Clarke’s typology of American assassins

  • Type I assassins view their acts as a probable sacrifice of self for a political ideal.
  • Type II assassins are persons with overwhelming and aggressive egocentric needs for acceptance, recognition, and status.
  • Type III assassins are psychopaths (or sociopaths) who believe that the condition of their lives is so intolerably meaningless and without purpose that destruction of society and themselves is desirable for its own sake.
  • Type IV assassins are characterized by severe emotional and cognitive distortions that are expressed in hallucinations and delusions of persecution and/or grandeur. As a rule, their acts are mystically “divinely” inspired—in a word, irrational or insane.

— Clarke JW: American Assassins: The Darker Side of Politics. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1982

Five descriptive categories of Presidential stalkers or assassins

1. Resentful
2. Pathologically obsessed
3. Infamy seeker
4. Intimacy seeker
5a. Nuisance
5b. Attention seeker

— Robert T. M. Phillips, MD, PhD. Assessing Presidential Stalkers and Assassins. J Am Acad Psychiatry Law 34:2:154-164 (2006)

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