Nature vs Nuture

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Drilling into the skull of a young man he began to funnel a stream of sulfuric acid into the head of his unconscious victim to create a zombie to fulfill all of his fantasies. Dead within a day, he mummified the head of his victim placing it in the freezer beside the skulls of those who came before. Dismembering the remnants of the body he placed skin, blood, and bone into a fifty-gallon vat of acid dissolving what was left of the young man. This is the mind of Jeffrey Dahmer, he murdered not in anger, revenge, or financial enrichment but on impulse and desire. Like many serial killers before him like Albert DeSalvo, Theodore Bundy, and David Berkowitz, psychologists, criminologists, and scientists searched to answer the question of why serial killers commit these mass killings and how they became such violent humans. What is left are two schools of thought, are serial killers born with predetermined genes that play an integral part in creating their homicidal tendencies or do psychokillers become murderous through their surroundings as children? Though it is important to understand how killers become such vicious individuals it is critical to understand what defines a serial killer and what makes them so incredibly different from other homicidal murderers. A large distinction that separates serial killers from other murderers are their motives to kill. Normally homicides are committed due to disputes that range from family affairs, gang violence, financial difficulties, and disputes between lovers and between friends. "A psychokiller, I should make clear, is not a regular murderer. A murderer has a vendetta, a nice specific personal thing against his victim" (Corin 188). Unlike that of a normal homicide, serial killers are only driven by instinct and a desire to kill. Due to these sexual desires and the need to fulfill their arousing fantasies it often drives these individual to murder those who are complete strangers. Though serial killers only make up for one percent murderers nearly a dozen account for one hundred to two hundred murders annually (Fox 102). Grover Godwin who profiles serial killers collected data from one hundred and seven serial killers and their seven hundred and twenty eight victims from sources that came from the FBI, local police departments, newspaper reports, and from the Homicide Investigations and Tracking System (HITS) database in Washington State. From Godwins investigation he found that nearly ninety percent of victims were complete strangers to the killer and that only three percent were friends and one percent were that of family members (Fox 105). This explains why serial killers are able to get away with the massacres for so incredibly long. When detectives go to investigate the disappearances of those missing there is no link between the killer and the victim making it practically impossible solve these mysteries. In an identical study by criminologist Eric Hickey, he assembled a database of nearly four hundred serial killers in which he found that eighty four percent of killers were male, twenty percent were of African American descent, and that the first murder committed by a serial killer was at the average age of twenty seven and a half years old (Fox 106). Even in movies these statistics can be found such as Psycho, Silence of the Lambs, and the Saw series in which Hollywood has repeatedly created characters that fit the description of a white male in their mid twenties to thirties creating this stereotypical image of serial killers. Publicized in movies, magazines, and on TV serial killers have "Clearly become a fixture in our popular culture" (Fox 102). Unlike in the movie Silence of the Lambs where Dr. Hannibal Lector is a man of intelligence and riddles with an above average IQ, most serial killers do not have an education past that of high school. Grover Godwin found that only sixteen percent of the nearly one hundred and seven serial killers he had studied went to college...
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