Serial Killers Essay
Dammed was known to have sex with the corpses of his victims, kept body parts f others, and ate some of the parts as well. Eventually, Dammed was sentenced to 15 consecutive life terms and was killed in prison in 1994.. Television programs have also increased people’s fascination with serial and mass murderers by creating documentaries and mini series about them. Many popular actresses and actors who play serial and mass killers in movies unfortunately infuse these murderers with humanity and attraction (Fox & Levin, 2005).
In this unit we look at the differences between serial killing and mass killing and investigate some of the motives that are Enid the predominantly white middle class males who commit some of the most gruesome and legendary volume killing of other humans. Our Fascination with Murder Due to our increasingly morbid fascination with mass and serial murderers, a commercial market has been created with endless capabilities.
After Gary Ridgeway (Green River Killer) was discovered to have killed over 48 prostitutes in Seattle, admirers were eager to purchase Green River Killer merchandise on eBay, which included blood stained t-shirts, coffee mugs from his previous employer, and a business card. The majority of Ridgeway victims were buried underneath his home in Chicago. He was executed in 1994. John Wayne Gay, also known as The Killer Clown, grossed $100,000 off of artwork he created after he was convicted of killing 33 teen boys in Illinois.
In addition to a market that has been founded on the increasing appeal of murderers, so-called “Killer Groupies” have formed as well. Due to the fact that the media has fashioned killers as celebrities, some groupies (mostly women) are highly attracted to the murderer’s controlling and manipulative personality. For example, Richard Ramirez, also referred to as The Night Stalker who killed 13 people, married an obsessed groupie and Journalist, Doreen Lily, in 1996 while he was awaiting execution in California. Lily vowed to commit suicide the day he was executed but Ramirez died of liver failure while on death row in 2013 (Diamond, 2013).
Although it does not make sense that these groupies would fall in love with individual’s that have raped, tortured, and killed innocent victims, there are some who believe that the killer is a victim of injustice. Whereas, others attempt to trace he groupie’s attraction to a murderer as their need to recreate a cruel relationship, similar to the one they had with their fathers (Fox & Levin, 2005). In general the groupie’s appeal to a killer is similar to those who are obsessed with other celebrities such as Ben Fleck or Jennifer Anions.
However, murderers are much more assessable than other celebrities, thus the “killer groupie” has a higher probability to achieve success with them. The impact of celebrating murderers is destructive on the families of murder victim’s. From the victim’s point of view, the romanticizes, lowercasing, and sanitized image of a killer only adds insult to injury (Fox & Levin, 2005). Moreover, serial killers are now seeking out attention from the media in efforts to gain a celebrity status. For example, Ted Bundy enjoyed the media’s obsession with him and constantly contacted the press even after the Judge tried to limit his ability to.
Likewise, John Wayne Gay bragged that he was the product of 42 books, 2 screenplays, and 1 movie. Correspondingly, the media is generally responsible for creating the serial killers identity and they are a vital component in the construction f the serial killer category (Hagglers, 2009). Overall, it is essential that law enforcement personnel involved in serial or mass murder investigations implement an effective media plan that provides the public with timely information without hindering their investigation.
Consequently, the FBI recommends that a Public Information Officer (POI) be appointed to speak on the behalf of the investigation and facilitate a cooperative relationship between them and the media; otherwise the media could publish unauthorized information and inadvertently hinder the investigation (Beekeeper et al. , 2013). Defining Mass, Serial, & Spree Murders There is a great deal of misunderstanding concerning mass murder as well as serial murder. Until the sass’s all instances of multiple murder were referred to as mass killings.
The terms “spree” and “serial” were rarely used and they were not technical terms used to describe specific classifications of homicide. However, the FBI Behavioral Sciences Unit defined mass killing (massacres) as homicides involving the murder of four or more victims in a single episode, although some prefer to use a three-victim threshold (Fox & Levin, 2005). Repeat murderers were next classified as either serial or spree killers based on whether or not the offender takes a break in between attacks.
A serial killer may continue to kill over long periods of time while trying to maintain a normal life. Alternatively, a spree killer is defined as a person who launches quick attacks over a period of several days, wherein most of their violence is planned in efforts to avoid capture by the police. Therefore, the typical classification of a mass killer has 4 or more victims in a single episode, a spree killer has 2 or more victims over a short period of time, and a serial killer comprises of 3 or ore victims with no time limit constraints (Fox & Levin, 2005).
Mass Murder Holmes and Holmes define mass murder as the killing of three or more persons, at one time and in one place. There are three components to this definition and three appears to be the base line number of victims. The one time and one place component of the definition does not mean that someone can murder two individuals and then move down the street and kill two more without it being a mass killing. Instead the requirement actually means that there is no “cooling off’ period in between the killings like there would be in a serial killing.
Supplementary researchers conclude that the definition of mass murder should take into consideration the number of victims, the location of the murders, the time of the murders, and the distance between the murder locations. They also claim that the components of this definition are important in order to distinguish mass, serial, and spree murder. On the other hand, Dietz defines mass murder as an offense in which a single offender, in a single incident, intentionally kills multiple victims.
Dietz makes this definition operational by defining a single incident offense as occurring within a 4-hour period and ignores the specific location(s) component when attempting to define mass murder. While some definitions of mass murder set the minimum number of victims at three, others use four as the minimum (Dietz 1986). The concern regarding number of victim requirements becomes highly complicated when the number of injured victims is factored into the definition as well. If only 2 people are killed and 30 are victims of serious injury, is this not also a mass murder (massacre) (Holmes & Holmes, 1998)?
Therefore, it is arbitrary to set specific number requirements when trying to define a particular incident. Consequently it is a meaningless distraction rather than a useful distinction. Serial Murder According to Hagglers, a serial killer is someone who has killed more than three strangers in addition to a “cooling off’ period where the killer takes breaks in between each killing. This definition has been accepted by the police and academics, however it presents a problem because it also includes scenarios, which many would not define as serial murders.
These instances encompass dictators who engage in a sequence of murders as well as soldiers who kill enemy opponents. Also an additional lacuna within the definition includes its lack of ability to account for attributes of serial killing such as, reoccurring patterns that are easily recognizable (Hagglers, 2009). Dietz argues that serial killers differ from regular murderers because the victims of serial killers are more often strangled, beaten, knifed, rather than shot with a gun. However, this is not found within the definition of a serial killer.
The majority of serial murder definitions require a period of time between the murders. This break between the murders component is necessary to distinguish teen a mass murderer and a serial murderer. As previously mentioned a serial murder requires a temporal separation between the different murders, which was described as a “cooling off’ period, separate occasion, or an emotional cooling off period. Nevertheless, academics still disagree regarding the number of victim requirement in order to constitute a serial killer, although the figure is subjective.
In efforts to clear up the controversial definitions of a serial killer, Congress tried to formalize a definition in the Protection of Children From Sexual Predator Act of 1998 The term ‘serial killings’ means a series of three or more killings, not less than one of which was committed within the United States, having common characteristics such as to suggest the reasonable possibility that the crimes were committed by the same actor or actors. ” The purpose of this definition was to establish criteria that would assist the FBI with their investigations of serial murder cases, not a general definition for serial murder.
Therefore one can conclude that academics and researchers are more concerned with establishing a highly specific definition than the lawmakers are (FBI). While the probability of people killing others in a consecutive fashion is not overlooked, it was not possible to be a serial killer 50 years ago due to the fact that it is a relatively modern term used to define individuals who kill at the least three people while taking significant breaks in between each killing episode. Furthermore, the study of serial murders is a somewhat new academic and scientific effort.
Researchers were not interested in serial killing until the middle of the sass’s when Dir. Donald Lund first coined the term “serial murder” within his research (Holmes & Holmes, 1998). Significant Differences Between Mass Murderers and Serial Kill Traditionally, mass murderers take their own life or place themselves in a POS where the police are forced to take lethal action after they have conducted the murder. Serial killers on the other hand go to great lengths to avoid detection attempt to continue their reign of murdering.
Additionally, community reaction while mass murderers receive short-lived media attention, serial killers plague community where the offender is active and the community lives in constant f until the suspect is apprehended. Another distinction between serial and ma leers includes that serial killers generate social paranoia while mass murder not. This was evident in Seattle, Washington when a serial killer known as the River Killer or Gary Leon Ridgeway, murdered numerous women over a long pee time without being captured.
Additionally, mass murderers generally present clues that their mental health impaired whilst serial killers do not. Serial murderers imitate their ideal of no because they strive to appear as ordinary law-abiding citizens in efforts to VA capture for as long as possible (Holmes & Holmes, 1992). Furthermore, Sourest cuisses two different types of social behavior known as front stage and back The front stage is public and displayed to others while the back stage is only something the victim sees. The front stage pertaining to mass murderers is w they display signs of anger, rage, hatred, and hostility to the public.
In occurred front stage mass murderers, close associates to the mass murderer will after tragic incident feel guilty that they did not react to the red flag(s) before the o carried out their attack. Contradictory, serial killers embody a different front s persona whereby they typically show no signs of abnormality before and fate eve engaged in a killing. Lastly, mass murderers traditionally have no intent to kill again unless he/she revenge or mercenary type of mass killer; hence they usually take their own II place themselves in a position where the police take their life.
Serial killers on other hand differ from mass murderers because research of over 400 cases o killers shows that there is overwhelming evidence that serial murderers do n to be apprehended otherwise they could not continue killing (Holmes & Holm 1998). Not only is there a difference between a mass murderer and a serial m he motivation between different mass murderers can be used as a classification Specifically, serial killers usually identify a certain trait within them that impel to kill, whereas in mass murderers this phenomenon does not appear to be try Additionally the perceived rewards can vary greatly.
These rewards range fro revenge upon the victim to monetary gain, however the results are the same the lives of numerous people are taken. Whether or not the anticipate reward psychological or instrumental it is an important consideration when trying to and explain the motives of the offender. Typology of Mass Murderers Mass murder is fortunately a rare offense. According to Dude, there have bee mass killing incidents in the United States between 1900 and 1999, which NV 1 , 186 victims and 24% of offenders were strangers to their victims (2007).
Nevertheless, some research suggests that mass murder was non-existent UN sass’s because the prevalence of mass public shootings that capture the Tate the public has increased in frequency since the sass’s. From 1900 to 19 only 21 mass public shootings, but from 1966 to 1999 there were 95. The exact etiology (cause or origin of an abnormal condition) of a mass serial killer is unclear. However, Dietz has categorizes various types of murderers which include the disciple, family annihilator, pseudopodia set & run killer (1986).
The disciple type of mass murderer follows the c charismatic leader. Traditionally these mass murderers follow the direct leader and fulfill their request because they want acceptance. Physiology expressive gain is paramount while revenge, sex, or money is complete Generally disciple killers only kill upon the request of a leader with no p victim(s) in mind. Leslie Van Hooted, a former high school cheerleader people under the direction of Charles Manson is an example of a disciple An alternative type of mass murder is known as the family annihilator. Oilier is the most common and it is someone who murders their entire f including their self, in a single event (sometimes even the family pet) an times the oldest male in the household. Generally this person is depress dependent, and/or abusive. Next there is the pseudonymous mass is equipped with weaponry such as assault weapons, machine guns, an grenades. Moreover, this type of killer engages in careful planning beef commit their offense (Dietz, 1986). Additional classifications of mass murderers includes the disgruntle me hypes of mass murderers have been dismissed or placed under some of from their company.
A disgruntled employee retaliates by returning to t where he/she was a valued employee and attempts to kill those who ha him/her. The victims of disgruntled employees are not randomly select once inside the planned location the murderer will shoot anyone who h there. Lastly, the set-and-run killer is different from the other categories these killers attempt to flee the scene so that they can escape capture. Murderer will build a time bomb, set arson fires, or poison food so they the premises before the explosion or death (Dietz, 1986).
Legislation an Massacres More than 220 incidents of mass killings have taken place in the United 2006. That figure averages out to approximately one every two weeks. T alarming and the debate concerning gun control policies and stricter b checks is more prevalent than ever. Dissimilar to ten states plus D. C. , T not require a waiting period to buy a firearm nor does Texas require GU register their firearm(s). However, federal law is similar to Texas because provide a waiting period to purchase a firearm.
Under the National Insist Background Check System (NICK), a dealer can transfer the firearm as s he passes the background check. Nevertheless, if the FBI is unable to c background check within 3 business days, the dealer may complete the default, which could potentially be problematic. A Gallup poll conducted after the most recent mass shooting at the Wash Yard revealed that Americans blame mental health systems for mass shoo inadequate gun laws (US politicians seem unwilling to prevent gun violence On September 16, 2013, Aaron Alexis, a former Ana reservist killed 12 Poe the police swarmed the facility and shot him.
Alexis carried out his attack f atrium overlooking an area where the employees ate breakfast. He shot d victims while possessing 3 weapons. The weapons found on him included shotgun, and a semi-automatic pistol. It was later known that Alexis had co the Department of Veterans Affairs for mental illness as recent as August ( 2013). Given the relationship between mental illness and mass violence it improving gun laws is not the answer. Instead providing mental health trait those who work in our schools and communities could give them the tools to identify warning signs before the massacre takes place.
Similar to Choc, Lana the Newton Con. Mass shooter displayed signs of mental illness t other and even though she was concerned about his behavior neither SSH anyone else anticipated him killing 20 children in addition to 6 adults. How signs of mental illness are generally not obvious until after the blood has s politicians seem unwilling to prevent gun violence, 2013). James Holmes – Colorado Mass Killing On July 20, 2012, James Egan Holmes (24 years-old) opened fire in a movie t Aurora, Colorado killing 12 people and injuring 58 others.
Three months pr attack he supposedly told fellow classmates that he planned to kill people of these warnings, including him being under the care of a psychiatrist who e was dangerous, stopped him from purchasing firearms. Holmes was ROR born in San Diego, California and graduated with a bachelor’s degree with highest honors in neuroscience in 2010 from the University of California Ri began to pursue his graduate degree from the University of Colorado but f important exams in June, a month afore the shooting and subsequently WI from the program without giving a reason.
Holmes purchased three of the four guns legally at a Colorado gun store b May 22 and July 6, 2012. The guns included a Clock pistol from a Gander M store in Aurora, another Clock, a shotgun from Bass Pro Shop in Denver, an assault rifle AR-1 5 from a Gander Mountain store in Thornton, Colorado. M he spent months stockpiling thousands of bullets and ballistic gear without any red flags because there is no restriction on the sale of bullets in the U States, except for armor-piercing rounds which can only be purchased by enforcement.
During the shooting the police allege that Holmes was dress wore a ballistic helmet and vest (obtained off EBay), protective leggings, gar throat protectors, and a gas mask. A federal law enforcement agent report Holmes spent $1 5,000 strengthening his arsenal online. Lastly, Holmes acquired explosive material and equipment to booby-trap hi apartment that took law enforcement numerous days to dismantle. The boo comprised of homemade napalm, termite, gasoline, smokeless gun power bullets, and a remote controlled car which he set up prior to the shooting theater.
What was discovered inside Holmes’ apartment was a trip-wire ATT from the door to a thermos filled with glycerin, perched on a 45 degree over a frying pan filled with potassium permanganate, in which the combination of these two chemicals would trigger fire and heat. The floor was also doused with ammonia hollered as well as copious smoke that if ignited would set off a huge explosion. Lastly, agents uncovered a pyrotechnic box with six-inch firework shells attached to a number of black balls filled with gunpowder, gas, and oil on top of the fridge.
It was later found out that Holmes had placed a detonator to set off the pyrotechnic box outside his apartment and next to the dumpster and a boom box. Holmes later told authorities that his plan was to draw his neighbors and police to the devices by playing loud music hoping that someone would fiddle with the device and detonate the explosive inside. Ultimately the FBI and law enforcement agents spent 36 hours attempting to identify and clear Holmes’ apartment (Plisse, 2013).
Thus, premeditation is evident in this case because he spent months acquiring weapons, ammunition, and gear for his attack during the premiere of The Dark Knight Rises. In total, more than 120 officers were dispatched to the movie theater shooting as well as 1,000 detectives, numerous federal and local police officers, and forensic personnel. Holmes was charged with 142 counts including 2 counts of first-degree murder for each of the twelve people who were killed at the movie theater. Aside from the murder charges, Holmes was charged with 116 counts of criminal intent to commit murder and one count of illegally possessing an explosive device.
In November of 2012, Holmes was taken to a psychiatric ward because he was a danger to himself. The Huffing Post reported that he stood on his bed and fell backwards trying to crack his head open and then followed this by running headfirst into his Jail cell wall. Holmes also tried to stick a staple into a wall socket while placed in an interrogation room. In January of 2013, a Judge ruled that there was enough evidence to try Holmes on all of the 142 charges. Then in March, Holmes entered a plea of not guilty but that changed in May to not guilty by reason of insanity and he underwent mental health evaluation.
As of now, Holmes’ court date is scheduled for February 3, 2014 and the judge has set four months aside for this trial and will summons over 5,000 Jurors in an attempt to find individuals who will be fair and impartial (“The case so,” 2013). Swung-Huh Choc According to Culled, mass murderers share similar tendencies concerning gender, behavior, and mentality. The Secret Service in 2002 analyzed every school shooter over a 26-year period and their results confirmed this finding. Within this cohort, all of the school shooters were male and 81% warned someone overtly that they were going to engage in this type of behavior.
Additionally, 98% of the offenders studied have previously experienced a significant failure or loss while 93% planned the attack in advance. On April 16, 2007, Swung-Huh Choc killed 32 people and then himself on the Virginia Tech campus in Blackburn, Virginia, making the school the site of the deadliest mass shooing in United States history. Choc began his attack at 7:AMA on the third floor of his dorm and shot one female and one male and then returned to his dorm room to hanged clothing.
Additionally, Choc had a package prepared to mail to NBC that contained photographs of him holding weapons, videos, a manifesto, which he mailed after shooting two people in the dorm and before shooting 30 people on the campus of Virginia Tech. Prior to the attack, Choc engage in careful planning due too Virginia Law that limited handgun purchases to only one per 30-day time frame. Therefore, Choc purchased his first gun on February 9, 2007, his second gun on March 13, 2007, multiple magazines, and practiced ammunition over a ten-day timeshare in March 2007.
In total Choc had acquired almost 400 bullets when he began his massacre. (McCrea, 2013). Prior to the tragic incident, Choc was born in Korea in 1984 with a heart murmur that caused him trauma by the age of three. From that point on, Choc did not like to be touched and was perceived as medically frail. Choc did not have many acquaintances and he was extremely quiet. Then in 1992 (age 8) Coho’s family moved to the United States in an attempt to pursue educational opportunities for their children. Since Choc was unfamiliar with the English language the transition to the United States was difficult, which made him feel isolated.
Although Choc would rarely talk with his sister, communication was a big concern of his family as well as teachers. Coho’s father, having a quiet nature himself, was slightly more accepting of his son’s introspective and withdrawn personality, but he was stern on matters of respect. His mother and sister on the other hand would ask how he was doing in school, trying to explore the possibility of bullying, even though his sister knew that when he walked down school hallways a few students sometimes would yell taunts at him.
In 1999, Coho’s first year of high school the teachers were quick to notice his absence f communication skills. Aside from his inability to complete sentences, Coho’s grade achievements were higher than average and he nodded yes when asked if he would like to receive help communicating. Consequently, Choc was asked whether or not he had ever received any mental health or special assistance and he responded no even though he received assistance previously. Coho’s situation was brought before Westfield Screening Committee on October 25, 2000, for evaluation to determine if he required special education accommodations.
Federal law requires that schools receiving federal funding enable children with capabilities to learn in the least restrictive environment and to be mainstreamed in classrooms. The testing uncovered that Choc required special educational needs and enrolled him into an Individualized Educational Plan that led to a high degree of academic success. The high school that he attended was responsible in reducing the possibility of severe deterioration in Coho’s functioning. Moreover, there was coordination between the school, therapist, and psychiatrist who were treating Choc, which ultimately played a role in his ability to graduate from high school.
In August of 2003, Choc began classes at Virginia Tech as a business information technology major, however it was during his sophomore year when he switched to major to English. His wish to alter majors is surprising considering he did the poorly in English class in high school and he disliked communicating in words. Nevertheless, Choc revealed the reason why he was interested in English in an email to a poetry teacher he had the previous semester. In the email Choc wrote ” I was in your poetry class last semester, and I remember you talking about the books you published.
I am looking for a publisher to submit my novel… Was Just wondering if you know a lot of publishers or agents or if you have a good connection with them. ” The poetry teacher responded and suggested that he enroll in additional creative writing classes. Subsequently, Choc continued to engross himself with information concerning writing and received a rejection letter after submitting his novel outline to a New York Publishing house. During Coho’s Junior year, three female dorm residents reported problems from unwanted attention from Choc, which included Backbone messages, text messages, and instant messages.
Due to this event, Choc was later placed under the care of Cook Counseling Center for a brief period of time in 2005 but was release after telling a judge that he wasn’t going to kill himself. Post hospitalizing, Choc created writings that alarmed one of his teachers, however this worry never resulted in anything significant or raised a red flag. Within the writing, Choc stated, “I’m nothing. I’m a loser. I can’t do anything. I was going to kill every god damn person in this damn school, swear to god I was”.
One year prior to the mass shooting, Choc encountered the attention of another English teacher because he never spoke up during class and his work was not satisfactory. Then for the first time Choc unambiguously declined his offer to drop the class, which stunned the teacher. From Coho’s awkward shyness, inability to communicate, obsession with females in the dorm, and dark writings that included a passage that many would consider alarming, it is unfortunate that no one ever put the pieces together that could have prevented this horrific incident (Virginia. Ova, n. D. ). Regrettably many of the red flags demonstrated by Choc were not realized and consequently many university administrators and mental health counselors across the country are reexamining their potential to identify and treat mentally ill students in attempt to prevent incidents similar to this in the future without infringing on their individual rights. However, this is a challenging task because the university has to abide by privacy laws that prohibit them from contacting parents unless the child is a clear threat to themselves or others.
Moreover, universities have been sued for kicking students out of the school that were suicidal and have been sued for not preventing suicides. Thus it is a double edge sworn that requires the university to walk a fine line. (Shuts & Compare, 2007). Typology of Serial Killers The true extent of serial murders is unknown, while some believe there are as many as 35 serial killers active in the United States this figure completely neglects the fact that the majority of serial killers are unknown to the police and public therefore the true number is indefinite and will remain that way (Holmes & Holmes, 1998).
Additionally, there is this inaccurate acceptance that all serial killers are similar and that they kill for the same reason: sexual pleasure. However, this could not be farther from the truth because there are many different typologies of serial killers as well as ass murderers. The central element of serial murder is repetitive killings that will not cease unless they are prevented by apprehension. Serial murders are typically one-on-one (offender and victim), rarely occur between two individuals that are familiar with each other, and serial killers are motivated to kill without the presence of victim wrongdoing.
Contrasting traditional homicide data, the majority of serial killers are between 25 and 35 years of age and the victim age varies tremendously. Moreover, the victims of serial murders are almost always female and most offenders are male. Overwhelmingly, white males carry out serial killing on white female victims and the murder involves the killing of suitable strangers that have not given the killer a reason to harm them (Holmes & Holmes, 1998). Although female serial killers are rare, their victims are traditionally someone that they know and often times that victim is dependent upon the offender.
According to the FBI, Aileen Wrongs, a Florida prostitute known for killing seven “Johns” has been identified as the first female serial killer in 1989 (Fox & Levin, 2005). After Aileen voluntarily ended her appeals she was executed in 2002. However, many academics claim that Aileen Wrongs has erroneously been identified as the first female serial killer; instead Sally Skull also known as the Black Widow who killed numerous husbands of hers after they were no longer beneficial to her between 1821 and 1867 is the true first female serial killer.
Thus, in contrast to male serial killers, females usually murder individuals that they know either in their personal life or through their career (Holmes & Holmes, 1998). Various categories of serial killers exist and according to Holmes and Debugger they include the visionary, mission-oriented, tendonitis, and power/control serial killer. The mind-set of a visionary killers is psychotic and suffers from a sever break from reality in which an inner voice is commanding them to kill. On the other hand, the mission-oriented killer is not psychotic and assumes the responsibility to remove individuals he or she views as undesirable people.
These unwanted people could include prostitutes, homosexuals, certain religious individuals or people of a different race. Next, the hedonistic killer includes three different subtypes of killers and they include the lust, thrill, and comfort killer. A lust or thrill hedonistic killer have established a connection between personal violence and sexual gratification, while a lust killer could possibly engage in necrophilia (sexual attraction to a corpse), the thrill killer would want to keep the victim alive in order to gain pleasure from the terror they are causing.
Then, the comfort killer engages in murder in an attempt to receive materialistic gains such as money from a life insurance policy. The fourth and final type of serial killer is the power/control killer and they desire to possess complete domination over the victim. Gary Leon Ridgeway Gary Leon Ridgeway: Born February 18th 1949 in Salt Lake City, Utah. Gary did not graduate high school until he was 20 years old due to his low intelligence. He enlisted in the Navy and married his high school sweetheart in 1969 (but was known to solicit prostitutes while overseas).
At some point Ridgeway contracted generator from a prostitute and his first marriage ended in divorce. Soon afterwards he married his second wife and they had a son together named Matthew. Wives, lovers and prostitutes of Ridgeway claimed that he had an insatiable sexual appetite and would require them to engage in intercourse multiple times a day and/or in public laces. In 1980 Ridgeway was charged with choking a prostitute. The following year his second marriage ended in divorce.
On July 1 5th, 1982 in Seattle, Agar’s first confirmed victim Wendy Coiffed was found dead in the Green River. Wendy was homeless and known to engage in prostitution frequently. All of his victims were females and the majority were prostitutes. In 1982, a total of 16 women (later known to be victims of Gary Ridgeway) went missing. 6 bodies, including Wendy Subfield’s were discovered near or in the Green River that same year. Ridgeway came to the attention of the
Serial Killers Essay
A serial killer: a person who commits a series of murders, often with no apparent motive and usually following a similar characteristic pattern or behavior. A popular argument that frequently arises is whether a serial killer is naturally born with the “serial killer” gene, or is a serial killer raised? In other words it’s an argument of nature versus nurture. There is much controversy in this topic and there have been many different articles that have been written discussing and arguing about these this argument. In the article A Killer Brain: A Look Inside Serial Killers by an unknown author and the article What Makes Serial Killers Tick? y Shirley Lynn Scott are two articles that compare and contrast whether serial killers are born to be serial killers or whether they’re raised in to becoming serial killers. In the article What Makes Serial Killers Tick? Shirley argues that “there is no such thing as a “kill gene”.
On the other hand the unknown author from the article A Killer Brain: A Look Inside Serial Killers argues that all serial killers are with “A gene called Monoamine Oxidase-A (MAOA) also known as the violent gene, and is something that has been found in almost all serial killers and many violent offenders. So according to the unknown author all serial killers are born with the MAOA gene that naturally makes them become serial killers, while Shirley argues that there is no such thing as a killer gene. Shirley believes that “bad seeds blossom in bad environments” therefore she proceeds to try to explain that serial killers are created through nurture. The way someone is treated and raised while growing up determines the effects of the outcome of how he or she will turn out to be like and how he or she will act when he or she grows up.
In the other article, the unknown author argues that almost all of the serial killers have been born with the new gene Monoamine Oxidase-A. According to the unknown author the MAOA is a brain enzyme that helps clean up neurotransmitters after the gene has done its job. The unknown author explains that there are two different types of cleaners. One of the cleaners does its job and gets all of the neurotransmitters out while the second cleaner does a poor job and leaves a lot of neurotransmitters sloshing around in one’s brain driving a person insane.
The unknown author says “if you have the bad enzymes cock-tailed with a history of violence such as abuse or even being bullied as a kid you will have an 85% chance of being violent and having violent tendencies. ” This explains why we have so many more serial killers that are men rather than women. Shirley argues back saying that their was a case where a multiple murderer named Bobby Joe Long had “an extra X (female) chromosome, otherwise known as Klinefelter’s syndrome, which meant he had the female hormone estrogen circulating higher amounts in his system. According to Shirley, Long had an abundance of other serial killer prerequisites such as that he suffered traumatic and repeated head injuries.
Shirley also says that “Conversely, an extra Y (male) chromosome was once in vogue as an explanation to violenece. Mass murderer Richard Speck’s legal defense said he had an XYY genetic makeup, but further tests proved wrong. While an extra male chromosome seems like a logical explanation for mutant-aggressive behavior, there is not much evidence that links the X or Y chromosome to serial killers. This argument that Shirley arises sort of contradicts the unknown authors’ argument about serial killers having the gene MAOA that is suppose ably the “violent gene”, because genes aren’t find in all serial killers, therefore it can’t be the reason why serial killers are the way that they are. Shirley and the unknown author do agree on one subject though, they both believe that all serial killers suffer from brain defects and that it’s most likely one of the reason why serial killers are the way they are. Shirley says that “According to many researchers, brain defects and injuries have been an important link to violent behavior.
When the hypothalamus, the temporal lobe, and/or the limbic brain show damage, it may account for uncontrollable aggression. ” While according to the unknown author “…after the brains of 70 notorious serial killers were examined. It showed that all seventy had some frontal lobe damage which would have been caused when they were children, by either abuse or accidental trauma. Now understand why this is important you need to understand what this part hemispheres, and has been concluded by scientists to act as your conscience. It’s essential functions are self-control.
Planning, judgment, the balance of individual versus social needs, and many other essential functions underlying effective social intercourse are mediated by the frontal structures of the brain. ” So both authors agree that all serial killers have some sort of brain defect, they might not argue that it’s in the same region but they do agree that something is wrong with these people’s brains. While the unknown author believes that there are only two reasons that someone could be a serial killer, Shirley believes and explains to us that there have been many hypothesis that have been concluded about how someone can become a serial killer.
Shirley says that testosterone could be a reason of why serial killers are so violent. Shirley says “High testosterone in itself is not a dangerous thing, but when it is combined with low levels of serotonin, the results might be deadly. Testosterone is associated with the need for dominance. But since not everyone can be to dog, serotonin keeps the tension from peaking, and mellows us out> When serotonin levels are abnormally low, however, frustration can lead to aggressive, even sadistic behavior according to a study by Paul Bernhardt. Shirley’s example of testosterone making people more aggressive is sort of like the example that the unknown author gave about the gene MAOA. Another argument that Shirley gives us is that “Some research has shown that violent offenders have higher trace levels of toxic heavy metals (manganese, lead, cadmium and copper) in their systems. Excess manganese lowers the level of serotonin and dopamine, which contributes to aggressive behavior.
Alcohol increases the effects. James Huberty, the mass murderer, had excessive amounts of toxic substance cadmium in his system. Shirley’s argument once again relates to the unknown authors argument about the MAOA gene making people more violent. Since both authors give good arguments about their being a lot of different reasons of why a serial killer becomes so violent, it brings to wonder whether all these substances are causes for a serial killer being the way he is, or is it only one. Back to the argument between nature versus nurture, Shirley leans more towards the argument of nurture, while the unknown author leads more towards the argument of nature. Shirley gives us many more examples of nurture.
Another good example Shirley gives us is sensory deprivation. Shirley says that “Studies show that the lack of physical touch can be harmful to the child’s development. In a study of chimpanzees, the babies who were not handled became withdrawn, and later began to attack others. Some serial killers had been separated from parents at early age, or were denied their mother’s love and physical touch. ” In this argument Shirley is trying to say that if a child is rejected or withdrawn from physical touch, that child will become more violent and can lead to them becoming serial killers.
In the end of her article Shirley comes to the conclusion that “These physiological characteristics, however, do not guarantee a serial killer. Many, who are not violent, have brain injuries and biological abnormalities. A lump on the head is no singular forecast for a serial killer. Can evil be reduced to a chemical equation? Perhaps it is a combination for environment and chemical predispositions. What we do know is that no singular pattern emerges for serial killers. Many of these biological studies are new, so perhaps in the future the chemical profile of serial killers will be revealed. With this conclusion Shirley says that all the examples that she gave in her article were only possibilities and explanations as to why serial killers are serial killers, but it doesn’t mean that if someone has one of these characteristics they’re going to automatically become serial killers.
While the unknown author concludes “If we combine these two problems; damage to the frontal lobe with the dysfunction of the MAOA gene, we can certainly conclude that we have someone who is genetically pre-disposed for violence. So according to the unknown author these two characteristics are almost for sure factors that mean that someone will be violent. Both of these authors give good arguments, but who is correct and which theory is most accurate is a complete mystery.
“A Killer Brain: A Look Inside Serial Killers. ” Socyberty RSS. N. p. , n. d. Web. 06 Dec. 2012. Axelrod, Rise B. , and Charles R. Cooper. The St. Martin’s Guide to Writing. Boston, New York2010. Print. Scott, Shirley Lynn. “What Makes Serial Killers Tick? ” What Makes Serial Killers Tick? CrimeLibrary on TruTV. com. N. p. , n. d. Web. 06 Dec. 2012.