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Chapter 12

Chapter 12 Serial Murder.docx

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SOC 2760
Rob Shearer

Chapter 12 Serial Murder Defining Serial Murder  Individual who kills multiple victims at different times and often in different places with cooling-off periods in-between the killings  Involves killing multiple victims over time – distinguish from spree murderers in that serial kills “cool down” between murders  Return to their normal lives or routines between killing episodes  Takes 3 victims to be classified as a serial killer (Fox and Levin say 3-4 is classified as serial killing)  There is also a possibility of moving to killing of two individuals in two separate incidents is likely to keep killing unless someone or something stops him or her Serial Killers Throughout History  Gilles De Rais – kidnapped, tortured, raped and killed as many as 200 youngsters between the ages of 6-20; preferred boys and confessed to the killings in detail – sentenced to death  Elizabeth Bathory – murdered more then 650 women for their blood The Extent for Serial Killing  In 1992, the U.S National Center for the Analysis of Violent Crime (NCAVC) determined that there had been 357 serial killers in the United States during the period from 1960-1991 o Suspected to have killed about 3, 169 individuals o California stands out to having several serial killers  (pg 212 – 213 – statistics on different countries and serial murders Demographic Profile of Serial Killers  Most serial killers are lower-class white males in their late 20s or 30s o However, there are those that do not fit the typical demographic profile because they are female or nonwhite, or middle or upper class, or older than 30 years o Very few younger than 20 years old Who Serial Killers Kill  Serial killers tend to kill victims who are strangers to them o 91.5% of male serial killers killed at least one stranger o they tend to seek out victims who are not likely to be reported missing or those otherwise vulnerable o often select “throwaways” – the homeless, runaways, migrants, prostitutes o Egger: refers to these types of victims as being “less dead” since they were “less alive” before they were killed o Children, women, gay men also may be sought after by serial killers to feed their sexual fantasies because serial killers believe they will be easy to overpower and control  Serial murder more likely to kill women than men – but more likely to kill strangers and less likely to kill family members and acquaintances  In the family category most likely to kill their own children and their spouses  Female serial killers commonly kill people they know, own children, spouses, elderly or young people in their care o Blanche Moore – poisoned two of her husbands, a lover, her mother- in-law and her father  Of 64 serial killers studied – 25% killed only strangers, 31% killed at least on stranger  Average number of victims of a serial killer range from 7-12 people Who Serial Killers Kill  Male serial kills tend to strangle their victims, however, they have beaten, shot, or injected, their victims to kill  Many serial killers kill for the feeling of power for sadistic pleasure they get from torturing another and taking his/her life  Torturing ones victims before killing them is common among male serial killers  Serial killer teams- make up as much as 20% of all serial killers  Female serial killers often use poison to end their victims life Race and Serial Killers  African Americans are slightly over represented among serial killers  (pg 216) – ethnic statistics  Institutionalized and individual racism ha led police to take cases involving African American victims less seriously, and thus serial patterns may go unnoticed and serial killers may roam free Types of Serial Murderers  Hazlewood and Douglas: organized and disorganized criminal behaviour o Organized crime scenes suggest that the killer carefully planned and executed the murder  Likely to exercise power over the victim by using restraints and raping or torturing their victims while he/she is alive o Disorganized scene where killing appears to have been a spontaneous and chaotic act  Likely to perform sexual acts on the victim after death and leave evidence of weapons at the scene  Holmes and Deburger developed typology that relies on factors other than crime scene evidence o 1. Visionary : killers kill because of visions that are believed to be the result of some type of psychosis o 2. Missionary: these offenders kill to do away with certain types of people in the world such as prostitutes or homosex
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