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Murders Most Foul: The School Shooters in Our Midst [Kindle Edition]

Rebecca Coffey
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)

Kindle Price: $1.99

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Book Description

In her new Vook, Inc. book MURDERS MOST FOUL: And the School Shooters in Our Midst, science and psychology journalist Rebecca Coffey reports that slaughter-style killings have hit America's schools and universities hard since 1927. But, according to her, in the 1990s the pace of school massacres accelerated. As it did, law enforcement agencies tried heroically to compile a profile of the typical school shooter. And for a while it looked like they had succeeded; violent media, social rejection, and hormones all seemed to be part of a significant pattern. But the deeper the evidence pile became, the more unique each killer seemed--and the farther the FBI found itself from laying claim to a profile that local police and schools found helpful. One profile the FBI released--telling schools to watch for kids who needed discipline and who had feelings of isolation, anger, and rejection--described virtually every teenager at some
point in virtually every day.

In MURDERS MOST FOUL: And the School Shooters in Our Midst, Coffey describes how, eventually, the FBI acknowledged that school murderers come from all sorts of backgrounds, temperaments, and capabilities; they are even of many different ages (youngest 11; oldest 55). Now, with the on-campus body count nearing 200, the FBI suggests that many or most school murderers "leak" threats before they kill. One seemingly normal high school student announced that "Monday will be the day of reckoning" the week before killing three of his peers. A high school student's essays were riddled with off-topic scenes of carnage, and this began a good four years before he brought a hunting rifle to school and started shooting. Even Virginia Tech's Seung-Hui Cho leaked--so much so that he was escorted by campus police to a mental hospital in the days before his rampage.

With a careful look at history and in an anecdotal style, Coffey tracks the search for a "school shooter profile" that the FBI once hoped would keep schools safe, examines the twisted facts in a long-simmering debate about gun laws and school murders, and shows how the FBI's new focus on "leakage" and "threat assessment" offers hope--but is still widely ignored by schools that have no funding to train or hire staff.

Rebecca Coffey is a frequent contributor to Scientific American and Discover magazines, a broadcasting commentator on Vermont Public Radio, and she blogs for Psychology Today. Coffey is also an award-winning video documentarian and the author of Unspeakable Truths and Happy Endings: Human Cruelty and the New Trauma Therapy, which received abundant praise and an Outstanding Academic Book award from the American Library Association's Choice magazine.

Editorial Reviews

Review

A "READERS FAVORITE" REVIEW ON GOODREADS
 
Rebecca Coffey explores the topic of school shootings and tragedies at the hands of seemingly innocent individuals, individuals we see and interact with on a daily basis. I remember Columbine very vividly, and reading the description of this tragedy and many others that span the years back to the 1920's refreshes the horrible emotions I felt when word of Columbine circulated through the halls of my own junior high school. For all the bravado that my eighth graders demonstrate for peer approval and teacher disdain, their 14-year-old egos were shattered on that day. Suddenly we, the teachers, were no longer the "enemy," but their protectors until the ringing of the dismissal bell. Unfortunately many of those students do not have the luxury of heading home to the comforts of a loving and secure family situation. So, where does that leave them? Where does it leave our innocent children who only want to feel safe in school as well as home?
 
I commend Rebecca Coffey for her diligent research of the many situations of school/campus violence. Without stating so literally, she has made the fragility and vulnerability of our young people quite clear. --Lisa McCombs, GOODREADS.

From the Author

Rebecca Coffey is a frequent contributor to Scientific American and Discover magazines, a broadcasting commentator on Vermont Public Radio, and she blogs for Psychology Today. Coffey is also an award-winning video documentarian and the author of Unspeakable Truths and Happy Endings: Human Cruelty and the New Trauma Therapy, which received abundant praise and an Outstanding Academic Book award from the American Library Association's Choice magazine.

Product Details

  • File Size: 182 KB
  • Print Length: 45 pages
  • Publisher: Vook (March 12, 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B007JJXNCC
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #926,289 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
As I read MURDERS MOST FOUL, the relevance of Rebecca Coffey's book became painfully clear. Seven people were killed and three more wounded at Oikos University by student One L. Goh, the latest tragedy in a baffling series of U.S. school killings that began in 1927. In MURDERS MOST FOUL, Coffey plumbs that disturbing history, an exploration that suggests the trend may continue.

These widely publicized tragedies have provided many with a soapbox for their views. MURDERS MOST FOUL avoids that temptation. Instead, Coffey scours away the sensationalism and presents us with unvarnished portraits of those who have committed some of history's most merciless crimes, often with methodical premeditation. In prose compelling by its stark focus, Coffey avoids facile polemics and challenges us to reach our own conclusions, something which may leave some readers unsatisfied. For me, the lack of sermonizing was a sign of respect to the reader's intelligence. In all, I found MURDERS MOST FOUL a rare insight into one of the most disturbing trends of our times.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great history of school shootings April 21, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Rebecca Coffey does a great job of collecting the histories of school shootings in the U.S. beginning with the story of Andrew Kehoe, age 55, who in 1927 killed 37 school children and 7 adults to provide context. Like Dave Cullen in Columbine, Coffey works against the "facts" provided us by sensationalist news and popular culture, looking carefully at the similarities but also the differences in school shooters (who are all young men and boys with the exception of Kehoe). As someone who has taught in public schools (Oakland and Richmond, CA) and who now teaches at a pressure cooker University (UC Berkeley), I have always followed these stories with great interest and have read Columbine and also Lucinda Roy's No Right to Remain Silent, so it's possible that I'm underrating this book since I was familiar with most of the information. It is clearly written, well-researched, unadorned reporting with thoughtful analysis. I highly recommend it as a history and an attempt to understand "the School Shooters in Our Midst."
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Necessary reading for parents and educators March 29, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
The book starts out with excellent story-telling about a school massacre almost no one remembers. Evidently, this problem has been with us for a very long time. The author is clear about when the rate of massacres reached national crisis proportions. In 1989 it became a problem that doesn't go away. As harrowing as the chronology of massacres was to read, I found the book oddly calming. Maybe it's just that, reading this, I abandoned my preconceptions and fears and gained new understanding. The search for the school shooter profile, and all of the attendant speculation about video games, too much TV, and poor parenting, have evidently produced nothing of real use to law enforcement or educators. All of that is hogwash. I am happy that this book "drop-kicked" me into an understanding that I can leave that kind of frantic speculation behind. It's a bit of a scary read, but very powerful.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating and chilling... March 22, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition
I found Murders Most Foul to be very informative and well written. Coffey gives you all the data and information about this harrowing phenomenon in our country's schools that every parent should know. If you have a school-age child you'll want to read this book. And BTW, don't think it can't happen in your child's school.
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