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Dancing with the Devil

Dancing with the Devil

According to Harvard and American University experts, we are living in the least violent time in all of human history.  Yet, most people surveyed in recent academic research were surprised by such a notion.  In fact, these same academic studies have found that people across Europe and North America are more fearful for their family's safety than they were 50 years ago.  Mounting evidence points to the media as the most likely source of a heightened anxiety in western culture.  

A shallow knowledge of current events and a dose of common sense point us to shocking headlines about violence, bombings and a seemingly endless litany of mass shootings for proof of how violent our world really is.  However, once again, science shows us that the source of the amplifying headlines -- even the source for the violence itself--is the media.

In a quest for answers, three Oregon grad students traveled to Newport Beach, California, to track down and interview the world's pre eminent forensic psychiatrist and authority on mass murder.  Dr. Park Dietz has psychoanalyzed and testified around the world in the trials of "the worst of the worst" over the past 30 years.  Name an assassin, serial or mass murderer and he has chatted with them, studied their crimes and dug deep down into their minds:  Jeffrey Dahmer, John Hinkley, Jr, Susan Smith, Andrea Yates, our own Kip Kinkel, even David Koresh at the Waco compound. Dietz has counseled the authorities about the best practices for reigning in tragedies.  Now Dietz explains how to identify particular characteristics shared by mass murderers, why you probably don't want that person in your school, in your workplace, in your home, in your life, and why mass killers do the unfathomable – slaughter classrooms of children.  

What are the facts and just what is the truth?  Why are these senseless, tragic mass murders taking place in seemingly increasing numbers?  The reasons are known, the facts are fairly simple to understand, and a solution is possible.  The real question is whether we, as a people, have the integrity of previous generations to make important changes.  

Produced by Patricia Cordell