Psychologist who has interviewed bombers shares insight on Boston attack

Posted at 9:18 PM, Apr 17, 2013
and last updated 2013-04-18 08:03:11-04

(NEW YORK CITY)  – Dr. N.G. Berrill earns a living by examining the dark secrets deep inside the demented minds of criminals.

A handful of these felons have included domestic and international bomb makers.  When  simply asked, “Why a bomb?”  Berrill brings up Timothy McVeigh before pivoting, “They don’t have to be there when the thing goes off, so there is not the desire to have a face to face confrontation.”

A foremost expert in forensic psychology, Berrill has examined hundreds of murders and terrorists.  His interviews have included the bomber behind a slew of abortion clinic bombings  in Queens during the eighties, to terrorists who were convicted  of conspiracy in the bombing of the U.S. embassy in Kenya in 1998, an attack orchestrated by Osama Bin Laden.

In his opinion, the deadly twin blasts that killed and injured dozens near the finish line at the Boston Marathon did not seem like it was the work of someone experienced in explosives.


“The engineering capabilities of the individuals involved were not that sophisticated, perhaps they have no military ties,” said Berrill.

When PIX 11 News asked Berrill about his plural assessment and If he believes that others are involved, “I do, because there is not a specific target, so there is no object of hate that I can identify.  It’s not the Mayor of Boston, or a Senator, or someone that someone would specifically be angry at.”

Most previous bombings have involved organizations.  Whether it’s the World Trade Center in 1993 or the Greenwich Village townhouse explosion in 1970 involving several members of the Weather Underground, but what will it say about the Boston bombings if it is a lone wolf who is responsible?  “Typically the one person who does this sort of thing tends to be, in my estimation certainly, the likelihood is that they are mentally ill,” said Berrill.

And what conclusions can be drawn if it is a lone wolf?  “One would have to question if there is no ideology or political idea, then what was the motivation.”

Meanwhile the nation’s biggest manhunt continues in Boston.