An Analysis of Serial Killers Ted Bundy and other and their Crimes in the Different Articles

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Serial killings differ from other types of homicides, as homicides are crimes committed in the moment, and are acts of anger and passion, where as serial killings are motivated by the psychological mind and past experience of the killer. The distinctions in motivation behind serial killings from a regular homicide are important to analyze when anyone is a potential victim, and anyone could be the predator. In the famous words of serial killer Ted Bundy, "We serial killers are your sons, we are your husbands, we are everywhere. And there will be more of your children dead tomorrow." This quote itself reveals the need to understanding and separating individuals that show an inkling of being a serial murder, and why they are more distinct and dynamic than normal individuals. There are two arguments on opposite ends of the spectrum, that focus and whether serial killers born or made. On one side, many people believe that serial killers are a product of their home life. In these cases, future serial killers may have experience physical, sexual and emotional abuse in their childhood. On the other hand, others suggest that there may be genetic and psychological factors that make an individual a serial killer such as distinct chromosomes and brain patterns. An alternative to both sides isthat abnormalities in genetics and brain function, combined with negative adolescent experiences, are what produce a serial killer, among otherwise normally functioning individuals. These are important to analyze together, instead of focusing on one aspect, if proper treatment and aid is to be developed. Bibliographies:

Culhane, Scott E., Hilstad, Sage M., Freng, Adrienne, Gray, Matt J. "Self-Reported

Psychopathology In A Convicted Serial Killer." Journal Of Investigative Psychology & Offender Profiling 8.1 (2011): 1-22. Academic Search Complete. Web. 29 Mar. 2016.

In this article, the authors present the case study of a convicted serial killer based on police reports, witness statements, psychopathy tests, anger and aggression scales etc. and an interview from the serial killer himself. According to the authors, despite the abundance of research on serial killers, there is a lack of knowledge of the true inner workings of their minds, brains, and thoughts that come directly from the source, so this article attempts to solve that issue. As a guide, the article provides and explanation on the various test used to study the male serial killer. The MMPI-2 aids in the assessment of psychopathologies, personality characteristics, and behavioral disorders(3). For Example, the subject who reported to never be diagnosed with a mental disorder, psychopathic scale indicated that individuals such as he tend to be impulsive, rebellious, and hostile, have a low frustration tolerance and show poor judgment (3). This is coupled with high attention seeking and hostility towards authority figures and societal constraints. The conclusion of this research acknowledges the limitation of using "self-report materials," but asserts the validity of the psychological tests(17). Although the inmate did not show a distinctive psychological difference from other serial killer, it is still relevant that serial killer share a common mind and framework.

This source is relevant to my topic in both highlighting the psychological and neurological evaluation of a serial killer, but also acknowledging the killers home life could have also contributed to the crimes being committed. Also, the multitude and depth of the test serve as good evidence in supporting my argument that their environment stimulates something innate within serial killers.

Dalal, J.S., Dr, K KAggarwal, Dr, D S Bhullar, Dr, and Manisha Sharma, Dr. "A CASE STUDY OF SERIAL KILLERS." Journal of Punjab Academy of Forensic Medicine& Toxicology 9 (2009): 109-13. Academic Search Complete. Web. 24 Mar. 2016.

This case study delves into several cases of serial killings and discusses background of the serial killings, roles of forensic medicine, and possible causes of the murders. The focus is on three cases in which a male admitted and confessed to killing a number of children either for sadistic pleasure or sexual gratification. According to the authors, a serial killer is a person that "kills several victims of usually a particular type, without motive except for sexual or sadistic gratification" (109). The first aspect of the case study of serial murderers is the division of serial killers into several categories such as visionaries who are "out of touch with reality" and hedonists who are "psychopathic sexual sadists who torture and kill for pleasure"(111). Categorization of serial killers is only a small step in uncovering and investigating the foundations of a serial killer and their motivations. To further examine the workings of serial killers, the authors provide their origins and the discovery of common personalities amongst serial murderers. For example, the aforementioned cases of serial killers indicated a family background of psychological and behavioral issues such as alcoholism or drug abuse, and the serial killers themselves suffered some type of abuse with poor relationship with family members According to the authors, there is also a genetic role such as chromosomal disorders that shows males born with an extra "Y" chromosome have been associated with "increased aggressiveness and violent behavior" when compared to individuals with a single "Y" chromosome (112). The conclusion of this article indicates the difficulty amongst forensic scientist to establish a relationship between the serial killer, the crime, and the motive.

This article serves an important purpose to my research paper by providing a lengthy list in the origins of serial killers that include both external factors and their genetic make up to uncover their motivation and reasons for killing. Even more important, is the inclusion of neurological and biochemical evidence that indicates a factor or aspect commonly found amongst the examined serial killers.

Godwin, Maurice. "Victim Target Networks As Solvability Factors In Serial Murder." Social Behavior & Personality: An International Journal 26.1 (1998): 75-84. Academic Search Complete. Web. 6 Apr. 2016.

Godwin suggests that focusing on the victim targets of a serial killer instead of their physical and mental characteristics is a good alternative that could prevent future murders and deter the killer. According to Godwin, analyzing the victim networks such as location, age, and gender solved many homicides. When using the "victimological" approach or victim study, it is assumed that the serial killer has a geographical profile within their minds of people with a routine lifestyle, and that they choose victims from their comfort zones (79). For example, a serial killer is likely to target that has a strict routine, and who follow daily patterns. This in turns creates familiarity with the victim and establishes a way to make contact and approach an intended victim. The accessibility and the risk factors of approaching the victim is apart of the decision making process in targeting victims. It is suggested that in this phase, a serial killer is likely to focus on the likelihood of being noticed and accessibility to the victim. For instance, research indicates the burglars scour for potential targets by driving around neighborhoods and accessing and "predetermining ideal targets," or looking for potential victims (79). The last stage of the "victimological" approached is looking at victim social networks. The victim social network aspect focuses on transient beings such as prostitutes or the homeless who do not have loyalties and "lack a strong network of friends, acquaintances, and family ties" which make them easy targets(81). In the words of the author, society's lack of regard for transient beings makes it non- trivial issues when people as such go missing for days or weeks at a time. In the end of this article, Godwin reasserts the suggestion that investigators focus on the location of victims and their social network in order to solve the murder and prevent the occurrence of new ones.

The inclusion of this article into me research serves as a sort of counterargument to the reasoning behind my research and ideas. In this sense, it argues that physical and psychological attributes of a serial killer are not as important as victim targets when solving murders, understanding their motives, and providing a possible solution to decrease and prevent future killings.

Knight, Zelda G. "Some Thoughts on The Psychological Roots of The Behavior of Serial Killers As Narcissists: An Object Relations Perspective." Social Behavior and Personality: An International Journal SocBehavPers 34.10 (2006): 1189-206. Web.

In this journal, Knight explores the narcissism evident within serial killers, and the development of this egotism from adolescence to adulthood. She provides the definition and context of a serial murder from Keppel and Burns as "the killing of three or more people over a period of more than 30 days, with a significant cooling-off period (1193)." Accompanied with the definition of a serial killer, Knight guides us through the psychological development of sexually motivated narcissist serial killers as a function of childhood emotional and physical abuse, whose victims are based on object relations. For Example, the author explains the "pathological lack of self esteem" developed when a child is under the care of a neglectful caretaker(1194). As a result, the future serial killers object relations with caretakers will be tarnished and dysfunctional, and with this type of association with caretakers, the serial killers target is chosen. A child that grew up with emotional and physical abuse from his or her mother or father. Will experience a distrust in people who represent those figures and feel the need to avenge themselves by projected their hate and sexual fantasies among those individuals, according to Knight. The author suggests that the unconscious killings of victims that the serial killer has a negative object relation with, is evidence of serial killers as "destructive narcissists [who] vent their rage at and envy of hateful and rejecting world by attacking and brutalizing others"(1200).

This journal serves as a good source on background information on the psychological development of serial killers, base on childhood experiences and abuse. It provides a clear definition of a serial murder, and several emotional and physical triggers of serial killers. However, the academic journal does not delve into the genetic makeup and brain chemistry of serial killers, but focuses more in the external factors in their development.

Nistor-Lung, Alexandra, and Mona-Lisa Neagu. "The Professional Experience Of A Killer: Devotion Or Need?." Contemporary Readings In Law & Social Justice 5.2 (2013): 735- 740. Academic Search Complete. Web. 31 Mar. 2016.

The authors of this article explain the neurological and psychological differences between a serial killer and a murderer of opportunity, and clarify the motive and drives behind serial killings.Criminals of opportunity that murder for money, self preservation, jealousy etc. and when analyzed, there is no discussion in a "specialization" of them committing crimes resulting in death."(739) As explained by the authors, this lack of specialization of criminals of opportunity is because there is nothing distinctly special about their minds and motives for their crimes. However, the much-debated topic is the motive of a serial killer which is often torn between "psychological-the brain dysfunction or social-influenced by external factors."(735) Serial killers kill based on instinct and psychological dysfunction as a result of childhood trauma and abuse. Studies in neurosurgery indicated abnormality in the brains of examined serial killers and in the case of psychopaths. MRI test showed that there is less communication in the ventromedial from the prefrontal cortex, which is responsible for emotion and the amygdala, which controls anxiety and fear (737). The authors explain that the combination of these brain abnormalities with childhood trauma is the authors' argument for the instinctive drive and motivation of serial killers, and sets them part from murderers of opportunity. In conclusion of their article, reconnect with the idea that serial killers suffer from "mental illness and dysfunctional association" and their lack empathy and fear makes them more dangerous than murderers of opportunity(740). The authors suggest that the crimes should not go unpunished, but provide an alternative for the perpetrators be treated as mentally ill individuals.

The evidence provided within this article to support the argument of serial killers as mentally ill also serve as good evidence to support the idea that the psychological and brain oddities within serial killers separates them from regular people. There is a bias within the article in the authors attempt to classify serial killers as mentally ill, however, they still acknowledge environmental contributions to the motives of a serial killer and combine this with their own argument.

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An Analysis of Serial Killers Ted Bundy and other and Their Crimes in the Different Articles. (2022, Dec 11). Retrieved April 16, 2024 , from

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