Serial Killers Essays

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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 was then making attempts at catching him (Bardsley, Bell & Lohr).

Before Dennis was arrested, he had asked the police whether communications with them made through a floppy disk could be traced to him through any specific computer (Bardsley, Bell & Lohr).

Police's response was through a classified ad in a local newspaper. They told Rader that it would be OK to communicate through a floppy disk (Hansen, 2006).

The following weeks saw BTK send a floppy disk to a local TV station. Police traced…… [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 person's parents, teachers, or at peers. As children get older aggressive behavior continues. In school, some individuals begin to bully other children, some intentionally hurt others by name-calling or by using physical violence against others. Any of these kinds of actions are a possible sign of the person becoming a serial killer. Another possible sign is linked to the idea that there is an opposite to aggressive behavior, which is known as prosocial behavior. Some individuals at the adolescent age will already have an idea…… [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.