Here’s What Crazy Mass Shooters Look Like

Mass shootings. They happen so often these days, they are hardly making headlines, and when they do, they are soon pushed out of the news cycle thanks to what’s going on in the White House or in Russia. There are many red flags that show what crazy mass shooters look like.

Look at this:

According to reports, the Thousand Oaks shooter assaulted his track coach. The Florida high school shooter was accused of threatening, abusing, and stalking people he knew. People say that the Las Vegas shooter was verbally abusing his girlfriend while in public. What do you see here? A pattern.

The FBI is on the case here, but that’s hardly comforting due to the sheer volume of unstable people out there. Earlier this year, the FBI released a report that shows the “pre-attack behaviors” of people accused of or convicted of mass shootings. Here’s another takeaway: 63 percent of them were white, and 94 percent of them were male. The report concludes with a takeaway that shows a very troubling and complex view of the people who have failed to positively handle the stressors in lives. In addition, they all display several concerning behaviors, they plan and prepare, and they often share their intent to attack with others.

It often takes several people to spot every red flag that a potential mass shooter displays, according to the FBI. These flags often include violent behavior, abuse, bullying, and harassment. To get even closer to what a mass shooter looks like, take a look at the following stats:

  • 57% of shooters have shown “concerning” behaviors
  • 48% of shooters have talked about suicide
  • 35% of shooters have made threats
  • 33% of shooters have a history of physical aggression
  • 33% of shooters have anger issues
  • 21% of shooters have used firearms inappropriately
  • 16% of shooters have used violence against their partners
  • 11% of shooters have been accused of stalking

The FBI report also shows that most shooters spent at least a week planning their attacks, and they often give their family and friends some type of “preview” of what’s to come. If people do become concerned about a future mass shooter’s behavior, it’s rare for them to go to the police, and they often become targets of the shooter, themselves.

It’s easy to make a report, however, so if you feel that someone you know might have the makings to be a mass shooter and made threats, you can report this to the FBI online. Finally, there are 13 states where “red flag” gun laws are in place. This means that a person’s guns could be removed if they are showing a high risk of violent behavior. These states are:

  • California
  • Connecticut
  • Delaware
  • Florida
  • Indiana
  • Illinois
  • New Jersey
  • Maryland
  • Massachusetts
  • Oregon
  • Rhode Island
  • Vermont
  • Washington

Robert Siciliano personal security and identity theft expert and speaker is the author of Identity Theft Privacy: Security Protection and Fraud Prevention: Your Guide to Protecting Yourself from Identity Theft and Computer Fraud. See him knock’em dead in this Security Awareness Training video.

15 Year Old’s Naked Photos Spread Like Wild Fire

You have probably heard the story before. Teenage girl takes some scantily clad photos and sends them to her latest boyfriend. “What could go wrong?,” she thinks. Well, a lot could go wrong, and an article on Vice.com really lays that out. You might think that the boyfriend is to blame for this 15-year old’s photos spreading like wildfire, but the truth is this: he deleted them soon after getting them…the photos got out because the teen kept them on her phone and some classmates took that phone.

Ultimately, the photos got into the hands of the victim’s best friend. At this point, you probably think “Phew…the photos are safe.”  Wrong again. Her “best friend” ended up posting the photos to a blog. Many years later, the victim found out why…her “best friend” was mad that she had sent some angry texts to her the night before, and that her main motivation was to simply hurt her friend because of those texts. That’s all it took for a teen’s life to be effectively ruined for months.

When things like this happen, many women are made to feel guilty that they took these photos, and this is a type of digital violence. In fact, more women are now seeking counseling to help to combat these feelings. The thing is, if you have a nude photo, you are certainly not immune. Teens often become victims here, but so do adult women and celebrities. In most cases, someone else is spreading these photos, but the victim is often blamed.

In late 2017, the EU passed new laws that help to better protect people who find themselves in this situation, and in 2015, the British government made these actions a crime, too. However, in most other countries, no such laws exist.

In this case, the victim ended up forgiving her classmates, but as an adult, she still has not overcome the invasion of her privacy. She also still struggles with the fact that most people in the community blamed her…not the boys who stole her phone, nor her friend, who posted them on the internet. She says that people came up to her for years after the incident and told her they saw those photos, too, and she still has that feeling that she did something wrong.

Finally, as a society, we have to find ways to make sure that victims of these crimes are taken seriously, and ensure that video sites, like YouTube, and social media sites, like Facebook, respond immediately when notified of content like this.

And, please, I’m not blaming the victim here, and a bit of advice, no naked pics of yourself, girlfriend, husband or wife please. It’s a bit too risky and can have significant consequences.

Robert Siciliano personal security and identity theft expert and speaker is the author of Identity Theft Privacy: Security Protection and Fraud Prevention: Your Guide to Protecting Yourself from Identity Theft and Computer Fraud. See him knock’em dead in this Security Awareness Training video.

Street Fights can result in Death

People who don’t believe they have been brainwashed by the film industry, which repeatedly shows men in a brawl who are still standing after each have received a dozen punches to the head and face.

Sometimes it takes five full minutes to just daze a man, after he’s been hit in the face over and over, and struck in the back with a chair so hard the chair breaks. Men get slammed, even tossed, into walls, into cars, but bounce right back with their dukes up.

An article on gawker.com points out that just one punch could be lethal. And that hitting your head on the ground can be fatal. Bare hands can be deadly. The article also explains that because of this, you should do whatever it takes to stop the attacker—knowing that it might kill him—but at the same time, you shouldn’t deliberately try to kill him.

If your only way out is the nearby 2 x 4, and he’s a bull, then whack him. But geez, no need to impale him with the nearby pitchfork when instead you can just swing the other end into his knees.

How can one punch or a hard fall to concrete kill? The force could jar the brain, tearing a blood vessel, causing rapid bleeding—an acute subdural hematoma or subarachnoid hemorrhage. These don’t exist in Hollywood scripts.

Street Fight Smarts

  • Consider pepper spray, but your brain is your best defense weapon.
  • Park only in well-lit areas and never next to a van.
  • Avoid walking in the dark when possible.
  • If someone demands your car, money or jewelry, give it up.
  • Micro-seconds count. You can always say, “I’m sorry for permanently damaging your eye,” later at the courthouse.
  • Don’t scratch or slap; punch with a closed fist.
  • Gouge at the eyes.
  • Go for the nose.
  • Slam fists into the sides of the neck.
  • Kick at the knees.
  • Ram a hand up between his legs—you know what the destination is.

If he’s “dragging” you to his car, drop to the ground and wrap your arms around his leg to become dead weight. If you think he’ll hit your head at that point, then make a break for it, because at that point, he doesn’t have his arms around you.

Robert Siciliano personal and home security specialist to BestHomeSecurityCompanys.com discussing burglar proofing your home on Fox Boston. Disclosures.

Dude hacked Lottery Computers

Who needs psychics to reveal future lottery numbers when you can hack into the state lottery association and tamper with it? That apparently was the reasoning of Eddie Raymond Tipton, 51.

9DProsecutors believe Tipton inserted a thumb drive into a computer—the one that spits out random numbers for the lottery, says an article in the Des Moines Register, according to a report at arstechnica.com.

At the time of this purported crime, Tipton was head of security for the Multi-State Lottery Association. Surveillance caught him buying a ticket that was worth $14.3 million (not smart enough to wear a disguise, eh?).

Coincidence? Not according to the prosecutors, who say he programmed computers that generate the numbers. This shouldn’t even be possible.

Supposedly on November 20 of 2010, Tipton went into the “draw room” where he altered the time on the computers. The settings of the room’s camera were changed, so that Tipton’s activity inside the room would not be recorded.

Prosecutors say that of the five people who are capable of changing the camera’s settings, four said they did not change them. Of course, the fifth person is Tipton. What a sly duck: resetting the camera so that it recorded only one second out of every minute, to miss detecting him inserting the thumb drive.

But he pled not guilty, even though he was identified as the man in the surveillance purchasing the golden ticket. Even if there’d been no tampering, Tipton would be barred from receiving the prize because employees of the association are banned from claiming lottery prizes.

For about a year, this particular ticket went unclaimed. But through a New York attorney, a company in Belize tried to claim the ticket at the last minute.

Somehow, authorities smelled a rat and focused on Tipton. Prosecutors also say that he had a fascination with root kits, which is in line with quickly installing the thumb drive. A root kit can be installed fast, carry out its orders, then self-destruct without leaving a trace.

The scales of justice are not tipped in Tipton’s favor especially because a witness plans on testifying that shortly before December 2010, Tipton told him he had a rootkit—a self-destructing one.

The trial is set for July 13.

Robert Siciliano is an identity theft expert to TheBestCompanys.com discussing  identity theft prevention.

Top 10 Horrible Accidents to Avoid

“When it’s your time, it’s your time.” NOT. Most accidents, including freak, are avoidable. Here’s a compilation from popularmechanics.com.

EMERMauled by a mower. Every year in the U.S., about 95 people die by mower when it flips over on a hill and crushes the driver. Don’t mow sideways on a slope; mow up and down.

Wild animals. Never run from wildlife, as this will trigger its chase instinct—chase and kill, that is. Every year in the U.S., three to five people die from wild animal attacks, mostly bears and sharks. Avoid shark infested waters. Carry “bear spray” when hiking/camping. Wear bells and make noise when hiking.

Vicious vending machines. Between 1978 and 1995, vending machines killed 37 people who weren’t quick enough to get out of the way when the machine—after it was aggressively handled by the customers—toppled over and crushed them. Solution: You’re not Fonzie; don’t hit vending machines.

Dam it. The dam appears to be a plane of water as the boater approaches going downstream. However a spinning vortex is created by water rushing over the dam, and can trap the boater. If you get trapped after being capsized, curl up, then drop to the bottom, them move downstream.

Electric shock drowning. Even if you swim like Flipper, you can be electrocuted to death if the water contains cords, that are plugged into a dock outlet. If a dock is wired, don’t swim within 100 yards. If you’re not sure, stay on the dock.

ATV accidents. One-third of ATV fatalities occur on paved roads because the tires, which are designed for traction on unstable ground, produce too much traction, making the vehicle flip. If you must take an ATV on pavement, go in a straight line in first gear.

One wrong move. Ladder falls kill over 700 people a year. Half of ladder accidents involve people carrying something while climbing. To carry things use work-belt hooks.

Shallow-water blackout. How many times have you taken a few big breaths, gulped in a lot of air, then went underwater? This can result in a fatal shallow-water blackout, drowning you.

Straight landing. Have your landing spot decided from 100 to 1,000 feet up to avoid swerving to connect with it. The swerve can interfere with the parachute.

Ford ev’ry stream…with much caution. Shallow streams can pack a force that knocks you and all your heavy gear down, potentially incapacitating you, leading to fatal hypothermia. Test the current by tossing a stick into it. If it moves faster than walking pace, don’t go in. Otherwise, cross at a wide, straight portion of water.

Robert Siciliano personal and home security specialist to BestHomeSecurityCompanys.com discussing burglar proofing your home on Fox Boston. Disclosures.

Just One Day in the Boston Globe

Sometimes all you can do is shake your head and wonder how we have managed to get this far as a species. Scanning today’s paper I couldn’t help but notice the total mayhem that makes up one day of news. I bring this to your attention not to sensationalize or provide the “bad news” but to make you grateful for what you have and hopefully motivate you to go out and do something positive to help your community. It also might make you think twice about your personal safety.

October 6th 2010:

Hundreds mourn victim of Mattapan shootings

Simba Martin’s family huddled around his shiny, pewter-colored casket yesterday morning, their cries of grief filling the small red-brick church on Highland Street. Near the altar, a female relative shouted “why’’ repeatedly as she slumped in the embrace of a family member.

Death of Vt. woman is called a homicide

WATERBURY, Vt. — A body found in the woods Sunday by two bird hunters has been identified as that of a missing 78-year-old woman, and police called it a homicide yesterday.

Judge sets rules for N.H. slaying trial

CONCORD, N.H. — Three men who have acknowledged their roles in a deadly home invasion in which a woman and her daughter were stabbed and slashed dozens of times will be allowed to testify about the plot leading up it, a judge says.

Onetime serial arson suspect accused of setting office on fire

PLYMOUTH — A Brockton man who decades ago was a prime suspect in the torching of dozens of churches, VFW posts, and other buildings in the area south of Boston was accused yesterday of setting fire to a federal probation office Monday night.

Man allegedly stole more items from grandmother after theft

A Braintree grandmother’s house was robbed Monday afternoon, and police said that as they arrived to investigate, the victim’s grandson stole more items and tried to have a friend pawn them while blaming it on the original burglar.

1 student robbed, 1 nearly abducted

One Bay State College student was robbed and another was the victim of an attempted abduction in two separate incidents yesterday afternoon, police said. Boston police spokesman David Estrada said that at about 2:30 p.m. an 18-year-old student was walking out of a Subway restaurant on St. James Street when he was robbed by a man armed with a knife.

Man ordered held in statutory rape case

A 31-year-old Tewksbury man accused of raping a 14-year-old girl in August after sending her sexually charged text messages for a month pleaded not guilty yesterday, officials said.

Man sentenced for trying to lure teen

A Dorchester man already convicted of sex offenses against children was sentenced to up to five years in state prison and 10 years’ probation Monday for attempting to lure a 13-year-old girl who was on her way to school in 2009

Man convicted of killing three in 2007 Conn. home invasion

NEW HAVEN — A paroled burglar was convicted yesterday of killing a woman and her two daughters in a 2007 home invasion in an affluent Connecticut town and now could be sentenced to death.

Wow. Nuts! It can be a mad, mad, mad world sometimes. But being kind to someone takes less effort than being evil. Choose wisely. And please, think about home security and what systems need to be in place to protect your family.

Robert Siciliano personal security expert to Home Security Source discussing Home Invasions on Montel Williams. Disclosures

Personal Safety When Selling a Home

Two real estate agents were killed in separate incidents in Ohio in the past two weeks.

“Police have confirmed the suspects in this week’s murder of a Youngstown OH realtor are not connected with the murder of a realtor in Ravenna OH the day after.”

“Meeting new clients, showing properties, holding open houses, letting strangers get into your car, and even your marketing may be jeopardizing your personal safety.

The root of the issue is that you have real estate agents with no formal security training who are then meeting with complete strangers at odd times of the day and in vacant homes. Real estate professionals put themselves at risk at so many points. The industry opens itself up to predators.”

Here are a few tips to protect you when selling a property.

Be suspect of everyone. There isn’t any benefit in being paranoid; however, being a little guarded can keep you from getting into a vulnerable situation. Don’t just be wary of a man showing up unaccompanied. Expect them to show up in a nice car, well dressed, maybe with a wife and kids tagging along. They might have a business card saying they are a doctor or a lawyer. Don’t let your guard down.

Appointment Only. When placing ads, all advertisements should state “Appointment only” “Drivers license required” and “Pre Approval Documentation Required.” These are all hoops the bad guy may not want to jump through and you vetting out those who are “just looking” at the same time.

Use the Buddy System. When you set appointments always schedule around a spouse or friends availability so they can join you. There is always strength in numbers. If you have to go it solo, when someone walks in, say, “I’d be happy to show you the benefits of this home! In a few minutes my friend Rocco will be along to assist me,” creating the illusion of the buddy system.

ID and pre-qualify at your first meeting. When you are meeting at your property, get some form of identification. Also, it is to your benefit that a potential client buying a home is pre-qualified. Someone who is pre-qualified by a lender is less likely to be a predator.

Safe open houses. Spend a few minutes considering all the vulnerable points within the home and how you would escape if necessary.

Dress for safety and success. Don’t wear expensive jewelry. A $3-5 thousand-dollar diamond buys a lot of drugs. Dress professionally instead of provocatively.

Robert Siciliano personal security expert to Home Security Source discussing Real estate Agent safety on Inside Edition . Disclosures.

Are You Your Family’s Chief Security Officer?

Everyone’s job spills into their personal life is some way. I’m sure if your job is to clean offices all day, your home is probably clean. If you are a computer technician, your family bothers you every day to fix stuff. My guess is if you are a nurse, your kids are probably well taken care of.

My job is to scream about home security and other security issues all day. I’m pretty sure people are listening because they often thank me for the heads up and lately have been pointing to specific posts that saved them lots of headaches and heartache. In my home environment, I’m the CSO, Chief Security Officer, and security is an ongoing process that everyone is involved in. They have no choice. I bark it all day.

My belief is everyone has a job to do in personal safety. No matter what, you must protect yourself and family from the bad-guy. The hard part about this part time job is it requires a bit of thought. Because you’re not immersed in it all day like I am, the “second nature” part requires putting out a tiny bit of extra effort in order to complete whatever security task there may be at hand. To some people who are already burdened with life, a simple task like locking your doors or activating an alarm might be too much to think about.

I remember about 20 years ago I knew I wanted a safe. So I bought one. And that safe sat in my closet in the box for another 8 months until I actually bolted it to the floor and began to use it.  It took extra effort. Everything of significant monetary value that I don’t want stolen is easily locked up and fireproofed. Today it’s no effort.

Occasionally after a long day I go to bed and forget to set the alarm. But I always remember if I didn’t set it as my head hits the pillow, which means I get out of bed and set it. It’s a tiny bit of extra effort. Then I sleep better.  Security might not be your job, but it is really everyone’s job. Be the power of example and provide the leadership your family needs and be their Chief Security Officer.

Robert Siciliano personal security expert to Home Security Source discussing home security and identity theft on TBS Movie and a Makeover. Disclosures.



Make Personal Safety a Priority

We often hear people (including myself) drone on at how the system is broken and how good guys end up in jail and bad guys are released on good behavior. The criminal justice system is far from fair. Too often bad people are let out only to re-offend and sometimes do worse the second or third time around.  Securing your home is crucial way of protecting your home and family.

The Seattle PI reports “a man who police say beat an elderly woman and burglarized her home has schizoid-affective disorder, was released from jail three days before the attack and had to be placed in seclusion multiple times at Western State hospital.

The 81-year-old victim told police she thought he would have killed her if other elderly neighbors who police say he also assaulted didn’t come to her aid.”

That is likely someone’s mom and grandmother. Imagine this happening to a loved one.

“The man, who is on Department of Corrections supervision, has a lengthy criminal history including a conviction for custodial assault, second-degree robbery, theft, assault, negligent driving, domestic violence harassment and domestic violence assault.”

This is obviously a bad, bad man. He’s been diagnosed with mental illness and he has extreme tendencies towards violence. The frustrating part of this story is that it is evident in his current state of mind and in his history that he will do this again and again until he commits a heinous enough crime that gets him a life or death sentence.

The courts can only work within the confines of the law. Citizens can only hope the law is sufficient enough to guarantee their safety. What this ultimately means is a citizen’s right to safety is only guaranteed by what he or she does to protect themselves. The ultimate responsibility to protect yourself is on you. The justice system doesn’t necessarily provide justice. It is simply a guide.

By coming to terms with this and realizing the responsibility you have, you develop a higher sense of awareness and begin to put systems in place to prevent such atrocities from happening in your life or to someone you love.

Fundamentals include locking your doors, having a home security plan, investing in home security alarms and home security cameras. The worst thing you can do is nothing. The best thing you can do is be proactive.

Robert Siciliano personal security expert to Home Security Source discussing home invasions on the Gordon Elliot Show. Disclosures

Law enforcement officers keep tough watch on sex offenders

In Colorado law enforcement officers are scouring the state to make sure sex offenders aren’t hiding from the law.

“Operation Sheperd launched into action this month. Mesa County Sheriff’s Office Deputies and Grand Junction Police Department Officers are crisscrossing Grand Junction to make sure registered sex offenders are living where they reported they are. These officials randomly visit homes of offenders, some of them convicted of molesting children. It’s all to keep strict tabs on these offenders, so that they don’t escape the watchful eye of police. “We do take the verification of addresses seriously, and we do continually check,” says the Grand Junction Police Department.”

Verifying addresses and keeping tabs on a sex offenders whereabouts always keeps sex offenders in check. It is important that local law enforcement always has tabs on them due to the nature of their crimes. We hear too often that sex offenders are released then repeat their behavior. It is unfortunately a part of their nature.

Even though law enforcement is doing their job, you need to continually scan the internet and seek out sex offenders in your neighborhoods.

“Operation Sheperd has captured 180 sex offenders who were not complying with their registry so far. Officers across Colorado have completed nearly 4,000 checks on offenders.”

Wow. Sex offenders often don’t register because they don’t want to be found or because they are living in an area where they aren’t allowed to be, such as near a school or park. Based on these numbers you should never simply trust that your new next door neighbor is “good”. Bad comes in many different faces.

Robert Siciliano is a Personal Security Expert and Adviser to Intelius.com. For more information see Intelius at Sex Offender Check to reduce your chances of encountering a bad guy. See him discussing personal security on NBC Boston. (Disclosures)