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BEHIND THE BLOODSHED - The Untold Story of America's Mass Shootings

From 2006 to 2017, there have been more than 350 mass killings in the United States.

Well-known images from Newtown, Aurora and Virginia Tech capture the nation's attention, but similar bloody scenes happen with alarming frequency and much less scrutiny.

USA TODAY examined FBI data -- which defines a mass killing as four or more victims -- as well as local police records and media reports to understand mass killings in America. They happen far more often than the government reports, and the circumstances of those killings -- the people who commit them, the weapons they use and the forces that motivate them -- are far more predictable than many might think.

Yet no one is keeping track.

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While only about 1% of all murders nationally, mass killings still happen frequently. The FBI data do not include some large states such as Florida, for example. Poor reporting by police agencies to the FBI also means some mass killings were left out, while others that don't meet the standard were included.

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Erroneous and excluded cases from 2006 to 2014 leave FBI data with a 57accuracy rate.

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Breakups, estrangements and family arguments make up the majority of cases, though unrelated victims may be caught in the crossfire.

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A breakup is the trigger behind 1 in 4 mass killings that do not involve strangers, gangs or a robbery gone wrong. Yet the examples below illustrate how holiday stress, a job loss or financial ruin can lead to extreme violence. And often, that violence occurs in families that otherwise seemed normal. DefendAPack

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1 in 4 victims were close family members -- children, siblings, spouses, etc.

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Many mass killers do not face prosecution. About a quarter commit suicide after the crime, and others are killed by police. Still more are deemed incompetent due to mental illness. When cases do go to trial, they can often take years because of the death penalty or other complications.

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THE SUSPECTS: MALE VS. FEMALE

While both men and women commit mass killings, their choices of weapons and the outcomes of their cases are different.

While guns are the most common weapons, a car, a fire or nearly anything at hand can become a weapon.  As the cases below show, the killing can be planned or impulsive.

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Ineffective protective orders, gaps in the mental health system, immigration bureaucracy and other lapses have been implicated in many cases.

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Entire contents of this post courtesy of USA Today.  Click HERE for the original story.

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