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 occasionallyhappen and these murders may go on for a period of months or years until thekiller is caught. Throughout the last three decades the US serial killer ratehas risen 94% and it is estimated that by the next millennium it will claim anaverage of 11 lives a day.
Serial Murder is an epidemic; there are at least 35serial killers active in the USA today who claim one third of the annual murderrate. The USA has 6% of the world’s population yet it has three quarters of allserial killers. Not only are serial killers appearing in more numbers in the USbut also all over the world countries are terrorized by serial killers, whichare appearing in more numbers year and year after.
KILLER TRAIT: A serial killeris a typical white male, 20-30, and most of them are usually in the USA. Theirmain motives are sex (even though the act of sex may or may not take place),power, manipulation, domination and control. The sex motive is usually rape foran organized killer and sadism for a disorganized killer. They act in a seriesof 5 or more murders with a cooling off period between each murder. Serialkillers can go on for months and years before they are usually caught. Thevictim is usually the same for every killer – prostitute, hitchhiker etc. Theirvictims may also have the same or similar attributes in gender, age, race,general look, residence etc. Serial killers also stick by their modus operandivery closely and may change it with experience. Most murders occur bystrangulation, suffocation, stabbing etc. Serial killers act by a sex-murderfantasy based with their control, they usually live in this dream world in theirteens until they act it out for real when they get into the adult stage. As eachmurder occurs a serial killer may be disappointed by his murder fantasy and mayact it out again to achieve it to there own satisfaction. CHARACTERISTICS OF ASERIAL KILLER: 1. Killings are separate (‘serial’), occurring with greater orless frequency, often escalating over a period of time, sometimes years, andwill continue until the killer is taken into custody, dies, or ishimself/herself killed. 2. In common with normal homicides, killing tends to beone on one. There are instances however where a serial killer has struck downmore than one victim in a single incident. 3. There is no (or very little)previous connection between the perpetrator and the victim; the persons involvedrarely being related. 4. Although there may be a ‘pattern’ or ‘victim trait’,individual murders within a series rarely display a clearly defined or rationalmotive. 5. An increasingly greater spatial mobility (since the advent of theautomobile) has enabled killers (if they wish) to move rapidly from one place toanother, often before a murder has even been discovered. 6. There is usually ahigh degree of redundant violence, or an ‘overkill’, where the victim issubjected to a disproportionate level of brutality. MOTIVES: These are themotives a serial killer might display (some killers display various motives):? Visionaries – Acts in response to voices and is instructed by thesevoices to perform the act of murder. These killers are usually schizophrenic andpsychotic. ? Missionaries – They think it is their responsibility to ridsociety of unwanted elements. ? Hedonists – Kill because murder causesthem pleasure. ? Lust Killers – Kill for sexual gratification with actsthat are usually sadistic. ? Thrill Killers – Kill because of a desirefor a thrill or experience. ? Gain Killers – Kill for personal gain. Thekiller 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 theopportunity to steal from their victims for their own personal gain. ?Power Seekers – Kill for the desire to have control over the life and death ofothers. Mobility: These are the classifications for the stable killer and thetransient killer: The Stable Killer (eg. Gacy, Dahmer) – ? Lives andworks in one location for an extended period. ? Hunts and kills withinthe local area. ? Disposes of bodies in the same or similar areas.
? Disposal site selected for concealment. ? May return to thecrime scene or burial site. ? Seldom travels, but when forced to travelit is usually for business, family visits, or personal recreation. The TransientKiller (eg. Bundy, Lucas) – ? Seldom stays in one spot more than a fewweeks. ? Kills are spread out over a large area. ? Disposes ofbodies in random locations. ? Disposal site selected for convenience.
? Seldom returns to the region of the crime. ? Travelscontinuously either for pleasure, to confuse law enforcement or for new huntinggrounds. ORGANIZATION: There is the disorganized killer and the organizedkiller. Most serial killers (about 3/4) are organized and their victim countsseem to be higher, that is also because they are usually above averageintelligence. The disorganized offender is lonely and his murders usuallydisplay his anger, most are of a low IQ and suffer from some mental disorder,the killing is not planned and is a usually spur of the moment thing. It shouldalso be noted that some serial killers display both the characteristics of adisorganized and organized killer, these killers are typed as being ‘mixed’.
These are the basic typologies: Organized Killer (eg. Gacy, Bundy) – ?Plans out the murder (may become accustomed to using it quickly). ? Willbring a ‘rape kit- (rope, handcuffs, chloroform etc) if desired. ?Personalizes himself with the victim (talks, leads, captures etc. the victiminto/for planned murder situation). ? Rape, torture etc. may take placebefore murder, for the killer-s own gratification. ? Kills victimwith awareness of evidence at crime scene (which may cleaned destroyed etc).
? Might move the body to hide, bury it etc. in an attempt to evade/delaydiscovery. ? Killer will not be involved further with the victim’s body,but may take articles, jewelry etc. for trophy or gain. Disorganized Killer (eg.
Berkowitz, Chase) – ? Murder usually happens at the spur of the moment(with no planning but the one simple objective to kill). ? Does not bringany tools (‘rape kit’) to the kill except maybe murder device. ? Nocontact with the victim prior to spur of the moment murder. ? No rape,torture etc. will take place before murder. ? Kills victim but does notcare for evidence usually left at the crime scene (high degree of violence takesplace at murder). ? Will not move body in an attempt to hide, bury itetc., unconcerned of its discovery. ? Killer might be involved furtherwith the dead victim (mutilation, necrophilia, cannibalism, etc) and may alsotake souvenir. ORIGINS: Robert K. Ressler (a FBI Behavioral Science Unit agent)coined the term -serial killer- in 1975. Before it was known asbeing a ‘serial killer’ it was referred to as a ‘stranger killer’ because thekillers victims were usually unknown to him. Ressler concluded that sometimesthe killer did kill people he knew so the word -serial- (by meaningseries) applied to this sort of killer; the term serial killer was then adoptedto and used. The first cases of serial killers probably go back into early timesof history with no or few records. Some of the oldest recorded serial killersare Gilles De Rais and Elisabeth Countess Bathory who go back into the1500’s(most of these old century killers were thought to be vampires orwerewolves!). Jack the Ripper is widely seen as the first serial killer becausethe nature of the crimes (with the typical sexual motive) line up more with themore recent common ones, therefore serial killers are widely accepted to be only125 years old. SOLUTIONS: In the late 1970’s the Behavioral Science Unit (BSU)of the FBI took a bigger step to battling serial offenses by undertakingprofiling and larger behavioral studies. Profiling is understanding theoffender, looking at a crime scene and judging by the evidence there what thepossible killer is like and what he has done, to achieve this the FBIestablished the Violent Criminal Apprehension Program (VICAP) and the NationalCenter for the Analysis of Violent Crime (NCAVC). VICAP is a program used toevaluate unsolved crimes and is used to evaluate similarities in crimes; most ofthese have been done by putting certain information into a computer database.
NCAVC is a department in the FBI, which pools in such resources as behaviorstudies, profiling, research etc. and using specially trained agents to operateit and assist in investigations around the US. It must be said now that theFBI’s purpose is not to solve a case but to aid police with a profile and/orinformation to help the police solve it. One man at the forefront of theactivity is now retired FBI agent Robert K. Ressler. Ressler played a major partin the BSU in the late 1970’s by undertaking the Criminal Personality ResearchProject (CPRP) which was interviewing known killers such as Speck, Berkowitz,Kemper, Manson and many other killers known and unknown; this helped with thebasis of profiling and other behavioral research. Ressler then took on profilingand other behavioral projects such as doing lectures, studies, psychology etc;he also helped establish VICAP and NCAVC. The FBI plays a crucial part in serialmurder and perhaps without their assistance serial killers would be morerampant. BIOGRAPHIES: JEFFREY DAHMER – THE MILWAUKEE CANNIBAL Jeffrey Dahmer wasborn in Milwaukee in 1960. When he was a child he took an interest in chemistryand mutilating animals, a boy also reportedly molested him at the age of eight.
He joined the US Army in 1979 and got stationed in Germany. In 1981 he wasdischarged for disorderly behavior and alcoholism. While Dahmer was serving inGermany there were three unsolved murders near his base. When Dahmer returned toMilwaukee he was soon arrested for exhibitionism. In 1988 he was sentenced to 10months jail for fondling a minor. Upon his release from prison he got a job at alocal candy factory and rented a small apartment, which later became the famousapartment 213. Dahmer-s neighbors soon complained of an overpowering badsmell and the noise pollution that emitted from his power saw. Dahmer-sexcuses was that his refrigerator broke down and the meat spoiled and that hewas building bookcases. In 1991 police responded to a neighbors call whodiscovered a 14-year-old Asian boy, Konerak Sinthasomphone, bleeding and nakedwho had escaped from Dahmer. Police who called it ?a homosexual loversspat¦ ignored this incident. Dahmer killed the boy later that night.
Another one of Dahmer-s victims, Tracy Edwards, escaped and flagged down apolice car. The police went back to Dahmer-s apartment where theydiscovered photos of dismembered bodies, a head in the refrigerator, a kettle onthe stove full of hands and male genitalia, a heart in the fridge with the words’to eat later’ carved in it and the list goes on. Dahmer admitted killing anumber of young Asian and African-American boys. After getting his victims drunkor drugged Dahmer photographed, strangled and dismembered his victims. Dahmercommitted acts of necrophilia on his victims and was also a cannibal; this wasevident by no other food in Dahmer’s apartment except the body parts of hisvictims. Dahmer had killed a total of 17 males. In 1992 Dahmer was found guiltyof the murders and sentenced to death. While waiting on death row Dahmer wasmurdered by a fellow inmate and was found with a mop handle stuck in his eye.
JACK THE RIPPER Known as one of the most infamous killers in history, Jack theRipper carried out 5 sadistic murders in the London-s East End Whitechapelin the space of four months in 1888. His victims were all prostitutes, theirthroats cut and their bodies mutilated. The murders seemed as most usually are,sexually motivated. Jack the Ripper frustrated Scotland Yard, as they had littleto no clues to the killer-s identity. One thing that was obvious was thatthe killer was familiar with East End streets. At the time of the murdersletters were sent to the police and media claiming to be that from the Ripper.
One such letter was sent to George Lusk, attached was half a kidney, the writersaid ‘I send you half the kidney I took from one woman. The other piece I friedand ate’. The Ripper struck two times on the 30 September, killing ElizabethStride and Catherine Eddowes, unusually Stride was not mutilated suggesting theRipper had been interrupted. On a building near the crime scene someone hadwritten – ‘The juwes are the men that will not be blamed for nothing’. But thiswas wiped clean on order of the police commissioner. The last victim, Mary JaneKelly, was the only one to be mutilated indoors. After the death of Kelly, themurders suddenly stopped. No one is nearer to finding the identity of Jack theRipper. Such suspects include known killers George Chapman, Neil Cream andFrederick Bailey Deeming. Other theories suggest midwives, Freemasons, Royalty,plus ranks of other suspects. PEDRO LOPEZ- THE MONSTER OF THE ANDES Pedro Lopez,AKA ‘The Monster of the Andes’ killed more than three hundred girls in Peru,Ecuador and Columbia in the late seventies and early eighties until he wascaught. When he was young he was molested by a pedophile and deserted by hisfamily. Getting into theft, at 19 he went to prison where 4 other inmatessodomized him, he killed three of them as pay back. When released he traveledfrom Peru to Columbia, by this time he had killed over 150 girls. He wouldusually pick up prostitutes whom he strangled and later dumped their bodies in ariver. Lopez was finally arrested after suspicion of murder in 1980. He toldpolice of his amazing 300+ tally, and he led them to gravesites. Lopez wassentenced to life imprisonment. H. H. Holmes Holmes, properly known as HermanWebster Mudgett, killed twenty-seven people at his house in Chicago. Like TedBundy he was a handsome man and a favorite with the ladies. Holmes first marriedin 1878 while still a student, and in 1886 contracted a bigamous marriage withMyrta Belknap. He took to fraud as a means of livelihood, and in 1888 worked inChicago as a drugstore chemist. The female boss disappeared in 1890, leavingHolmes in command of a business that thrived on sales of patent medicine. Holmesshared a flat above the store with a Jeweller called Icilius Conner and his wifeJulia who acted as Holmes’s secretary. Holmes purchased a large vacant plotacross the road from the drugstore to build a hotel. The Gothic-style hotelresembled a castle and had 100 rooms. The hotel, aptly named ‘Holmes’s Castle’was designed by Benjamin F. Pitzel, and completed in 1891. Many people stayed atHolmes’s castle and many disappeared, including Conners’ wife and her daughter.
An insurance fraud by Holmes, which resulted in the death of Pitzel, took policeto Holmes’s hotel, but Holmes had fled. He was captured in Philadelphia andcharged with embezzlement and later with murder. The police searched Holmes’scastle and discovered a death house. Some of the rooms had chutes, which led tothe basement below, used as a victim cargo route. The basement contained vats ofacid, airtight rooms with gas inlets, windowless torture rooms containing traysof surgical instruments. Also found were several female skeletons. AtHolmes-s trial in 1895, in which Holmes acted as his own defense, amechanic told of how he had worked for Holmes stripping flesh from bodies whichhe thought had come from the city mortuary. Holmes was found guilty of murderand sentenced to death. While awaiting execution Holmes confessed totwenty-seven killings. He was hanged at Philadelphia-s Moyamensing prisonon 7 May 1896. On 31 January 1974, a student at the University of Washington, inSeattle, Lynda Ann Healy, vanished from her room; the bed sheets werebloodstained, suggesting that she had been badly struck on the head. During thefollowing March, April and May, three more girl students vanished with two morein June. In July, two girls vanished on the same day. It happened at LakeSammanish. A number of people saw a good-looking young man, with his arm in asling, accost a girl named Janice Ott and ask her to help him lift a boat on tothe roof of his car, she walked away with him and did not return. Later, a girlnamed Denise Naslund was accosted by the same young man, she also vanished. Hehad been heard to introduce himself as ‘Ted’. In October 1974 the killingsshifted to Salt Lake City; three girls disappeared in one month. In November,the police had their first break in the case: a girl named Carol DaRonch wasaccosted by a young man who said he was a detective, he lead her back to his carand he snapped a handcuff on her wrist and pointed a gun at her head; she foughtand screamed, and managed to jump from his car. That evening, a girl studentvanished on her way to meet her brother. A handcuff key was found near the placefrom which she had been taken. Meanwhile, the Seattle police had fixed on ayoung man named Ted Bundy as a main suspect. For the past six years, he had beeninvolved in a close relationship with a divorcee named Meg Anders, but she hadcalled the relationship off. After the Lake Sammanish disappearances, she hadseen a photofit drawing of the wanted ‘Ted’ in the Seattle Times and thought itlooked like Bundy. She telephoned the police. They told her that they hadalready checked on Bundy; but at the suggestion of the Seattle Police, CarolDaRonch was shown Bundy-s photograph. She tentatively identified it asresembling the man who had tried to abduct her, but was obviously far from sure,as Bundy had been in disguise at the attempted kidnapping. In January, March,April, July and August 1975, more girls vanished in Colorado. (Their bodies-orskeletons-were found later in remote spots.) On 16 August 1975, Bundy wasarrested for the first time. As a police car was driving along a dark street inSalt Lake City, a parked Volkswagen launched into motion; the policemanfollowed, and it accelerated. He caught up with the car at a service station,and found in the car a pantyhose mask, a crow-bar, an icepick and various othertools; there was also a pair of handcuffs. Bundy, 29 years old, seemed anunlikely burglar. He was a graduate of the University of Washington, and was inUtah to study law; he had worked as a political campaigner, and for the CrimeCommission in Seattle. In his room there was nothing suspicious – except maps ofColorado, from which five girls had vanished that year. Also strands of hairwere found in his car that came from some of the missing girls. Carol DaRonchhad meanwhile identified Bundy from a police line-up, and bloodspots on herclothes – where she had scratched her assailant – were of Bundy-s group.
Credit card receipts showed that Bundy had been close to various places fromwhich girls had vanished in Colorado. The evidence was, admittedly,circumstantial, but taken all together, it formed a powerful case. The centralobjection to it became apparent as soon as Bundy walked into court. He looked sodecent and clean-cut that most people felt there must be some mistake. The caseseemed to be balanced on a knife-edge – until the judge pronounced a sentence ofguilty of kidnapping. Bundy sobbed and pleaded not to be sent to prison; but thejudge sentenced him to a period between one and fifteen years. The Coloradoauthorities now charged him with the murder of a girl called Caryn Campbell, whohad been abducted from a ski resort where Bundy had been seen by a witness.
After a morning courtroom session in Aspen, Bundy succeeded in wandering intothe library during the lunch recess, and jumping out of the window. He wasrecaptured eight days later, tired and hungry, and driving a stolen car. Legalarguments dragged on for another six months – what evidence was admissable andwhat was not. And on 30 December 1977, Bundy escaped again, using a hacksawblade to cut through an imperfectly welded steel plate above the light fixturein his cell. He made his way to Chicago, then south to Florida; there, near theFlorida State University in Tallahassee, he took a room. A few days later, a manbroke into a nearby sorority house and attacked four girls with a club, knockingthem unconscious; one was strangled with her pantyhose and raped; another diedon her way to the hospital. One of the strangled girl-s nipples had almostbeen bitten off, and she had a bite mark on her left buttock. Bundy then fledafter a neighbour got suspicious. Three weeks later, on 6 February 1978, Bundy -who was calling himself Chris Hagen – stole a white Dodge van and leftTallahassee; he stayed in the Holiday Inn, using a stolen credit card. Thefollowing day a 12-year-old girl named Kimberly Leach walked out of herclassroom in Lake City, Florida, and vanished. At 4 a.m. on 15 February, apolice patrolman noticed an orange Volkswagen driving suspiciously slowly, andradioed for a check on its number; it proved to be stolen from Tallahassee.
After a struggle and a chase, during which he tried to kill the policeman, Bundywas captured yet again. When the police learned his real name, and that he hadjust left a town in which five girls had been attacked, they suddenly understoodthe importance of his capture. On 7 April, a party of searchers along theSuwanee river found the body of Kimberly Leach in an abandoned hut; she had beenstrangled and sexually violated. Three weeks later, surrounded by hefty guards,Bundy allowed impressions of his teeth to be taken, for comparison with themarks on the buttocks of the dead student, Lisa Levy. Bundy’s trial began on 25June 1979, and the evidence against him was damning; a witness who had seen himleaving the sorority house after the attacks; a pantyhose mask found in a roomof the sorority house, which resembled the one found in Bundy’s car; but aboveall, the fact that Bundy’s teeth matched the marks on Lisa Levy’s buttocks. Thejury took only six hours to find him guilty on all counts. Judge Ed Cowartpronounced sentence of death by electrocution. Bundy was taken to Raifordprison, Florida, where he was placed on Death Row. On 2 July 1986, when he wasdue to die a few hours before serial killer Gerald Stano, both were granted astay of execution. Time finally ran out for Bundy in January 1989. Long beforethis, he had recognised that his fatal mistake was to decline to enter into pleabargaining at his trial; the result was a death sentence instead of lifeimprisonment. Bundy then made a last-minute attempt to save his life by offeringto bargain murder confessions for a reprieve but failed. On 24 January, 7 a.m.,Bundy was executed at the electric chair at Starke State prison, Florida. It isquite unclear how many people Ted Bundy killed, figures showed he killed atleast 23 women although some say it was between twenty and forty. Bundy himselftold the police that in ran into double figures.
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Cite this Serial Killer Mind
Serial Killer Mind. (2018, Nov 09). Retrieved from https://graduateway.com/serial-killer-mind/