People who commit these slayings usually suffer some sort of immense public embarrassment and often impose a choice, albeit an irrational one, on themselves, Black [a University of Iowa psych professor] said. Is my family better off dead or alive and left to suffer from public shame?
"It reflects a very distorted view of the future," said Michael O'Hara, a UI professor of psychology.
Though contradictory, Black said, many of these episodes can ultimately be tied to religion. Christian doctrine may explicitly forbid killing - and for Catholics, suicide as well - but such killers are frequently Christian white males.
According to these religious teachings, "they wouldn't get to heaven," Black said. "It's just part of the irrational person who sees his life as completely bleak and hopeless. So an afterlife may seem preferable."
Black said, however, that individuals such as Sueppel are more often white just because whites so heavily outnumber other ethnicities in Iowa.
Nice, huh. He forgot the part about it being a religion that is also about forgiveness. But then of course, that doesn't go along with the 'pattern'. :P In the last sentence, the professor adds that individuals are more likely to be white males because there just happens to be so many of them in Iowa. (Blogger's disclosure: I am a white male Catholic.) Couldn't the same conclusion be reached about this case since I would say that the majority of 'white males' may also be Christian?