Profile of a Serial Killer
Serial killings can be shocking, terrifying, and horrific for many people that are around the murders, have family around them or just hear about what is happening. When people hear that someone they have known for years has committed one or multiple murders they often express great shock and surprise (“Early” np). People find it hard to believe that the seemingly “normal” person they knew could do such a thing, this is because most, if not all, serial killers have the power to behave in a manner that arouses no suspicion (“Early” np). These killers seem like normal everyday people because serial killers are generally smart just mentally unstable, and even though they share similar psychological profiles, childhoods, and traits there are different types of serial killers and they have different motives ranging from a variety of reasons.
A serial killer is not a murderer; it is not a person that looks to kill another person then stop because they have done what they wanted to do. They go on, searching for whoever steps in their way at the right moment then attacks and does not stop until they are caught, but just like murder, there are different types of serial killers and serial killings. A serial killer is traditionally defined as an individual who has killed three or more people over a period of more than a month, with down time (a "cooling off period") between the murders, and whose motivation for killing is usually based on psychological gratification. Serial killers are motivated to kill, but many have different reasons and motives (“Serial Killers” np). Micki Pistorius, a psychologist who worked for the South African police on more than thirty cases of serial killing wrote, “Serial Killers are not monsters: they are human beings with tortured souls; the motive is intrinsic, an irresistible compulsion, fuelled by fantasy, which may lead to torture, and/or sexual abuse, mutilation and necrophilia” (Innes 6). A typical serial killer usually a Caucasian male between the ages of 25-35, his intellectual ranges from below average to above average, and the majority of the time he will kill within his own ethnic group. The ages of his/her, victims will vary greatly depending on their particular interests; they usually do not have any prior contact with the victims and thus no particular hatred for them though, the victims may be symbolic to him in some way. He may be married with children, have a job and be just like the person next door or, he may be socially inept, unable to maintain relationships and be a complete loner (“Serial Killers” np).
Serial Murder and Murder are in no way similar, they are two very different types of murder. Murder is defined as the willful and unlawful killing of one human being, which does not include deaths caused by negligence, suicide, attempted murder, accident, or justifiable homicide. Generally, murder/homicide occurs due to one of two basic motivations: reaction murder where there is a death as a result of an event: quarrel, rage, reaction to an insult, or jealousy. The “for-gain” murder is for monetary gains, revenge, protection of oneself, or even power (“Serial Killers” np). Serial murders are senseless they make no sense they are all connected in some way and that’s why it is so hard for the killers to be caught. Taking the lives of several people (three or more) is classified as Serial murder. Serial murder will not stop like a regular murder will, serial murder keeps going on until the serial killer is institutionalized, or incarcerated. Although, there will likely be a “cooling down” period but the killings will continue over time and the period between each killing will decrease over time because the killer derives great excitement almost certainly sexual from the first incident. First evidence that seemingly unrelated murders are serial is the distinguishable pattern of behavior exhibited by the perpetrator and the absence of any apparent motive...
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