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J Forensic Sci. 2000 May;45(3):582-8.

A cross-cultural review of sudden mass assault by a single individual in the oriental and occidental cultures.

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  • 1Extended Treatment Program, North Texas State Hospital, Vernon 76384, USA.


A nonrandom sample of North American cases of sudden mass assault by a single individual (SMASI, n = 30) is compared with a nonrandom sample of Laotian amok cases (n = 18) and other amok studies. Perpetrators in both studies show evidence of social isolation, loss, depression, anger, pathological narcissism, and paranoia, often to a psychotic degree. The term "innovative perpetrator" is reintroduced and expanded upon. Similarities among samples far outweigh differences, leading the authors to conclude that SMASI and its appearance in different cultures is not a culture-bound syndrome.

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