A concise definition of a topic under consideration (this may be a descriptive or argumentative thesis, or proposal), as well as the scope of the related literature being investigated.
Developmental “Red Flags”
What humans learn, witness, and adapt to in early development impact their lives forever. In most cases, early developmental trauma will not ensure a unprosperous adult life. However, it has lingering effects on those attracted to serial murder. The most commonly known incidents of developmental “Red Flags” include bedwetting, violence towards animals, and substance abuse” Unfortunately, these traits are not often seen as indactors of serial violence until the killer is apprehended and studied. Researchers are aware of the early indicators but seldom use them to help childcare professionals identify and potentially help stop the creation of serial killers. Behavioral analysis by the Federal Bureau of Investigation started in (find source telling what year)- since then, profilers have used this research to help law enforcement apprehend serial murders.
Definition of serial killing
A serial killing has been defined by one author as a series of killings committed over a considerable span of time with the presence of a cooling off period (Schlecter and Everitt, 1997). In 1972, Cormier used the term ‘multicide’ to define several homicides that had been committed by one person, but spread over a period of time. The term multicide is closely synonymous with the term ‘serial murder’. (Cormier, 1972). The German’s described multiple murders in the 1800’s as ‘lustmord’, or murder for pleasure. (Wilson, 1990). Egger’s initial definition was developed in 1983, which was the first attempt to define serial murder in a more comprehensive manner.
‘Serial murder occurs when one or more individuals in most known cases, males, commit a second murder or subsequent murder; is relationship less (victim and attacker are strangers); occurs at a different time and has no connection to the initial (and subsequent) murder, and is frequently committed in different geographic locations. Further, the motive is generally not for material gain, but is usually a compulsive act specifically for gratification at of the murderer. A key element is that the series of murders do not share in the events surrounding one another. This individual travels around, sometimes from state to state, searching for victims whom he can rape and sodimize, torture, dismember, stab and strangle. Even these truly sadistic killers are, however, more evil than crazy. Few of them can be said to be driven by delusions or hallucinations, almost none of them talks to demons or hears strange voices in empty rooms. Though their crimes may be sickening, they are not sick in either a medical or legal sense. Instead, the serial killer is typically a sociopathic personality who lacks internal control, guilt or conscience to guide his own behavior but has an excessive need to control and dominate others. He definitely knows right from wrong, definitely realizes he has committed a sinful act, but simply doesn’t care about his human prey’ (Levin and Fox, 1985, p.229-230). For a serial killer, the motivation is not one of only money or power. A serial killer is simply motivated to kill, as a person needs water to survive.
The research related to serial killing has attempted to classify the motives of an individual that commit a series of murders. Dr Ronald Holmes in his book ‘ The World of Serial Killers’ has identified four types of serial killers. The first type is identified as a ‘visionary serial killer’. The visionary serial killer is commanded to kill by voices or visions. The second type of serial killer is identified as the ‘mission serial killer’. The mission serial killer is interested in ridding the community from undesirable individuals. The third type of serial killer is a ‘hedonistic serial killer’. Lust, thrill, and comfort drive the hedonistic serial killer. The last type of serial killer is the ‘power/control serial killer’. The power/control serial killer is motivated by the need for power and dominance (Holmes, 2000)
Statement of the Problem Research has shown an increase in the amount of murders that have occurred in the second half of the twentieth century with a trend that is destined to continue. The field of psychology and law continues to search for a pattern of behavior that can help the mental health field in identifying characteristics of serial murderers through interviews and evaluation
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