Nebraska shooting – antidepressant connection yet again?

So it seems there may be an antidepressant connection with the latest massacre in Nebraska. Many thanks to Brian Souter in Australia for this.

46 News in Atlanta has posted this:

A gunman who some described as troubled and others say was funny opened fire in a busy mall near Omaha Wednesday, killing eight people before turning the weapon on himself.

Five others were said to be wounded, two critically.

ABC News has confirmed with two sources that the gun used at Westroads Mall was AK 47/SKS-style assault rifle with two magazines taped together found at the scene. ABC reported that taping magazines together is a technique that allows the shooter to reload more quickly.

Hawkins had been arrested on at least two misdemeanors in November and was due in court this month.

Sarpy deputies said they were getting a warrant to search Hawkins’ home.
Shortly after the shooting, Hawkins’ mother walked into its office with a note that “could be interpreted as suicidal,” the sheriff’s office said.

KETV (Nebraska) reported that the note left with the Sarpy sheriff’s office said Hawkins wanted to “go out in style.”
It also reportedly said Hawkins was “going to go out and be famous.”

Yost said Sarpy County is working with Omaha police.

A friend of Hawkins told KETV that Hawkins had been on antidepressants, staying with friends and bouncing from job to job.

In the Daily Telegraph, we learn:

One friend, identified only as Shawn, told local television news station KETV that Hawkins had been on antidepressants and bouncing from job to job, making “some bad judgment calls.”

So, will we find out more about the antidepressant connection?

Somehow I doubt it. Radio news stories in the UK have made no mention of the connection this morning.

When will someone join up the dots:

A brief history of school shootings

The Finland Massacre

SSRI stories

Antidepressants and violence


34 Responses to “Nebraska shooting – antidepressant connection yet again?”

  1. rob Says:

    also in the netherlands the ssri’s are never mentioned.only the posession of weapons.

  2. Matthew Holford Says:

    You know, if I was a conspiracy theorist, I might be tempted to suggest that there was something more than mere money involved in SSRIs’ continued presence on the pharmacists’ shelf. It’s a sound fallback position, but can money (even several billion a year) really blind people to the stuff that’s going on? What has to happen, before somebody says “that’s enough: this can’t go on.”?


  3. Jeremy Says:

    True Crime Blog UK: Who Killed The McElhill Family?Reports on the net show that Arthur McElhill was depressed & receiving treatment. I wonder, since his depression has lasted some years since he was released …

  4. Lynn Says:

    The CNN doctor is almost dismissive, saying people just have to be watched while they’re starting or going off antidepressants. I’ve written to two local newspapers and public radio asking your same question.

  5. experimental chimp Says:

    Correlation is not causation. And there isn’t even much of a correlation between taking SSRI’s and killing people, as a quick bit of research will show. The site is in questionable taste, but does provide a handy sample of forty lone spree killers.

    Prozac was the first widely used SSRI, introduced in 1986/1987. SSRI prescriptions have increased dramatically since then. So, if SSRI’s were a major cause in these kinds of incidences, we’d expect the number of killings to have increased in each decade since. This hasn’t happened. There were 12 in the 80’s, 11 in the 90’s and there’s been 11 so far this decade, with a couple of years to go. And out of the thirty killings since SSRI’s were introduced, only eight of the killers are reported to have been on them (and two of those are disputed).

    So, if SSRI’s are a cause of such killings why haven’t the numbers increased commensurate with SSRI prescriptions?

  6. truthman30 Says:

    Someone needs to bring ths SSRI-School shootings-murder rampage issue right into mainstream media and wider public consciousness. Surely some of the organisations viewing this blog have the intellectual and financial power of influence to create such a documentary?..

    Daily mirror?

    Come on guys , research this and make a documentary..


    Anyone know of a school shooting where medication hasn’t been an issue?



  8. experimental chimp Says:

    The spam filter seems to have eaten my comment, so I’ll make this quick.

    I think we can all agree that prescriptions of psychiatric drugs for young people have increased a fairly large amount between the years 1996 – 2000 and 2000 – 2004. So, if these drugs are a significant cause of these kinds of events, you’d expect the number of such events to have likewise increased.

    However, in the USA, there were 13 such events in the four years starting from 1996 and 14 such events in the four years starting from 2000.

    So, if these drugs do cause such events, how come there hasn’t been an increase in these shootings commensurate with prescription rates?

  9. admin Says:

    Chimp – you’ve got me confused….

    first you say

    “There were 12 in the 80’s, 11 in the 90’s and there’s been 11 so far this decade, with a couple of years to go.”

    Now you say:

    “However, in the USA, there were 13 such events in the four years starting from 1996 and 14 such events in the four years starting from 2000.”

    Hmmmm? Why change your stats?

    So what do we do?

    Correlation is not causation, I agree, but what you’re saying is we just ignore the possibility and do nothing?

    I’ve felt the rage and violence that Seroxat can cause.

    I believe there could well be a connection between school shootings (for want of a better term) and prescription medication.

    You’re new to this ‘game’, I think. Just wait till you’ve been medicated for a decade or so then we’ll talk.

  10. experimental chimp Says:

    Different sources – the first comment was about spree killings in general, while the second was about these school shootings (and used a list compiled as part of a US gov’t report).

    You know, when I was looking at some of this stuff, I kept finding references to various of these kids having “been reported” or “one published report stated” that they were on anti-depressants or ritalin. But in a lot of cases, the earliest mention I could find of this came from scientology groups and couldn’t find any primary source stating any such thing.

    I’m not suggesting that possible links between medications and violence shouldn’t be investigated. I just don’t think the evidence stands up. Especially when you realise that a lot of these lists of which killers were on what seem to have little other basis than that some scientologist started a rumour.

    Personally, I’m bipolar and SSRI’s send me crazy (enough so that last time I was on one I injured myself badly enough that I needed urgent surgery), so I won’t be taking them again.

  11. truthman30 Says:

    Be skeptical all you like Mr Chimp,
    But the facts speak for themselves, SSRI’s are a MAJOR factor in most of the school shootings, they have a MAJOR influence on Suicide rates, they cause people to commit suicides of a very violent nature also. All of this has been well documented by prominent psychiatrists such as David Healy, Peter Breggin, Joeseph Glenmullen and Michael Corry. These are the type of psychs who have the balls and the conscience to tell people the TRUTH about SSRI drugs and the damage which they cause.

    I was on Seroxat and i had disturbing aggressive thoughts towards my family which could have easily led to homicide. At one time during a “seroxat rage” I chased my father round his house and he eventually called the police, I also attacked my sister, luckily though both were unharmed by my seroxat behaviour. I had vivid violent nightmares too. I would also wake up sometimes in a semi-conscious dream state and would walk around the house at night not realizing where i was or what i was doing. I had Akathisia which means i sometimes felt like my whole body was vibrating inside yet i couldn’t move for fear that my whole being would explode into smithereens. I had deprersonalization which means I didn’t know who i was, my family looked unfamiliar and i barely recognised my own eyes when i looked into them in a mirror. For a long time on Seroxat i avoided mirrors. My own eyes freaked me out. I had derealization which means i felt detatched from myself and didn’t feel i was in thie reality a lot of the time.

    When I would occasionaly drink alcohol on Seroxat i would have black outs and get into fights with people in clubs and pubs but i would remember nothing. Once i woke up in a strangers flat. Not knowing who i was, battered, cut and bruised. Luckily he had seen me being attacked outside a nightclub by four guys and he got them off me and brought me to safety.

    During Seroxat withdrawal I felt suicidal daily for months on end. I had etreme panic attacks which would frighten the shite out of the hardest and toughest marine solider.

    This all happened between the ages of 21 and 25 , the years when a young man is supposed to be developing his mind, not having it destroyed and warped by a toxic, defective and dangerous SSRI like Seroxat.

    I have talked to many people who have been prescribed Seroxat over the past 5 years, dozens of people personally and hundreds through the internet. And they all report similar experiences to mine. The truth about Seroxat is all over the internet and its had its fair share of controversy in the mainstream media too. To be skeptical about the evidence is fine, but when the evidence is overwhelming, to be naive about it is foolish.

  12. BOB FIDDAMAN Says:

    You mention Scientology Chimp? They are batting from the same end as us regarding SSRi’s – doesn’t mean WE are Scientologists.

    You will probably find that anyone who has prolonged use of an SSRi could never be ‘audited’ anyhow.

    The Scientolgist label being thrown around was created by Pharma merely as a deflection, pretty much like the illnesses people take their drugs for.

    …and NO I’m not a Scientologist.


  13. truthman30 Says:


    The Evidence stands up as solid as a stack of cemented Bricks..
    It’s just that you havent reseached it deep enough…

    The scientology arguement is exactly what Fid said it is, its used as a deflection, i am not a scientologist either but if you look at my blog you will see all my information about Seroxat is from reputable sources, unbiased sources and sources which are trustworthy for reliable information. The facts speak for themselves.

    Well Chimp, you mustn’t have looked very far for information if the only websites you found relating SSRI’s to violence, shcool shootings etc were related to scientology. There are many other sources, Ann Blake Tracy, the journalists Evelyn Pringle and Sarah Boseley from the guardian, Newstarget, Joeseph Glenmullen, Breggin… there are many many other sources out there with no relation to scientology who have come to the same conclusions.

    Scientology may be a cult, but i am glad that they are willing to tackle the might of the other cult which is psychiatry, its practices are far more dangerous than L Ron Hubbards could ever be…

    A lot of the information on what drugs these school shooters were prescribed is being delibertaly suppressed by the forces that be, thats why its usually in the inital report of the shooting but difficult to find any more info afterwards, because they dont want the public to make the connection, the pharma industry is very well protected by certain media and governments. Due to advertising and revenue , jobs et…

    You say you ae bi-polar?…
    What med are you on, just as a matter of interest?…
    Personally i don’t believe in psychiatric labels, but sometimes its comforting in a weird way to keep the label on as it somehow gives you an answer to why you are the way you are and why you behave the way you behave…it’s kind of a weird form of “Validation”.. but with a hefty price attached.. and that price could cost you your life…

  14. experimental chimp Says:

    OK, so nobody has actually answered my question. If SSRI’s are a cause of school shootings, why don’t the numbers of these incidences reflect prescribing trends as one would expect?

    I mentioned Scientology because of their known anti-psychiatry stance, meaning that they are not a neutral source of information. In a number of the cases I looked at in detail, the claim that the killer was medicated could be traced back to scientology forums, and the claim almost always described “published reports claimed” or “in one published report”. Not only could I not locate any published report stating such a thing, but the source itself was never named.

    If anyone wants to go through the list of shooters with me and find primary sources or valid, neutral secondary sources for the ones I’m disputing, I’m completely willing to do so and I’ll even post the results on my blog. Contact me by email if you’re interested (my address is on my blog).

    truthman: I’m not currently on any medications, although I’ve discussed possibilities with my psychiatrist and I think lamotrigine is probably the best option. I don’t think of bipolar as a label. It’s a disease. And without treatment I’m fairly sure that it’ll kill me. So I don’t particularly want to take the label off, not because it’s comforting, but because I’d prefer not to kill myself in a fit of depression.

  15. Matthew Holford Says:

    It’s all been said, already, but I might as well throw in my tuppence ‘orth. The PIL states that suicidality and aggression will be increased by these drugs.

    Erm. That’s it.


  16. truthman30 Says:


    You’re a legend man…

    Strange how some things state the obvious….
    Starnge how some things clarify..


  17. Jeremy Says:

    It may be SNRI at high dose but in the mid to low dose it’s classed SSRI.

    Whatever way you look at it Efexor/Effexor/venlafaxine actually has the term HOMICIDAL IDEATION listed as a side effect by it’s maker Wyeth.

    see page 40

    [PDF] 1 Effexor XR (venlafaxine hydrochloride) Extended-Release Capsules …File Format: PDF/Adobe Acrobat – View as HTML
    or suicidal ideation. The efficacy of Effexor (the immediate release form of …… Guillain-Barre Syndrome, homicidal ideation, hyperchlorhydria, …

  18. BOB FIDDAMAN Says:

    Coincidence Chimp?


  19. Lynn Says:

    Here is a site which has the basics, including a description of how having a slow metabolism can make taking ssri’s dangerous. A book you could read is The Anti-Depressant Solution. It’s just about ssri’s but it quotes the studies. It helps people get off ssri’s as safely and un-miserably as possible, supposedly. I have one thing to say to anyone who is suffering on ssri’s or while getting off them. It is terrifying and horrible, but don’t give up. You assume your mind has been destroyed but time will help. Hang in there. Ask for psychological support. Don’t give in. If you’re having suicidal or homicidal ideation, talk to someone. Don’t let the drug destroy you, or kill you or anyone else. You can get rid of the intensity in your head. It just takes time. Good luck with getting help. Keep trying. Don’t let the drugs or disease win.

  20. brian Says:

    A murder/suicide combination nearly always betokens an antidepressant SSRI connection…depressing isnt it!

  21. truthman30 Says:

    “truthman: I’m not currently on any medications, although I’ve discussed possibilities with my psychiatrist and I think lamotrigine is probably the best option. I don’t think of bipolar as a label. It’s a disease. And without treatment I’m fairly sure that it’ll kill me. So I don’t particularly want to take the label off, not because it’s comforting, but because I’d prefer not to kill myself in a fit of depression”

    I can’t see why see your “bipolar” condition as a disease. No type depression or anxiety disorder is a “disease”. They are patterns of behaviour which manifest over time into states of being. Yes, these patterns can become chronic an in some cases so severe they can lead to suicidal thoughts etc. But no one is born depressed or with bipolar or social anxiety disorder. And it is not a label anyone has to carry with them for a lifetime either. There are many drug free ways of tackling these behavioral conditions.

    The identification of a condition as a disease, rather than as simply a variation of human structure or function, can have a significant impact on your own abilities to get better.

    And once you start to see yourself as a “diseased” individual and you hand yourself over to biological solutions for what are, in effect behavioural patterns then you are more or less disempowering yourself as an individual. And that is just the way psychiatry wants you to be. Helpless, easily coerced, and easily medicated. Once you buy into the psychiatric route , you give up your right to choose to get well.

    Just some food for thught …


  22. Jeremy Says:

    “I don’t think of bipolar as a label. It’s a disease. And without treatment I’m fairly sure that it’ll kill me. ….”

    Well Chimp.

    I just wonder that even though you are not currently on medication if that implies that at one time you were on antidepressants. If so were you considered bi-polar before you took the antid’s or if as is more likely only after.

    Could it be said antid’s switched your state??

  23. experimental chimp Says:

    truthman: I disagree, it’s fairly well established that bipolar disorder has a genetic basis, so it’s not a simple matter of patterns of behaviour. The physiological mechanism is not well understood, but this is also true of diseases like epilepsy, which are undeniably physical in nature. In both cases it may be that a genetic predisposition in combination with environmental factors triggers development of the disease.

    Strangely, I don’t feel helpless or easily coerced. I’m very well informed and able to make good choices about my treatment.

    Jeremy: I was prescribed Prozac when I was 18, which was the very first antidepressant I took. It didn’t seem to have much effect. By then I’d already experienced severe depression (including two suicide attempts) and at least one spell of hypomania, so my symptoms definitely predate any SSRI usage.

  24. Lynn Says:

    I’m reminded of that quote about someone having something to gain.

  25. Lynn Says:

    I’m very sorry about that.

  26. truthman30 Says:

    Hey Chimp
    Im just trying to express to you my thoughts , i am a 30 year old man who has had 15 years of dealing with psychiatric drugs , depression, anxiety , seroxat withdrawal etc. It is only since the last 5 years of being away from psychiatry , their labels, their methods and totally drug free that I have gained clarity and learned to live with my own behaviour and perception of the world. We are all unique, but just because we are different than each other doesn’t mean we are “diseased”.

    You really should check out Michael Corry and Dorothy Rowe, both are experts on the human condition and the way psychiatry tries to claim it as psychiatric illness…

    You must rethink your “condition” if you are too get well…

    There are of course genetic and environmental factors to everything we experience. You mention epilepsy, well, my younger brother is epileptic, and he has been on meds such as Eppilum and Keppra ( strangely also used for Bipolar) , these meds do not cure epilepsy, they mask it, just like SSRI’s do with depression, a lot of his seizures were down to diet, he ate a lot junk food, fizzy drinks etc. Since cutting these out he has not had a seizure. There is a special diet which epliptics can go on to cure epliepsy. It is strict but it works. Eppilum also gave him very bad side effects, weight gain, drowsiness etc, Keppra gave him rage.

    All psychiatric illnesses can be cured naturally if the body mind and soul are given a chance to heal in the right way, with the right methods and the right environment…

  27. gskscum Says:

    Pharma will roll out mental conditions until they list one you’ve got

    Chris Rock

    Many a true word spoken in jest


  28. brian Says:

    NEWSFLASH….Hawkinsz HAD taken ritalin and ZOLOFT in the past:

    ‘Rodriguez said her son’s life had been a challenge from the start. She divorced Hawkins’ father when the boy was 3-years-old, she said, and by 5 he was taking prescription Ritalin and Zoloft. She said she watched, feeling helpless the way a parent can, as raw anger took root inside her son. ‘

    Mall Shooter’s Mother: ‘Dear God, No!’
    Maribel Rodriguez Tells Diane Sawyer She Did ‘Best’ She Could With Her Son
    Dec. 13, 2007 —

    “Dear God, no!”

    It was the first, anguished thought that sprung to the mind of the mother of the Omaha mall sniper Robert Hawkins when she realized her son was the killer.

    “Dear God, no!,” Maribel Rodriguez repeated Thursday morning in an exclusive interview with Diane Sawyer on “Good Morning America”

    “No, not him,” she said, carefully framing her thoughts at that moment. “He is NOT doing this!” she said emphatically, then sighed deeply.

    Rodriguez said her son’s life had been a challenge from the start. She divorced Hawkins’ father when the boy was 3-years-old, she said, and by 5 he was taking prescription Ritalin and Zoloft. She said she watched, feeling helpless the way a parent can, as raw anger took root inside her son.

    First there were fights at school, she said. Then he was caught smoking cigarettes. Then marijuana.

    He became a ward of the state in 2002 after apparently threatening his stepmother. He was moved through facilities and foster homes for several years, until he was released in 2005. Two weeks before the shooting rampage, Hawkins parted ways with his girlfriend.

    Rodriguez said she sympathizes deeply with the families of her son’s victims.

    “I’m not a dictator, so I can’t tell you what to think,” Rodriguez said on ‘Good Morning America’ Thursday. “But as his mother I loved him, deeply and without end. If you want to hate Rob, hate Rob,” she continued. “You don’t need that type of pain. It destroys your soul.”

    She said she, too, feels the enormity of the tragedy.

    “It’s massive,” she told Sawyer, her eyes widening. “It’s massive. It’s turmoil. It’s confusion. It’s&absolute devastation.”

    Hawkins killed eight people before turning a gun on himself and committing suicide. Two more of the funerals for his victims were conducted Tuesday.

    “There were nine worlds shattered,” the Rev. Donald Shane told mourners at St. Robert Bellarmine Catholic Church during a service for victim Angie Schuster, according to the Associated Press. “The worlds of Beverly Flynn. And Janet Jorgensen. And Gary Joy. And John McDonald, my classmate. And Gary Scharf. And Dianne Clavin Trent. And Maggie Webb. And our Angie.

    “And a tragic, tragic end to the life of Robert Hawkins,” he added.

    The final funeral was held Wednesday. In a note Hawkins left behind, he said that he knows “everyone will remember me as some sort of monster but please understand that I just don’t want to be a burden on the ones that I care for my entire life,” 19-year-old Robert Hawkins wrote. “I just want to take a few peices (sic) of (expletive) with me.”

    The rampage was the deadliest mall shooting in U.S. history.
    No mention if he was still on them…..

  29. truthmeter Says:

    All you wonderful folks – don’t waste your valuable resources replying to Chimp. (s)he is a paid ‘disrupter’, paid to sow the seeds of doubt in an argument. There is a whole industry out there – consultants and lawyers who are paid to sow dissent and doubt by making it seem that there is another “side” to a compelling story.

    truthman – thanks for describing your personal experience with psychotropics. I never knew the details of what akathesia is and how it felt. The ‘rage’ and depersonalization that you describe are real eye openers.

    The only recourse for all of us who believe that there is a terrible crime being perpetrated on society at large through these psychotropic drugs is to organize into a vocal and cohesive group. This mind altering crime for enormous profits ($40 billion last year) is now being legislated by forced mass screenings of children and mothers and later probably, anyone who is unemployed etc. The nexus of big pharma, psychiatrists (enjoying credibility, guaranteed income and paid conferences), the government (politicians), scientific community (through being ‘bought’ by research funding), media (beholden to advertising), FDA (with 15% of its funding by the pharmas and panel members rife with conflicts of interest) got the most vulnerable of the patient community (the actual and persuaded mentally ill) in their vice grip. The main characteristic of these modern psychotropics are that any attempt at stopping the medication will result in patients experiencing strong symptoms that mimic mental illness.

    What say you all. Should we organize into a group? World wide, there are millions who will join. Should we make the membership fee $1.00 per year with more money accepted but not required? Only members should fund this – no grants and no funding from big pharma will be accepted. The national organizations for mentally ill are completely infiltrated by the big pharma and it is a sham to hear the statements and ‘official positions’ of these national organization pushing treatments and drug therapies.

    The group will be an umbrella org – members can belong to other groups – that is why the member fees is low at $1.00 per year – affordable by most people in the planet. No other funding will be accepted to keep autonomy and independance of the org. Chimps and others who doubt the argument that big pharma is up to no good are not welcome. Only people who are fully convinced that the so called modern drugs are all a sham (read Dr. Breggins position) and should be banned. Later we will create a non-profit pharma to create and dispense a few medicines that everyone agrees are helpful and no one is making obscene profits from them.

    If you like this idea, then please respond and lets start.

  30. Teenage killer Tim Kretschmer had stopped treatment for depression « seroxat secrets… Says:

    […] Nebraska shooting – antidepressant connection yet again? Possibly related posts: (automatically generated)German school shooting – antidepressant link?The newest, best reason to love Tim GunnA teen (17) kills 15 people in Germany…read on Posted in Anti-depressant, Big Pharma. […]

  31. avenger Says:

    At least truthmeter is doing something about it. “Chimp” is aptly named — still going for the banana in the psychiatric maze. The stats given by chimp (both versions) are false: all one needs do it watch the TV, as the news reports every shooting they can get their hands on, and it takes a lot of effort NOT to see that there is more and more going on in terms of the murder-suicide violence that is the hallmark of psych/drugging behavior. So, chimp is a merc. When the psych-pharma bubble bursts it will be VERY nasty for those who were the paid apologists, as well as those who were all too willing to go along with fashion and drug children.

  32. Sue Says:

    Is this another scientology website?

    • admin Says:

      HI Sue – I wonder why you ask?

      I’m very hurt that you think it might be – just read ‘About me’ and you’ll understand why I write this blog.

      I think it’s easy to spot a Scientologist website at 100 yards… I hope that Seroxat Secrets is much more measured and focused and I do my best to never link to any site or article that I think may be from the Scientologists.

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