The Truth About... Serial And Mass Murders

1319 words - 6 pages

A murderer is a murderer. There is no doubt about it, a person like that deserves to be punished for the crime they committed. However, not every killer is the same; there are some who are mass murderers who go on killing rampages for reasons of their own, and then there are the serial killers that love to kill people because it makes them feel some sort of emotion. People often mistake these killers as one and the same, but in reality they are completely different in the ways they are profiled by the police, how they commit their murders and the effect they have on the community and the nation.
Granted mass and serial murders are both killers, the police profile them differently. Even though they each have a different style of killing, both serial killers and mass murderers follow patterns. In an article written by R.M and S.T. Holmes they say that “the mass murderer is perceived as a demented, mentally ill person”. As the quote in the book says Prendergast was obviously mentally ill as are most other mass murderers. In the book, The Devil in the White City, Larson says that “Holmes was warm and charming and talkative, he touched the women with a familiarity that while perhaps back at home would have been offensive, now seemed quite alright in the new city of Chicago” (Larson, 245). R.M and S.T. Holmes observe that “serial killers give themselves no discernible traits form the other people in society; they walk into the lives of many, invited then fatally dispatched with little concern.” Just like Larson said Holmes invited himself into the lives of many, and while he may have stood out in the way he touched them, I'm sure it wasn’t a big factor because this was the beginning of a new era and younger people were behaving with more obscenity then were the customs of the older generation. Another trait that is unique to the serial killer is their behavior towards people. R.M and S.T. Holmes quote that “serial killers have a front stage and a back stage behavior. The front stage of a serial killer is typically any normal person of some social class. The person functions as a law student, the owner of a construction company or small business. But the secret behavior, the back stage behavior is something only the victims will see”. Larson shows us just that sort of behavior of Holmes throughout the book. “He cast himself as a demanding contractor” (Larson 67), this shows his front stage behavior. Then in another part of the story he shows his back stage behavior. “He could open the door and look in on Anna and give her a big smile, just to let her know this was no accident, then close the door again, slam it, and return to his chair to see what happens next” (Larson 296). Profiling these characteristics is an important way to catch them sooner and end up with fewer victims.
Murder sets most people on edge, whether serial or mass. But no matter the reaction they have on the community and the nation, they are two different types of killers. In the...

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