Mass murder  

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"It is forbidden to kill; therefore all murderers are punished unless they kill in large numbers and to the sound of trumpets" --Voltaire [...]

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

Mass murder (massacre) is the act of murdering a large number of people, typically at the same time, or over a relatively short period of time. Mass murder may be committed by individuals or organizations.

The term may refer to spree killers, who stage a single, horrific assault on their victims, or to serial killers, who may kill many people, but not necessarily all at the same time.

The largest mass killings in history have been attempts to exterminate entire groups or communities of people, often on the basis of ethnicity or religion. In modern times such events are sometimes described as genocide. Although some consider that "genocide" may exist where there is merely an intention or plan to exterminate a particular group, and that killing is not a necessary condition, by contrast "mass murder" involves the actual killing of a large number of people.

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Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Mass murder" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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