Were the Tsarnaev brothers a “dyad” like Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold, with a charismatic leader and submissive follower?
By Dave Cullen|Posted Friday, April 19, 2013, at 11:28 PM
My Twitter feed has been flooded with this theme today: The Tsarnaev brothers seem more like the Columbine killers than al-Qaida.
Maybe. Either, neither, or it could easily be a combination. It’s way too early to know. The first thing I learned covering Columbine all those years was that most of the theories that gain traction this week will be wrong.
But we do have an interesting situation developing with a pair of brothers as suspects: potentially, the classic dyad scenario. Notorious dyad examples include Bonnie and Clyde, Leopold and Loeb, and the D.C. snipers. The dyad tends to be a twisted, particular relationship that plays out very differently than the lone gunman or the terrorist team.
Since that idea is getting a lot of attention, let’s explore the “dyad” phenomenon and how dyads typically play out.