In America, they call it the Day Three Story. After a mass shooting, depending on whether the suspect is young or old, white, Asian or black, Muslim or Christian, the press speculates on his motives (and yes, it is almost always a "he"). And then on Day Three, when attention has wandered elsewhere, when he's been deemed a "lone wolf" (white) or a "dangerous radical who hates our way of life" (Muslim), another piece of the jigsaw emerges. He has a history of domestic violence.
Who are the most likely victims of an American mass shooter, by the way? Would you care to take a guess? It's overwhelmingly likely to be his family. (Of mass killers between 2009 and 2015, 16 per cent had previously been charged with domestic violence. More than half included a partner or close family member in their death toll.) We also know that the time a woman is most in danger from our violent partner is when she tries to leave - when he feels worried that his control is slipping away.
These incidents are not often described as terrorism, despite a concerted attempt from women's groups to draw out the parallels with other mass killers. One of the most moving statements I've read this year was by the sons of Lance Hart, who killed his wife Claire, along with their daughter Charlotte, after she finally announced she would leave him. On Facebook, Luke Hart wrote: