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Serial killing and related

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This is a small report for an assignment. A brief report on serial killing, what causes it to happen, what drives the killers to kill and so on.

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Serial killing and related

  1. 1. ACKNOWLEDGEMENT This project paper was done because of my curiosity on why a person indulge into serial killing, what actually triggers them to make the crime, and what are the sociological reasons for this crime. It took a considerable amount of time and effort to write this project paper, but with the guidance from Dr Simon Thong and my friends, I manage to finish this work. Serial killing is a very interesting topic. It all started after I watched a movie about a serial killer. The way the plot was made was really attractive and really got me curious on how the serial killers actually work, why it happens, what actually causes them to kill their victims?
  2. 2. PAGE | 1 INTRODUCTION1 The term ‘serial killings’ means a series of three or more killings, not less than one of which was committed within the United States, having common characteristics such as to suggest the reasonable possibility that the crimes were committed by the same actor or actors. Dating back to ancient times, serial murderers have been reported around the world. In 19th century Europe, Dr.Richard von Krafft-Ebing conducted some of the first documented research on violent, sexual offenders and the crimes they committed. Best known for his 1886 textbook Psychopathy Sexualise, Dr.Kraft-Ebing described numerous case studies of sexual homicide, serial murder, and other areas of sexual proclivity. Serial murder is a comparatively rare event, estimated to comprise less than one percent of all murders committed in any given year. However, there is a cadaverous interest in the topic that far exceeds its scope and has generated countless articles, books, and movies. This broad-based public fascination began in the late 1880s, after a series of unsolved prostitute murders occurred in the Whitechapel area of London. These murders were committed by an unknown individual who named himself “Jack the Ripper” and sent letters to the police claiming to be the killer. “Dear Boss I keep on hearing the police have caught me but they won’t fix me just yet. I have laughed when they look so clever and talk about being on the right track. That joke about 1 Retrieved from http://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/download?doi=10.1.1.97.6084&rep=rep1&type=pdf
  3. 3. PAGE | 2 Leather Apron gave me real fits. I am down on whores and I shant quit ripping them till I do get buckled. Grand work the last job was. I gave the lady no time to squeal. How can they catch me now? I love my work and want to start again. You will soon hear of me with my funny little games. I saved some of the proper red stuff in a ginger beer bottle over the last job to write with but it went thick like glue and I can’t use it. Red ink is fit enough I hope ha. ha. The next job I do I shall clip the lady’s ears off and send to the police officers just for jolly wouldn’t you. Keep this letter back till I do a bit more work, and then give it out straight. My knife’s so nice and sharp I want to get to work right away if I get a chance. Good luck. Yours truly Jack the Ripper” – an example of letters Jack Ripper would send to the police. Started from Jack the Ripper, serial killings have become a common thing in certain parts of the world. The United States of America and the United Kingdom have the highest reports on serial killers and some cases are yet to be solved. There are various reasons that have caused these people to kill. But the public have been blinded by the Hollywood style serial killers, bring the civilians to believe that a serial killer is mentally imbalanced, lures for victims at the silent of nights and so on. But the ugly truth is, these were just effects brought by the movie crew to bring the sense of trill and horror to the viewer, resulting the public to be confused about the truth of serial killers. Law enforcement professionals are subject to the same distortion from a different source: the use of undependable information. Authorities involved in serial murder cases, such as investigators, prosecutors, and pathologists may have limited exposure to serial murder.
  4. 4. PAGE | 3 Their experience may be based upon a single murder series, and the factors in that case are induced to other serial murders. As a result, certain stereotypes and misconceptions take source regarding the nature of serial murder and the characteristics of serial killers. PROBLEM STATEMENT There are many different points of views about serial killings but most of it are proved to be false. Impressions given by the media is normally not very accurate. This includes the movies about serial killers and their victim. The reasons and what causes someone to become a serial killer is always a question mark to us. Therefore, the conflict discussed is about what are the attributes of a serial killer? What makes them become a serial killer? What are signs of someone being a serial killer? And what is this the sociological perspective about serial killers? LITERATURE REVIEW2 Murder has been a dark presence in society since the beginning of time. Researchers have diligently studied murder to identify its causes. The central theme of studying murder is motivation. The question that is often asked is what motivates an individual to become a murderer. Theories include biological predispositions, sociological influences and psychological factors. In order to begin this critical review 2Retrived from http://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/download?doi=10.1.1.97.6084&rep=rep1&type=pdf
  5. 5. PAGE | 4 and analysis of literature related to the criminal mind of serial killers it is important to begin with an understanding of the different types of murder and a brief historical overview of how we as a society have come to this point in studying the criminal mind of serial killers. There are a large variety of homicides and the legal system tends to put them all together into one type. As Farmer and Hooker have noted, the legal system “artificially lumps together desperate activities under the single heading of "homicide" (Farmer and Hooker, 1987, p.3). This tends to disregard the fact that different types of homicides and motivations exist. Further research has helped law enforcement to recognize the different types of homicide to include mass murder, spree killing, and serial killing. Mass murder is defined as a "single eruption of violence that takes place in one location with a large number of random victims (at least four, according to an FBI criterion)" (Schlecter and Everitt, 1997, p.179). A spree killing is defined as a killing in which "someone murders a string of people in several different locations with no cooling off period between homicides" (Schlecter and Everitt, 1997, p.273). Finally, 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
  6. 6. PAGE | 5 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. "Victims share common characteristics of what are perceived to be prestige less, powerless and/or lower socio-economic groups (that is vagrants,prostitutes, migrant workers, and homosexuals, missing children and single and elderly women)" (Egger, 1984, p.8-9).
  7. 7. PAGE | 6 1.0 CHARACTERISTICS OF SERIAL KILLINGS3 1.0.1 Genetics Tests are showing that the nervous system of the psychopath is markedly different, they feel less fear and anxiety than normal people. One carefully conducted experiment revealed that "low arousal levels" not only causes impulsiveness and thrill- seeking, but also showed how dense sociopaths are when it comes to changing their behaviour. A group of sociopaths and a group of healthy individuals were given a task, which was to learn what lever (out of four) turned on a green light. One lever gave the subject an electric shock. Both groups made the same number of errors, but the healthy group quickly learned to avoid the punishing electric shock, while sociopaths took much longer to do so. This need for higher levels of stimulation makes the psychopath seek dangerous situations. When Gacy heard an ambulance, he would follow to see what sort of exciting catastrophe was in the making. Part of the reason for many serial killers seeking to become cops is probably due to the intensity of the job. Genetics and physiological factors also contribute to the building of a psychopath. One study in Copenhagen focused on a group of sociopaths who had been adopted as infants. The biological relatives of sociopaths were 4-5 times more likely to be sociopathic than the average person. Yet genetics don't tell the whole story; it only shows a predisposition to antisocial behaviour. Environment can make or break the psychopathic personality. 3 Retrieved from http://www.trutv.com/library/crime/serial_killers/notorious/tick/victims_1.html
  8. 8. PAGE | 7 When a psychopath does inherit genetically-based, developmental disabilities, it is usually a stunted development of the higher functions of the brain. 30-38% of psychopaths show abnormal brain wave patterns, or EEGs. Infants and children typically have slower brain wave activity, but it increases as they grow up. Not with psychopaths. Eventually, the brain might mature as the psychopath ages. This may be why most serial killers are under 50. The abnormal brain wave activity comes from the temporal lobes and the limbic system of the brain, the areas that control memory and emotions. When development of this part of the brain is genetically impaired, and the parents of the child are abusive, irresponsible or manipulative, the stage is set for disaster. 1.0.2 Smooth Talkers Psychopaths know society's rights and wrongs, and will behave as if they sincerely believe in these values. There are individuals who are so psychopathically disturbed that, in my opinion, no attempts should be made to treat them. Many psychopaths will read psychology books, and become skilled at imitating other more "sympathetic" mental illnesses, such as schizophrenia. They will use any means possible to manipulate their evaluators. Most functionally psychotic individuals do not experience command hallucinations, and those who do, generally successfully resist them. 1.0.3 Alter Egos One of the most predictable attempts to shift the blame is by creating an evil dark side, or alter ego. Some of these creations are named as the true culprits of the crimes. While in custody H. H. Holmes invented “Edward Hatch,” who he claimed was the shadowy mastermind behind the murder of the young Pietzel children. “Lipstick Killer”
  9. 9. PAGE | 8 William Heirens created George Murman, and actually corresponded with George by letters. John Gacy based his alter ego, “Jack Hanley,” on a actual cop by the same name. Gacy’s Jack was tough, in control, and loathed homosexuality. When Gacy drank too much, the punishing hand of Jack would take control. One of the most notorious alter egos is “Hillside Strangler” Kenneth Bianchi’s “Steve Walker.” Steve came out during hypnotic sessions as the aggressive opposite to Ken’s gentle guy act. Clever hypnotists were able to snare Steve as a hoax. (It was later revealed that Bianchi had seen the movie “Sybil” two days prior to his psychiatric evaluation.) Fabricating an alter ego is a convenient way to pin the guilt on another, even if that other is within. It’s a psychological variation of “the devil made me do it.” But diabolical alter egos are usually clumsy constructions that fall apart under scrutiny. At best, a legitimate split personality could hope for a mental institution instead of death row. But authentic cases are exceptionally rare. 1.0.4 4Deluded Warriors In a manic state, the psychopath is fearless and thinks he is omnipotent, sometimes evil incarnate, as we have seen in Richard Ramirez's "Night Stalker" run. They are completely out of touch with reality. One psychopath, while in custody, would dress himself as an Indian warrior using his own feces as warpaint. Many serial killers identify with the myth of the warrior. Calavaras County torturer Leonard Lake was fascinated by medieval knights, and on a more modern cinematic note, many serial 4 Retrieved from http://www.fbi.gov/stats-services/publications/serial-murder
  10. 10. PAGE | 9 killers, including Gacy and Kemper, worshipped John Wayne, the American archetype of the lone warrior. 1.0.5 5Schizophrenia Most schizophrenics will resist the aggressive commands of the auditory hallucinations they hear, according to Dr. Meloy. Santa Cruz in the 1970's had a renaissance of psychopathic killers. Of course, there is Edmund Kemper, the most articulate of them the batch. His schizophrenic colleagues, however, are frightening examples of the truly mentally-ill serial killer. Herbert Mullin heard his father's voice in his head, commanding, "Why won't you give me anything? Go kill somebody move!" By killing people, Mullin was convinced, he was actually preventing earthquakes and tidal waves. Unlike most serial killers, he was not seeking a certain type of victim. His 13 "sacrificial" victims included a family, a priest, a homeless man and some hapless campers. Upon his arrest everyone agreed that Mullin was a paranoid schizophrenic, but was found "legally sane." Unlike many serial killers who try to convince the authorities that they are crazy, Mullin tried to prove his sanity, stating that he was the victim of a huge conspiracy. He declared that he "a good American person who was tricked into committing the crimes. I know I deserve my freedom." On a self-described "divine mission": John Linley Frazier, slaughtered a wealthy Santa Cruz family in 1970 because he believed they had been "polluting and destroying 5 Retrieved from http://www.fbi.gov/stats-services/publications/serial-murder
  11. 11. PAGE | 10 the Earth." Initially he was called an "acid casualty," but later tests revealed Frazier as an acute paranoid schizophrenic. Nonetheless, Frazier was declared legally sane and sentenced to life imprisonment. David Berkowitz's "Son of Sam" routine was a well-constructed attempt to appear schizophrenic. "There is no doubt in my mind that a demon has been living in me since birth," he raved. "I want my soul back!" he wrote. "I have a right to be human." Later he held a press conference, announcing that his story of demons had been an invention. 1.0.6 6No Fear Crime Times reports on findings that psychopaths have a greater fear threshold, and are less likely to respond to fear-inducing stimuli, such as sudden, loud noises. In other words, psychopaths may be immune to fear. The psychopath's heart rate and skin temperature are low, and their "startle reaction" was substantially less than the average person. The autonomic nervous system of intensely violent people is intensely sluggish. ... They need a higher level of thrill or stimulation in order to have an intense experience," says forensic psychologist Shawn Johnston. 6 Retrieved from http://www.thefreedictionary.com/serial+killer
  12. 12. PAGE | 11 2.0 7FACTORS OF BECOMING SERIAL KILLER 2.0.1 Childhood Abuse One of first places our society looks to for an explanation is the serial killer's upbringing. "So many of us wanted to believe that something had traumatized little Jeffrey Dahmer, otherwise we must believe that some people simply give birth to monsters," Ann Schwartz has written. In some cases, the abuse of children by their parents is barbaric, and it seems little wonder that anything but a fledgling serial killer would come from such horrible squalor. As a child, the "Boston Strangler" Albert DeSalvo was actually sold off as a slave by his alcoholic dad. Many sadistic murderers portray their childhood as an endless chain of horrifying sexual abuse, torture, and mayhem. Some stories of torture may be exaggerated for sympathy (it is always to the killer's advantage to concoct wicked parents as an excuse) but some have been corroborated by witnesses. Even families that appear healthy on the outside may be putting on an act. Children can learn the "Jeckyl and Hyde" routine from parents who are outgoing and social with neighbors and co-workers, but who scowl at their kid's inadequacies when they get home. As we examine childhood abuse as a possible key to the serial killer's behaviour, we must remember that many children have suffered horrible abuse at the hands of their parents, but did not grow up to be lust murderers. Childhood abuse is not a direct link to a future in crime. And while many girls are victimized as children, very few grow up to be 7 Retrieved from http://www.crime-times.org
  13. 13. PAGE | 12 sadistically violent toward strangers. Childhood abuse may not be the sole excuse for serial killers, but it is an undeniable factor in many of their backgrounds. Some parents believed that by being harsh disciplinarians, it would "toughen" the child. Instead, it often creates a lack of love between parent and child that can have disastrous results. If the child doesn't bond with its primary caretakers, there is no foundation for trusting others later in life. This can lead to isolation, where intense violent fantasies become the primary source of gratification. "Instead of developing positive traits of trust, security, and autonomy, child development becomes dependent on fantasy life and its dominant themes, rather than on social interaction," writes Robert Ressler, Ann Burgess and John Douglas in Sexual Homicide: Patterns and Motives. When the child grows up, according to these authors, all they know are their fantasies of domination and control. They have not developed compassion for others. Instead, humans become flattened-out symbols for them to enact their violent fantasies. 2.0.2 8Childhood Events Adoption as a potential contribution to the serial killer's motivation is fascinating because it creates two questions. The first one is that the biological parents may have left their child with deviant genes. (We will look into the genetics of serial killers shortly.) Finding out that one was adopted may also undermine the sense of identity in a fragile youth, and make the child prone to fantasizing an identity of his "true" parents, either good or bad. Was the mother a prostitute? A nun? Was the father a gangster? A hero? And why did they "reject" their child? This sense of rejection can have profound 8 Retrieved from http://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/download?doi=10.1.1.97.6084&rep=rep1&type=pdf
  14. 14. PAGE | 13 consequences on an already unstable psyche. If the child actually meets his biological parent and is again rejected, the damage is worse. David Berkowitz was deeply hurt when his biological mom brushed him off. Some have speculated that Berkowitz's "Son of Sam" was an fantasy attempt to reclaim a parent/child identity that had been crushed in real life. According to Bundy biographers Michaud and Aynesworth, Ted's emotional growth was stopped in its tracks after he learned that he was illegitimate at age 13. "It was like I hit a brick wall," Bundy had said. Of course, he tried out every excuse he could rummage, so it's difficult to take his word on this when his family life appeared otherwise healthy. Some lust murderers claim that exposure to violent events ignited their thirst for blood. Ed Gein, among others, said that seeing farm animals slaughtered gave him perverted ideas. But wouldn't that make 4-H a breeding ground for serial killers? Both Albert Fish and Andrei Chikatilo blamed their sadistic bloodlust on frightening childhood stories. Does this mean we can expect Stephen King's children to top the murder charts? Even truly traumatic experiences don't automatically create a serial killer. "Acid Bath Murderer" John Haigh, as a child, ran outside after a WWII bombing at his London home. The bomb came with "a horrifying shriek, and as I staggered up, bruised and bewildered, a head rolled against my foot." Joel Peter Witkin, a well-known artist whose work is admittedly gruesome but fascinating, experienced the same event after witnessing a car accident. So what makes one person become a serial killer, and another a famous artist?
  15. 15. PAGE | 14 On the other hand, many multiple murderers are isolated as children. Lucas, who was already a shy child, was ridiculed because of his artificial eye. He later said that this mass rejection caused him to hate everyone. Kenneth Bianchi was also a child loner, with many problems. One clinical report said that "the boy drips urine in his pants, doesn't make friends very easily and has twitches. The other children make fun of him." Dahmer was antisocial as a kid, laughing when he saw a fellow classmate injured. He later became an alcoholic teenager, routinely ignored by his peers. As the isolation grows more severe, the reliance on fantasies, especially destructive ones, can grow. These fantasies of violence often reveal themselves through two of the three "triads" of predicting criminal behaviour, fire-starting and animal cruelty. 2.0.3 9Genetics Tests are showing that the nervous system of the psychopath is markedly different they feel less fear and anxiety than normal people. One carefully conducted experiment revealed that "low arousal levels" not only causes impulsiveness and thrill-seeking, but also showed how dense sociopaths are when it comes to changing their behavior. A group of sociopaths and a group of healthy individuals were given a task, which was to learn what lever (out of four) turned on a green light. One lever gave the subject an electric shock. Both groups made the same number of errors, but the healthy group quickly 9 Retrieved from http://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/download?doi=10.1.1.97.6084&rep=rep1&type=pdf
  16. 16. PAGE | 15 learned to avoid the punishing electric shock, while sociopaths took much longer to do so. This need for higher levels of stimulation makes the psychopath seek dangerous situations. When Gacy heard an ambulance, he would follow to see what sort of exciting catastrophe was in the making. Part of the reason for many serial killers seeking to become cops is probably due to the intensity of the job. Genetics and physiological factors also contribute to the building of a psychopath. One study in Copenhagen focused on a group of sociopaths who had been adopted as infants. The biological relatives of sociopaths were 4-5 times more likely to be sociopathic than the average person. Yet genetics don't tell the whole story; it only shows a predisposition to antisocial behaviour. Environment can make or break the psychopathic personality. When a psychopath does inherit genetically-based, developmental disabilities, it is usually a stunted development of the higher functions of the brain. 30-38% of psychopaths show abnormal brain wave patterns, or EEGs. Infants and children typically have slower brain wave activity, but it increases as they grow up. Not with psychopaths. Eventually, the brain might mature as the psychopath ages. This may be why most serial killers are under 50. The abnormal brain wave activity comes from the temporal lobes and the limbic system of the brain, the areas that control memory and emotions. When development of this part of the brain is genetically impaired, and the parents of the child are abusive, irresponsible or manipulative, the stage is set for disaster.
  17. 17. PAGE | 16 Can psychopaths be successfully treated? According to the psychiatrists, "No." Shock treatment doesn't work; drugs have not proven successful in treatment; and psychotherapy, which involves trust and a relationship with the therapist, is out of the question, because psychopaths are incapable of opening up to others. They don't want to change. 3.0 Signs of Becoming Serial Killer10 3.0.1 Triad The triad links animal cruelty, obsession with fire setting, and persistent bedwetting past the age of five to violent behaviors, particularly homicidal behavior. However, other studies have not found statistically significant links between the triad and violent offenders. Nevertheless, some serial killers exhibited at least some of these behaviors during childhood. 3.0.2 11Animal Cruelty – precocious sadism It is believed that many serial killers tend, before killing people, to kill animals as a "training and testing" phase of their fantasy. Children or teenagers building up anger, rage, and humiliation would take it out on animals as they are easier to control to get back to the people who made them suffer. "Wright and Hensley (2003) named three recurring themes in their study of five cases of serial murderers: as children they vented their frustrations because the person causing them anger or humiliation was too powerful to 10 Retrieved from http://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/download?doi=10.1.1.97.6084&rep=rep1&type=pdf 11 Retrieved from http://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/download?doi=10.1.1.97.6084&rep=rep1&type=pdf
  18. 18. PAGE | 17 take down; they felt as if they regained some control and power over their lives through the torture and killing of the animals; they gained the power and control they needed to cause pain and suffering of a weaker, more vulnerable animal - escalating to humans in the future." Juvenile sadism directed at lower life-forms is nothing new. There have always been children and adolescents (usually male) who enjoy hurting small creatures. Certainly Shakespeare knew about such things. In King Lear, he writes about “wanton boys” who pull the wings off of flies for “sport.” And in Mark Twain’s Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, the hero finds himself in a one-horse town where a bunch of young loafers are amusing themselves by tying a tin pan to the tail of a stray dog and watching him “run himself to death.” This characteristic is common among serial killers. 3.0.3 12Bed-Wetting – enuresis There’s nothing unusual or alarming about bed-wetting in itself; it’s a common phenomenon among little children. When the problem persists into puberty, however, it may well be a sign of significant and even dangerous emotional disturbance. According to the findings of the FBI’s Behavioural Science Unit, fully 60 percent of sex-murderers were still suffering from this condition as adolescents-like the African-American serial killer Alton Coleman, who wet his pants so often that he was saddled with the taunting nickname “Pissy.” Formative years may play a role in the molding of a serial killer, but they cannot be the sole reason in every case. Many killers blame their families for their behavior, seeking sympathy. In true psychopathic fashion, serial killers are blaming someone else 12 Retrieved from http://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/download?doi=10.1.1.97.6084&rep=rep1&type=pdf
  19. 19. PAGE | 18 for their actions. If their bad childhood is the primary reason for their homicidal tendencies, then why don't their siblings also become serial killers? And if these conditions truly created them, serial killers would probably be unionized by now, there would be so many of them (a sad commentary on our continuing neglect of children.) We must look at other components to see what pushes a serial killer over the edge. 5.0 CAUSES OF SOMEONE BECOMING A SERIAL KILLER 5.0.1 13Social Evils Violent Contemporary Culture Many multiple murderers blame our violent culture for feeding their appetites. Days before he was executed, Bundy declared that hard-core pornography was responsible for his murderous rampage. In our entertainment, sex and violence seem to go hand in hand. Is there any validity to Bundy's claim? Many serial killers adopt violent figures as their role models. Mild mannered Peter Kurten, who on the surface was a polished and polite gentleman, idolized Jack the Ripper while in jail (Weimar Germany as a culture seemed fascinated by the Ripper's nefarious deeds.) "I thought of what pleasure it would give me to do things of that kind once I got out again," he said. Both John Wayne Gacy and Ed Kemper worshipped John Wayne, who obviously had a broader fan base than only serial murderers, but his vigilante justice appeals to the killer who feels he has been wronged. To this day many homicidal acts are blamed on movies and music. Although there is no direct proof that violence in the media creates serial killers, it may activate the fantasy, and perhaps 13 Retrieved from http://www.thefreedictionary.com/serial+killer
  20. 20. PAGE | 19 legitimizes it for some. As Ed Kemper said regarding violent pornography, "That didn't make me mean. It just fuelled the fire." According to Elliot Leyton, in his book Hunting Humans, serial killers are "not alien creatures with deranged minds, but alienated men with disinterest in continuing the dull lives in which they feel entrapped. Reared in a civilization which legitimizes violence as a response to frustration, provided by the mass media and violent pornography with both the advertising proclaiming the 'joy' of sadism and the instruction manual outlining correct procedures, they grasp the 'manly' identity of pirate and avenger." 5.0.2 14Stranger Society It is easier for us to see each other only as strangers, or stereotypes. The serial killer stalks stereotypes. "We are creating strangers of each other," says Steven Egger. "As we become strangers we begin to see others more as objects and less as human beings." "It’s the anonymity factor," said Bundy on the ease of killing. In the 20h century, the angst of the city continues to spawn both killers and victims. Serial killers can easily troll for victims among the "forgotten": runaways, prostitutes, drug addicts, and the poverty-stricken. Perhaps the anonymity itself is a factor that creates a serial killer. Feeling disenfranchised, forgotten, ignored in the looming crowd, the psychopath not only kills those who mirror back his own forgotten, anonymous identity, but even makes a name for himself, "becomes somebody" in the process. 14 Retrieved from http://www.thefreedictionary.com/serial+killer
  21. 21. PAGE | 20 5.0.3 15Serial Killing as a Career? David Berkowitz illustrates this possibility. "Hello from the cracks in the sidewalks of New York City, and from the ants that dwell in these cracks. ... " he wrote. Berkowitz had no stable identity no achievements, no friends, no attachments. Just isolation. The "Son of Sam" identity gave him great notoriety and power over others. "I believe they were rooting for me," he said of the general public. He was thrilled to hear co-workers at the post office chat about the Son of Sam, with no idea that the mild- mannered David was the same psycho-killer in the daily newspapers. Notoriety as a possible incentive is indeed frightening. The serial killers who are initially motivated by a need for power love the media attention. Gacy treasured his scrapbook of all the press he received. Jeffrey Dahmer's trial had "the air of a movie premiere, complete with local celebrities, groupies who hounded for autographs, and a full-scale media onslaughtof which I was a part," wrote Dahmer biographer Anne Schwartz. But Dr. Meloy, author of The Psychopathic Mind, warns us against celebrating serial killers: "If the murder attracts media attention and catalyzes both public fear and fascination, it will reinforce the psychopathic's concept of self as larger than life. ... In a real sense, the popular media may mythologize predators to the degree that they do become a legend in their own minds. This verification in reality of that which heretofore had only been experienced in fantasy leads the psychopath to consider predation as the sole means to achieve notoriety." 15 Retrieve from http://www.trutv.com/library/crime/serial_killers/index.html
  22. 22. PAGE | 21 When Do They Stop? When does a serial killer stop? Either when they are caught or killed. Very few have turned themselves in. Only Ed Kemper called the police to confess, and waited at a phone booth to be picked up. Recently, a Humboldt county truck driver walked into a police station with a female breast in his pocket as proof of his deeds. Some plea to be caught, yet coyly disappear before the cops arrive to arrest them. William Heirens wrote his memorable message ("For heaven’s sake catch me before I kill more I cannot control myself") in bizarre, red lipstick cursive on the wall, while his victim lay dead, shot and stabbed in the neck. If there are any serial killers who quit because they were satiated or bored, we cannot know because they are not in captivity. Some claim that if they could they would have indulged in mass destruction. The "Vampire of Dusseldorf" Peter Kurten said "the more people the better. Yes if I had the means of doing so, I would have killed whole masses of people brought about catastrophes." When Carl Panzram wasn't fantasizing about poisoning towns with arsenic, he spent his time plotting a grand scheme to incite war between the British and the Americans. "I believe the whole human race should be exterminated, I'll do my best to do it every chance I get," he told a jury before their deliberation (they sentenced him to death in less than a minute.) 5.0.4 16Natural Born Killers Genetics/Bad Seeds are the psychopathic criminals really different from birth? Many parents say that their children who grow up to be violent offenders are markedly different from their non-violent siblings. Three-year-old Ted Bundy sneaked into his 16 Retrieve from http://www.trutv.com/library/crime/serial_killers/index.html
  23. 23. PAGE | 22 teenage aunt Julia's room one morning, and slipped butcher knives under the covers of her bed. "He just stood there and grinned," she said. Serial killer Carl Panzram himself wrote: "All of my family are as the average human beings are. They are honest and hardworking people. All except me. I have been a human-animile ever since I was born. When I was very young at 5 or 6 years of age I was a thief and a lier and a mean despisable one at that. The older I got the meaner I got." German child killer Peter Kurten had drowned two playmates by the tender age of nine. Are these children just born bad? Environment alone cannot explain deranged behaviour too many abused and neglected children grow up to be law-abiding citizens. If there is a genetic explanation, it’s a slippery, discreet mutation. We don't see entire families of serial killers. There is no such thing as a "kill gene", but research is revealing some genetic tendencies to violent behaviour. In other words, bad seeds blossom in bad environments. One study of twins who were raised apart, done by Yoon-Mi Hur and Thomas Bouchard in 1997, revealed a strong link between impulsivity and sensation-seeking behaviour, "attributed almost entirely to genetic factors." Both sensation-seeking traits and impulsivity have been "found to be higher in drug abusers, delinquents, and psychopaths."
  24. 24. PAGE | 23 CONCLUSION Much of the general public’s knowledge concerning serial murder is a product of Hollywood productions. Story lines are created to heighten the interest of audiences, rather than to accurately portray serial murder. By focusing on the atrocities inflicted on victims by “deranged” offenders, the public is captivated by the criminals and their crimes. This only lends more confusion to the true dynamics of serial murder. Law enforcement professionals are subject to the same misinformation from a different source: the use of anecdotal information. Professionals involved in serial murder cases, such as investigators, prosecutors, and pathologists may have limited exposure to serial murder. Their experience may be based upon a single murder series, and the factors in that case are extrapolated to other serial murders. As a result, certain stereotypes and misconceptions take root regarding the nature of serial murder and the characteristics of serial killers. A growing trend that compounds the fallacies surrounding serial murder is the talking heads phenomenon. Given creditability by the media, these self-proclaimed authorities profess to have an expertise in serial murder. They appear frequently on television and in the print media and speculate on the motive for the murders and the characteristics of the possible offender, without being privy to the facts of the investigation. Unfortunately, inappropriate comments may perpetuate misperceptions concerning serial murder and impair law enforcement’s investigative efforts. It was decided by a majority of the attendees to issue a formal statement of position regarding the media’s use of these types of individuals.
  25. 25. PAGE | 24 REFERENCE Candice, S. (2001, September). Defining Serial Murder: A Call for a Return to the Original Lustmord. Journal of Police and Criminal Psychology, 16 (2), pp. 10-24. Cannon, A. (2003). 23 Days of Terror: The Compelling True Story of the Hunt and Capture of the Beltway Snipers. New York, NY: Pocket Books. Canter, D. V., Alison, L. J., Alison, E., & Wentink, N. (2004, September). The Organized/Disorganized Typology of Serial Murder: Myth or Model? Psychology, Public Policy, and Law, 10 (3), pp. 293-320. Canter, D. (2003, October 13). Offender Profiling and Investigative Psychology. Journal of Investigative Psychology and Offender Profiling, 1, pp. 1-15. Cawthorne, N. (2007). Serial Killers and Mass Murderers: Profiles of the World’s Most Barbaric Criminals. Berkeley, CA: Ulysses Press. DeFronzo, J., Ditta, A., Honnan, L., & Prochnow, J. (2007). Male Serial Homicide. Homicide Studies, 11(1), pp. 3-14. Douglas, J. (2006). Interviewing Murderers and Suspects; Learning about the Crime and the Killer. Forensic Examiner, 16(2), pp. 44-47. Drukteinis, A. M. (1992). Serial Murder - The Heart of Darkness. Contemporary Psychiatry, 22(10), pp. 532-538.
  26. 26. PAGE | 25 BIBLIOGRAPHY Phobias. (17 December 2013). Retrieved from The FBI, http://www.fbi.gov/stats- services/publications/serial-murder Phobias. (18 December 2013). Retrieved from Directnic.com, http://www.crime- times.org Phobias. (18 December 2013). Retrieved from Crime Library, http://www.trutv.com/library/crime/ serial_killers/notorious/tick/victims Phobias. (18 December 2013). Retrived from Citeseerx, http://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/ viewdoc/download?doi=10.1.1.97.6084&rep=rep1&type=pdf Phobias. (19 December 2013). Retrieved from The Free Dictionary by Farlex, http://www.thefreedictionary.com/serial+killer
  27. 27. PAGE | 26 APPENDIX Two world’s most famous serial killers. 1) The Zodiac Killer was a serial killer who operated in northern California in the late 1960s and early 1970s. The killer's identity remains unknown. The Zodiac murdered victims in Benicia, Vallejo, Lake Berryessa, and San Francisco between December 1968 and October 1969. Four men and three women between the ages of 16 and 29 were targeted. The killer originated the name "Zodiac" in a series of taunting letters sent to the local Area press. These letters included four cryptograms (or ciphers). Of the four cryptograms sent, only one has been definitively solved. Suspects have been named by law enforcement and amateur investigators, but no conclusive evidence has surfaced. In April 2004, the San Francisco Police Department marked the case "inactive," yet re-opened the case at some point prior to March 2007. The case also remains open in the city of Vallejo, as well as in Napa County and Solano County. The California Department of Justice has maintained an open case file on the Zodiac murders since 1969. 2) Jack the Ripper is the best-known name given to an unidentified serial killer who was active in the largely impoverished areas in and around the Whitechapel district of London in 1888. The name originated in a letter written by someone claiming to be the murderer that was widely disseminated in the media. The letter is widely believed to have been a hoax, and may have been written by a journalist in a deliberate attempt to heighten interest in the story. Within the crime
  28. 28. PAGE | 27 case files as well as journalistic accounts the killer was known as "the Whitechapel Murderer" as well as "Leather Apron". Attacks ascribed to the Ripper typically involved female prostitutes who lived and worked in the slums of London and whose throats were cut prior to abdominal mutilations. The removal of internal organs from at least three of the victims led to proposals that their killer possessed anatomical or surgical knowledge. Rumors that the murders were connected intensified in September and October 1888, and letters from a writer or writers purporting to be the murderer were received by media outlets and Scotland Yard. The "From Hell" letter, received by George Lusk of the Whitechapel Vigilance Committee, included half of a preserved human kidney, supposedly from one of the victims. Mainly because of the extraordinarily brutal character of the murders, and because of media treatment of the events, the public came increasingly to believe in a single serial killer known as "Jack the Ripper". Extensive newspaper coverage bestowed widespread and enduring international notoriety on the Ripper. An investigation into a series of brutal killings in Whitechapel up to 1891 was unable to connect all the killings conclusively to the murders of 1888, but the legend of Jack the Ripper solidified. As the murders were never solved, the legends surrounding them became a combination of genuine historical research, folklore, and pseudo history. The term "ripper ology" was coined to describe the study and analysis of the Ripper cases. There are now over one hundred theories about the Ripper's identity, and the murders have inspired multiple works of fiction

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