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Following Texas church shooting, examining links between mental illness and mass murder




Twenty-six crosses stand in a field on the edge of town to honor the 26 victims killed at the First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs on November 8, 2017 in Sutherland Springs, Texas.
Twenty-six crosses stand in a field on the edge of town to honor the 26 victims killed at the First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs on November 8, 2017 in Sutherland Springs, Texas.
Scott Olson/Getty Images

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In the wake of the mass shooting at a church in Sutherland Springs, Texas this past Sunday, President Donald Trump referred to the act as a “mental health problem.”

Experts say that while some mass murderers do exhibit psychopathic or sociopathic behaviors, it’s a much different psychological manifestation than mental illness. So, what are the psychological links between mental illness and mass murderers, if one exists? And if there isn’t, what accounts for their behavior?

Guests:

Judy Ho, associate professor of psychology at Pepperdine University; she is also a licensed clinical and forensic psychologist in Manhattan Beach, Calif.; she tweets @DrJudyHo

Dr. Michael Stone, professor of clinical psychiatry at Columbia University, specializing in personality disorders; he was the host of the Discovery Channel series “Most Evil” and is the author of “The Anatomy of Evil” (Prometheus Books, 2009)