Behavioral and Humanistic Perspectives
Mind of a Killer
No one will ever understand why May 20 and 21, 1998, Kip Kinkel shot his parents, Bill and Faith Kinkel, and then drove his mother’s Ford Explorer to his high school and proceeded to go on a shooting spree. He killed two other students and wounded 24 students. Only Kip could fully understand his reasons, and even he wasn’t sure why he did what he did. It takes someone with a lot of problems going on in their minds to commit acts as unspeakable as Kip did. He had to repeat the first grade and watch all his friends advance and in the fourth grade he was diagnosed with dyslexia and placed in extensive special education classes. It was later found out that Kip was hearing “voices” in his head, although he never shared this with anyone else. Kip was having many problems at home after his sister, Kristin, left for college and he was also having problems getting along with the kids at school. He was picked on a lot and did not know how to handle it. He was often in trouble with the law and hung out with a crowd that encouraged his disapproving behavior. His parents made him began therapy with psychologist Jeffrey Hicks.
When Kip was having these problems at home and school, he found something he thought he could express himself through and his parents thought he could use as an outlet to work out his bad behavior. Guns. Although his parents were strongly against violence, Kip’s constant nagging and begging for the guns began to wear on them. It first started when Kip was younger, and because of his nagging, his father gave him one of his guns from his childhood for Kip’s 12th birthday. After this, throughout the next three years, Kip would continue to beg incessantly for more guns. From a behavioral perspective, one could say that Kip would nag for the guns because he related his nagging with getting a gun. If he begged his...