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Compare and Contrast: Serial Killer Analysis: LSO802

Examining serial killers, John Wayne Gacy, Ed Gein and Aileen Wuornos

Criminal Psychology

on 13 April 2014

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Transcript of Compare and Contrast: Serial Killer Analysis: LSO802

What influences and circumstances shaped who they are?
Did their punishment cause their deaths?
Why did they kill?
The Background of Killers
Crime and Punishment
Thursday, April 10, 2014
Vol XCIII, No. 311
Who are these killers? How are they similar and how are they different?
Serial Killers: Compare & Contrast
Who...or what made these killers?
Continued History
The Criminal Enquirer
- Perspectives have changed on how society views killers. People have become desensitized to crime and have come to seemingly glorify the actions of these killers. This influence is portrayed through various media such as movies, TV series, and books which were created based on the nature of the crimes committed by these killers. Video games were created which allow people to actually take on the role of serial killers and bring these types of crimes to life. These individuals have become notorious for their crimes and the possessions of these killers were sold for shocking amounts of money. Gender roles were redefined with Aileen Wuornus as she was the first female serial killer to perceived to use methods previously reserved for male serial killers. Furthermore, society punishes these killers for the benefit of the society and for the sake of the victims, families and loved ones and on the flip side, also makes millions for and from the actions of these killers. For example, Aileen Wuornos received the lethal injection for her heinous life and crimes whereas Charlize Theron recieved an Oscar award for her portrayal of Aileen's life in the movie Monster.

John Wayne Gacy
was caught in
after his victims last known location was linked to
his home
- His home was searched and police found
of various
horrific acts
- Found Guilty of
33 Murders
John Wayne Gacy
- Found guilty of murder of 33 boys and young men
- Died by lethal injection on May 10th, 1994

Aileen Wuornos
- Killed 7 men over the age of 40, and received 6 life sentences
- Requested the death penalty
- Died by lethal injection October 9th, 2002

Ed Gein
- Found guilty of murder by reason of insanity for the murder of 2 women, and the practice of necrophilia and human taxidermy
- Confined in psychiatric hospital from sentancing until his death.
- Died of respiratory failure on July 26, 1984, at age 77
Aileen Wuornos
was caught on
January 19th, 1991
, after
police asked for help
and recieved various
from the community.
volunatirly and was found guilty of
7 murders
Ed Gein
was caught on
November 17th, 1957
after police searched his property, after being the last person seen at the

, which was owned by, and was the crime scene of his last victim
-Police discovered evidence of the kills, as well as
human remains
, exhumed from
grave yard
- Found Guilty of
2 murders

What we have learned
Death of Mother
- Died December 29th, 1949

- Died after a series of strokes

- Gein became very lonely after her death

- Boarded up her room and possesions

- Her death triggered his grave robbing ritual and eventually lead to seeking live victims to satisfy his need
First Known Kill
- His first known victim was Mary Hogan, in 1954

- Hogan was a local tavern keeper in Plainfield, Wisconsin

- Police found blood and drag marks at the scene, but were not able to solve the case until years later.
-Discovered the body of his second victm, Bernice Worden, the owner of a local hardware store on November 17th, 1957
- Her Son reported her missing and identified Gein as the last man he saw
- Police discovered blood and signs of a struggle at the scene
- They discovered the headless body of Worden at Geins residence
- Gein later confessed to the murders of Worden and Hogan
Date of Death
- Gein was found Not Guilty by reason of insanity, and spent his the rest of his life in a mental institution.

- Died July 26th, 1984 from a long battle with lung cancer

Date of Birth
- Born August 27th, 1906 in La Crosse, Wisconsin.

- Parents were Augusta and George Gein.

- Had one brother, Henry, who was 7 years older.
Death of Brother
- Died on May 16th, 1944

- Brother went missing while fighting a wildfire

- Speculated that Gein might of killed his brother at this time, due to their disagreement about his attachment to their mother
John Wayne Gacy
Organised Killer- He killed his victims and disposed of the bodies in crawlspace under his house

Hedonistic Power and Control Killer - Pretended to be a cop and “arrest” his victims. He then brought his victims back to his home where he restrained them, sexually assaulted and tortured them and then killed them. Sometimes he invited his victims over for drinks and games. He would then bring out sex toys and magic handcuffs and rape his victims. When he was finished his torture he would kill them.

His victims were young (9-20 years old) covering the social spectrum from middle class teens to jailbirds and male prostitutes

Ed Gein
Disorganised Killer - He shot his victims leaving evidence of the struggle and the blood of his victims at the scene of the crime. He did not get caught initially because no one suspected that he would be capable of committing such a crime.

Hedonistic - He was a lust killer who received pleasure and satisfied curiosities from his dead victims. He also sought comfort from his female victims

Visionary – It was established that he was experiencing psychosis which led him to murder 2 women. He was also under the influence of his mother's views on women as "evil" and "dirty"

After digging up graves no longer satisfied his deeper needs, he began to kill

Aileen Wuornos
Organised Killer- Killed her victims and got rid of the bodies

Mission Oriented Killer- She claims that she was "cleaning the streets"

Unique from other female serial killers. There was no known previous relationship to any of her victims and her methods were not typical of other female serial killers

Motivation : Compare & Contrast
Date of Birth
-Born March 17th, 1942 in Chicago, Illinois

First Crime
- In Spring 1968, he was indicated for sodomy with teenager , Mark Miller
- 4 months later, he hired man to beat up victim
- Sentancted to 10 years in prison, but left June 19th, 1970
First Known Kill
- His first known kill was in January 3rd, 1972.

- His victim was 18 year old, Thomas McCoy.
Started Contracting Business
- Began his own contracting business in 1974

- Used this as a way to lure his victims, by offering them work opportunities.
-He was caught on December 13th, 1978

-He later confessed to his crimes on December 22nd

- Helped police to locate the bodies of his victims

- To date, bodies of 33 known victims have been found
Date of Death
- Died in Prison on May 10th, 1994

- Died by Lethal Injection
Became Pregnant
- She became pregnant at age 14, and gave birth to a baby boy
- In 1971, shortly after birth , she gave the baby up for adoption
Crime Spree
- From May 1974 to January 1986, she went on a crime spree, committing offences that progressed in severity

- Some of the crimes she committed include:
-Assault, Disturbing the Peace, Driving without a license, a DUI, Armed Robbery, Forging Checks/Fraud, Theft, Auto Theft and Resisting Arrest

First Known Kill
- Her first known kill was in December, 1989

- Her first victim was named Richard Mallory

- Dumped his body at the side of the highway
- She was caught and confessed on January 18th, 1991

- She was caught after police asked for help, and a number of leads turned up.

At 'The Last Resort' bar, "drinking and chatting until midnight when she left. But she did not go far: Lee Wuornos spent her last night of freedom sleeping on an old yellow vinyl car seat under the tin-roof overhang of the bar" (Berry-Dee & Wuornos, 2006, p.131).

- Confessed to and recieved 6 death penalties
Date of Birth
- Born February 29th, 1956 to single mother

- In 1960, at age 4, she was adopted my her maternal Grandparents, Lauri and Britta Wuornos

Discovered Adoption
- At age 11, She discovered she and her brother had been adopted by her grandparents because her mother was unable to handle being a single mother.

- This news set her down a rough path
Date of Death
- Died in prison on May 10th, 1994

- Died by Lethal injection
Family History
John Wayne Gacy
-Raised with "authoritarian" parenting style

-Gacy’s family background was abusive both physically and emotionally. The abuse he experienced was from his father who was an alcoholic. He also witnessed his father's abuse toward his mother and sisters.

- Gacy tried to receive his father’s approval but despite his efforts he was rarely able to please him. He was frequently called a “sissy” or a “mama’s boy” and deemed by his father as "dumb and stupid". In contrast, his mother and sisters were very affectionate and supportive of him.

- Gacy dropped out of four different high schools and
never actually graduated.

Aileen Wuronos
- Was raised with "neglecting" parenting style which affected her emotional and social development.

- Her father was convicted of sex crimes against children including the rape and attempted murder of a seven-year-old girl, he was a schizophrenic, and he committed suicide in prison.

- Her mother abandoned her and her brother when she was four, leaving them with their grandparents .

- She and he brother engaged in sexual activity by the time she was eleven, this was around the same time that she was trading sexual favours for food and drugs in school .

- Her grandfather was an alcoholic who physically and sexually abused her .

- When she was fourteen she was raped and impregnated by a friend of her grandfather’s, She carried the child to term and then put it up for adoption .

Ed Gein

- Gein experienced "authoritarian" parenting style

-His father was an alcoholic, described as a weak man who had no say in the upbringing of Ed or his brother.

- His mother was described as “…fanatically religious woman, was determined to raise the boys according to her strict moral code” (Bell & Bardsley, 2014).
His mother moved them to Plainfield, Wisconsin where she could better isolate the boys for the evils of the world, and impose on them her views that included “… immorality of the world, the evil of drinking, and the belief that all women (herself excluded) were prostitutes and instruments of the devil” (Blanco, 2014).

-Was only allowed to leave the farm for the purpose of attending school and to work and if he attempted to make friends he was scolded for it by his mother.

- Aileen Wuornos had a severely traumatic beginning to her life which damaged her emotional and social development.

- She was kicked out of her house in her teenage years forcing her into supporting herself through prostitution.

-Aileen discovered that she was adopted when she was 11, and was extremely shocked with this news and felt completely deceived. She became uncontrollable and her outbursts drove a further wedge between her and her grandparents.
- Before her final arrest, Aileen was involved in multiple criminal activities such as armed robbery, car theft, forgery, and prostitution.
- Ed Gein’s extreme isolation throughout most of his life coupled with regular dosage of fanatical religious preaching contributed to his emotional state.
-Gein experienced the loss of his father in 1940, the loss of his brother in 1944 who died under "mysterious circumstances" in a fire, and the loss of his dear mother in 1945 which left him alone and vulnerable.

- He was later diagnosed with a psychological condition which was partially attributed to the unhealthy relationship he had with his mother and his upbringing.

- He had conflicting feelings about women, his natural sexual attraction to them and the unnatural attitudes that his mother had instilled in him. This conflicting feeling towards women became overwhelming and eventually developed in to episodes of psychosis.
- John Wayne Gacy was both emotionally troubled and suffered physical injury that my have contributed to his criminal actions.

-He was also unable to complete high school as he dropped out of four different high schools.

-He eventually became successful and graduated from business college and became a salesman. He soon married a co-worker whose parents owned a restaurant and stepped into the role of manager of that restaurant. it was from here that his troubles began after being arrested for sodomy after allegedly coercing a young male employee into engaging in sexual acts.
Final Words:

"I'd just like to say I'm sailing with the rock, and I'll be back like Independence Day, with Jesus June 6. Like the movie, big mother ship and all, I'll be back."

Final Words:

"Kiss my ass".

Final Meal:

A dozen deep fried shrimp, a bucket of original recipe chicken from KFC, a pound of fresh strawberries and French fries.

Final Meal:

A cup of coffee
- His grave site in the Plainfield cemetery was frequently vandalized over the years
- Souvenir seekers chipped off pieces of his gravestone before the bulk of it was stolen in 2000.
- The gravestone was recovered in June 2001 near Seattle and is now in a museum in Waushara County.
Ed Gein
John Wayne Gacy
Aileen Wuornos
" Our mother shit-canned us two kids. The Motherfucking bitch whore sent us in a hand-basket to hell" ~Ailleen Wuornos
"I was betrayed all my fucking life, you know...I've had enough shit in my life. What about the cops? Lying, cheating Motherfuckers. I was cleaning the streets for them". ~ Aileen Wuornos
" I said to my wife, "this case is going to be big -- really big. You remember the Richard Speck case? Well, this case is going to make that case look like a misdemeanor.... the shit is about to hit the fan." That actually turned out to be an enormous understatement." ~ Lawyer Sam Amirante revering to his new client John Wayne Gacy
"From time to time during the interrogation Eddie complained of hunger and asked for something to eat. At one point he was presented with a slice of apple pie topped with a chunk of Wisconsin cheddar. Eddie munched on his snack while continuing to answer Wilimovsky's questions. Apparently, however, the food did not come up to Eddie's finicky standards. Interrupting his tale of body snatching and corpse flaying and flesh wearing, the little man who ate his soup from skullcaps and kept a she box full of salted vaginas, turned to his interogator and began to fuss about the dryness of the cheese" (Schechter, 1989, p.124).
"There once was a man named Ed, who wouldn't take a woman to bed. When he wanted to diddle, he cut out the middle, and hung the rest in the shed ~Popular limerick Wisconsin, 1958" (Schechter, 1989, p.63)
Psychological Issues
John Wayne Gacy
- A psychologist who interviewed Gacy found him “to be extremely intelligent, yet believed that he suffered from borderline schizophrenia. Other medical experts that testified on behalf of the defense gave similar testimony stating that Gacy was schizophrenic, suffered from multiple personality disorder or had antisocial behaviour” (Bell & Bardsley, 2014)

- The assessment summarized that Gacy’s impairments distorted his ability to understand the seriousness of his crimes, and therefore he was found to be insane during the time of his crimes (Bell & Bardsley, 2014).

Aileen Wuornos
- “Three defense psychologists concluded that Wuornos suffered borderline personality disorder at the time of her crime, resulting in extreme mental or emotional disturbance. The psychologists said her ability to conform her conduct to the requirements of the law was substantially impaired, and that Wuornos exhibited evidence of brain damage” (Clarkprosecutor, 2002).

- Believed that she was in real danger from the men she was with at the time of the murders that led her to commit the crimes.

- The psychological examination concluded that her impairment and the level of disturbance she experienced was not enough to negate her charges (Clarkprosecutor, 2002).

Ed Gein
- Psychologist that assessed him “…concluded that he was indeed emotionally impaired. Psychologists and psychiatrists who interviewed him asserted that he was schizophrenic and a ‘sexual psychopath’” (Bell & Bardsley, 2014).
Psychological Assessment
- All three serial killers underwent a psychological evaluation to determine if they were fit to stand trial.
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