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Detecting lone wolves

It's true, as intelligence professional Tom Wither writes ("You are the lone wolf's first responder," June 17), that we need to be aware of those around us and detect when a person might be going off the rails. I'm sorry the Orlando mass murderer's wife didn't heed this advice. The same holds true for the mother of Adam Lanza, the Sandy Hook Elementary School killer. Both Noor Salman and Nancy Lanza were complicit as they knew of dangerous behavior yet did nothing to stop their family members from owning guns — in fact, Noor Salman even accompanied her husband Omar Mateen on his ammunition shopping trip.

While I agree with Mr. Wither's suggestion that it's up to us to spot a possible "lone wolf" murderer, he should have mentioned social media as a tool. Lots of stuff is out there that's questionable and authorities should be alerted of aberrant and dangerous rantings.

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According to Sen. Ron Johnson, Omar Mateen's Facebook material will be an important part of the investigation. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has been asked to provide "Mateen's Facebook activity logs, timeline information, messages, photos and posts." No doubt the killer had plenty of people following him on line, yet not one spoke out, it appears.

Social media is a terrific tool for first responders to examine, and I'm sorry the writer never mentioned it. Also, I hope the folks at Facebook do their part and provide what's being requested. So far, Senator Johnson's letter to that organization remains unanswered. Not a good sign!

Rosalind Heid, Baltimore

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