Adam Lanza And The Look Of Mass Murder: Why do mass murderers look the same?

December 16, 2012 / 8:32 pm • By Dr. Melissa Clouthier

What do mass murderers have in common? Their facial expressions. At least, that’s the way it looks to me.

I don’t know what to make of this, but I thought I’d share these pictures and let you judge for yourself. Basically, I was looking at this Lanza kid and that professor who killed her colleagues came to mind. Then, I thought of the guy in Colorado who killed the people at the Batman showing, and I thought: they all look the same.

Clinically, they all look mildly hyperthyroid–you can see the whites of their eyes in some cases. Their faces are drawn. Their hair flat, dull, and looking like they may be nutritionally deprived.

I want to know what medications these people were on. The public has a right to know about them: their family situation, their parents’ psychological profiles, birth order, any psychological diagnoses, their I.Q.’s, surgeries, illnesses, vaccinations, medications, nutrition, genetics… everything.

Public policy will be suggested, but how can we come up with adequate solutions if we can’t pinpoint the problem? And clearly, all of these people have problems–and they aren’t new ones. People knew they were trouble. In many cases, family tried to intervene.

Don’t they look the same? What goes wrong in the wiring that we recognize this form of crazy? No one is surprised by them. Or these cases seem to rarely surprise anyone. Is it because we see and/or sense the crazy emanating off of them? Very often, they cross paths with psychologists, teachers, doctors, and their parents are worried, overwhelmed, in denial, or inept. [Lanza’s mom had confrontations with the school system.]

What do we do with this?

It doesn’t matter their names. In fact, I don’t want to dignify these killers with showcasing their names. They all look the same.

They share a bleak, blankness in their eyes. Their mouths are drawn. They seem to be removed, distant. And underneath it all, there seems to be a suppressed fury.

The world is unfair. Nothing matters. So kill the world.

These seem to be the faces of malignant nihilism.




  • r minty

    Almost every one of these people have an expression of terminal sadness/defeatism. Notice the “dead” eyes and downward pull of the mouth

  • Wow. This is the biggest load of bollocks I’ve read in quite a while. Dr Melissa Clouthier, you say. Doctor of what exactly? Thanks for giving me a laugh though. Reckon it’ll be a while before you’ll get this published though…

  • Ben K

    Doctor of Moronics is my best guess.

  • mjsamuelson

    “Possessed” seems extremely accurate.  In the post-crime photos, they look…spent.  Like there is nothing left, and they are shells.  

    So sad and so terrifying, all at once.

  • Janet

     I just googled “adam lanza” hyperthyroidism, because I thought exactly
    the same thing.  He appears to have mild protrusion of the eyeballs,
    which could be suggestive of Grave’s disease.  Grave’s disease can cause
    mania with psychotic features, a condition which could could lead to
    violence in someone who is not sociopathic and who has no past history
    of violence.

  • Kimmymaria

    Now this is just total speculation, but could they all be taking too much prozac? The wide open look of their eyes is what brought me to your article.

  • Janet

     Regarding the comment on prozac: You have to understand that prozac and
    other psychiatric meds are prescribed because the patient has a
    psychiatric illness to begin with.  When such patients become violent,
    it is much more likely driven by the underlying psychiatric problem than
    by the medication.  The meds are prescribed because studies indicate
    that the risk of undesirable event (e.g. suicide or homocide) if the
    illness goes untreated far outweighs the risk of medication side effect.

  • Susanbenton27

    Very interesting.  My father died of Graves disease at age 70 (most people die of it in half the time).  A friend suggested he was bipolar, but I never saw him depressed, just occasionally a bit manic so I cannot help but wonder if he had a mild form of Graves disease.

    As to all these killers, somewhere I saw that a lot (all?) of them were on psychotropic meds – don’t know much about it, but guns are not the problem.  See “World Wide Statistics – Death by Gunshot” by Susan North,” the USA has a rate lower than all the countries which totally ban gun ownership.

  • Stuart Drawdy

    The Heaven’s Gate leader had “the eyes” too

  • logical101

    LOL it’s not grave disease.. There’s different psychosis disorder’s that cause the same thing, his eye’s are wiide open more so then bulging outwards

  • Slash

    He looked hyperthyroid. As someone who has had hyperthyroidism and a Graves’ disease, I can attest to the negative impact on the mind.

  • concerned

    Eye signs in hyperthyroidism can include lid retraction and/or bulging of the eyes. Lid retraction is due to sympathetic stimulation via excess thyroid hormone and can be seen in hyperthyroidism of any cause. Bulging forward of the eyes is only seen in Grave’s disease and is due to the enlargement of the muscles that move the eyes and is caused by the antibody that is produced in Grave’s disease. So Adam Lanza appears to have lid retraction. He may also have mild bulging (proptosis) as well. It’s hard to tell from a picture especially a frontal picture. I do wonder if his thyroid was tested. Most of the time psychiatrists would test it before making any diagnosis of psychiatric illness.

  • uncommonsense2010

    Oh, just wait till you start checking the race of most serial killers.

    Check by color first and find that there’s more non-white’ish and then look at the last names. You’ll find most belong to a line that’s part religious group part genetic that is NOT irish or catholic. i.e. David Berkowitz.

  • John D.

    I’m gonna go out on a limb here and say that you haven’t the foggiest idea what you are talking about.