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William Aprill

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They Are Not You: Random Neighborhood Violence

We extend our apologies in advance for the relatively poor quality of the images and video recordings associated with today’s case, but security camera footage is often less than cinema quality. Nevertheless, the issues raised are important for the astute practitioner of self-protection to consider. The included video and news coverage do not reveal the…

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They Are Not You: Rape, Murder, and Working the System

The offender referenced in today’s case from Arizona is indisputably a career violent offender: a serial rapist and multiple murderer of children. His case, and the facts arising from his prosecution, highlight some of the features of Violent Criminal Actors that those interested in protection of self and others must understand and plan for in order to increase our safety.

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They Are Not You: Extravagant Violence

Florida prisoner kills cellmate, gouges out eyes, wears ear on necklace, sources say. Image: The study of violent crime and the subset of offenders we refer to as Violent Criminal Actors, or VCAs, is a serious undertaking and as such it bears scrutiny to make sure we’re not engaging in the titillation of what…

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They Are Not You: Drug Abuse Spirals Into Murder

Today’s case involves a combination of extraordinary risk factors leading to an almost incomprehensible level of violence on the way to a sad and entirely predictable outcome. The predictability arises from the victim’s on-again/off-again struggle with substance abuse, a chronic relapsing condition that stresses family systems to the breaking point as parents and others desperately…

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They Are Not You: The Mindset of Hate

Undertake a bit of a thought exercise with me if you will, one that will point out viscerally some of the differences between ourselves and the most dangerous of Violent Criminal Actors. Imagine the level of hatred required to shoot someone in the face, on sight; not figuratively, but actually to shove the muzzle of your pistol into contact with the flesh of another human's jawline, for example, and press the trigger.

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They Are Not You: Road Rage

Many violent events are challenging to hear about, discuss, and learn from because the details are so distressing. This is especially true in cases involving the murder of a child, and in cases where violence is sudden and seemingly inexplicable as it erupts into the lives of ordinary families doing ordinary things in ordinary ways.…

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They Are Not You: Preconceptions as Deadly Misconceptions

When asked, independent of any other information, to form a mental image of a dangerous criminal offender, we tend to fall back on a combination of half-remembered images from the past, examples in media and, to a very large degree, internally maintained preconceptions. But how closely do our personal impressions hew to the truth of…

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They Are Not You: Depravity Beyond Belief

Depravity: a condition that moves beyond bad conduct, beyond gratuitous infliction of pain and suffering upon others, beyond even cruelty. Depravity extends into a realm of the complete lack of moral compunction and a finding of joy in the devaluing and destruction of human life. As an artifact of human behavior, it bears some scrutiny for the fact that normal, ordinary, rational people are quite rightly loath to look into its abyss, leaving lessons unlearned.

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They Are Not You: Surveillance Cameras Record Random Brutal Attack

Today's case directly addresses one of the greatest fears of city-dwellers and suburbanites, young and old, those invested in self-protection and the unprepared: a moment of inexplicable violence that arises with the stark suddenness of a crevasse opening in ice beneath our feet. The natural questions arise: Who commits this sort of offense and why?

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