… A New Breed of Killer?
By Jack Cashill
In the search for parallels to explain Aaron Alexis’s killing spree at the Washington Navy Yard on Monday, the media have turned reflexively to recent incidents in Aurora, Colorado, and Sandy Hook, Connecticut.
Almost no one in the media, however, has made the obvious comparison to Christopher Dorner, the former Los Angeles Police Department officer who killed four people and wounded three others in a ten-day spree last February that ended with a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
Although the most visible point of comparison is race and gender — black and male — both were born in New York City within a month of each other in the spring of 1979, graduated high school, attended college, moved more or less comfortably in the larger integrated world, and joined the Navy Reserve.
Most saliently, both Dorner and Alexis were mentally unbalanced. In a different time and place they might have blamed themselves, their lovers, or their parents for the demons that haunted them, but the two came of age in what might be called the post-Roots era. From the beginning, they have always had a way to account for their misfortunes that spared them introspection.
Published as nonfiction in 1976 and produced as a spectacularly successful mini-series a year later, Roots: The Saga of an American Family gave…………………