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This paper is a comprehensive analysis of the two adolescent perpetrators of the 1999 massacre at Columbine High School. Using psychoanalytic, family systems, and prenatal psychology resources, the author explores various theories advanced to explain their behavior and offers the new observation that the boys match the clinical profile of abortion survivors. In concluding, he predicts the increasing appearance of more and ever younger killers in a culture which features the multigenerational transmission of the threat of being aborted and suggests that this insight may help us understand other examples of antisocial behavior and pathological syndromes.
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John C. Sonne, M.D.*
* John C. Sonne is a psychoanalyst, family therapist, Clinical Professor of Psychiatry, Robert Wood Johnson School of Medicine, Rutgers, NJ, and Chief of Family Therapy, Cooper Hospital, Camden, NJ, where an early version of this essay was presented to psychiatric staff on April 4, 2000. Correspondence to 443 Shady Lane, Moorestown, NJ 08057 or Email to: email@example.com.