Commentators are left disappointed and bewildered as eighteen-year-old Howard Bell, of Youngstown, Ohio, who gunned down fourteen people with his semi-automatic rifle, is described as “an average guy who liked middle-of-the-road music and played a bit of baseball”.
Media psychiatrist Stuart Elback admits: “I hadn't changed my script for the last half-dozen shooting sprees I was asked to comment on. I had the usual stuff ready – withdrawn loner, personality disorder, etc...then this hits me between the eyes. All I could do was mumble something about 'a disturbing new trend in mass murder'”.
A further blow came when Bell's doctor revealed he wasn't on Prozac or Ritalin. “All he ever had was a sprained ankle”, he reported sadly.
The young man's neighbours feel equally cheated and let down at not being able to tell journalists that he “kept to himself” or that he was “quiet and moody”. They are forced to admit he never spent more than ten minutes alone in his room playing computer games.
“The least you'd expect is that he'd walk past without saying hello”, said one, “but he was always ready with a cheerful 'good-day' – what sort of psycho do you call that?”