Probable Causes


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a brief look into serial murderers beginnings

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  • Hollywood’s depiction of serial murderers. Jason Voorhees from the movie franchise “Friday the 13th” and Freddy Krueger from “A Nightmare on Elm Street”.
  • Real life serial murderers. Dennis Rader a.k.a BTK Killer and Theodore Robert “Ted” Bundy.
  • Picture of Jeffrey Dahmer
  • Probable Causes

    1. 1. a brief look at serial murderers<br />By Deron L. Reed<br />Probable Causes<br />
    2. 2. Outline<br />Abstract<br />Introduction<br />Personality<br />Environment<br />Summary<br />Reference list<br />
    3. 3. Abstract<br /> It is unclear about how serial murderers are made. Some theorists suggest that the makings of serial killers come from a combination of psychological and environmental factors. This paper will explore briefly about how each of these factors can contribute to the beginnings of a serial murderer. The terms killers and murderers will be used interchangeably but one thing is clear they are one in the same. <br />
    4. 4. Introduction<br />
    5. 5. Introduction cont.<br />
    6. 6. Introduction cont.<br />Serial murderers are one of the most disturbing personalities that we as a society have to deal with because no one could predict the strikes nor understand how they came to be. The mind of the serial killer is one of the most disturbing of all behavioral disorders and it is necessary to know why and how these people came to be. The purpose of the study of the minds of serial murderers is important to our society because the question is as simple as, “How can someone take another’s life without any remorse and do it repeatedly? <br />
    7. 7. Introduction cont.<br /> Understanding the link between biological and environment surroundings contributes significantly to the way we behave around others and the way we are perceived by others. Antisocial behaviors, child abuse, chemical imbalances, and harmful acts towards animals all contribute to the makeup of the most complex criminals on the planet. The studies of serial killers are important to us as a society because there could be (if the studies are conducted) a chance to understand the history, causes, and taxonomy of their behaviors to a possibility of opening ways to prevention. Such as recognizing troubling behavior early in childhood could be a way to prevent future events that could progress into a serial murderer.<br />
    8. 8. Personality<br /> “An individual&apos;s personality is the complex of mental characteristics that makes them unique from other people” (O’Neil, 2006).  It includes all of the patterns of thoughts and emotions that cause us to do and say things in particular ways.  There are many potential factors that are involved in shaping a personality.  These factors are usually seen as coming from biological including heredity and environmental factors.  However, the acquisition of values, beliefs, and expectations seem to be due more to socialization and unique experiences, especially during childhood. This is extremely important when we try to discover what separates the normal from the abnormal. Social interactions such as proper child rearing have been found to be missing in the childhoods of serial murderers which suggest that this is the beginnings of the path of destructive acts.<br />
    9. 9. Personality cont.<br />The child is more than likely a victim of physical and mental abuse by a family member or family friend. Many behavior disorders start to develop because of an abnormal childhood. For instance, delinquent acts such as the killing and mutilation of animals, pyromania, and theft have all been linked back to the childhoods of serial killers. Such an act was traced backed to Jeffery Dahmer’s childhood, who was known as one of the most notorious serial killers of our time. As the child develops, they become shut off from people as they develop antisocial behaviors, a natural hatred for people in general, and also the development of the narcissistic personality trait.<br />
    10. 10. Personality cont.<br />According to Knight (2006):<br /> The rage typically expressed in narcissists is rooted in the oral stage of development in which there is excessive innate aggression leading to oral hunger or greediness. Innate oral aggression plays a critical role in the development of pathological narcissism and has qualities of both pathological self-love and pathological object-love. (p. 1195)<br /> The personality traits found in serial murderers is only a portion of the makeup of the serial killer. The environmental factors also play a role into the development of serial murderers. <br />
    11. 11. Environment<br /> It is clear that serial killers are made not born. The social interactions between parents and child have a tremendous impact on what the child will strive to be. As human beings, we have all experienced rage in one way or another, but for some reason we have a barrier that keeps us from doing the unthinkable. Whatever one may call it, morals or social programming, either one provides us the blocks that keep us abiding the law. The blocks that have protected us from acting on our inner most feelings have been repressed in serial murders. What is most unfortunate is that these feelings become uncontrollable thus making serial murderers virtual slaves to their monstrous appetites. They are no longer able to function in the world of reality but instead live in a fantasy world. In the mind of the serial murderer, the fantasy world is the real world.<br />
    12. 12. Conclusion <br /> In conclusion, studying the criminal mind is important because the use of forensic evidence, predictability, profiling, and understanding are used by researchers to determine if there is a way to stop a person from evolving from a petty criminal to serial killer. Understanding the importance of recognizing that serial murderers evolve from childhood is noteworthy research that can be conducted. Early warning signs in childhood can contribute a lot to the determination of whether children can be predicted to go on towards a criminal career when adulthood is reached. It is important to give children the chance to explore their surroundings and make sense of the world but it is also important to provide a secure home with the proper system of rewards and punishments in order to promote healthy living. <br />
    13. 13. References <br />Knight, Z. G. (2007). Sexually motivated serial killers and psychology of aggression and &quot;evil&quot; within a contemporary psychoanalytical perspective. Journal of Sexual Aggression, 13(1), 21-35. Retrieved October 1, 2009, from<br />Knight, Z. G. (2006). Some thoughts on the psychological roots of the behavior of serial killers as narcissist: An object relations perspective. Social Behavior & Personality: An international journal, 34(10), 1189-1206. Retrieved October 1, 2009, from<br />Nolan, C. (2008). Animal abuse is often just the first step. Connecticut Law Tribune. Retrieved October 1, 2009, from<br />O&apos;Neil, D. (2006). Personality development. Retrieved October 16, 2009, from<br />Vronsky, P. (2004). Serial killers: The method and madness of monsters. Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated. Retrieved October 1, 2009, from<br />