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This Paper Is About The Differences And Similarities Between Serial Killers And Murderers.

1123 words - 4 pages

What is a serial killer and what are the differences and similarities between murderers and serial killers? In our world today there is a frightening reality that we could all be victims of a serial killer with in our lifetime. It is critical to not only define what is meant by the term serial killers, but to recognize signs of possible perpetrators, and to identify ways in which society could address this issue. By looking at various types of killers, examining their personality characteristics and/or behavior patterns we can learn some of the reasons why they commit certain crimes. The FBI's role in the capture of these criminals and our responsibility as members of society is critical in addressing this frightening reality.Before defining the aspects of serial killing, it is important to briefly explain and differentiate the various types of homicides or serial killings. Besides the obvious single-incident homicides that has become a part of daily life, other types of homicides or murders include mass, spree and serial killings. Mass murder involves the killing of three or more people within a relatively short period of time, in some cases minutes, in and around the same location. Spree murders also include multiple victims, however, the killer's rampage or "spree" can go on anywhere from a couple of hours into several days.The difference between these murderers and serial killers is that both mass murderers and spree killers usually take their own lives after the killings or force a confrontation with the police allowing no feasible escape, only death."Serial killers on the other hand, take great pains to avoid detection and take elaborate measures to elude apprehension."In researching serial killers, it is noted that the "killings are repetitive ('serial'), Occurring with greater or less frequency, often escalation, over a period of time, until the killer is taken into custody, dies or himself killed." As in most cases of homicide, the serial killer does act alone. This is due to the belief by the killer that working alone is safe in that he is the only one with the knowledge of the crime.Serial killers are defined in four different categories: Visionaries, Missionaries, Hedonists and Power seekers. Visionaries are described as " killers who act in response to 'voices' and alter egos, when 'instructions' received serve to justify and legitimize the act of murder." An example of such criminal is Herbert Mullin. Mullin was a visionary described as having a religious background, excelling academically and being socially popular. After the death of one of his best friends he began to display signs of a schizophrenic nature. While in and out of carious mental institutions at the request of his family, Mullin became dependent upon hallucinogenic drugs. He began hearing voices that instructed him to kill in order to save the world. By killing, he believed he was preventing a much larger catastrophe, that of the elimination of the state of...

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