I recently had the pleasure of meeting true crime writer, Unni Terrettini, and am excited to welcome her as she shares information about her book, The Mystery of the Lone Wolf Killer, available now on Amazon. The paperback edition releases March 16, 2017.
Unni, please tell us about your book.
My first book, The Mystery Of The Lone Wolf Killer, is about Anders Behring Breivik and the massacre in Norway on July 22, 2011. That day, then thirty-two year-old Breivik blew up the government center in Oslo, managed to flee the scene and went to the island of Utøya where he shot and killed teenagers participating in the Labor Party’s Youth League summer camp. Breivik killed seventy-seven people that day, most of them teenagers. More than 300 more were critically wounded. He wished to kill his government and save Norway from Muslim immigration. On a deeper level, he wished to be recognized and to matter.
What inspired you to research and write this book?
The shock of Breivik’s massacre triggered something in me. Although I lived in Switzerland at the time, I was born and raised in Norway. The event felt personal. I started doing research to find out why and how this could happen. I needed to understand how Breivik could become a mass murderer and what we can do to stop the next lone wolf. Violence comes from a place of deep suffering.
How did you go about doing your research?
I started by reading everything I could find on Breivik and other, similar killers around the world. I am multi-lingual, so I was able to conduct research in several countries. I spoke with experts in psychology, terrorism, and religion. I followed Breivik’s trial and studied his 1500-pages manifesto.
Although I tried to get an interview with Breivik in prison, no one has yet been allowed to visit him. That might change as Breivik sued the Norwegian government for inhumane treatment due to the isolation—and won—in 2016. The appeals court will render its final decision on the matter in the next few weeks.
Is there something that you hope others will learn from reading it?
As difficult as it was to study Breivik’s mind and past, I also felt compassion for the boy and young man Breivik used to be. I felt a connection, I understood. I could relate to some of his pain growing up. Hopefully, we can use this knowledge to create a more inclusive environment and eradicate bullying. All everyone is ever searching for is love and connection.
As a society, we give attention to someone after he has committed a violent act, but we don’t want to see him when he is simply a young man in pain. There are many angry men out there. Some of these men become lone wolves, others join ISIS.
Breivik is unique in the sense that he is the only lone wolf killer in the world who is still alive and more than willing to discuss his crime. There are always warning signs. Awareness and understanding are crucial if we want to prevent massacres anywhere.
Norwegian-born Unni Turrettini is the author of THE MYSTERY OF THE LONE WOLF KILLER, in which the life and mind of Anders Behring Breivik, the most unexpected of mass murderers, is examined and set in the context of wider criminal psychology. As a foreign exchange student, she graduated from high school in Kansas City, Kansas, and she has law degrees from Norway, France, and the United States.