Bomb threats in Baton Rouge: Inside the criminal mind

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - The Baton Rouge area has received several high-profile, disruptive threats and authorities are battling with ways to prevent and better understand them.

Dr. Cecile Guin is the director of the Social Service Research and Development office at Louisiana State University, a campus recently evacuated because of a bomb threat.

Dr. Guin has studied the criminal mind for most of her career. She says when it comes to bomb threats in particular; there are two types of people who make them. The first group involves those looking to play a joke, prank or hoax. The second group involves people with some mental issues.

Authorities say the LSU bomb threat suspect used his own cell phone to call in the threat from his home.

"Who in the world would use their own cell phone to call in a bomb threat and not understand the seriousness of it in this day and age?" Dr. Guin asks, pointing to some sort of mental issue. "I mean you have to be really disconnected from the world to understand how upsetting things like bomb threats are to law enforcement and everybody else."

Dr. Guin says a lot of bomb threats, in fact, almost all of them, are copycat crimes.  She says the majority of people who would want to use a bomb to kill, would not call ahead of time.

Dr. Guin says most people are just looking for attention.

"That certainly might have been part of the motivation in this case. (LSU) They see some guy, or somebody causing all this trouble and getting a lot of attention and that looks like fun to them. You know, to cause a lot of trouble."

Law enforcement agencies say they are often caught in a difficult position:  sound the alarm and scare people or ignore what almost always turns out to be a hoax.

News agencies routinely chose not to report bomb threats in order to avoid those who would like to copy cat the crime.

"It could be attention seeking. It could be seeking a feeling of power over people; getting enjoyment out of people feeling helpless, or just watching the chaos. There was plenty of chaos," Dr. Guin said.

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