Bio:

Dr. Casey Jordan is a criminologist, forensic psychologist, and professor who has taught and studied the nature of crime and violence for more than 30 years.  As an investigative profiler and behavior analyst, Dr. Jordan has interviewed more than 100 inmates and criminals to collect data on casual factors of their crimes, with a goal of using these variables to prevent future crime and solve cold cases.  She is a professor in the Division of Justice & Law Administration at Western Connecticut State University, has served on the defense teams of many high-profile murder cases, and has hosted her own hit series on Investigation Discovery:  “Wives with Knives.”  With more than 2000 media appearances, Dr. Jordan is a regular media commentator on 24-hour news channels during breaking crime events and live court trial coverage.  Dr. Jordan has often served as CNN Criminologist in covering unfolding spree-and mass-murder events from the DC Snipers to the Las Vegas massacre.

Programs:

Common Sense Gun Reform – A Collective Conversation

Since 1982, Dr. Jordan’s sophomore year in college,  932 people have been killed and 1,406 wounded in mass shootings alone—and this figure doesn’t even begin to encompass gun violence in general.  Dr. Jordan is ready to present facts, offer suggestions, and facilitate a conversation with today’s college students to see what we can do together to find specific ideas and solutions to ending gun violence.

The back-to-back massacres in El Paso Texas and Dayton, Ohio in August 2019 sent a new shockwave through America.  Both shooters were young, white, disaffected young men with some level of “red flags” in their history, and yet both were able to legally obtain the assault weapons they used to kill a total of 32 people in public places in the space of 14 hours.

In El Paso, 22 people were killed and another 26 injured in the space of six minutes before the shooter was captured by police.

In the case of Dayton, six police officers—the “good guys with a gun”—were on hand and able to neutralize the shooter within 30 seconds of the massacre starting.  But in those 30 seconds, 9 people were killed and another 26 injured.

The next day, the President called for nonpartisan action (Gun-control activists took these comments as too little too late) for the first time there was an articulated list of potential areas for change that represent a starting point for conversation. The President called for an examination of warning signs, youth culture, video games, mental health, and red-flag laws, which encompassed background checks.  He took credit for banning bump-stocks.  He thanked law enforcement for their efforts.

The one thing he did not mention was a ban on assault weapons, high capacity magazines, or any other specific suggestions for common sense gun reform.   In fact, he explicitly downplayed the role high-powered guns played in the shootings, saying “mental illness and hatred pulls the trigger, not the gun.”

The time has come for everyone on all sides to set aside entrenched beliefs on gun control that are often based on emotions, experience, and culture.  The conversation has stalled for decades because red-herring arguments about cause and effect, and smack-down declarations of “That’s not the cause!” and “That won’t work!” when in fact we have a great deal of fact-based evidence and academic studies to analyze with logic.  How can you know if it won’t work, when we’ve never tried?

As a criminologist, attorney, and policy analyst, Dr. Jordan believes a conversation that considers arguments on all sides is needed.  ALL ideas based in logic and evidence can be presented.  ALL potential solutions can be suggested. Everyone is welcome at the table— and yes, specific proposals about what ACTION needs to be taken will be presented and discussed with an eye towards protecting Second Amendment freedoms while also interpreting the Constitution for a modern era.

HYBRID KILLERS:  A SIGN OF THE TIMES

What do infamous serial killers like “Versace Murder”  Andrew Cunanan, “Gaineville Ripper” Danny Rollings, or the “DC Snipers” John Mohammed and Lee Malvo have in common?  They are not just serial killers—they actually have aspects of mass murder and spree killing which places them into a growing profile called HYBRID KILLERS.  Profiles for homicide developed in the 1980s have become outmoded as multicide (the killing of three or more victims by one perpetrator) has morphed and evolved with the times.  Technology, media, forensics, DNA science, and crime scene investigation have all progressed so quickly over the past twenty years that killers have organized their murders around these developments and altered their patterns to avoid detection.  Quite simply, the old profiles don’t work.  NEW profiles have to be developed to better understand today’s “hybrid” brand of serial killing.

An overview of multicide profiles, typologies of different types of serial and mass murderers, case studies of “hybrid killers”  and the factors that make them merge and cross over with different profiles will be explored, along with recommendations for what the future holds for investigative profiling in this modern age where the killers watch CSI just as much as we do… and learn from it.

ADAM LANZA REVEALED:  Understanding the Sandy Hook tragedy through Threat Assessment

The most recognizable photo of Adam Lanza shows a bug-eyed teen in a hoodie, staring at the camera in a decidedly “geeky” way. That image comes from Lanza’s college ID from Western Connecticut State University, where as a professor I would have passed him in the hallways on his way to computer science classes. Though I never had him as a student myself, in talking to his other professors after the fact, they describe him as totally quiet, unremarkable, invisible—almost forgettable.  Perhaps that was the problem.

In the aftermath of the Sandy Hook tragedy, we can LEARN from a “reverse autopsy” of the shooter.  By reconstructing his life through the four prongs of threat assessment—childhood/personal characteristics, family life, school life, and peers/social life—we can gain insight into the perfect storm of variables that led to that fateful day in December 2012.  Without making any excuses for Lanza’s horrific crime, it is crucial to understand the personal challenges and family factors that left him feeling isolated and desperate—all with an eye towards detection, intervention, and prevention in the future.

We never want to see another Sandy Hook. Teens may not be able to help a special-needs student with his disability, but they CAN help stop the bullying, ostracism, and isolation that can contribute to gun violence in schools.By examining the factors that led up to the Sandy Hook massacre through a threat assessment profile, today’s students can learn that being  kind, aware, and willing to alert others to the signs of a potential threat the very best way to stop violence in schools.

CAMPUS  KILLERS vs. SCHOOL SHOOTERS:  Gun Violence Threat Assessment

The tragic high school shooting in Parkland, Florida in February 2018 served as a watershed moment in considering how little has changed since the notorious school shootings of the 90s, despite massive increases in “target hardening” and security measures.  Even more alarming is the tremendous increase in shootings on college campuses, which had been extremely rare since the 1967 Texas Clocktower massacre.

An overview of the trends in campus shootings will examine the important differences between school shootings and campus shootings, not only in considering the psychological and cultural differences between high-schoolers and college students, but the realities of gun ownership and accessibility.  The law allows high schools to have more power to identify and intervene with their students in crisis, even pursing mandatory psychological services or involuntary commitment—but the rights that come at age of 18 and freedoms allowed in a college setting have left college campuses vulnerable to an entirely new form of rampage killer.

Case studies of campus shootings vs. school shootings will be compared and contrasted, with the parameters of threat assessment for gun violence in any educational setting offered.  Knowing the common traits of gun violence on campus, identifying the warning signs in an age-appropriate way, and having a clear plan for intervention and action is the best defense against the next Columbine or Virginia Tech tragedy.

THE ANOMIC BOMB:  Mass Murder in a Mad World

More than a century ago the great sociologist Emile Durkheim coined the phrase “ANOMIE” in an attempt to describe the complex world of chaos experienced by people who committed suicide.  When a social system is in a state of anomie, common values are no longer understood or accepted, and new values are unclear.  Anomic people and societies experience a sense of futility, lack of purpose, and emotional emptiness and despair. Striving is considered useless, the anomic individual feels persecuted and set up for failure.  In his mind, “someone has to pay!”

Criminologists have since realized that while some anomic people will kill themselves, but others will be even more satisfied to kill YOU.  Today’s “Anomic Bombs” often snap under the pressure of their anomie and kill many people, often to make a statement of rebellion against the “mad world” they can’t manage.  Some go “all in” and choose a specific target, killing their co-workers or family before committing suicide.

The Anomic Bomb is real, and almost always middle-class white men.  Why?   An overview of anomic mass murder, differentiating between terrorism, workplace violence and family annihilations, will reveal that an anomic killer is an Average Joe who perceives society as unmanageable and unfair;  he scapegoats his inability to cope onto others, putting society at greater risk for violence. Case studies of “anomic bombs” are explored, with a brainstorming session for what we can do –if anything—to identify the Anomic Bomb before he explodes.

REVENGE OF THE INCELS:  The Next Wave of the War On Women

In May of 2014 in Isla Vista, California, 22-year-old Elliot Rodger shot and killed two female students had had never met as they walked out of their sorority house at the University of California, Santa Barbara.  He proceeded to use his car to run over everyone in his path as he shot others out the window of his BMW, killing a total of six UC students and injuring another 14 people before crashing the car and taking his own life.

Rodger’s “manifesto,” a series of YouTube videos that seemed to almost be a parody of a malcontent mass murderer, revealed a disturbed adult virgin who considered himself to be an “incel” (someone who is involuntarily celibate). Recent research on the burgeoning phenomenon reveals that what incels want is extremely limited and specific:  they want to be able to have sex on demand with young, beautiful women.  They believe this is a natural right.

The expectation and perception of entitlement to sex opens a series of disturbing questions about our culture, the proliferation of this attitude by the alt-right, and the disturbing trend of men who identify as incels to use violence to express their frustration and seek revenge on those they hate.  No one ever wants to feel unwanted, but understanding the difference between those who are involuntarily celibate and those who identify as incels, using deep-web chat groups to spread their sense of entitlement and message of rage is important.  Case studies of incel-inspired crime will expose the deep-seated nature of their anger and resentment while also revealing opportunities for prevention of incel-inspired violence.  For people who are being targeted, harassed, or stalked by a self-proclaimed incel, warning signs and suggestions for intervention and deterrence are discussed.

Dr. Casey Jordan has been presenting to Newtown High School classes for more than ten years and is one of the best speakers I have encountered. Her presentations are professional and fascinating. Most importantly, she is able to engage her audiences without sensationalizing the perpetrators. In discussing specific crimes, Dr. Jordan always conveys a sense of respect for victims and their families. Any time she speaks, I am guaranteed that our students and faculty will be fascinated and engaged.

Peg RagainiSchool to Career Coordinator/Newtown High School, Newtown, CT