Put the words "murder" and "loner" into a web search and you won’t have
any shortage of matches. Certainly it’s been a characteristic used to
describe several perpetrators of mass violence in the fairly recent past.
Some research about loneliness, and those who retreat deeply into it,
suggests that a significant number suffer physical and emotional risks of
their own…which sometimes can trigger backlash behavior against society.
Statistics suggest that the percentages of people living alone keeps
moving steadily forward and the number of people who report being lonely
at any given point in time has jumped from 20% in 1980 to 40% more
recently. A Guardian column was titled, THE AGE OF LONELINESS IS KILLING
US, while on the other hand, a Psychology Today column was titled THE
HAPPY LONER and began with the words “Loners get a bad rap.”
We had a number of conversations with folks who have studied what’s
happening when loneliness develops, how it can devolve into anti-social