If you’re cringing after reading the headline of this piece, you’re in good company. The bulk of respondents on social media were repulsed by the truths behind them as well.

Florida school shooter Nikolas Cruz has groupies, the South Florida Sun-Sentinel reported. And not just a sprinkling of them, either.

“What is going on here?” asked Fox News host Laura Ingraham on Thursday night’s “The Ingraham Angle.” “What gives with these women? What kind of issues do they have? It’s mind-blowing.”

Serving up some answers were two guests, forensic criminologist Ron Martinelli and forensic psychiatrist Carole Lieberman.

“These are clearly women that are off balance,” said Martinelli flatly. “They probably share some of the behavioral characteristics of people like Nikolas Cruz. And they tend to become infatuated with people who do horrible things.”

“Nikolas Cruz is the baddest of the bad. He’s what I call a ‘lethal lover,'” said Lieberman, author of “Bad Boys: How We Love Them, How to Live with Them, When to Leave Them.” “The women who are attracted to him have had the most dysfunctional relationships of all with their fathers that have made them feel unlovable.”

“Nikolas [Cruz] is like the perfect combination of … the erotic allure of danger,” she also said. “At the same time, he looks like a little lost puppy. And that brings out the desire from women to rescue him.”

“It’s so sad on so many levels,” said Ingraham. “You say ‘baddest of all bad.’ I say ‘evil.'”

Teen girls, along with some adult women and men, began sending mail to Nikolas Cruz soon after the 19-year-old was incarcerated at the Broward County Jail. The letters are opened by the staff at the jail — and Cruz, who is on suicide watch, has not seen any of them, the AP reported.

“In my 40 years as public defender, I’ve never seen this many letters to a defendant. Everyone now and then gets a few, but nothing like this.”

Who do you think would win the Presidency?

By completing the poll, you agree to receive emails from LifeZette, occasional offers from our partners and that you've read and agree to our privacy policy and legal statement.

“There’s piles of letters,” said Broward County public defender Howard Finkelstein in the Orlando Sentinel. Finkelstein’s office is representing Cruz. “In my 40 years as public defender, I’ve never seen this many letters to a defendant. Everyone now and then gets a few, but nothing like this.”

Cruz has been charged with murdering 17 people and injuring another 17 more at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, on February 14. Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty.

Despite his alleged involvement in the massacre — or perhaps because of it, depending on one’s point of view — Cruz has been receiving support in the form of mushy letters, sexy photos, and cold hard cash (in the form of commissary credits) from folks who are probably best described as groupies.

Ghoulish Facebook groups have appeared, rife with folks who want to befriend Cruz romantically or platonically. Some seek to help him avoid the death penalty, as the New York Post has reported.

Some merchandisers are even attempting to cash in on the Cruz fans’ creepy obsession. Purple “Justice For Nik” silicone wristbands, for example, are available from an eBay seller called “jluke19801.” Citing the #NikFam hashtag, the listing contains multiple bullet points explaining the belief that the system failed Cruz. It also includes a statement encouraging viewers to “learn what it means to stand behind Nikolas Cruz before passing along more unnecessary hate ? There is a lot more to this. Wake up. #NotSoFriendly.”

Cruz isn’t the first heinous criminal to be showered with empathy, letters, gifts, and the like, and he probably won’t be the last. Others such as Charles Manson, the Menendez brothers, and Ted Bundy received similar treatment.

Today, nearly a month and a half after the mass shooting, the fallout continues to spread. The actual number of lives and livelihoods destroyed by Nikolas Cruz is difficult to estimate.

First, of course, the family members and friends of the deceased and injured are coping with all of the associated pain and grief. Some will be dealing with that the rest of their lives.

Schools are scrambling to find a means to ensure student safety — and are struggling with decisions about whether allowing students to walk out of school to protest is an appropriate decision.

Related: An End to School Shootings in America — How?

Some companies associated with the embattled NRA withdrew their involvement with the gun rights group, while others such as Delta suffered significant financial losses for the same reason.

Calls for boycotts and firings over gun-related issues continue to flood social media.

Calls for the repeal of a constitutional amendment have been issued by none other than a retired Supreme Court justice.

Meanwhile, Nikolas Cruz’s groupies send cutesy letters with little pink hearts and make sure he’s got plenty of money to spend in the Broward County Jail’s commissary for snacks and entertainment while he awaits trial.


Michele Blood is a Flemington, New Jersey-based freelance writer and regular contributor to LifeZette.

(photo credit, homepage and article images: YouTube)