Serial Killers Essay

4208 words - 17 pages

In the last three decades the USA has been troubled by an approaching problem, the serial killer. A serial killer is a person who kills a number of people, usually considered over five, with a cooling off period between each murder, usually one murder at one given time). Two murders at one time occasionally happen and these murders may go on for a period of months or years until the killer is caught. Throughout the last three decades the US serial killer rate has risen 94% and it is estimated that by the next millennium it will claim an average of 11 lives a day. Serial Murder is an epidemic; there are at least 35 serial killers active in the USA today who claim one third of the annual ...view middle of the document...

As each murder occurs a serial killer may be disappointed by his murder fantasy and may act it out again to achieve it to there own satisfaction. CHARACTERISTICS OF A SERIAL KILLER: 1. Killings are separate ('serial'), occurring with greater or less frequency, often escalating over a period of time, sometimes years, and will continue until the killer is taken into custody, dies, or is himself/herself killed. 2. In common with normal homicides, killing tends to be one on one. There are instances however where a serial killer has struck down more than one victim in a single incident. 3. There is no (or very little) previous connection between the perpetrator and the victim; the persons involved rarely being related. 4. Although there may be a 'pattern' or 'victim trait', individual murders within a series rarely display a clearly defined or rational motive. 5. An increasingly greater spatial mobility (since the advent of the automobile) has enabled killers (if they wish) to move rapidly from one place to another, often before a murder has even been discovered. 6. There is usually a high degree of redundant violence, or an 'overkill', where the victim is subjected to a disproportionate level of brutality. MOTIVES: These are the motives a serial killer might display (some killers display various motives): Visionaries - Acts in response to voices and is instructed by these• voices to perform the act of murder. These killers are usually schizophrenic and psychotic. Missionaries - They think it is their responsibility to rid society of• unwanted elements. Hedonists - Kill because murder causes them pleasure.• Lust Killers - Kill for sexual gratification with acts that are• usually sadistic. Thrill Killers - Kill because of a desire for a thrill or experience.• Gain Killers - Kill for personal gain. The killer premeditates the act• to require financial gain or materialistic goods. While gain is not the main motive in a murder some serial killers have took the opportunity to steal from their victims for their own personal gain. Power Seekers - Kill for the desire to have control over the life and• death of others. Mobility: These are the classifications for the stable killer and the transient killer: The Stable Killer (eg. Gacy, Dahmer) - Lives and works in one location for an extended period.• Hunts and kills within the local area.• Disposes of bodies in the same or similar areas.• Disposal site selected for concealment.• May return to the crime scene or burial site.• Seldom travels, but when forced to travel it is usually for business,• family visits, or personal recreation. The Transient Killer (eg. Bundy, Lucas) - Seldom stays in one spot more than a few weeks.• Kills are spread out over a large area.• Disposes of bodies in random locations.• Disposal site selected for convenience.• Seldom returns to the region of the crime.• Travels continuously either for pleasure, to confuse law enforcement• or for new hunting grounds....

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