We serial killers are your sons, we are your husbands, we are everywhere. And there will be more of your children dead tomorrow" -Ted Bundy
The area of crime which has been chosen for this report is that of serial murder. The main reason for this choice is the media attention and the apparent public fascination in to this area of crime. The aim of this report is to conduct an in depth study of this phenomena with the use of psychological theories such as biological, psychiatric and personality. The use of specific known cases of serial murder will be used in order to test these theories and establish if there is indeed a link. Within this report various psychological and abnormal behaviour theories will be evaluated and applied to this particular crime problem.
Nature and extent of problem
For the interest of this report it is vital to define murder ans serial murder. A generally accepted definition of murder which is also referred to as homicide would be The unlawful killing of another human being especially with premeditated malice. However the definition of murder may differ between countries. However serial murder is slightly more difficult to define and if ; and is often the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) define serial murder as the murder of three or more victims in separate events with an emotional cooling off period between homicides.
The term serial killer and mass murderer are often used synonymously, however it is important to note that criminologists distinguish the two. A mass murderer, is an individual who kills several people in a single event. Similarly a spree killer kills in a series of closely connected events e.g. Thomas Hamilton who killed 16 school children and their teacher at Dunblane in 1996. Levin and Fox (1985) suggest that mass murderers are often suffering from a mental illness that may be associated with childhood trauma, sexual and/or physical...