In his article in the Daily Telegraph today, Boris probes the question of the motivations of the killer, Anders Breivik, who shot 85 young people to death with an automatic rifle, saying that calling him mad or evil is not enough. Boris says: “It is not enough to say he is mad. Anders Breivik is patently mad: no one in their right mind would behave as he has done. Nor is it enough to say that he is evil. If the word evil has any meaning at all, then it must obviously apply to a man who can go to a lake island summer camp, call innocent young people to run towards him – and then shoot 85 of them with an automatic rifle.”
Boris continues: “We will never be satisfied with simple words like “mad” or “evil”, and for the days and weeks ahead we can expect exhaustive psychoanalysis of this dreary and supercilious 32-year-old sicko. We will summon and interview all the potential hobgoblins of his mind. With the help of the Norwegian investigators, we will try to understand how these demons persuaded him to engage in an act of such premeditated cruelty; and as our guide we will use the 1,500-page manifesto of hate that he (and possibly his accomplices) have posted on the internet.”
Boris dismisses the explanation that the ideology of Breivik is the motivation of the man. He says: “It is certainly true that on the face of it he has much in common with some recent Islamic suicide bombers. He is disturbed by female emancipation, and thinks women would be better off in the home. He seems to be pretty down on homosexuality. Above all – and in this he strongly resembles an Islamist – he believes that his own religious leaders are deeply decadent and have deviated from orthodoxy. He is repelled, like so many Muslim terrorists, by anything that resembles the mingling of cultures.
People will say that we are looking at the mirror image, in fact, of an Islamic terrorist – a man driven by an identical but opposite ideological mania. There is certainly a symmetry here, and yet in both cases, Breivik and the Muslim bomber, I don’t think that ideology is really at the heart of the problem. Yesterday the television reporters found an acquaintance of his from Norway, a fellow called Ulav Andersson, who said that he had known Breivik pretty well. He was surprised by all the Knights of Templar stuff, because he had never really been religious, and he wasn’t aware that he had been interested in politics.”
“He didn’t seem opinionated at all,” he said. He just became chippy and irritable, said Ulav Andersson, when some girl he had a crush on jilted him in favour of a man of Pakistani origin. In othe words, it was all about him, and his feeling of inadequacy in relation to the female sex.
In other words it was deeply personal. I do think that Boris is absolutely right in making this connection The notorious serial killer, Ted Bundy, confessed to thirty murders, but is thought to have killed many more. His medical report described him as ” a sadistic sociopath who took pleasure from another human’s pain and the control he had over his victims, to the point of death, and even after.” He once called himself “… the most cold-blooded son of a bitch you’ll ever meet.” Ted Bundy was suave, good-looking and intelligent. He was lawyer, who denied his guilt for years and defended himself in court and so unlikely a potential killer was he, that for years in the US, thousands believed he was innocent.
And yet, his hatred of women was supposed to have been fanned to white hot rage because a girl he dated dumped him after a few dates because of his immaturity and lack of ambition. So humiliated was Bundy by this (he also hated his mother because he was illegitimate), that the girls he attacked, tried to rape and murdered, always resembled the girl who had rejected him.
There are many similar examples if you look at the cases of serial killers. Read Boris’s gripping article in its entirety in the Daily Telegraph today.