Killers' Online Fandoms: From Big Bear to Columbine

What is apparent is that, in both cases, supporters maintain an "us-versus-them" mentality. That plays out in several ways. In Dorner's case, some felt as if the LAPD believes it is above the law, others that society at large doesn't understand or tolerate "outsiders." In an essay on "Serial Killer Groupies," (although it's worth noting that most of the people mentioned so far have been mass shooters), author and forensice psychology professor Katherine Ramsland lists several reasons for why people might find themselves drawn to murderers, including "rescue fantasies," the "need to nurture," or the "exclusivity" and sense of ownership that comes from feeling an intimate kinship with a famous killer.

The biggest shift, of course, is that online declarations of allegiance are arguably more public, helping to lend some of the killer's runoff attention and notoriety to those who purport to support him. Many of those who have voiced support or allegiance to Dorner, Holmes, or any other high-profile killer seem to view them as either a martyr to a cause or as someone who is lost, mistreated, or misunderstood, who needs help and must be bolstered and heartened by this attention from strangers.

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