J. Randall Murphy
Everything I've read about Cooper, as well as Don's expose on the man, convinces me that he was most likely quite mentally ill. I am not qualified as a diagnostician, though I have worked in the mental health field for twenty years now, but I think it would be safe to say that Cooper was most likely incredibly paranoid as well as delusional. I think it is unfortunate that he was killed in the way he was, I am not faulting law enforcement, and as a mental health professional I in no way think that violence against police officers or other civil servants should be considered 'part of the job' so don't think I am making excuses for his actions. It just seems that if he could have gotten help sooner all of this could have been avoided. There were so many warning signs FOR YEARS leading up to the faithful event it seems crazy that there were no attempts at an intervention (unless there were and I just don't know of them) on the part of his friends, family or even those in the paranormal community. And, in closing, I feel that dehumanizing someone is nothing more than a cognitive distortion that does nothing more than rationalize a regretful action perpetrated on that person. No matter what actions a person commits they are still human, to strip them of that humanity through labels or artificial ideas of 'being deserving' does nothing but make the person engaging in that labeling behavior look intellectual dishonest.