A Lust Soul Essay

976 words - 4 pages

In the late 1980’s the streets of Rochester, New York, would not only be the home to hundreds of prostitutes working the streets, but also home to the man who would prey on and eventually kill these very women. In 1988, a convicted murderer would literally be smuggled into the city of Rochester, his name, Arthur Shawcross. Also known as the Genessee River killer, Shawcross committed his first murder in 1972 more than 200 miles away in Watertown New York. His victims at the time unlike the 11 other women he would eventually kill 25 years later were 10 year old Jack Blake and 8 year old Karen Ann Hill.
Shawcross at least according to him, lived a very troubled childhood which included being ...view middle of the document...

He would also leave behind what is known as a “clustered crime scene.” In other words, “a scene involves a situation where most of the activities take place at one location; the confrontation, the attack, the assault and sexual activity, etc." (Gerberth) As we now know, Shawcross would drive his victims to a secluded area where he would violently kill and then sexually assault them afterwards. Killing wasn’t enough to satisfy him though as he would sometimes revisit a victims location for additional gratification. This behavior while very common amongst serial killers, would eventually lead police to the arrest and prosecution of Arthur Shawcross.
It is difficult to overlook the fact that Shawcross could have been predisposed to violence due to physical problems he endured during childhood. “As a child Shawcross was knocked unconscious after being struck in the head by a rock.” (Hickey) We may not know the extent of the damage caused by this incident or what part of the brain may have been affected if any; but studies have shown “psychopaths have difficulty showing empathy like patients who suffer from frontal lobe injuries.” (University of Haifa) The head injury he suffered as child could also explain why as an adult he suffered from seizures. We can also take a look at some of his childhood characteristics for other potential predispositional signs such as his chronic bedwetting, arson, and experiences with bestiality. Together, these three characteristics which are actually bedwetting, fire starting, and cruelty to animals formulate what is known as the MacDonalds Triad. Like anything else, not all those that share these characteristics always turn out to be serial killers but studies do show that a large number of serial killers are linked through this triad.
The one defense used by Shawcross and his lawyers that strikes me the most was the...

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