Serial Killers Essays Examples

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Serial Killer Named Dennis Rader

Words: 3225 Length: 10 Pages Document Type: Essay Paper #: 89491795

Dennis Rader (the BTK Killer)

Dennis Rader BTK: The Killer

Serial killers can be defined as people who murder at least three people in at least three separate occasions over a span of time mainly to satisfy themselves psychologically. While many of them suffer from Antisocial Personality Disorder, they adapt and present a normal front to people around them - a state Hervey Cleckley refers to as 'mask of sanity'. Some of the murders may have some sexual aspect to them. The murders may have been executed in such a way that there was some common characteristic in them. This could be sex, occupation, race, etc. Nonetheless, the victim's and the serial killer's race is seldom the same (Vronsky, 2004).

It is not yet known who exactly coined the term serial killer. Many believe that Robert Ressler, an FBI agent, or Robert D. Keppel may have been the one who coined it. The term came to popular usage due to the infamous criminal activities of David Berkowitzin and Ted Bundy (Vronsky, 2004).

Dennis Rader, alias BTK killer, believed that he had reached an understanding with the Wichita, Kan., police lt. Ken Landwehr, who was then heading the task force that…… [Read More]

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Signs of a Serial Killer as a Youth

Words: 2008 Length: 6 Pages Document Type: Essay Paper #: 80680490

Serial Killers

Early Signs of a Serial Killer

While every serial killer is different, there are certain signs that tend to be common to them. Many of these signs are seen well before adulthood, some even as early as childhood. Some of the major signs include a tendency for aggressive behavior, a tendency to engage in sadist behavior, an obsession with examples of behavior linked to serial killing, and a lack of empathy for others. Each of these four major signs will now be looked at in more detail.

One aspect of behavior that is common to serial killers is a tendency for aggressive behavior.

Aggression is defined as "behavior intended to injure another person" (Seamon & Kenrick 592). This aggression can be physical, for example, in the form of hitting another person. It can also be non-physical, for example, calling someone a hostile name. Aggression often begins as early as childhood. At this stage, it is normally seen via the way that the child responds to problems. For example, a child with aggressive tendencies will often respond to stressful situations by acting in aggressive ways. This can include shouting, yelling, and hitting. This action can be directed at the…… [Read More]

Butcher, J.N., Mineka, S., & Hooley, J.M. Abnormal Psychology. Boston: MA: Pearson Education.

Erikson, E.H. Identity: Youth and Crisis. New York: W.W. Norton & Company, 1994.
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Psychology of Serial Killer Investigations

Words: 1094 Length: 4 Pages Document Type: Essay Paper #: 78407414

Some of the 'tools of trade' a killer could incorporate to torture his victims as he seeks to facilitate his perversion include but they are not limited to "leather slave collars, handcuffs, cigarette lighters, whips, and adhesive or duct tape" (Keppel and Birnes, 2008).

Information about Torture: Its Relevance in Understanding a Killer's Signature

Peter Sutcliffe, yet another brutal and sadistic serial killer, can be seen as a classic example of those who went far than it was necessary to kill their victims. In some cases, killers tend to engage in a variety of other actions beyond the actual crime. These actions could include but they are not limited to unnecessary stabbing and some kind of bondage or binding. Peter Sutcliffe for instance was popular for repeatedly stabbing and slashing his victims.

Signature killers in the words of Flowers (2006) "tend to leave behind a 'calling card' or psychological signature unique to them at each crime scene." Information about torture could help investigators understand a killer's signature. Such info could particularly help the said investigators establish links between crimes. Beyond inflicting injuries that bring about the death of their victims, killers driven by the intense need to derive satisfaction from…… [Read More]

Works Cited:
Barkan, S. & Bryjak, G. (2011). Fundamentals of Criminal Justice: A Sociological View (2nd ed.). Sudbury, MA: Jones & Bartlett Learning.

Flowers, R.B. (2006). Sex Crimes: Perpetrators, Predators, Prostitutes, and Victims (2nd ed.). Springfield, Illinois: Charles C. Thomas.
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Orbitofrontal Cortex and the Serial Killer According

Words: 675 Length: 2 Pages Document Type: Essay Paper #: 37885255

Orbitofrontal Cortex and the Serial Killer

According to Portales, "what lies behind the eyes" of the serial killer "is the key to his psychopathy." The orbitofrontal cortex is the neural region directly behind the eyes and is the last to develop. Portales quotes authoritative research that, due to childhood traumatic experiences, in some individuals the ortbitofrontal cortex -- the tool judgment and decision making -- may never completely develop: "individuals who have had damage to [this] area can observe social situations, but fail to respond to these situations in an appropriate manner." Damage can be caused through various factors including head trauma, physical abuse, emotional neglect, and antisocial parenting, many, if not all of these, introduced early in the child's development. What happens as a result is stagnated prefrontal development where emotion overrules reasoning and individuals give in to their craving.

In the case of the sexual predator, for instance, the phenylethylamine (PEA), a neurotransmitter that normally creates the romantic rush felt upon attraction, helps him select his victim and drives him to consummation of act. A healthy individual can control this neurotransmitter, analyzing his object of attraction and waiting until new spurts of the PEA arrive. Serial killers, however,…… [Read More]


Portales, A. Behind the Monsters' Eyes The Role of the Orbitofrontal Cortex in Sexually Psychopathic Serial Crime. Retrieved on 8/14/2011from:
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Craig Price Confessions of a Teenage Serial Killer

Words: 1350 Length: 5 Pages Document Type: Essay Paper #: 90771051

Craig Price

The story of Craig Price is tragic, violent and troubling. For these very reasons it is important to investigate this man's life and childhood in order to better understand the effects of juvenile delinquency and how they possibly related to his behavior. The purpose of this paper is to describe and postulate how Craig Price's violent behavior relates to theories of juvenile delinquency and how he developed into a killer and a significant terror and burden to society. I will examine this case by providing background information and then applying three separate general theories of juvenile delinquency including, rational choice theory, social understanding theory and labeling theory. Included in each analysis will be the important factors in each theory that correspond or do not correspond to Price's case.


In September of 1989 three dead bodies were found in Warwick RI. In an investigation into the serial killings of four people the name of Craig Price became a person of interest after he was caught lying to a couple of policemen who knew the 16-year-old at the time. Price became a suspect and later failed a polygraph test. Price confessed of the murders and also confessed to…… [Read More]

Bell, R. (2004). Craig Price: confessions of a teenage serial killer. Crime Library, viewed 3 Dec, 2012. Retrieved from

DuRant, R.H., & Cadenhead, C. (1994, April). Factors associated with the use of violence among urban black adolescents. Journal of Public Health, 84, 4.
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Green River Serial Killer the Investigation Into

Words: 1150 Length: 4 Pages Document Type: Essay Paper #: 28740305

Green River Serial Killer

The investigation into the case of the Green River killer stretched from 1982 to 2001, before Gary Ridgway was finally arrested for murdering 48 women. Ridgway's case is distinguished by the length and expense of the homicide investigation. This paper examines the investigation into the case of the Green River killer.

Early years

The so-called Green River killings got their name in 1982, when the first victims were found. From July through to December of that year, 16 young women disappear from the areas around Seattle and Tacoma, Washington. Six bodies are later found in the Green River in Kent, Washington, dead of strangulation. During this time, Gary Ridgway lived in just three miles from the Green River ("Gary Leon Ridgway timeline").

The Green River killings continue through 1983, including eight women who were later found near a cemetery in Auburn. Most of the missing women are in their late teens and early 20s, and many of the victims are also prostitutes. The number of victims continues to rise through 1984. The bodies of six more victims are found in various wooded areas around the Green River ("Gary Leon Ridgway timeline").

The Green River Task Force…… [Read More]

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Psychology of Serial Killer Investigations

Words: 1003 Length: 3 Pages Document Type: Essay Paper #: 61597967

To begin with, the violence Sutcliffe meted out to his unfortunate victims was largely sexualized. Apart from being exclusively women, most of Sutcliffe's victims were prostitutes. Further, it can also be noted that in most cases, Sutcliffe first and foremost sought to render his victims incapable of defending themselves. This in most cases he accomplished by striking them with a hammer. Most of Sutcliffe's attacks also seem to have been planned well in advance. This is more so the case given the similarity of all his victims as well as use of similar weapons in his attack. Russell's murders on the other hand had several characteristics which did not match any of the other HITS database murders (Keppel and Birnes 2008). These characteristic had to do with victims' body posing, preferred method of body disposal and foreign objects insertion (sexual) into a victim's body (Keppel and Birnes 2008).

What the Selected Case Means to Me

All the attacks Sutcliffe occasioned on his victims in addition to being brutal obviously also caught his victims by surprise. He also sought to degrade his victims by badly mutilating their bodies after subduing them. All these victims had families and friends who loved them.…… [Read More]

Works Cited:
Crime and Investigation Network. (2011). Peter Sutcliffe: The Yorkshire Ripper. Retrieved October 12, 2012, from the Crime and Investigation Network website: -- the-yorkshire-ripper/arrest.html

Keppel, R.D. & Birnes, W.J. (2008). Serial Violence: An Analysis of Modus Operandi and Signature Characteristics of Killers. New York: Taylor & Francis Group.
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Behavior of a Serial Killer Many People

Words: 748 Length: 2 Pages Document Type: Essay Paper #: 28168773

behavior of a serial killer? Many people attribute genetics to some of the actions of a serial killer, but is environment more of a determining factor? People who usually kill have had very traumatic childhoods. And although in some cases genes may have led to a faster decline in a person's psyche than a regular person, it begs to ask if people are made into monsters vs. simply being born one. A case that comes to mind is the woman who worked as a prostitute and killed her clients as a means of retribution for the damage inflicted upon her in her life by men. Her trauma and destitution fueled her desire to even the playing field and force herself to become something she and a couple others feel will end the pain of their existence.

Second Response:

It is quite clear that what parents do during the existence of their child will have a direct impact on the way their children live their lives. Every action leads to a consequence and unfortunately people affect others by simply doing things that generate darkness and chaos. What can be done to stop the cycle of misery and suffering? It seems the…… [Read More]

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Btk Killer Dennis Rader

Words: 1146 Length: 3 Pages Document Type: Essay Paper #: 76315972

Dennis Rader, BTK Killer

There are few things in society today that horrify or fascinate us as much as serial killers. Murderers like Ted Bundy and Jeffrey Dahmer fill us with fear while also inspiring us to study them and use them as subjects of fiction. Indeed, fictional serial killer Dexter Morgan has millions of fans across the world. When examining the lives an actions of these killers, it is always interesting and shocking to see how easily they blended into their social contexts before their actions were know. A common reaction to the exposure and capture of such a serial killer is often one of disbelief, accompanied by cries to the effect that "he was such a quiet, nice person." This was also the case with Dennis Lynn Rader, a serial killer who committed his first murder in 1974, but was only caught, convicted, and incarcerated in 2005.

Rader was born in 1945 in Wichita, Kansas. At school, nothing particularly set him apart from his classmates. He was an average pupil, a Boy Scout, and attended church regularly. Rader claimed that he was dropped on his head as a young child, but there is no substancial proof for this…… [Read More]

Blanco, J.I. (n.d.) Dennis Rader -- BTK Killer -- A Biography. Retrieved from: 

Bryant, M. (2005, May 30). The Murderer Next Door. The University of Texas at Austin. Retrieved from:
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Belle Gunness Serial Murder Is a Thankfully

Words: 774 Length: 2 Pages Document Type: Essay Paper #: 98369704

Belle Gunness

Serial murder is a thankfully rare occurrence, but not rare enough. Per the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) organization and categorization standards, in order to be classified as a serial killer, a person must have committed at least three homicides over a period of time. There are many different types of serial killers; those that kill for profit and those that kill for sexual gratification. Among the rarest of serial killers is the female serial murderer. Only three percent of all serial killers are female and those that choose to commit these crimes do so most often have financial gain as a motive. One of the most notorious female serial killers of all time was Belle Gunness who murdered not only a large number of affluent male suitors, but very likely also killed her own children and an unknown woman in order to fake her own death and escape unpunished by the American judicial system.

Belle Gunness was born in Selbu, Norway in 1859 and then immigrated to the United States sometime in 1881 (Gibson 2010,-page 35). Three years later, Gunness married Mads Sorenson and they opened a confectionary store. The store mysteriously burned down and Gunness was…… [Read More]

Gibson, Dirk Cameron (2010). "Belle Gunness." Serial Killing for Profit: Multiple Murder for Money. Greenwood: Santa Barbara, CA. 35-51
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Strangulation and Serial Murder the

Words: 1860 Length: 6 Pages Document Type: Essay Paper #: 73917838

Ridgeway is known to have specifically targeted prostitutes, with whom he had a love-hate attitude towards, and runaways, whose disappearances would not raise too many concerns. Ridgeway was convicted of killing 48 women, but confessed to killing 71 in the Washington state region. Ridgeway would strangle his victims from behind, transitioning from manual to ligature strangulation after he became worried that defensive wounds from his victims would raise suspicion. His victims were killed at his home, in his truck, or in a secluded area. Ridgeway is known to have contaminated his crime scenes in order to deter police and many times transported his victims across state lines. Though the exact dates of Ridgeway's criminal activities are unknown, he actively killed during the 1980s and 1990s, with most of his crimes occurring between 1982 and 1984 (Bell, 2011). Though Ridgeway was initially a suspect in the Green River killings in 1983, police were sidetracked by Charles Clinton Clark, a serial rapist in the area who made reference to the Green River Killer to his victims, and a taxi driver who knew five of the victims. Ridgeway continued to elude police throughout the investigation. He was arrested in 1982 and 2001 on…… [Read More]

Pocket Books.

Stone, M. 2009. The Anatomy of Evil. Amherst: Prometheus Books.
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Green River Killer

Words: 1603 Length: 5 Pages Document Type: Essay Paper #: 34182747

Green River Killer

In 1982, the remains of a number of young women started to show up in the area surrounding Seattle. These women were all relatively young and shared a lifestyle, prostitution and street life, that made them easy targets for a killer. Before the slayings officially ended in 1998, a total of 42 women would be thought to be potential victims of the Green River Killer with the potential for many more being added to the list. Some believe that as many as 90 women may have been murdered by Gary Ridgeway. Ridgeway eluded police for almost two decades, even though he was a suspect in several of the disappearances, and was finally caught as a result of DNA evidence garnered from some of his earliest victims. This paper looks at the early life of Gary Ridgeway as it applies to the case, the murders themselves, how forensic evidence helped to solve it, the final capture and Ridgeway's day in court.


Gary Ridgeway was born in 1949 in Salt Lake City, Utah. He was one of three brothers, both of whom still live in the Salt Lake City area, and was the son of a domineering mother.…… [Read More]

Works Cited:
Douglas, J. (2007). Interviewing murderers and suspects: Learn about the crime and the killer. The Forensic Examiner, 16(2), 44-51.

Guillen, T., & Smith, C. (2003, Nov 6). What went wrong? Police at first failed to notice a pattern. The Seattle Times. Retrieved from
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Criminal Justice - Profiling Serial

Words: 581 Length: 2 Pages Document Type: Essay Paper #: 35099272

The perpetrator may even have a documented prior criminal history involving physical or sexual assaults of victims with some of the same characteristics as the current series of victims. More likely than not, the perpetrator is a product of a home in which children witnessed physical abuse of their mother and/or experienced physical abuse themselves.

The fact that all but one victim shows evidence that the force used in the murder far exceeded that necessary to achieve death by strangulation suggests that the perpetrator possesses a significant amount of anger, even rage, at someone represented by his victims. The fact that all but one of the victims suffered a broken neck suggests that the perpetrator is more likely under the age of 50 than older, and more likely either a large or physically robust individual or both. Suggested Investigatory Focus:

Based on preliminary analysis of the behavioral evidence, it is suggested that the perpetrator is likely to be a physically robust black male under the age of 50 with a prior criminal record for crimes of violence against female victims as well as other street crimes, possibly in connection with prostitution and/or narcotics. Finally, the pattern of phone notification to…… [Read More]

Gerrig, R., Zimbardo, P. (2005) Psychology and Life 17th Edition. Boston: Allyn & Bacon.

Innes, B. (2007) Serial Killers: The Stories of History's Most Evil Murderers. London: Quercas.
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Zodiac Killer in San Francisco

Words: 1695 Length: 6 Pages Document Type: Essay Paper #: 65431167

Graysmith notes the results of a comparison of Starr's printing to the Zodiac letters, but there was no match (Graysmith 266-267). As noted, Graysmith also had an explanation for how the Zodiac might have disguised his printing, but clearly the letters have not been linked to anyone for certain. The fact that the Zodiac stopped killing has been the focus of a good deal of speculation as well, including that he could be dead, that he might be in prison for some other crime, or that for some unknown reason he just stopped. No one really knows the answer to this question, either. A killer in New York later used the name Zodiac and even claimed to be the Zodiac, but that has been discounted by most observers. Earlier killings in Riverside and elsewhere were alter attributed to the Zodiac as well, though again, no one is certain if this connection is real or not.

Law enforcement has become better equipped over the past thirty years to cope with this sort of crime, with the aforementioned use of profiles, with DNA as a new tool, and with the creation of units dedicated specifically to this type of crime. Even so,…… [Read More]

American Psychiatric Association. Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Quick Reference Guide (4th ed.). Washington, DC: American Psychiatric Association, 1994.

Egger Steven a. Serial Murder: An Elusive Phenomenon. New York: Praeger, 1990.
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Ethics Media's Role in Btk Killer Case

Words: 1330 Length: 4 Pages Document Type: Essay Paper #: 9042070

Media's Role in the BTK Killer Case

There have been several serial murder cases which feature killers who play with the attention of the public through their manipulation of the media for various reasons. However, with the actual publication of messages supposedly from mass murderers, the ethical role of the media is put to the test. Many believe that publishing these messages increases the chances of catching the murderer in question; but in the case of the BTK Killer in Wichita Kansas, the publication of such messages by a local newspaper The Eagle provided little information to law enforcement officials and an arrest was made decades after the onslaught of the murders. Examples such as these show how publishing such communications may in fact be too much information for the public to handle and at the same time just continues to encourage the killer to commit more and more violent crimes. This specific case shows that the media's role in such events is sometimes just as hindering, if not more so, than it is helpful with the actual investigation.

The case of the BTK killer in Wichita Kansas is one of gruesome murders and little success from law enforcement until…… [Read More]

Maher, Kelly J. "Media Ethics: Media's Role in BTK Case Questioned." University of Minnesota. Study of Media Ethics and Law. May. 2008.

Merritt, Davis, Mccombs, Maxwell. The Two W's of Journalism: The What and Why of Public Affairs Reporting. Lawrence Erlbaum Associates. 2004.
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Theodore Robert Bundy the Serial

Words: 716 Length: 2 Pages Document Type: Essay Paper #: 37217545

That victim survived. A month later, Bundy broke into Lynda Ann Healy's room, beat her unconscious, dressed her, kidnapped her, and then took her to a location where he killed her and sexually assaulted her. Several other young women fell victim to Bundy while he was in Washington. Sometimes he faked an injury, specifically a broken arm or a broken leg, to get the women close enough to him to kidnap. When Bundy moved to Utah for law school in 1974, the disappearances in Washington stopped and a string of kidnappings, rapes and murders began in Idaho, Utah, and Colorado. While he used a variety of means to kill the women, most of them were bludgeoned to death.

In August 1975, Bundy was arrested when a police officer noticed several disturbing items during a routine traffic stop. They could not get sufficient evidence to charge him, but began building a case against him. After Bundy sold his car, the police impounded it and found physical evidence tying Bundy to some of his victims. In 1976, Bundy was found guilty of kidnapping Carol DaRonch, and then charged with the murder of Caryn Campbell. He escaped from his murder trial during the…… [Read More]

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Portrait of a Killer Jack

Words: 1592 Length: 5 Pages Document Type: Essay Paper #: 82549005

On one hand he was portrayed by the Cornwell was the killer of the prostitutes while on the other Sickert was a staunch defender of the sanctity of marriage and reportedly even fired one of his most important dealers for dumping his wife of 25 years for a younger woman. Sickert's wife even gave evidence that the last thee killings by the Ripper were committed in London in a time when Walter had gone to France while Cornwell did not agree. Alibis have important place in criminal investigation cases. Similarly, eye witnesses also have their importance. The eye witnesses in case of Jack the Ripper gave a different description of the killer as compared to the appearance of Sickert while Cornwell dismissed such accounts with the point-of-view that he must have created a different appearance using different materials like dark grease paint, hair dye etc.

In most criminal investigations the solid case is built on real evidences rather than loose connections or vague psychoanalysis. Cornwell did delve into criminal investigation and incriminated Sickert in the case of Jack the Ripper however, her methods and tactics were different from the ones used in real life investigations by the detectives.


Jack…… [Read More]

Works Cited:
Jack the Ripper, the Dialectic of Enlightenment and the Search for Spiritual Deliverance in White Chappell Scarlet Tracings. Contributors: Alex Murray - author. Journal Title: Critical Survey. Volume: 16. Issue: 1. Publication Year: 2004. Page Number: 52+.

Nickell, J. (March-April, 2003). The strange case of Pat the Ripper - Portrait of a Killer: Jack the Ripper, Case Closed by Patricia Cornwell - book review. Available at
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Grim Sleeper There Is a

Words: 710 Length: 2 Pages Document Type: Essay Paper #: 23924551

He was arrested the next day, Steinhauer continues.

Meanwhile, when police were investigating Franklin's residence and his garage in back of his house, they discovered "about 1,000 photographs and hundreds of hours of video footage of women," Blankstein reported. Some of the images were just "innocent snapshots" but others showed women in "various states of undress and in sexual poses," Blankstein wrote. Because detectives feared that some of the women in those photos may have been killed too, they reviewed and researched records of unsolved murders. When they were not able to link many of the photos (except two) to killings, the LAPD decided to release the photos to the Los Angeles Times.

In January, 2011, the Los Angeles Times printed the photos (only using the faces) of 160 women on the front page of the newspaper. The LAPD posted the photos on their Website. In a few days 200 tips came in, some identifying women that were still alive, and others identifying family members or friends who had gone missing.

On January 28, police say they were able to link "two more slayings to alleged serial killer Lonnie Franklin Jr. persuading detectives that he never stopped killing during the…… [Read More]

Blankstein, Andrew, and Winton, Richard (2011). Grim Sleeper didn't 'sleep,' LAPD says.

The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved February 12, 2011, from .
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American Psycho in His Seminal Work American

Words: 2804 Length: 8 Pages Document Type: Essay Paper #: 44198717

American Psycho

In his seminal work American Psycho, Bret Easton Ellis uses the character of the yuppie serial killer Patrick Bateman in order to criticize American consumer culture while simultaneously challenging the reader to confront his or her own responses to that culture, responses that Ellis seems to suggest are only removed from the sociopathic actions of Bateman in a manner of degree, rather than kind. To see how Ellis uses the character of Patrick Bateman to explore the dual role of the serial killer as liberated individual and microcosmic representation of society, one may compare Bateman to the real life serial killer John Wayne Gacy, who managed to keep his multiple murders a secret for the better part of the 1970s. Examining Bateman's characterization alongside the history of Gacy's murders and seemingly normal civilian life will help to demonstrate how the fascination with the two-faced killer ultimately stems from a deep-seated acknowledgment that any given serial killer is only as monstrous as the society which produces it, and furthermore, that the public actually craves figures like this in order for them to serve as simultaneous symbols of liberation and condemnation.

Before examining Bateman and Gacy in greater detail, it…… [Read More]

Campbell, John W. "Professional Wrestling: Why the Bad Guy Wins." The Journal of American

Culture 19.2 (1996): 127-32.
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Criminal Profiling

Words: 3039 Length: 9 Pages Document Type: Essay Paper #: 15366797

Criminal Profiling as an Aid for Apprehending Serial Killers

Popular media loves to emphasize the role of the criminal profiler in apprehending serial killers. It has been a central them in books, television shows, and movies for the past two decades, and the concept of the feisty criminal profiler interviewing wily and brilliant convicted serial killers in an effort to gain insight into active serial killers has become so iconic that while it was once cutting edge, it is almost cliche at this point in time. However, many people would suggest that this image is a highly romanticized one and that serial killers are not generally captured through criminal profiling, but through more traditional forms of crime scene investigation and routine police procedure. In fact, some of these critics of profiling would actually suggest that the process can be harmful because of the possible misidentification of suspects.

This paper seeks to investigate the actual role that criminal profiling plays in the apprehension of serial killers. Does criminal profiling lead to a meaningful reduction in the list of potential suspects and therefore help investigators find the perpetrators of serial murder, or does profiling allow investigators to make educated guesses about the…… [Read More]

Bartol, C. (1996). Police psychology: Then, now, and beyond. Criminal Justice and Behavior,

23, 70-89.
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Theory Discussed Attempt Explain a Real Criminal

Words: 1193 Length: 4 Pages Document Type: Essay Paper #: 65800862

theory discussed attempt explain a real criminal crimes. Gary Ridgeway America's notorious serial killers. Your assignment analyze Ridgeway's criminal life Hans Eysenck's theory Personality.

When considering Gary Leon Ridgway's (The Green River Killer) criminal case in the context of Hans J. Eysenck's theory on personality and crime, one is likely to observe a series of parallels between the murderer's personality and behavior and a series of events that occurred throughout his life up to the moment when he became a serial killer. Eyseneck considered that genetics plays an important role in shaping one's personality and this thus points toward the belief that Ridgway was probably influenced by biological factors when he put across criminal thinking. According to Eyseneck, individuals like Ridgway have a neurophysiologic structure that influences them to express certain attitudes when they come across particular circumstances.

While someone might be inclined to think otherwise consequent to consulting the theory, it would be wrong to say that Ridgway was born a criminal, as when considering Eysenck's theory, such a person respond to a complex set of neurobiological factors, environments, and ideas. These respective factors played important roles in making Ridgway consider that it would be normal for him to…… [Read More]

Hadden, B, & Luce, H.R. (2002). Time, Volume 159.

Putwain, D., & Sammons, A. (2013). Psychology and Crime. Routledge.
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David Berkowitz Known as Son

Words: 3683 Length: 10 Pages Document Type: Essay Paper #: 91413393

She notified police and the parking ticket (because Berkowitz had parked too close to a fire hydrant) was traced to Berkowitz. But the police were just thinking that Berkowitz might be a witness; however, when the Yonkers police searched that Galaxie belonging to Berkowitz, they found a rifle and a .44 caliber Bulldog pistol -- along with detailed maps of the crime scenes that Berkowitz had created with his lust for killing women.

"What took you so long?" Berkowitz is reported to have asked as the officers arrested him. In time during questioning, Berkowitz either played like he was mentally unbalanced -- which he of course was -- or was just rambling because he claimed that the dog he had killed was possessed by some kind of demon, and that the dog was demanding that Berkowitz go and do the killing. Other claims by Berkowitz included that he was a member of an occultist group

Breslin remembers the Kings County courtroom scene in Brooklyn on May 22, 1978, when Berkowitz was brought before the judge for sentencing. "This little ball of suet…he was in handcuffs chained around his middle and had a dozen guards. Now he detonated. From his fat,…… [Read More]

Works Cited:
Breslin, Jimmy. (1993). 25th Anniversary. New York Magazine, 26(16), 153-154.

Brogaard, Berit. (2012). The Making of a Serial Killer / the Superhuman Mind. Psychology Today. Retrieved March 15, 2013, from
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Jeffery Dahmer

Words: 2674 Length: 8 Pages Document Type: Essay Paper #: 25529772

Dahmer Forensic Analysis

Jeffrey Lionel Dahmer

Crime Scene and Discovery

Never before has egregious police incompetence hindered the apprehension of a serial killer as in the case of Jeffrey Dahmer. When police were called to investigate an alleged domestic disturbance between Konerak Sinthasomophone and Jeffrey Dahmer on May 27, 1991. Although two women came to the aide of Sinthasomophone and urged police to look further into the alleged dispute, the police ignored their pleas and Dahmer was able to convince them that Sinthasomophone was his 19-year-old lover; if police had bothered to check Sinthasomophone's identification they would have seen that he was in fact only 14 years old (Bardsley, n.d.). Having convinced the police that Sinthasomophone and he were in the midst of a lovers' quarrel, Sinthasomophone was released into Dahmer's custody and by the end of the night, Sinthasomophone would become Dahmer's 13th victim (Bardsley, n.d.). Dahmer would proceed to murder four more young men before he was apprehended on July 22, 1991 after Tracy Edwards, his intended victim, escaped Dahmer's house of horrors and managed to flag down a police car and lead them back to Dahmer's home, located at the Oxford Apartments at 924 N. 25th Street…… [Read More]

Bardsley, M. (n.d.). Jeffrey Dahmer. Retrieved June 25, 2012, from TruTV:

Benedict, J. (2004). No Bone Unturned: Inside the World of a Top Forensic Scientist and His Work on America's Most Notorious Crimes and Disasters. New York: Harper Collins .
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Life of Dennis Rader

Words: 1827 Length: 5 Pages Document Type: Essay Paper #: 31110814

Dennis Rader (BTK Killer)

Dennis Rader who is commonly as the BTK killer was born in Kansas in 1945 and was the first born of four siblings born to William and Dorothea Rader. He is renowned as an American serial killer who carried out the murder of 10 individuals in Sedgwick County between 1974 and 1991 around Wichita, Kansas. Dennis Rader's nickname as BTK killer or BTK strangler is derived from the method he used in killing his victims. In essence, Rader used bind, torture and kill to execute his serial murders, which resulted in his nickname as BTK killer. Dennis Rader derived great joy and pleasure from killing to an extent that he wanted his nickname on the list of the worst serial killers across the globe. Similar to most depraved serial killers, the BTK killer or BTK strangler covered his demon behind an ordinary human's facade.

Dennis Rader's Early Life

Dennis Rader is the first born of four sons born to William Elvin Rader and Dorothea Mae Cook who grew up in Wichita, Kansas though he was born in Pittsburg. He was born on March 9, 1945 and attended Riverview School and later Wichita Heights High School (Blanco,…… [Read More]

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Biological and Psychological Determinism Theories

Words: 581 Length: 2 Pages Document Type: Essay Paper #: 74814678

Environmental determinism relies on the importance of the physical environment around the individual in relation to that individual's behavior. Applying the ideas of environmental determinism to serial murder means that one would believe the physical environment of a murderer would be the most influential factor which determines them to kill. However; this more generalized theory does not fully account for why a murderer would commit mass or multiple murders. Rather, like many other generalized theories attempting to explain seemingly senseless violence, it just poses a theory for why individuals would be driven to kill in the first place.

The trauma-control model, formulated by Hickey, gives a more in depth look at why individuals would turn from murderers to serial murderers. According to this model, individuals can harbor intense feelings of depression and rejection. As these feelings are amplified throughout life, that individual's tendency to engage in abnormal behaviors would increase. If that individual were to commit murder, and gain a sense of power never before experienced, that individual will continue to commit murder again to once again dismiss their depression. Therefore, an individual who has committed one murder involving sadistic methodologies such as torture, will have increased likelihood of continuing…… [Read More]

Egger, Steven. Serial Murder: An Illusive Phenomenon. Praeger Publishers. 1990.

Purcell, Catherine E., Arrigo, Bruce a. The Psychology of Lust Murder: Paraphernalia,
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Zodiac Speaking Into the Mind

Words: 1033 Length: 4 Pages Document Type: Essay Paper #: 96426849

Douglas states that one of the most complicated in which the geography of a series of murders seemed to play a part, was that of the Zodiac killer (Profiling and Geography). Furthermore, in a study of 300 serial killers, it was found that 2.3% had turned themselves in, one way or another. However, this does not include those who might have made mistakes as a subconscious way to reveal themselves, but only those who initiated police awareness of them. There are many interpretations of their intent, and even as to their actual guilt, but it's nevertheless an error to say they never do it (the Myth).

From the evidence in this paper, it is clear that if a child is left alone, or forced to live in isolation, their minds become the object of their company, which begins the daydreams and the fantasy world (Ressler, Douglas and Burgess, 1990). Isolation tends to breed feelings of inadequacy in some way or other in all serial killers. These feelings run deeper than the normal neurotic feelings of not being good enough. Along with that, these early life attachments which are known as 'bonding', set up a map by which the child will…… [Read More]

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Dr Gary Kaniuk Consultation Triage & Testimony

Words: 580 Length: 2 Pages Document Type: Essay Paper #: 59358934

Dr. Gary Kaniuk

Consultation Triage & Testimony in Forensic Psychology

Yvette Riley

Female Serial Killers -- An Introduction

The heinous act of murder has been outlawed by various authorities, states, jurisdictions, and by many religions for thousands of years. One of the best known of the Ten Commandments ("Thou Shalt Not Kill") is explicitly clear on killing. But when the perpetrator kills more than one person, and continues the killing at intervals, it is called serial killing and that is the subject of this research.

given that only one out of every six serial killers is female, there has been a lack of understanding and also a lack of empirical research that leads to a better understanding of these hideous crime sprees by females. That dearth of knowledge should be supplemented with more research.

Female Serial Killers -- Data & Histories in the Literature

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) places five "typologies" on female serial killers who act independently of others. Those five are: a) "black widow" (she kills "multiple spouses, partners and relatives"; b) "angel of death" (in order to gain "medical attention" she kills people that are in her care; for example she may be a caregiver…… [Read More]

Works Cited:
The Case of Aileen Wuornos

Aileen Wuornos is a notorious serial killer whose story can be found in many journals and law enforcement documents. In the Journal of Criminal Justice Research & Education the authors describe Wuornos as the \"first predatory female serial killer\" who was a Florida prostitute and killed the men she picked up as \"Johns\" (Weatherby, et al., 2008). In a twelve-month period -- from December, 1989 to November, 1990 -- it was reported that Wuornos killed seven male \"johns\" (Weatherby). After being charged with six
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Jeffrey Dahmer While the Crimes That Are

Words: 1664 Length: 5 Pages Document Type: Essay Paper #: 98948566

Jeffrey Dahmer

While the crimes that are committed by serial killers are beyond reproach, the atrocities committed continuously capture the attention of the public, sometimes fulfilling a morbid fascination with the perpetrators. The reasons and motivations that drive a serial killer to commit these crimes are for the most part unknown, however extensive studies have been conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigations and psychologists to try and pinpoint the factors that may influence an individual. Jeffrey Dahmer is one of the most infamous serial killers in American history. Not only did Dahmer kill a series of men, he also horribly mutilated them and cannibalized several of his victims.

In many serial murders, sexual desire and gratification, as well as domination and manipulation, are motivating factors. Douglas and Olshaker (1999) contend that serial murderers commit homicidal acts because they find fulfillment in the acts themselves and they will continue to kill for as long as they are able to. Serial murders experience a sexual thrill and pleasure through the homicide itself and he, or she, will continue to kill, maintaining the belief that law enforcement officials will not catch him or her. While law enforcement officials and behavioral scientists investigate…… [Read More]

Arrigo, B. (2006). Criminal Behavior: A Systems Approach. Upper Saddle Creek: Pearson

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Jack the Ripper

Words: 1714 Length: 4 Pages Document Type: Essay Paper #: 67009956

Jack the Ripper

The mystery of Jack the Ripper has led to much speculation and countless stories about who the killer might possibly be. From an alien to the royal physician, there is no shortage of suggestions or myths about the motives and resources Jack the Ripper would have needed in order to carry-out such horrendous and meticulous crimes. In this essay, we will discuss the individuals suspected by Scotland Yard, and develop our own hypothesis by constructing a typology of Jack the Ripper that includes the killer's potential sociological background, physique, their understanding of sexuality and violence, and most importantly, psychological condition.

According to Larry S. Barbee of, three suspects were seriously considered by Scotland Yard to be Jack the Ripper. In a confidential report by Chief Constable Sir Melville Macnaghten, M.J. Druitt is named as a primary suspect in the murders. (Barbee, 2011) A lawyer who supplemented his income as an assistant headmaster at a boy's boarding school, M.J. Druitt was mistakenly thought to be a doctor by the Chief Constable. For unknown reasons, Druitt was dismissed from his position at the school, ending his life nearly a month later by throwing himself into the Thames (Barbee,…… [Read More]

Barbee, L. (2011). Casebook: jack the ripper. Retrieved from

Bardsley, M. (2011). Jack the ripper. Retrieved from
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Aileen Wuornos and a General Theory of Crime

Words: 1661 Length: 5 Pages Document Type: Essay Paper #: 37299483

Crime and Aileen Wuornos

Criminal theories based on biological, psychological, sociological, and socio-psychological factors have been constructed in an attempt to better identify the causes of crime and what drives an individual to behave in a deviant manner. While data on male serial killers is prevalent, the data and statistics available in regards to female serial killers are extremely limited. One of the most well-known female serial killers, in recent years, is Aileen Wuornos whose criminal career was thrown into the spotlight with the 2003 film Monster. Wuornos is the first convicted female serial killer in the United States; she was subsequently executed in 2002 for her crimes.

Aileen Wuornos is considered to be the first predatory female serial killer in the U.S. And there are many factors that may have led her to develop criminal behaviors. Wuornos was born on February 29, 1956 to Diane Wuornos and Leo Pittman (Arrigo & Griffin, 2004, p. 383). At the age of six months and then again when Wuornos was two, Wuornos and her 11-months older brother, Keith, were abandoned by their mother and subsequently taken in by their abusive grandparents, Lauri and Britta Wuornos. Wuornos never met her biological father, Pittman,…… [Read More]

Arrigo, B. (2006). Criminal Behavior: A Systems Approach. Upper Saddle Creek: Pearson

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Ted Bundy

Words: 2826 Length: 8 Pages Document Type: Essay Paper #: 70222762

Ted Bundy: All-American Serial Killer

When women began disappearing in and around Seattle, Washington in 1974, nobody suspected Theodore Robert "Ted" Bundy would be behind their disappearances. Bundy was, after all, a student at the University of Washington, a political volunteer, and a suicide hotline operator. Again, no one would suspect him of being involved in the disappearances and murders of various women around Salt Lake City, Utah when he attended law school at the University of Utah, however, when he was arrested in August 1975, it was discovered that Bundy had been involved in the disappearances of at least 24 women in Washington, Oregon, Utah, Colorado. After he was extradited to Colorado, he escaped custody on two, occasions, on June 7, 1977 and December 30, 1977, which gave him the opportunity to make his way to Florida and kill at least six more women before he was finally apprehended and sentenced to death.

Victims, Crime Scenes, and Discoveries

One of the reasons that Bundy was initially so difficult to apprehend was his organization as a killer. In Serial Killers: The Method and Madness of Monsters, Peter Vronsky (2004) states, "Bundy was so organized that the police never located the…… [Read More]

Bell, R. (n.d.). Ted Bundy. Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods. Accessed 20 April

2013, from