Psychologist weighs in on Parkland shooter receiving love letter - WDAM-TV 7-News, Weather, Sports-Hattiesburg, MS

Psychologist weighs in on Parkland shooter receiving love letters in prison

Gavel said often people see past the reality of the crime because they see themselves in the perpetrator. (Photo Source: WDAM) Gavel said often people see past the reality of the crime because they see themselves in the perpetrator. (Photo Source: WDAM)
HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) -

There are reports of people from all over the country sending love letters to parkland shooter Nicholas Cruz in prison.

He's accused of killing 17 people inside the Florida high school last month.

Reports say Cruz has a following of sympathizers from men, women and even teenage girls.

There's even been reports of women sending provocative pictures.

Some say it almost sounds like an episode of law and order. A woman falling in love with a serial killer.

Many may think it only happens in television, but psychology post-doctoral fellow Dr. David Gavel at the Southern Behavioral Medicine Associates said it's more common than some may think.

 “Certainly, something that is often going to be common for individuals that are going to send their support is they have found some way to confide, to empathize and to relate to in this case the perpetrator of the crime,” Gavel said.

Gavel said often people see past the reality of the crime because they see themselves in the perpetrator.

“Something about this person's back story,” Gavel said. “Something that they feel they can relate to also happened to them often they'll see the individual as a victim.”

Gavel said while there isn't enough research to support whether a person will follow in the footsteps of the criminal, he did say that it is safe to say that consistent contact isn't healthy.

 “It's not to say that that person is always having their own pathological issues, but it certainly isn't the healthiest thing to be in a position to know what somebody has done and yet to fall in love with someone who has committed these sorts of acts,” Gavel said.

According to officials at Broward County Jail, Cruz has not been allowed to read any of the letters unless they are religious.

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