Connect the dots, LA LA LA!
It's a song I sing with my kids.
It's also what the media do whenever a crime happens that can be connected to previous crimes.
It's called linkage (search this blog for other examples).
In this article from Newsweek magazine, the author calls the Arizona shooter "a crazed loner, but he’s one in a long line."
See what the author did? He acknowledged the assassin was acting alone, but then connected him to previous assassins anyway, as if there is some assassin club that all these guys belong to (well, they are all guys, so maybe it is the Y chromosome that is to blame).
Quick, how many people have assassins killed in all of American history?
It's actually less than will die today from smoking tobacco. But you don't see that in the news!