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What’s going on in the mind of a spree killer?

MindA couple of weekends ago, I was invited onto BBC Breakfast News to review the Sunday papers. Arriving at the studio in Salford, Manchester, at 6am, the producer presented me with a foot-high pile of the day’s newspapers and instructed me to pick five stories to talk about on air. All should be from different papers, none could be from the front page, and two needed to be ‘serious’. The Munich shootings had happened just two days before, when 18-year-old Ali David Sonboly lured victims to a McDonald’s restaurant before going on a killing spree that left nine dead and 35 injured. It was a horrific news event that simply couldn’t be ignored. Taking a deep breath, I sat down on the red sofa and flicked open a copy of The Observer to discuss this baby-faced teenager’s murderous acts. It’s not the sort of thing any of us want to talk about, let alone in front of 2 million people, but trying to understand the mind of the young killer could actually help prevent such tragedies happening again. Continue reading

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