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Adolescent and Young Adult Mass Murder: Assessment and Management of a Catastrophic Risk

Drawing on recent cases of mass murder, including the Virginia Tech killings in April, 2007, and the Las Vegas Strip Sidewalk killings in September, 2005, Dr. Meloy will present what is currently known about adolescent and young adult mass murder. He will focus on both static (unchanging) and dynamic (changing) variables, drawing clinical and forensic distinctions between the more common predatory mode of violence in such murders, and the rare affective mode of violence in such murders. Similarities and differences between adolescents and young adults who commit such killings will be delineated, including suicidality, pairing, bifurcation, weapons use, paranoia, depression, psychosis, and developing personality disorders. Markers along the pathway toward such violence, including "leakage," preparation, planning, and third party "concern" will be enumerated. Although mass murder will never be completely prevented, effective risk management techniques have evolved over the past decade. Dr. Meloy will emphasize the use of both threat assessment teams for the noncooperative but apparently dangerous young adult, and more readily available and comprehensive voluntary mental health services for the young adult who is desperate for help and may be at risk for such extreme violence.
Workshop Content
Offender and offense characteristics in adolescent and young adult mass murders
Differences between predatory and affective modes of violence in mass murders and the legal implications of such a distinction
Markers along the pathway toward violence in such known cases

Workshop Objectives
Describe the importance of dynamic vs. static risk factors
Explain the differences between affective and predatory violence
Identify the markers along the pathway to targeted violence
Describe how mental health issues may or may not contribute to violence in this age group

Presented by

Reid Meloy, PhD, ABPP
Reid Meloy, PhD, ABPPDr. Meloy is a board-certified forensic psychologist (ABPP) and consults on criminal and civil cases throughout the U.S. and Europe. He is a clinical professor of psychiatry at the University of California, San Diego, School of Medicine, and a faculty member of the San Diego Psychoanalytic Center. He is a fellow of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences and is past president of the American Academy of Forensic Psychology. He has received a number of awards from various professional organizations. Dr. Meloy has authored or co-authored over two hundred papers published in peer-reviewed psychiatric and psychological journals, and has authored, co-authored or edited eleven books. He has been conducting research and writing on personality disorder, psychopathy, stalking, narcissism, criminality, mental disorder, and targeted violence for the past twenty-five years.  His first book, The Psychopathic Mind (Aronson, 1988), was an integration of the biological and psychodynamic understanding of psychopathy. His co-edited book with Drs. Hoffmann and Sheridan, Stalking, Threatening and Attacking Public Figures (Oxford University Press, 2008), led to a commissioned study for the National Academy of Sciences on threats toward public figures published in 2011 (www.nap.edu). His most recent book is the International Handbook of Threat Assessment (Oxford University Press, 2014). Dr. Stephen White and he created the WAVR-21 (Specialized Training Services, 2007, 2010; www.wavr21.com), a scientifically based structured professional judgment instrument for targeted workplace violence assessment. Dr. Meloy is a consultant to the Behavioral Analysis Units of the FBI, Quantico. He is a member of the Fixated Research Group for the United Kingdom’s Home Office concerning threats to the Royal Family and British political figures, and is a consultant to Work Trauma Services, headquartered in San Francisco, and Team Psychology and Security in Darmstadt, Germany. He is also a senior editor of the new Journal of Threat Assessment and Management. He has been a technical consultant to the television program CSI since its inception in 2001.