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Serial Killers

Social Science Project

Janet Alonso

on 5 December 2012

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Transcript of Serial Killers

John Wayne Gacy Serial Killers What is a serial killer? Kills more than three victims consecutively.
Main motive: psychological gratification.
The need for psychological gratification distinguishes serial killers from other types of murderers, who usually murder for things like profit or revenge.
Different from mass murderers and spree killers.
Victims of murders have things in common:
race, occupation, appearance, sex, or age group. John Wayne Gacy Video About Gacy Gacy's childhood Pictures Of John Wayne Gacy Works Cited Smith, S.E., and Bronwyn Harris. "What Is a Serial Killer?" WiseGeek. Conjecture, 19 Nov. 2012. Web. 30 Nov. 2012. <http://www.wisegeek.com/what-is-a-serial-killer.htm>.
http://coldbloodedkiller.tumblr.com/post/5790703391/motives-of-serial-killers-visionary-visionary Birth name: John Wayne Gacy, Jr.
Born: (1942-03-17)March 17, 1942
Chicago, Illinois, United States
Died: May 10, 1994(1994-05-10) (aged 52)
Crest Hill, Illinois, United States
Cause of death: Executed (Lethal injection)
Conviction Murder
Sexual assault
Indecent liberties with a child
Sentence Death
Number of victims: 33-34
Country: United States
State(s) Illinois
Date apprehended: December 21, 1978 John had 2 sisters and a lovable and
caring mom. His father beat him, and
was also an alcoholic. He was abused mentally, physically, verbally, and sexually as a young adult. In his early stages of adulthood, he was introduced to homosexuality, and became a homosexual. Someone is not born a serial killer
Process of someone becoming a serial killer generally starts in their childhood and progresses in several stages
Begins with arson, then animal abuse, then abuse to humans.
It is not known why exactly individuals become serial killers but many serial killers show sign of childhood trauma and abuse Nature versus Nurture Killers are made not born
It is a combination of three things that make a serial killer:
child abuse, neurological damage, and psychological illness
not all people with neurological damage and psychiatric illnesses are serial killers
it is a combination of predispositions and environmental factors that result in a serial killer. Motives Fears of rejection, power, and perfection.
Tend to be insecure, and irrationally scared of rejection.
Three possible theories: childhood neglect and abuse, mental illness and brain injury.
Lust, thrill, comfort
Power/Control Serial Killer Statistics • The United States has 76% of the world’s serial killers.
• 84% of American killers are Caucasian.
• 16% are African American.
• Men make up at least 90% of the world wide total of serial killers.
• 65%of victims are female.
• 89% of victims are white.
• 44% of all killers start in their twenties.
• 26% start in their teens.
• Out of all the killers, 86% are heterosexual.
• Children who experience child abuse & neglect are 59% more likely to be arrested as a juvenile, 28% more likely to be arrested as an adult, and 30% more likely to commit violent crime.
• About 80% of 21 year olds that were abused as children met criteria for at least one psychological disorder. Characteristics Experts have found out some common traits of serial killers. These traits help the police identify their possible suspects. These typical serial killer characteristics are as follows: -They are found to be intelligent and have above average intelligence. Serial killers often have mid to high IQs.
-Found to have families and steady jobs. Some have trouble keeping a job and generally carry out menial jobs.
-Often from divorced families where the father has left the mother. They are bought up by their mothers who have domineering personalities.
-Often come from families with a criminal, psychiatric or alcoholic background.
-As children often abused emotionally, sexually and physically, especially by a close family member or acquaintance.
-High rate of suicide attempts among the serial killers.
-Have found to be interested in voyeurism, sadomasochism, fetishism, etc. since an early age.
-Has been found that 60% of the serial killers wet their beds even after they reached the age of 12.
-Many have been fascinated and involved with torturing animals or setting fires.
-Many were bullied as children and some were involved in cases of petty crimes like theft, vandalism, etc.

As you can see, the psychological characteristics of a serial killer are based on any form of sexual or emotional abuse in childhood. These serial killers try to enact and replay their victimization and behave as the aggressor. Sometimes, the physical characteristic of the serial killer causes him to murder. Any form of disability or physical characteristics like bow legs, stammering, short stature, etc. that causes them to be bullied in childhood. This makes them vengeful and they seek revenge from people, they suppose are better looking or better able than they are. One can never say what makes a serial killer a killer. But, these traits help narrow down possible suspects and get the criminal to book. Other Infamous Serial Kilers Ted Bundy, Jeffrey Dahmer, and Dennis Rader Ted Bundy Theodore Robert "Ted" Bundy was an American serial killer, rapist, kidnapper, and necrophile who assaulted and murdered numerous young women and girls during the 1970s and possibly earlier. Jeffrey Dahmer Jeffrey Lionel Dahmer was an American serial killer and sex offender. Dahmer murdered 17 men and boys between 1978 and 1991, with the majority of the murders occurring between 1987 and 1991. Dennis Rader •Dennis Lynn Rader is an American serial killer who murdered ten people in Sedgwick County, between 1974 and 1991. He is known as the BTK killer. "BTK" stands for "Bind, Torture, Kill," which was his infamous signature. Diagnosis Some serial killers have been diagnosed by psychologists and psychiatrists as psychopaths.
The official term in the Diagnostic and Standard Manual of Mental Disorders, fourth edition (DSM-IV) is antisocial personality disorder (APD)
Some researchers theorize that serial killers have brain damage or other biological abnormalities that contribute to their actions.
Damage to areas like the frontal lobe, the hypothalamus and the limbic system can contribute to extreme aggression, loss of control, loss of judgment and violence.
Mental disease or defect does not otherwise constitute a defense" Punishment The United States does not have a specific guideline to sentencing serial killers. When a serial killer gets caught, they will be charged with murder and if convicted they can get life in prison or receive capital punishment, depending on which state the killer killed in. Below are several examples of how a serial killer may be sentenced in different states. For every victim a serial killer kills, the offender will be charged for every murder.
For some people, the only way to explain serial murder is to say that serial killers are "insane." Some serial killers do plead "not guilty by reason of insanity" as a defense, but are all of them "insane" or even mentally ill? According to the U.S. Code, an insanity defense means that "at the time of the commission of the acts constituting the offense, the defendant, as a result of a severe mental disease or defect, was unable to appreciate the nature and quality or the wrongfulness of his acts Biological and sociological Theories for why certain people commit serial murder have been advanced. Some theorists believe the reasons are biological, suggesting serial killers are born, not made, and that their violent behavior is a result of abnormal brain activity. Holmes and Holmes believe that "until a reliable sample can be obtained and tested, there is no scientific statement that can be made concerning the exact role of biology as a determining factor of a serial killer personality." The "Fractured Identity Syndrome" (FIS) is a merging of Charles Cooley's "looking glass self" and Erving Goffman's "virtual" and "actual social identity" theories. The FIS suggests a social event, or series of events, during one's childhood or adolescence results in a fracturing of the personality of the serial killer. The term "fracture" is defined as a small breakage of the personality which is often not visible to the outside world and is only felt by the killer.
Some serial killers have been diagnosed by psychologists and psychiatrists as psychopaths. The official term in the Diagnostic and Standard Manual of Mental Disorders, fourth edition (DSM-IV) is antisocial personality disorder (APD)
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