Serial Killer

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Ngoc Nguyen
Professor Rosenkranz
English 1302
25 September 2010
Essay 1, Serial Killer
Do serial killers have the same motive for killing? In “What Makes a Serial Killer” by La Donna Beaty, she composes an informative argument providing characteristics of a serial killer. She bases her argument on what makes a serial killer according to information gathered from eight different sources. According to the theories that she has provided, society, family atmosphere, mental illness, and excessive use of alcohol are the characteristics that make up a serial killer. Can these characteristics mask all serial killers? Beaty provides evidence that suggests what might make a serial killer, but, she doesn’t state what she thinks defines one, which makes this essay more of an essay to inform.

In order to make her point, the author quotes many theories from various books and researches. Each time she mentioned a new theory, she would provide a quote from one of the eight sources to prove her statement. When Beaty stated that “one of the most common traits that all researchers have noted among serial killers is heavy use of alcohol” (4), she followed it with evidence from research done by Donald Lunde. Throughout the paper, she provides a substantial amount of evidence pertaining to what could possibly make a serial killer but, the evidence is from another person’s point of view; not her own. She backs up each topic sentence with an amazing amount of evidence that could make the reader believe that she knows what defines a serial killer. In her fourth paragraph, she mentions that “. . . many murderers are the product of our violent society” (Beaty 2). She backs that up with five quotes from two different researches: Our culture tends to approve of violence and find it acceptable, even preferable, in many circumstances (Holmes and DeBurger 27). According to research done in 1970, one out of every four men and one out of every six women believed that it was...
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