Serial Killers

Topics: Crime, Murder, Serial killer, Capital punishment, Ted Bundy, Capital punishment in the United States / Pages: 7 (1651 words) / Published: Dec 16th, 2007
Dennis Nilson stated "a mind can be evil without being abnormal". If this is the case, then what makes a serial killer tick? The definition of a serial killer is; a series of two or more murders committed as separate events usually, but not always, by one offender standing alone. (Brookes, 1988) Over the years, many murderers have been given this term. From the early days of Jack the Ripper, to the most recently publicized case of "the sniper", all have different motives and reasons to the crimes that they commit. Most of the serial killers suffer from mental illness/addictions or have had traumatic life experiences. This is not always the case though; some can also be racially motivated. The typical serial killer is a lower to middle class white male in his twenties to thirties. As children, they usually have a "triad" of symptoms which include bed wetting, playing with fire, and animal torturing. In one instance, Peter Kurten of Dusseldorf, Germany would have sexual relations with animals including pigs, goats, and sheep. While having sex with sheep, he would repeatedly stab them.
In the past fifteen years, as narcissistic disturbance in general has been better understood, a relationship has been noted between pathological narcissism and serial homicide (Schlesinger, 1998). Serial killers' motivation to kill seems to stem from their underlying personality makeup. In studies, psychologists believe that there is a relationship between narcissism and aggression. Most serial killers are diagnosed borderline or narcissistic, even older cases that were reported in literature (Schlesinger, 1998).

Aileen Wuornos Aileen Wuornos, born in Rochester, Michigan, was the daughter of teenage parents. Her father, a child molester and psychopath, left the family several months before Aileen was born. Her mother left soon after, claiming Aileen and her brother Keith were "crying unhappy babies," leaving their grandparents left to care for them. At



References: Malvo, L. B. (2005, Jan 2). Lee boyd malvo. Retrieved October 31, 2006, from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lee_Boyd_Malvo Muhammed, J. A. (2005, Jan 2). John allen muhammed. Retrieved October 31, 2006, from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Allen_Muhammed Newton, Michael. (2000). The encyclopedia of serial killers. New York, NY: Checkmark Books. Schlesinger, Louis B. (1998). Current psychology. Developmental, Learning, Personality, Social, Volume 17, 212-221. The Beltway Sniper attacks (2005, Jan 2) Retrieved October 31, 2006, from http://dictionary.laborlawtalk.com/Beltway_sniper_attacks

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