Male Serial Killer Essay
Essay Topic: Serial killer
Paper type: Essay
Words: 2506, Paragraphs: 30, Pages: 11
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Serial killing definition has posed some difficult fundamental complications because it encompasses varied forms and it results from many different mental states. Serial murder is defined as the “unlawful” repetitive killing of many victims over a long period of time by an individual or, (rarely) by a group of individuals. The relationship between the offender and the victim is that of slight acquaintance or of a stranger typology. It also involves the motivation and motive to kill but apparent motives usually are shrouded and not really lacking as has been misconceived in some instances.
It is very rare to find these kinds of killers doing it for money. It is mainly for sexual satisfaction, dominance to achieve their ‘world’, and for pure thrill (Koscis, 2007, p. 16). There has been much research is aimed at asserting the most concise psychological profile of serial murderers. Many theories have been brought about but from the varied declarations of different serial murderers, much effort is needed to come up with a consensus as to what is the driving force behind serial murder.
Early murderers like Gilles Blithely for example, declared that he tortured his victims entirely for his personal pleasure, physical delight, and that he didn’t do it for any other end or intention. On his part, he was quite bold in getting his victims in the sense that he would even send his servants to haul his victims to his castle as though it was his right to harvest the peasant population as he wished. Gilles was a renowned military hero and a monstrous aristocrat.
He gave a precociously modern excuse to his behavior- he directed the blame on his parents, who though they didn’t abuse him physically, their amoral attitudes made him a hapless victim to the crime (Odell, 2006, p. 22). Apsche has postulated a more specific serial killer profile white states that most serial killers are white males who are usually in their twenties or thirties. They often target strangers around their homes and/or their places of work.
According to Eric Hickey, the criminologist who has collected an extensive serial murder demography database, states that males comprise 88% of the serial murderers, Caucasians 85% and that the average age of the first victim claim is approximately 28. 5 years. 62% of the killers exclusively target strangers while another 22% will kill at least one stranger. Furthermore, Apsche indicates that 71% of all the killers will carry out their operations within a specific area/location and will not frequently travel widely to find their victims (Godwin, Rosen, 2005, p.
13). The F. B. I has also come up with a definition of serial killers. The opinion given is that one needs to have committed at least three different murders spaced by a period of time that can be some few days or even several years. This murder spacing duration is what has been referred to as the ‘cooling off’ period. However, the fact that every serial killer applies a trade mark method of killing the victim should also be put into consideration for an individual to qualify as a serial killer.
Wayne Gacy for example would always gaggle his victims using their own underpants to make sure they died of their own vomit. The past of every serial killer is very important in order to discover what makes them function as they do. Substantial evidence from varied and many cases prove that almost all serial killers had dysfunctional backgrounds in one way or another. This could have involved: alcoholism and drugs along with their related problems, physical or sexual abuse among others. There are other more universal traits even though they are usually varied in magnitude.
Some of these are bipolar mode disorders, disorganized, or disoriented thinking, personal failure feelings resented to the society and social structures, poor socialization, sexual frustrations, and over possessive parents. Others may also be as a result of wild imaginations which that sometimes drag the serial killer to a fantasy mental world. The major and most frequent among the childhood behavioral development characteristics are isolation, very compulsive masturbation, and day dreaming (Godwin, 2008, p. 35). General fantasy is usually brought about by a day dreaming imagination which is over productive.
This makes the serial killer attempt to live in this world as a protection from the real world isolation that he has encountered. If children are left alone for long periods with little or no attention at all being given to them, they tend to convert their minds into objects that will serve as the only company. The day dreaming factor then comes in handy especially when they develop inadequacy feelings due to the isolation they have experienced. Additionally, the feelings are often masked a myriad of apparent successes although they are more deep seated than the artificial expressions of neurotic goodness.
These early childhood life attachments are referred to as “bonding”. They are the ones which are attributed to how the affected individual will react to others in later life. Proper interaction with others in society therefore is not learned by the child who sees others as mirror images that reflect their isolators (Godwin, 2008, p. 39). There is much recent research which has been done concerning the antisocial personality disorder’s (ASPD) etiology and which has primarily been focused on environmental risk factors identification.
Many other recent studies have considered biological and genetic influences as they interact with the environment. It has however, been proved a little bit difficult to distinguish between the factors as either environmental or biological mainly because it is not possible to eliminate their interaction. Nevertheless, there have been admirable advances in these studies particularly in the identification of the environmental and biological ASPD indicators.
Moreover, there is much limitation in distinguishing between psychopathy from ASPD and research will usually find consistent and similar risk factors that are common in both psychopathy and ASPD. On the same note, examination of the personality, behavioral and historical characteristics’ heterogeneity has greatly failed as they have been represented by serial killer populations. Identification of risk factors that could lead to violent and antisocial behavior is necessary and of paramount importance as it help in predicting individuals who are highly susceptible to committing these violent and antisocial crimes.
This is particularly important in that it would aid the creation of effective treatment and intervention programs for these persons, even though violent offenders’ treatment programs often do not yield the desired results. In profiling the serial killers, mothers continually get a lion’s share of the blame as concerns the causes of serial killing. In studying early childhood behaviors of serial killers, it is found that they had usually been described as “a little off child” by their parents or were abandoned, or worse still were compelled to loneliness due to a myriad of reasons.
As children, fledgling serial killers had common characteristics such as; they would often wet their beds, set fires, and torture animals. These are red flag characteristics or behaviors which are referred to as the triad of symptoms. Additionally, there are other historical factors of serial killers which include; trauma, head injury, abuse, antisocial behavior, insecure attachments, low or minimal arousal degrees, and abandonment or loss of a caretaker or a parent (Kamir, 2001, p. 51).
Prime examples of these serial killers are Ed Gein, Gary Ridgeway, and john Wayne Gacy all of whom had been verbally and physically abused by parents. They also had endured forms of trauma and head injuries. In his early childhood, Ted Bundy thought that his mother was his older sister as he grew up and that his parents were his real parents. Jeffrey Dahma’s mother was mentally ill and ingested a lot of drugs while carrying Jeffrey’s pregnancy. Many other differentiated cases are recorded. In many serial killers’ history, the most disturbing, and common factor is their unnatural and unusual relationships they had with their mothers.
These often include sadistic and sexual elements which could be inappropriate or exposure as children to their mothers’ sexuality and sexual activities. Others were significantly dressed as girls or were subjected by their mothers to sadistic sexual behaviors. These factors later made them develop some maternal uncanny characteristics such that some killed women and regarded them as “sluts and wholes”, from the impact of their mothers relationships. It is also very crucial to study the victimology or the overall victim’s history in making psychological profiles of serial killers.
This is from the perspective that when the reasons for a person becoming the victim of serial killing are identified, then it follows that the motive behind the killing will be unearthed. The victim’s risk, personality, history, and physical characteristics all form a fundamental basis for homicide investigations as well as crime scene evaluation. Cumulative research has shown that victims will mostly consist of vulnerable persons such as adolescents, children, females, the elderly, runaways, and prostitutes.
Victimology can thus assist in linking separate violent crimes that were committed by a single offender and therefore become one among the most important solving and classification tools of violent crimes (Kamir, 2001, p. 58). Victimology has particularly served a valuable tool in an attempt to identify and capture serial killers because the victim is usually a stranger to the crime perpetrator. For example, Gary’s victims were mostly prostitutes, and John Wayne Gacy’s victims were mainly adolescent boys whom he lured to his home with the promise that he would pay them.
Ted Bundy on his part would fake injury to attract college-aged, kind-hearted women to his car, and almost all of them had long hair. Jeffrey Dahmer would promise to pay his victims if they allowed him to photograph them. It is however, difficult to apply victimology, both in identifying the serial killer or the next possible victim, particularly when victim characteristics considerably vary. This is the reason why investigators will rely on other crime aspects at the scene of crime in their attempt to profile and apprehend the serial killers.
Modus Operandi (MO) refers to the actions that the offender undertook while perpetrating the crime. It must be a learned behavior which is developed over time from use and past success. This will continually evolve as it keeps on being modified depending on previous experiences with victims. For example, Wayne and Dahmer were previously arrested after being convicted for teenage boys’ assault and served sometime in prison. From then onwards, they made sure that they always killed their victims to eliminate any possible witnesses in future.
Another example of how modus operandi evolves for serial killers was during the time serial killer Dennis Rader encountered victim Kathryn and her brother Kevin after waiting for her in her house without expecting her to have company. He hadn’t carried his “tool kit” with him and this cost him some embarrassment which he swore to have let happen again. He promised himself he would never again leave it behind as he went on his ‘hunting’ sprees (Odell, 2006, p. 26). Another aspect that is used in profiling serial killers is the signature factor which is also called the calling card.
This is the unique, ritual, or personal expression that is demonstrated by the offender during crime commission. This is always based on the fantasies of the offender and an offender’s personality will always be left behind every time a signature is left. It is different from modus operandi since it represents a conduct that is far much beyond the necessary criminal commission behaviors. By leaving a signature, the serial killer aspires to gain satisfaction from the crime he has committed as driven by his fantasies.
Another difference between modus operandi and the signature or the calling card is that the signature is a constant aspect but the MO may keep on evolving. It is possible, however, that a signature aspect may increase in intensity. Gary numerously revisited his victims’ bodies after dumping them to increasingly reengage in necrophilia sexual activities with them and hence reliving his crimes. Dennis Rader on his part would perennially taunt the police by writing them sexually explicit letters that described his crimes as well as where the bodies of his most recent victims could be found.
These letters were all signed BTK as an authenticating certificate of his crimes. Along with the signature aspect, MO, and victimology, the organized/disorganized serial killers’ classification is an extremely important tool in serial killers profiling. The hypothesis is that organized serial killers will commit the crime after they have been subjected to stressful and precipitating events. They are also expected to be persons of average intelligence and who are usually socially competent. In most instances, these serial killers plan their offenses and apply restraints on their victims.
Furthermore, they take from their victims some souvenirs or trophies which are mainly little extrinsic value items which they use to for later fantasy stimulation. They precisely go to the crime scene with a weapon which is intended to be used in committing the crime and which they carry with them after crime commission (Koscis, 2007, p. 40). Disorganized serial killers on the other hand are those who are hypothesized as opportunistic killers. They minimally restrain their victims and they may leave such things as semen, blood, murder weapon, blood and other items on the scene of crime.
They will also openly display their victim’s bodies and their intelligence is always below average. They are also thought as socially incompetent persons. There is also a third category which is called mixed offender typology and which consists of both the disorganized and organized characteristics. This happens during situations where more than one offender is involved or when there is involvement of alcoholism and drugs. A crime may also be referred as mixed if the offender inexperienced or very young as well as if the crime had been planned but in the process of committing it some unexpected occurrences interfered (Godwin, Rosen, 2005, p.
20). Serial profiling however, encounters many similarities as well as differences and it therefore calls for concerted efforts to be able to pin the offender. This is more so because most of the evidence provided usually relies on the serial killers confessions which may disoriented or far fetched than is the real truth. Furthermore, it is paramount to address the issue of the exact relationship between psychopathy and serial murderers for more scientific conclusions to be deducted.
Reference Godwin Grove (2008) Hunting Serial Predators: A Multivariate Classification Approach to Profiling Violent Behavior.
London: Jones and Bartlett Publishers, pp. 35, 39 Godwin Grover & Rosen Fred (2005) Tracker: Hunting Down Serial Killers. New York: Thunder’s Mouth Press, pp. 13, 20 Kamir Orit (2001) Every Breath You Take: Stalking Narratives and the Law. Michigan: University of Michigan Press, pp. 51, 58 Koscis Richard (2007). Serial Murder and the Psychology of Violent Crimes: An International Perspective. New York: Humana Press, pp. 16, 40 Odell Robin (2006) Ripperology: A Study of the World’s First Serial Killer and a Literary Phenomenon. New York: Kent State University, pp. 22, 26