Herbert Mullins- a Case Study of a Serial Murderer

Topics: Serial killer, Schizophrenia, Santa Cruz, California Pages: 20 (7763 words) Published: March 4, 2010
Herbert William Mullin was born on April 18, 1947, in Salinas California (Newton, 2000). Dr. Lunde and Morgan describe Salinas as a farming community in Monterey County South of Santa Cruz (1980). Herbert is the younger of two children his sister Patricia being the elder, born to Jean and Martin William Mullin. Jean, a devout catholic, and Martin, a military veteran; raised their children in what some would say a “nurturing, stable but perhaps strict Roman Catholic household” (Vronsky, 2004 p. 149). He was a gentle natured child and very bright. He played little league baseball and was a Boy Scout (Lunde, Morgan, 1980). Herb attended parochial school so he was separated from neighboring peers that attended the local public school. As a result, Herbert failed to make close bonds which led to loneliness and alienation (Lunde, Morgan, 1980). When Herbert was halfway through high school, the Mullin family relocated to Felton in 1963. He finished his second year at Riordan High school, a Catholic Boys School. However, in Felton he attended the local public high school. Even though, the move was at a vulnerable time in his life, Herb seemed to have adjusted well. His sister Patricia stayed in San Francisco to finish college (Lunde, Morgan, 1980). In High School, Herbert was of slight stature, his height was 5’7 and he weighed 120 lbs. Regardless of his size he participated in high school athletics (Newton, 2000). He was part of a group of athletes called the ‘Zeros’ (Douglas, Burgess, Burgess, and Ressler, 1992). He played basketball, baseball and football. He played offensive guard on the football team (Vronsky, 2004). Herbert was the happiest he had ever been. His grades even improved from the previous school. By fall of 1964, Herbert had been the first string guard on the varsity football team (Ressler, Shachtman, 1992) and had a steady girlfriend Loretta Ricketts. He was popular and likeable and made many friends (Scott, n.d.). Herbert possessed the same qualities and identified closely with his best friend Dean Richardson, handsome, athletic, made good grades and was self assured (Lunde, Morgan, 1980). Herb received the class vote of confidence as “most likely to succeed” (Newton, 2000, p.163). Herbert Mullin attended San Lorenzo Valley High and was an honor roll student (Jones, 2006). He was always very polite, well mannered and had excellent grades. In his senior year, Herbert was the vice president of the Varsity Club, a member of the Honorary Key Club and elected chairman of his 12th grade “Sneak Day” (Lunde, Morgan, 1980). Herbert Mullin graduated 43rd in his class of 134 in 1965. He took a job at a service station the following summer (Lunde, Morgan, 1980). However, in August of 1965, one month before the start of the fall semester at Cabrillo College, Herbert lost his closest friend Dean Richardson in an either an auto accident (Lunde, Morgan, 1980) or motor cycle accident (Douglas, et al. 1992). This is believed to mark the beginning his mental deterioration (Douglas et al. 1992), the starting point of a sudden and stark change in his personality (Newton 2000) and the inception of his unusual and bizarre behavior. Herb’s personality went through a series of transformations. These transformations were the sort typical of one suffering from paranoid schizophrenia (Ressler, Shachtman, 1992). The onset of this dreadful disease usually appears at this age (Vronsky, 2004). For instance, Herbert transformed his bedroom into a shrine, arranging his furniture and candles around Dean’s photo (Douglas et al. 1992). Herbert began to hear distant voices, this is a frequent symptom of schizophrenia (Vronsky, 2004) and; it appeared Herbert was desolate and felt betrayed, he experienced his first loss of a loved one. Herbert rejected the notion that it was God’s Will (Lunde, Morgan, 1980, p.221). His family believed that the tragic event affected Herb deeply and claimed that he cried for weeks (Lunde, Morgan,...

References: National Institute of Mental Health, Schizophrenia. Retrieved April 15, 2008
From http://www.medicinenet.com/schizophrenia/article.htm
Scott, S. L. (n.d.). Herb Mullin: Killing to save California from earthquakes - a new motive for serial murder? Retrieved April 5, 2008, from http://www.crimelibrary.com/serial_killers/weird/mullin/index_1.html
Vronsky, Peter (2004). Serial Killers: The Method and madness of monsters.
[Electronic source] Penguin Group (USA) Inc.
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