Serial Killers: Encoded at Birth or Learned Cravings

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Serial Murderers

Serial Murderers
Encoded At Birth or Learned Cravings?

Encoded at Birth or Learned Cravings?

The phenomenon of serial murder has both been appalling and fascinating, despite the attention it receives, relatively little is known about the fundamental motivations and origins of the individuals. In this paper I explore what motivates serial murderers to commit such terrifying acts. Is it genetics, environment or a combination of the two?

Serial Killers
Encoded at Birth or Learned Cravings?
The question of whether or not man is encoded at birth to lead a life of crime is a question that has been debated for decades. Are serial killers born with yearning desire for murder or are their cravings developed through years of abuse? Many believe it is unattainable for an innocent child to be born with the capacity to commit a heinous act such as murder. But in the same respect, how could we have corrupted an individual so much as to turn this once innocent human being into a homicidal lunatic? Forensic psychologists have dissected the minds of serial killers to find as answer as to what forces them to commit such wicked acts. Are these murderers a product of their environment or are they simple born to be evil? First, let me define the term serial murder. The exact definition of serial murder remains a matter of debate, the most commonly referred is given by (Egger 1984) which states: “Serial murder occurs when one or more individuals commits a second murder and/or subsequent murder; is relationshipless (victim and attackers are strangers); occurs at a different time and has no connection to the initial (and subsequent) murder; and is frequently committed in a different geographic location”. Secondly, let us take a look at what are some characteristics of a serial murderer, Schechter and Everitt (2006). The Z to Z Encyclopedia of Serial Killer. New York: Simon & Schuster, Inc., states that serial killers can be divided into four categories:

1. Visionary killers – Most serial killers are psychopaths – i.e., intelligent but utterly amoral human beings characterized by a complete lack of conscience or empathy…people whose minds are gripped by bizarre delusion and hallucinations. 2. Mission-oriented serial killers. See themselves as avenging crusaders ridding society of “undesirables” – harlots, homosexuals, “foreigners”, etc. 3. Hedonistic serial killers. Have no motive beyond their own pleasure. They kill because it feels good…a source of intense, even sexual pleasure. 4. Power seekers. The primary motive of these killers is the urgent need to assert their supremacy over a helpless victim, to compensate for their own deep-stated feelings of worthlessness by completely dominating another human being.” The portrayal of a serial killer is often characterized as “evil monsters” that generally share nothing with normal human beings. In many cases, serial killers began their lives as normal human beings they can be a friend, a lover or even a father. Take for instance, Ted Bundy who was a good student an equally good citizen in his community, he was active in his local church and local troop of the Boy Scouts of America. John Wayne Gacy, Jr. threw block parties for his friends and neighbors and entertained children by dressing up as “Pogo the Clown”, and Andrei Chikatilo was a grandfather that enjoyed playing chess. Yet these three men alone are responsible for over 115 murders and many suspect the number far exceeds that. The list goes on of so called infamous serial killers; The Zodiac Killer, whose identity has yet to be established, claimed to have killed at least 37 victims and Jeffrey Dahmer, 17 victims. These are the most feared...
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