TARGET – Crime and Case Studies of Highly Expressive, Targeted Violence

TARGET was conducted as a national interdisciplinary joint research project. The overarching aim was to analyze selected cases of highly expressive, targeted violence (violent attacks) as comprehensively as possible from the perspective of different specialist disciplines. The research team derived a model of the development process of the perpetrators towards the criminal act, that accounted for the radicalization of violence-related attitudes and behaviours.

Within the sub-project, the research team conducted a systematic review of literature regarding the impact of the perpetrators’ psychopathology. Afterwards, violent attacks against several people or groups of people were analyzed in connection with forensic psychiatric and psychological aspects. In total, data of 184 perpetrators, who committed different forms of violent crimes (homicides, multiple murders and school shootings), were collected. Personality and risk profiles were generated in selected cases. Implications for the prevention of violent attacks could be derived from the findings.

As part of the project, the research team conducted a systematic review on the role of psychopathology in mass murderers. Attempted or completed acts of multiple homicides directed against different groups of people or individuals were then analyzed from a forensic-psychiatric and -psychological perspective. Data from a total of 184 convictions for different crimes of serious violence was collected (homicides, multiple homicides, school shootings). A series of personality and risk profiles were developed from a sample of selected cases. Finally, implications for the prevention of attacks weredrawn from the results.

More information is available on the website of the

Contact person

Professor Dr Jérôme Endrass


Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF)

Funding programme: ''Urban safety''

Duration: March 2013 to June 2016