In my 2004 book, The Copycat Effect, I wrote a subsection entitled the "Significant of Dates," and began with the example of St. Valentine's Day, February 14th, (page 246):
Dates are important, anniversary events especially so. Suicides, murder-suicides, murders tend to clump around dates of loss for at-risk victims.
One such date is one that most people assume should be associated with happy feelings, but it is not. That is Valentine’s Day. For many people, it’s a day that speaks more to emptiness and loss than to joy and love.
But this time of year has been a dangerous one for years. There was a school shooting on February 19, 1987, with two dead. At the Bethel (Alaska) Regional High School shooting, 16-year-old student Evan Ramsey killed principal Ron Edwards, and 15-year-old star student athlete Joshua Palacios. He also wounded two other students.
Murder and suicide are two sides of the same coin played out in going postal, workplace violence, shooting spree, and school shooting incidents, which are impacted by the copycat effect.
Being forewarned and aware is half the battle. Vulnerable, suicidal, homicidal youth need help and attention, long before it gets to the stage where they feel there's no turning back. Keep talking, take care, get people help, and remain alert, with your guard up.
A few bloggers may wish to demean the predictive insights of known patterns, but ridicule does not overwhelm the reality of history.
...Loren Coleman is worried, because mass killers often choose special dates and anniversaries for their carnage. The killers at Columbine did, by picking the birthday of one of history's monsters.
The author of The Copycat Effect (Simon & Schuster) says the amount of attention this anniversary gets may determine whether any other disaffected males bent on vengeance pick April 20 for their act of destruction.
"Anniversaries can be dangerous," Coleman says. "These individuals compete with each other."
...Coleman called schools "a fish bowl setting with a vulnerable population."
...The killers are uniformly "homicidal, suicidal, sexually dysfunctional males" who feel powerless and blame others for their problems. Attacking school students – young girls are favored targets – makes these people feel powerful and strong, Coleman says.