CHICAGO (CBS) — A Crystal Lake woman whose son was shot and killed in the 2012 movie theater massacre in Aurora, Colorado, said the media should think twice about publishing the names and photos of mass killers.
Kathleen Larimer knows what many of the victims’ families are thinking in the wake of Sunday’s massacre in Las Vegas. She lost her 27-year-old son, Navy Petty Officer John Larimer, when a gunman killed 12 people in a crowded movie theater in July 2012.
“Phone calls that don’t go through, and you hope the next time it will, and you start calling around to the different hospitals and the police,” she said.
Then comes confirmation of the worst, and story after story about the killer. This time came with the phrase, “deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history.”
“By keeping referring to it as such, there’s going to be somebody out there who’s going to make that his mission in life to create an even bigger one,” Kathleen said.
There was a time when Kathleen would have found news about mass murderers interesting; who they were, their motives.
“It used to be. It’s not anymore for me, because I don’t want to see it happen again, and I do think that there is a correlation,” she said.
She said the notoriety of mass killers can put ideas in the heads of society’s more unbalanced persons.
She pointed to recent news coverage of James Holmes, the man accused of killing her son and 11 others, being transferred to federal prison.
“While it wasn’t played up big around here, in certain parts of the country it was. Maybe this is a result of that,” Kathleen said. “This guy, ‘Oh yeah, look at that. They’re still talking about him. I’m going to go out and do this.’ And I don’t know if that’s the case or not. It’s not always, but it could be.”