Dr. K. Dowler
California State University Stanislaus
This research paper is based on the actions of the serial killer named Randy Kraft. This paper will contain three separate theories that will be used to describe and possibly answer reasons why he did what he did. The three theories that will be included are rational choice and routine activities from the Choice Theory, the social strain theory from the Social Structure Theory and the social control theories from the Social Process Theory.
Randy Kraft was born in 1945 in Long Beach, California. Kraft was the 4th of 5 children and was the only boy. He was very accident prone and clumsy as a young boy but throughout school was very intelligent. Kraft loved politics and wanted to some day possibly pursue a career in it. After high school Kraft graduated from college in economics and scored high on an IQ test (129). He would not go on to fulfill his goals in politics but would soon become a bartender in a gay bar. Kraft was commissioned in the Air Force during the Vietnam War but was stationed at Edwards AFB as an aircraft maintenance superintendent. Kraft would soon be discharged from the Air Force because of his sexual preferences; he was gay. Kraft enjoyed hanging out at gay bars and his habits included popping pill for headaches and alcohol. Kraft's roommates would soon take notice of his habits of disappearing for 2 to 3 days a week for no apparent reasons. This was definitely behavior that was considered atypical for him. This explanation of behavior should be noted as I explain the theory of rational and routine activities. The micro approach of rational activities can be described through the behavior patterns of Randy Kraft. Kraft was very unsociable in school and did not seek out to make any friends. Kraft knew he was different from an early age as he became interested in males over females. During the early 1960's this was considered very inappropriate and usually was looked upon as a mental illness by many. As Kraft became more involved with the gay lifestyle he would often seek out single males that were available and willing to have sex with him. Kraft would soon begin fantasizing about having numerous partners and using them for one thing only, self-gratification. Kraft's daily routine would usually begin by going to work in the afternoon at a gay bar where he would bartend; it was there where he would meet his victims. As Kraft began consuming large amounts of alcohol and valium he would pick up on the men he would plan to target. Kraft would usually be motivated by fantasies that would occur in his mind. Kraft's irrational choices usually led to him drugging his victims and having sex with them. Kraft's actions reveal that he had no rationale to this process but only wanted one thing and that was sex. Soon, Kraft would begin to lure young men but preferably marines to gay bars where he would drug them and get them drunk in order to perform illicit sexual acts on them. Usually after these specific acts he would kill and mutilate their bodies, often biting off their penis. Kraft was very keen on the way he would lure these individuals being careful that nobody else saw his behavior. He was a sexually motivated individual that would seek out suitable targets that he thought would be easy prey. These acts as discussed were done carefully in order to thwart off any capable guardians. He would secretly drug them and get them alone to insure no witnesses would interfere with his desires. These predatory crimes were conducted often and as many times as once a week. He would leave without reason as his roommates explained to dispose of his victims mutilated bodies, usually on the side of a highway but out of sight. As Messner and Tardiff stated in their studies, these victims were usually strangers to Kraft. In this situation, Kraft was acting upon irrational behavior and did not care...
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Dowler, K. Class Notes, Theoretical Perspectives. 2004
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