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Two mass shootings in three days. Are these copycat crimes?

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Jack McDevitt, Professor of the Practice Emeritus in Criminology and Criminal Justice, was interviewed by the Los Angeles Times about the recent mass shootings in California.

Do a pair of back-to-back mass shootings in California suggest that older men will be the next generation of mass murderers?

Don’t count on it, experts say. The 72-year-old who killed 11 people in Monterey Park and the 66-year-old who’s alleged to have murdered seven near Half Moon Bay may have committed the crimes within 48 hours and 400 miles of each other. But they are likely to remain outliers in a mounting tally of younger perpetrators.

The reason: Although older men are quick to catch contagious diseases, they seem virtually immune to the kinds of contagion that prompt violent displays of mimicry.

“We don’t see many 60- and 70-year-olds committing mass homicides, and when they do it’s usually a murder-suicide within a family,” said Jack McDevitt, a criminologist at Northeastern University in Boston.

Read the full story in the Los Angeles Times.

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