Dr. Adam Lankford



  • Ph.D., Justice, Law & Society, American University, 2008
  • M.S., Justice, Law & Society, American University, 2007
  • B.A., English, Haverford College, 2002


Research Interests

  • Criminology
  • Mass shootings and mass murder
  • Terrorism and counterterrorism
  • Social deviance

Selected Publications


  • Lankford, A. (2013). The Myth Of Martyrdom: What Really Drives Suicide Bombers, Rampage Shooters, And Other Self-Destructive Killers. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.
  • Lankford, A. (2009). Human Killing Machines: Systematic Indoctrination In Iran, Nazi Germany, Al Qaeda, And Abu Ghraib. Lanham, MD: Lexington Books.

Articles (selected)

  • Lankford, Adam, & Silva, Jason R. (2022). Sexually Frustrated Mass Shooters:  A Comprehensive Study of Perpetrators’ Profiles, Behaviors, and Victims. Homicide Studies. https://doi.org/10.1177/10887679221106975
  • Silva, Jason R., & Lankford, Adam. (2022). The Globalization of American Mass Shootings? An Assessment of Fame-Seeking Perpetrators and Their Influence Worldwide. International Journal of Comparative and Applied Criminal Justice. https://doi.org/10.1080/01924036.2022.2162095
  • Lankford, Adam. (2021). A Sexual Frustration Theory of Aggression, Violence, and Crime. Journal of Criminal Justice, 77, 101865. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jcrimjus.2021.101865
  • Lankford, A., & Silva, J. (2021). The Timing of Opportunities to Prevent Mass Shootings: A Study of Mental Health Contacts, Work and School Problems, and Firearms Acquisition. International Review of Psychiatry.
  • Lankford, A., & Cowan, R. (2020). Has the Role of Mental Health Problems in Mass Shootings Been Significantly Underestimated? Journal of Threat Assessment and Management, 7(3-4), 135-156. https://doi.org/10.1037/tam0000151
  • Lankford, A., & Silver, J. (2020). Why Have Public Mass Shootings Become More Deadly? Assessing How Perpetrators’ Motives and Methods Have Changed Over Time. Criminology & Public Policy, 19(1), 37-60.
  • Lankford, A. (2020). The Importance of Analyzing Public Mass Shooters Separately from Other Attackers When Estimating the Prevalence of Their Behavior Worldwide. Econ Journal Watch, 17(1), 40-55.
  • Lankford, Adam, Adkins, Krista, & Madfis, Eric. (2019). Are the Deadliest Mass Shootings Preventable? An Assessment of Leakage, Information Reported to Law Enforcement, and Firearms Acquisition Prior to Attacks in the United States. Journal of Contemporary Criminal Justice, 35(3), 315–341.
  • Lankford, Adam, & Madfis, Eric. (2018). Media Coverage of Mass Killers: Content, Consequences, and Solutions. American Behavioral Scientist, 62(2), 151-162.
  • Lankford, Adam. (2018). A Psychological Re-Examination of Mental Health Problems Among the 9/11 Terrorists. Studies in Conflict & Terrorism, 41(11), 875-898.
  • Lankford, Adam. (2016). Public Mass Shooters and Firearms: A Cross-National Study of 171 Countries. Violence and Victims, 31(2), 187-199.