March 20, 2014
Inquiry Proposal: Serial Killers
The topic that I have chosen to cover for my proposal is serial killers. The term “serial killer” was established in the 1970’s by Robert Ressler (former director of an FBI program). He chose “serial” because these types of murders are crimes in series. Murderers become serial killers after three or more victims with quiet periods of time in between the murders. The US holds 76% of the world’s serial killers. According to the latest FBI study in 2007, there are approximately 400 serial killers in the US and 80% of them have emerged since 1950. Statistically, the average serial killer is a white male with a lower to middle-class background and is usually in his twenties or thirties. It seems ludicrous that serial killers often have families, homes, are employed, and appear to be normal members of a community. There are many myths about serial killers such as, they are dysfunctional loners, they are all white males, they all travel, they can’t stop killing, and that they are insane. My proposal is figuring out what may be true about these serial killers. I find it interesting how something brought into this world as an innocent baby could turn into a serial killer. 2. Guiding Questions.
Here are some of the questions that are the major components behind my proposal. Where did the term “serial killer” come from? What makes a person a serial killer? How many are there in the U.S? Why do they do it? What happened throughout their life? What makes them tick? How do they get caught? I believe that these are important questions that need to be answered, as each one gives us a better understanding as to what makes a person not only murder but murder multiple people over periods of days, weeks, and even years. 3. Research Gathered.
Coming into this, I thought it would be easy to figure out exactly what is going on in these serial killers minds but it’s not. It’s hard to say precisely what is going on in their head and what led up to it without being them but with inside information from interviews with serial killers and interviews with detectives, you get a feel of what made them act the way they do. Profiling a serial killer is important in catching a serial killer. Determining the signature and what the serial killer had to do for the crime are big aspects of profiling. Studies from doctors and information from past murders create the profile along with crime-scene information and witness statements. For instance, if the crime scene shows evidence of careful planning, the killer is likely to be intelligent and older. Not all profiles are perfect but they are usually on point. Serial killers begin to surface around their twenties and once they reach a certain point, there is no going back. Detectives also have to profile the victims because they are the key to catching the serial killer. They were picked because something stimulated the serial killer to do so. The only way to prevent the becoming of a serial killer is to go back to their childhood and break up the peculiar patterns. Just like all human beings, serial killers are the product of their heredity and the choices they make throughout their life. Their behavior is influenced by life experiences and biological factors. Humans are in a constant state of development from the moment they are born to the moment they die. Behavior is affected by a stimulus that is processed by the nervous system. According to neurobiologists, our nervous system is environmentally sensitive which allows the individual nervous system to be shaped throughout a lifetime. In saying that, failure to develop social coping mechanisms as a child can result in violent behavior. There are important periods of time in which it is essential that kids learn basic rules on how to interact with people and if they aren’t learned during that period of time, it could be impossible to...
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