SERIAL KILLERS


Serial killers both disgust and fascinate us. Though we could never fathom commiting such heinous crimes, we nonetheless are intrigued by those who do. Yet, it should be noted that this web page is in no way designed to give "credit" or undo press to these sick and twisted people. Rather, it is an exploration of abnormal psychology, human nature, and the state of our society today.

 

Murder

Murder is defined as the willful and unlawful killing of one human being by another. This dos not include deaths caused by negligence, suicide, attempted murder, accident, or justifiable homicide. The other crimes listed have their own category to which they belong. Murder may be further subdivided into categories of degree (e.g. 1st degree).

 

Generally, murder/homicide occurs due to one of two basic motivations:

the reaction murder: as an outcome of an event: a quarrel, rage, reaction to an insult, or jealousy, and

the"for gain" type of murder: for monetary gains, revenge, protection of ones self, or even power.

 

Serial Murder

Serial murder is a completely different form of murder that does not fall into the two aforementioned motives of "normal" murder, if there is such a thing.

 

There are several factors that distinguish serial murderers from other types of murderers. First, serial killers are classified as such by taking the lives of several people (3+). Collectively, serial killers are simply motivated to kill (though the reasons behind the killing may vary among serial killers as we shall see). As such, a serial killer will never stop killing unless they are institutionalized or incarcerated. A "cooling down" or "cooling off" period is not unlikely, though the killing will undoubtedly continue. The need to kill is created by fantasies which sustain the killer in between the taking of victims. Perhaps years will pass, but eventually another victim will be claimed. Additionally, >serial killers have no accomplices, except in rare cases.

 

More specifically, a series of killings may be classified as serial murder when:

...one or more individuals (males, in most known cases) commits a second murder and/or subsequent murder; is relationshipless (no prior relationship between victim and attacker); is at a different time and has no connection to the initial murder; and is usually committed in a different geographic location. Further, the motive is not for material gain and is believed to be for the murderer's desire to have power over his victim. Victims may have symbolic value and are perceived to be prestigeless and in most instances are unable to defend themselves or alert others to their plight, or are perceived as powerless given their situation in time, place or status within their immediate surroundings (such as vagrants, prostitutes, migrant workers, homosexuals, missing children, and single and often elderly women). (Geberth and Turco 1997; Keeney and Heide 1994; McKenzie 1995)



profile of a

serial killer...

 

He is usually male, between the ages of 25-35, and he is usually white. His intellect ranges from below average to above average. He is from all walks of life, as are his victims. The majority of the time, he will kill within his own ethnic group. The ages of his victims will vary greatly, depending on his particular "interests." He doesn't usually having any prior contact with his victims, and thus no particular hatred for them; though, the victims may be symbolic to him in some way. He may be married with children, have a job, and be just like the guy next door...Or, he may be socially inept, unable to maintain relationships, and a complete loner.

additional info...


 

misconceptions...

 

serial killers are the same as mass murderers

Confusion often arises regarding the difference between a serial killer and mass murderer. The difference is a temporal one. Serial killers kill several people over a period of days, weeks, months, and even years. It is not a one-time event. The serial killer kills in cycles, shifting between an active period and a cooling off period. A mass murderer, conversely, kills several people in a matter of hours at most, murdering in an outburst without a cooling off period. Usually mass murderers take all of their victims from one location.

 

serial killers are complete losers who cannot function in society

Actually, this is the exception with serial killers and the reason why so many serial killers are successful in their endeavor to get away with multiple murders. Ted Bundy is a perfect example of such a serial killer. He was considered to be very charming, quite the lady's man. He seemed to lead a very normal life, being someone that no one would have suspected to be the monster that he was.

 


 

types of

serial killers...

 

A serial killer is a serial killer is a serial killer...right? Wrong, there are actually four main types of serial killers, based on motive, as well as further subdivisions based on organization and methodology. We will begin though with an understanding of the different motives:

 

(1) The Visionary Motive Type

Serial killers of this type are considered to be insane, even psychotic. It is not uncommon for this type of killer to report that they committed the crime because voices in their head told them to.

 

(2) The Missionary-Oriented Motive Type

Although not apparent to the community around them, killers of this type are on a mission to rid the world of those whom they deem unacceptable for whatever reason.

 

(3) The Thrill-Oriented Motive Type

These guys kill for the fun of it...They get a high from killing. Of the four types, this one is the one who enjoys killing very sadistically. He is into the killing for excitement and as he gets better and better, the crimes continue to escalate.

 

(4) The Lust Killer

The lust killer is sexually motivated, killing for the pure turn on. These killers derive pleasure from torturing their victims. That is to say, the more horror that can be inflicted, the more they make their victims suffer, the more they are aroused. Most serial killers are of this type. Unfortunately, this type of serial killer is very difficult to distinguish from the average person as they are quite apt at maintaining relationships and functioning in society.

 


Statistics

The childhood of a serial killer

Case studies

Ken Bianchi: "The Hillside Strangler"

Ted Bundy

Jeffrey Dahmer

Albert Desalvo: "The Boston Strangler"

John Wayne Gacy

Eddie Gein

Ed Kemper

References

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