Jabukovac massacre

Mass murder

This article deals with mass killings that are not considered genocide.

Mass murder (massacre) is the act of murdering a large number of people, typically at the same time or over a relatively short period of time. Mass murder may be committed by individuals or organizations.

The term may refer to spree killers, who stage a single assault on their victims.

The largest mass killings in history have been attempts to exterminate entire groups or communities of people, often on the basis of ethnicity or religion. Some of these mass murders have been found to be genocides and others to be crimes against humanity, but often such crimes have led to few or no convictions of any type.

Mass murder by individuals

The term "mass murder" refers to the killing of four or more people during a particular event. Examples would include killing several people in the course of a robbery, or setting a crowded nightclub on fire where four or more deaths occur.

The USA Bureau of Justice Statistics defines a mass murder as "[involving] the murder of four or more victims at one location, within one event."

Mass murderers may fall into any of a number of categories, including killers of family, of coworkers, of students, and of random strangers. Their motives for murder vary.

Many other motivations are possible, including the need for attention or fame .

Workers who assault fellow employees are sometimes called "disgruntled workers," but this is often a misnomer, as many perpetrators are ex-workers. They are dismissed from their jobs and subsequently turn up heavily armed and kill their former colleagues. In the 1980s, when two fired postal workers carried out such massacres in separate incidents in the US, the term "going postal" became synonymous with employees snapping and setting out on murderous rampages. One of the 1980s most famous "disgruntled worker" cases involved computer programmer Richard Farley who, after being fired for stalking one of his co-workers, a woman by the name of Laura Black, returned to his former workplace and shot to death seven of his colleagues, although he failed in his attempt to kill Black herself.

In some rare cases mass murders have been committed during prison riots and uprisings. During the February, 1980 New Mexico State Penitentiary riot, 33 inmates were killed. Most of the dead, 23, lived in the Protective Custody Unit, and were killed by other inmates using knives, axes and being burnt alive over a 48-hour period.

Unlike serial killers, there is rarely a sexual motive to individual mass-murderers, with the possible exception of Sylvestre Matuschka, an Austrian man who apparently derived sexual pleasure from blowing up trains with dynamite, ideally with people in them. His lethal sexual fetish claimed 22 lives before he was caught in 1932.

According to Loren Coleman's book Copycat Effect, publicity about multiple deaths tends to provoke more, whether workplace or school shootings or mass suicides.

Mass murder by terrorists


In recent years, terrorists have performed acts of mass murder to intimidate a society and draw attention to their causes. Examples of major terrorist incidents involving mass murder of more than 100 individual include:

Mass murder by a (S)/state

The concept of state-sponsored mass murder covers a range of potential killings. Some people consider any deaths in combat to be mass murder by the state, though this is not a generally held position. Clear examples of state-sponsored mass murder include:

For further historical examples of mass murder, both state-committed and in wartime, see here.

Mass murderers

Mass murder cases not yet closed

These are mass murder incidents where the perpetrator(s) have not been determined or arrested, where one or more suspects has been charged but not yet convicted.

Jolene Day 6 dead not yet caught

See also


External links

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