FBI agent Robert Ressler coined the term serial killer, showing the base criteria for being labeled a serial killer as having killed 3 or more people in a row, over a long period of time, with a “cooling off” period in between. During these “cooling off” periods the serial killers often live very pleasant and law abiding lives. They appear to be quite normal. Some even have families and are pillars in their community. For instance, Dennis Rader, the BTK killer, was married for 30 years with two children, and was the president of his church.
It is also widely accepted that serial killers, whether organized or disorganized, will change their mode of operation as they refine their methods. Although they will modify the mo as they gain skill and confidence, the type of serial killer they are stays consistent. Listed are some of the different types of serial killers and what motivates them to kill.
1. Thrill seekers are those who seek media attention and enjoy the pursuit from the police. They see outsmarting the authorities as a game. From 1968 to 1974 The Zodiac Killer taunted San Francisco police with letters, sent to newspapers, describing the killings in detail. He was never caught.
2. Mission Oriented killers feel they are doing society a favor by eliminating a certain group of people, such as prostitutes. Robert Pickton killed at least a dozen prostitutes in Vancouver. Charles Manson also falls under this grouping. Although he never actually committed a murder, his thought processes fell under this category.
3. Hedonistic or Lust is the type of killer who kills for the sheer pleasure of it, although what aspect they enjoy varies. They could simply enjoy the chase or they could need to rape, abuse and torture a victim.
4. Visionary is the rare type of killer who acts out of a delusional state. David Berkowitz was a visionary killer. He heard voices instructing him to kill.
5. Power and Control killers do it... [continues]
Cite This Essay
(2011, 04). Serial Killers. StudyMode.com. Retrieved 04, 2011, from http://www.studymode.com/essays/Serial-Killers-680258.html
"Serial Killers" StudyMode.com. 04 2011. 04 2011 <http://www.studymode.com/essays/Serial-Killers-680258.html>.
"Serial Killers." StudyMode.com. 04, 2011. Accessed 04, 2011. http://www.studymode.com/essays/Serial-Killers-680258.html.