janice Holly Booth. In the Blackman case, young Bruce had been exhibiting bizarre behavior and thought patterns for over a month before he committed his gruesome slaughter. In retrospect, there were numerous occasions where aggressive intervention could have averted the tragedy. “Sadly,” said Booth, "no-one – including the psychiatrist – believed Bruce was capable of violence, and so they failed to take his rants about the end of the world seriously.” It was a fatal miscalculation.

By reading the book, Booth hopes that people will gain insight into how formerly gentle people can become aggressive and violent if their mental illness is not effectively treated. “As vicious as these crimes are,” says Booth, “it does no good for us to view the killers with contempt. We need to summon empathy for the families and yes, the killers too.” Booth points out that people who commit violence while under the influence of mental illness are victims of a malignant brain disorder they didn’t ask for. “It’s time to change our attitudes about mental illness and to fix a very broken mental health care system. That’s the only way we’ll have a hope at reducing the high-profile violence committed by people with severe, untreated mental illness and in the process save thousands of lives.”

“A Voice out of Nowhere” is an Amazon #1 best-seller and is available in as a paperback and e-book.

ABOUT JANICE HOLLY BOOTH: Born in British Columbia, Janice Holly Booth is a former non-profit CEO and an avid solo traveler. Her first book, "Only Pack What You Can Carry," is a guide to personal growth through solo travel and was published by National Geographic. Her second book, "A Voice out of Nowhere" is an Amazon #1 best-seller. Janice is a full-time writer and speaker. She currently lives near Charlotte, North Carolina.

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Janice Holly Booth
Janice Holly Booth
since: 01/2011
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