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The Circumstances Involving Serial Killers Essay

2057 words - 9 pages

Serial killers differ from other types of murderers. The number of serial killers in the U.S. is staggering. Differences are clear between serial killing and conventional murders. Serial killing can be classified as either motive based or organizational and social based. The Holmes Typology helps to understand the motivations behind serial killing. Serial killers may be even motivated by fame as part of their motivation for killing. John Wayne Gacy could be seen as evil due to his repeated violent acts. Jeffrey Dahmer was also evil by committing his acts of serial murders. Both Gacy and Dahmer had police records prior to their arrests for serial murders. Serial killers are poor candidates for rehabilitation. Their acts are evil.
Serial killing is rampant in the U.S. According to estimates in a recent study conducted by the FBI, there have been about 400 serial killers in the U.S. in the last century, with the total number of murder victims ranging from 2,525 to 3,860 . Various experts in the field have suggested that there may be anywhere from 50 to as many as 300 serial killers active at the same time, although there is no clear evidence supporting this . Certainly, an estimate of 300 active serial killers seems at odds with the FBI’s estimate of 400 over the entire previous century. But an estimated 80% of the serial killers in the past century have emerged since 1950. For whatever reason, serial killing is clearly on the rise, with the term itself coined only since the mid-1970’s, so perhaps 300 active serial killers at one time could be unfortunately possible. The number of serial killing in the U.S. is staggering.
There are important differences between serial killers and other types of murderers. Motives for ‘conventional’ premeditated murders are often related in some way to monetary gain, jealousy/passion or revenge, or some combination of these and tend to be event or circumstance driven. Serial murder seems to have distinctly different motivations that are rooted in the entire history of the killer rather than in isolated events or situations. A failure to learn adequate social coping skills or neglect and abuse (physical or sexual) that happened as a child may be contributing factors. Mental illness, perhaps even caused by physical brain damage caused by injury, can be an important contributing factor. Substance abuse may contribute to violent tendencies. But there is general agreement that “there is no single identifiable cause or factor that leads to the development of a serial killer. … The development of a serial killer involves a combination of …. factors, which exist together in a rare confluence in certain individuals. They have the appropriate biological predisposition, molded by their psychological makeup, which is present at a critical time in their social development.” (FBI. “Serial Murder: Multi-Disciplinary Perspectives for Investigators.” Unknown. Web. March 2014). Differences are clear...

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