Serial Killers Essays (Examples)

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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:

CI Network (2013). Dennis Rader: The BTK Killer. Retrieved from:

Mann, D. (2013). Portrait of a Psychopath. WebMD. 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]

Works Cited:

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]

Reference List:

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


Bell, R. 2011. "Green River Killer: River of Death." TruTV. Retrieved from

Douglas, J. & Mark Olshaker. 1999. The Anatomy of Motive. New York: A Lisa Drew
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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]


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

Lackey, B., Jones, C., & Johnson, J. (2005). Gary Leon Ridgeway: Green River Killer. Retrieved,%20Gary %20-%202005.pdf

Lewis, J.A., & Cuppari, M. (2009). The polygraph: The truth lies within. Journal of Psychiatry & Law, 37(1), 85-92.
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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]

Sources Consulted

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.

Schmalleger, F. (2001) Criminal Justice Today: An Introductory Text for the 21st Century. Hoboken, NJ: Prentice Hall
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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]

Works Cited

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.

Graysmith, Robert. Zodiac. New York: Berkley, 2007.

Green River Killings." The Seattle Times (19 Nov 2004). April 1, 2007.
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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]

Works Cited

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.… [Read More]


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]

Works Cited

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

The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved February 12, 2011, from .

Blankstein, Andrew, and Winton, Richard. (2011). LAPD officials doubt there was gap in 'Grim Sleeper' serial killings. Los Angeles Times. Retrieved February 11, 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]

Works Cited

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

Culture 19.2 (1996): 127-32.

Ellis, Bret Easton. American Psycho. New York: Vintage Books, 1991.

Hantke, Steffen. "the Kingdom of the Unimaginable": The Construction of Social Space and the Fantasy of Privacy in Serial Killer Narratives." Literature/Film Quarterly 26.3 (1998):
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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.

Douglas, J. (2008). John Douglas: Legendary head of the FBI's Investigative Support Unit.

Retrieved February 27, 2012 from John Douglas Mind Hunter website:
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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]

Works cited:

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

Putwain, D., & Sammons, A. (2013). Psychology and Crime. Routledge.

Marsh, I. (2006). Theories of Crime. Routledge.

Morehead, P. (2012). The Green River Serial Killer.
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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

Caputi, Jane. (1987). The Age of Sex Crime. Madison, WI: Popular Press.

Crossman, Ashley. (2013). Labeling Theory. 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 .

Copeland, L. (2002, May 31). Skeleton Keys: Smithsonian Anthropologists Unlock Secrets in Bones of Ancestors and Crime Victims. Retrieved June 25, 2012, from Washington Post: 

Crime and Investigation Network. (n.d.). Jeffrey Dahmer. Retrieved June 25, 2012, from
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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]


Anderson, P. (2014, October 7). Dennis Rader -- aka the 'BTK Killer' -- Wanted His Nickname

on the List of the World's Worst Serial Killers. Herald Sun. Retrieved December 5, 2014, from

Blanco, J.I. (n.d.). Dennis Lynn Rader. Retrieved December 5, 2014, from 

"Dennis Rader Biography." (n.d.). Biography. Retrieved December 5, 2014, from
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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,

Sexual Killing, and Serial Homicide. 1st ed. Academic Press. 2006.
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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]

In their research the authors reference Hickey (1986) who studied 34 cases of female serial killers between the years 1795 and 1988; half of those serial killers had a male accomplice and the average age of the women was 33 years. Six of the 34 women were nurses, which fits the FBI category "angel of death" (Frei, 169). The authors also reference studies by Wilson and Hilton (1998), who analyzed 105 female serial killers; they found that the "preferred means of killing was poisoning" (Frei, 169). Meanwhile a study of 86 cases in the U.S. (Kelleher and Kelleher, 1998) found that the most common victims were "...children, the elderly or spouses"; the majority of women doing the killing in these cases were "black widows" and they had active killing sprees that lasted more than ten years (Frei, 169). Why do women become serial killers? "Psychopathic traits and grossly abusive childhood experiences" have consistently been described as reasons for these crimes in both male and female serial murderers (Frei, 169).

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


Bardsley, M. (n.d.). "Jeffrey Dahmer." TruTV. Accessed 18 March 2012 from,

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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]

Works Cited

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


Arrigo, B. And Griffin, A. (2004). Serial Murder and the Case of Aileen Wuornos: Attachment

Theory, Psychopathy, and Predatory Aggression. Behavioral Sciences and the Law, 22, 375-393.
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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

Bowers, M. (2011, Oct. 23). Ted Bundy bitemarks and Richard Milone: How DNA, bitemark research and failed cases have changed bitemark analysis. Forensic Odontology -- Bitemark Evidence. Accessed 20 April 2013, from 

Boynton, G. (2007). Ted Bundy: the serial killer next door. Crimes and Trials of the Century.
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Psycho 1960 Film Movie Analysis

Words: 617 Length: 2 Pages Document Type: Essay Paper #: 23661421

Movie Analysis: Psycho (1960 film)

The movie's most relevant cast for this discussion includes Norman, Norman's mother (Mrs. Bates), and Marion. After the death of his dad, Norman becomes entirely dependent on the love, attention, and support of his mother. It is for this reason that when she (Norman's mother) takes in a lover, Norman feels as if he is no longer a priority in his mother's life -- he feels as if he has been replaced. Apparently, he can't stand sharing her and as a result of his intense jealousy, he ends up killing not only his mother's lover but also his mother, through poisoning. However, he elects to preserve the corpse instead of having it buried -- in what could be seen as an attempt to perpetuate the illusion that his mother is not dead but is, instead, still alive. As a consequence, he begins to not only speak, but also think for her. He develops a split personality; whereby at times, he is Norman, and at other times, he assumes the identity of Mrs. Bates (Norman's mother).

As it is finally revealed later on in the movie, it was indeed 'Norman's Mother' (Norman's other persona) that murders…… [Read More]

Works Cited

Hickey, Erick W. Serial Murderers and their Victims. 6th ed. Belmont, CA: Cengage Learning, 2013. Print.

Jenkins, Philip. Using Murder: The Social Construction of Serial Homicide. New Brunswick, NJ: Transaction Publishers, 2009. Print.
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Created With an Aim to

Words: 3051 Length: 10 Pages Document Type: Essay Paper #: 55078969

However, this made Andrei use physical torture as means of controlling her which later lead to him killing her by hitting her head constantly. His aim was not to have a casual sex with the victim but to kill her and satisfy his physical needs, which he discovered during his previous thrilling encounter.

He also showed abnormal behaviors after sexual assault when he chewed and swallowed away one of the victim's nipples. The dead body of Larissa was found the next day with no clue of the murderer. His second victim was a thirteen-year-old girl named Liyuba Biryuk, which was followed on from a bus stop. The killing took place in June 1982 by introducing several stabs to the body including the eyes. The body was found two weeks later with no sign or clue. Two more youths were victimized in July, two in September and one in December (Jenkins, pg., 34). Out of these latest victims, two of them were found to be young boys. During December, he admitted killing a ten-year-old girl. Laura sarkisyan, an Armenian fifteen-year-old girl was his next victim shortly after the murder of the ten-year-old girl. The place of her buried was found only…… [Read More]

Works Cited

Askenasy, Hans. Cannibalism: from sacrifice to survival. Amherst, N.Y.: Prometheus Books, 1994.

Fido, Martin and David Southwell. True Crime. London: Carlton, 2010.

Jenkins, Philip. Using Murder. Chicago: Transaction Publishers, 1994.

Philbin, Tom and Michael Philbin. The Killer Book of Serial Killers. Chicago: Sourcebooks, Inc., 2009.
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Criminal Psychopathology Is the Science

Words: 2213 Length: 7 Pages Document Type: Essay Paper #: 72277983

He suggested the British model of profiling instead, based on the "bottom up" type of processing, which analyzes existing evidence of specific similarities between offense and offender characteristics. The CSA uses the reverse, the "top down" processing, which relies on subjective conclusions derived from investigative experience of crimes and criminal interviews by the police and investigators (Hayden).

Motive is the reason behind the commission of a crime (Zandt 2006). It is not an element of a crime, which needs to be proven in court. But some utterly heinous or unnatural crime may require it for the jury to understand and appreciate why it is committed. An example is the killing of one's own spouse or child. Prosecutors must clearly establish the motive, which is the offender's reason for committing what is considered unreasonable, heinous or unnatural. The prosecution must prove and convince the jury, explain and show how anyone can commit that offense or crime. The questions asked when investigating are who, what, when, where, why and how in order to solve a crime. Who is the victim, the crime, when it is committed, where and how it is committed. Of these questions, the less obvious or evident "why" is…… [Read More]


1. Court TV. (2006). The Art of Forensic Psychology. Criminal Profiling: Courtroom Television Network LLC.

2. Hayden, T. (2000). Offender Profiling. Murder in the UK:, 2006.

3. Muller, D.A. (2000). Criminal Profiling. Homicide Studies, Vol 4 (3), Sage Publications, Inc. pp 234-264

4. Strano, M. (2004). A Neural Network Applied to Criminal Psychological Profiling: an Italian Perspective. International Journal of Offender Therapy and Comparative Criminology: Sage Publications.
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Paul Bernardo and Karla Homolka

Words: 2686 Length: 8 Pages Document Type: Essay Paper #: 96495734

John Wayne Gacy, Jr.

Crime Scene and Discovery

When the police were called to search John Wayne Gacy's home in Des Plaines, Illinois on December 13, 1978, they were not aware that their investigation into the disappearance of fifteen-year-old Robert Piest would lead them to uncover some of the most grisly murders committed in the United States (Evans, 2007). Piest was last seen leaving a pharmacy where Gacy, then working as a contractor, had recently completed a remodeling job (Office of the Clark County Prosecuting Attorney, 2012). Three hours after his disappearance, his mother, Elizabeth Piest, notified the Des Plaines Police Department and Lt. Joseph Kozenczak was tasked with leading the investigation (Sullivan & Maiken, 1983, p. 7; Bell & Bardsley, n.d.). During his initial investigation, Lt. Kozenczak learned that Gacy had recently offered Piest a job and proceeded to go to Gacy's home, located at 8213 Summerdale Ave, to request that he accompany him to the police station for questioning (Bell & Bardsley, n.d.). At the time, Gacy told Lt. Kozenczak that he was presently unable to leave his house because he had to deal with a recent death in the family; however, Gacy did comply with Lt. Kozenczak's…… [Read More]


Associated Press. (2011, October 13). Detectives exhume bodies of eight unknown victims of 'Serial-killer Clown' John Wayne Gacy in bid to identify remains. Retrieved June 9, 2012, from Mail Online: 

Bell, R., & Bardsley, M. (n.d.). John Wayne Gacy, Jr. Retrieved June 9, 2012, from

Crime and Investigation Network. (2005). John Wayne Gacy: Killer Clown. Retrieved June 9, 2012, from Crime and Investigation Network:

Donovan, D. (2011, November 29). Another Gacy victim identified thorugh DNA evidence. Retrieved June 9, 2012, from Daily Herald:
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Sheriff Jim Jones Has a Propensity to

Words: 1625 Length: 5 Pages Document Type: Essay Paper #: 9134515

Sheriff Jim Jones has a propensity to denigrate minorities. He has a team of investigating officers that all belong to the Caucasian race. It implies that Sheriff Jones has recruited his team on a racial basis rather than on professional grounds. The impact of Sheriff Jones leadership is negative, and he was a highly relationship-oriented leader. Cooperation with the FBI team regarding the recent murder has also jeopardized due to Sheriff's non-cooperation with members of the FBI team. Community relations, the objectives of investigation, and the departmental reputation are put at stake due to the immoral behavior of Sheriff Jones.

What effect would this have on his leadership role with his officers? Explain.

The dominant perspective in the contemporary world is that team diversity is an appropriate team management approach to avoid discrimination. This also leads to add variety and organizational effectiveness (Thomas and Ely, 1996) to the company. Diversity is necessary for achieving the bottom-line of any team or organization. The case description indicates that Sheriff Jim Jones denigrates the minorities. He is publicly known for discrimination against racial minorities of the Deep South region. Sheriff's own team of officers is an all-Caucasian team whereas his team will have…… [Read More]


Bezrukova, K., Thatcher, S., Jehn, K.A., & Spell, C.S. (2012). The effects of alignments: Examining group faultiness, organizational cultures, and performance. Journal of Applied Psychology, 97(1), 77.

Brooke, J.K., & Tyler, T.R. (2010). Diversity and Corporate Performance: A Review of the Psychological Literature. NCL Rev., 89, 715-748.

Dal Bo, E., & Tervio, M. (2013). Self-esteem, moral capital and wrongdoing. Journal of the European Economic Association, 11(3), 599-663.

Dreachslin, J.L., Hunt, P.L., & Sprainer, E. (2000). Workforce diversity: implications for the effectiveness of health care delivery teams. Social science & medicine, 50(10), 1403-1414.
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Violent Crimes Mark Goudeau a

Words: 1022 Length: 3 Pages Document Type: Essay Paper #: 27835606

Crimes are classified as felonies or misdemeanors. Felony refers to serious crimes such as rape, murder, violent robbery, while misdemeanor refers to lesser crimes such as theft, fraud, or unlawful carrying of weapons.

2. Review the crimes of John Wayne Gacy. Classify his crimes and explain the classification. Examine each component of the classification modeling the examples used in the text. Use what you can find in published articles, interviews, and scholarly information on the web. Make sure to reference your sources.

John Wayne Casey was the notorious serial killer who was guilty of murdering at least thirty three young males between 1972 and 1978 in Chicago. His victims were males aged from twelve to their mid-twenties. His court trials began in 1980 after physical evidences pointed to his guilt and he had admitted to killing over thirty persons and burying them under his house. The prosecutors insisted that Gacy was a sane man guilty of premeditated and rational acts of crime, while the defense argued that Gacy was mentally unstable and thus unaware of the magnitude of the crime he had committed. Gacy awaited the execution of the sentence for years, giving the prosecutors different and conflicting testimonies in…… [Read More]


Bell, R., & Bardsley, M. (n.d.) John Wayne Gacy, Jr. TruTV. Retrieved from:

Crime classifications and definitions (n.d.) Retrieved from:

Description of sex offender criminal offenses (n.d.) the Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority. Retrieved from:

Hawkins, K. (n.d.). The Baseline Killer. TruTV. Retrieved from:
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Jack the Ripper

Words: 1304 Length: 5 Pages Document Type: Essay Paper #: 90095943

psychological examination of the story of Jack the Ripper. The actions of Jack the Ripper would pale in comparison to some of the more modern serial killers but the tale of Jack the Ripper lives on as one of the most historical cases the world has experienced. The writer delves into why this is true as well as the psychological aspects of the case. There were four sources used to complete this paper.

One of the most compelling issues in the case of Jack the ripper from 1888 is the fact that it has never been solved. The person who committed the murders of five prostitutes vanished as easily as he killed, without a trace (Jack The Ripper ( of the reasons that the case became as famous as it did and still holds the fascination of so many legal experts is because it was one of the first modern cases of serial killing. There had been murders in the past, where domestic squabbles ended in violence or because the involved parties felt they had been wronged by the victim, but serial killers were not a common occurrence. The case of Jack the Ripper sent a chill of fear throughout…… [Read More]


Jack The Ripper

Identity Unknown

Jack the Ripper: The Complete Casebook by Donald Rumbelow
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House Made of Dawn by N Scott Momaday

Words: 1388 Length: 5 Pages Document Type: Essay Paper #: 69202754

House Made of Dawn by N.Scott Momaday - An Extension of Central Thematic Preoccupations in Sherman Alexis' 'Indian Killer'

This is a two and half page paper on two novels. 'House Made of Dawn' by N. Scott Momaday though encompasses various genre of autobiography, history, fiction, memoirs, and ethnography, this paper will strive to present an analysis of the awakening factor highlighted in the strong wordings of the author, as also depicted in the novel 'Indian Killer' by Sherman Alexis.

The awakening of the Indian literature of the Americans, more commonly known as the Red Indians, achieved its breakthrough in the writings of Momaday, in particular his first novel 'House Made of Dawn' written in 1969. House Made of Dawn also had the distinction of getting the famous Pulitzer Prize. The novel presents a detailed insight into the Native American life, through the eyes of an Indian caught between the two world, one which took him to Vietnam and his return as a veteran, and the other, his ordeals after commission of a murder felony. Momaday successfully attempts to bring out and awaken the literary world on the existence of a culture that had always been there for possibly thousands…… [Read More]


Kenneth M. Roemer, accessed on 10.04.02

N. Scott Momaday: Biographical, Literary, and Multicultural Contexts, Modern American Poetry

Unknown author, *****, Literary/Historical Information, accessed on 10.04.02
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Jeffrey Dahmer on July 22nd 1991 Police

Words: 960 Length: 3 Pages Document Type: Essay Paper #: 34561917

Jeffrey Dahmer

On July 22nd 1991, police in Milwaukee Wisconsin came across a young man named Tracy Edwards running down he street with a pair of handcuffs attached to one wrist. Edwards told the police that he had been held captive in the apartment of Jeffrey Dahmer, who had threatened to kill Edwards. When the police interviewed Dahmer, he tried to pass off the incident as a simple misunderstanding, but when the police discovered some photos of dismembered body parts, they immediately arrested him. Upon a further search, police discovered photo albums of dismembered victims, as well as body parts littered throughout the apartment. "Several heads were in the refrigerator and freezer; two skulls were on top of the computer; and a 57-gallon drum containing several bodies decomposing in chemicals was found in the corner of bedroom." ("Cannibal and Serial Killer Jeffrey Dahmer is Caught.") The Milwaukee police had stumbled upon the site of an orgy of killing where Dahmer had had murdered 11 victims; he would eventually confess to the murders of 17 young men over a period of more than a decade. But the most disturbing aspect of this killing spree was the fact that this monster was…… [Read More]

Works Cited

Berry-Dee, Christopher, and Victoria Redstall. Cannibal Serial Killers: Profiles of Depraved Flesh-Eating Murderers. Berkeley, CA: Ulysses, 2011. Print.

"Cannibal and Serial Killer Jeffrey Dahmer is Caught." A&E Television

Networks. Web. 06 Mar. 2012.

Davis, Donald. The Jeffrey Dahmer Story: An American Nightmare. New York: St.
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Kids Who Kill the Growing

Words: 3413 Length: 10 Pages Document Type: Essay Paper #: 87599756


These children also might see their own feelings of a wish to do physical harm toward another reflected in the feelings of others, the psychological term known as projection, and may be afraid or paranoid of others intentions.

Sometimes the criminal act of murder is an extension of previous anti-social acts of less serious forms of delinquency and criminality and children merely graduate to more extended and more violent and extreme forms of behaviour in the form of murder.


Anti-social behavior is rare but is often a trigger for the child, he or she does not have a clear sense of self or a clear sense of the pain he or she inflicts with his or her actions toward another. They are partly or completely disassociated from the emotionally charged elements of violence. They do not have fear, and as Lownstein states they do not often experience guilt.

Because of the relative difficulty perceived by many professionals of changing such feelings, once they have become a part of the child's psychology, the key for most would be prevention rather than rehabilitation.

Lowenstein) Though the main problem with prevention as the one and only best solution for the problem…… [Read More]

Works Cited

Associated Press "Convicted Child Killer to Return Home" CNN website /

CRIME'S POSTER CHILDREN; Debate Pits Hard Time vs. Rehabilitation." The Washington Times 23 June 2002: A01. Questia. 6 Dec. 2004

Dark Ambitions: A Born Killer?" Court TV crime library website

Hausen, E. Human History at the Crossroads: Where Do We Go from Here?. Westport, CT: Bergin & Garvey, 1996.