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Serial Killers Dr. Kelley Kline FSU-Panama City. I. What is the common profile for most serial killers? Demographics: Demographics: A. Ethnicity- The.

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Presentation on theme: "Serial Killers Dr. Kelley Kline FSU-Panama City. I. What is the common profile for most serial killers? Demographics: Demographics: A. Ethnicity- The."— Presentation transcript:

1 Serial Killers Dr. Kelley Kline FSU-Panama City

2 I. What is the common profile for most serial killers? Demographics: Demographics: A. Ethnicity- The majority of serial killers are caucasian ( Estimates range from 82-86%). A. Ethnicity- The majority of serial killers are caucasian ( Estimates range from 82-86%). Following Caucasians, African Americans make up the next category of serial offenders (estimates of 13-20%), and then Hispanics (2%). Following Caucasians, African Americans make up the next category of serial offenders (estimates of 13-20%), and then Hispanics (2%).

3 B. Age Most serial killers are between the ages of 26 & 31 years of age: Most serial killers are between the ages of 26 & 31 years of age: Distribution of Serial Killers Ages (recorded at time of arrest). There is no difference in age of serial killers versus people who kill only once. Distribution of Serial Killers Ages (recorded at time of arrest). There is no difference in age of serial killers versus people who kill only once. Age categoryPercentage Age categoryPercentage % % % % % % % % Over 4218% Over 4218%

4 C. Gender Serial killers are predominantly male. Serial killers are predominantly male. Godwin estimates that males account for approximately 95% of serial murderers. Godwin estimates that males account for approximately 95% of serial murderers. This has been supported by other studies. This has been supported by other studies. Keep in mind--this low estimate for female serial murder most likely reflects society’s attitudes toward female aggression. Keep in mind--this low estimate for female serial murder most likely reflects society’s attitudes toward female aggression.

5 D. Educational Status The research thus far, shows that serial murderers tend to be poorly educated. The research thus far, shows that serial murderers tend to be poorly educated. Most serial killers did not finish high school Most serial killers did not finish high school Some had high school diplomas, but most did not go on to college. Some had high school diplomas, but most did not go on to college. Only a fraction finish college and get postgraduate degrees. Only a fraction finish college and get postgraduate degrees.

6 E. History of Mental disorders The data on the occurrence of mental illness in serial killers is mixed. The data on the occurrence of mental illness in serial killers is mixed. One study found that 28% of serial killers had been treated for mental illness. This is in sharp contrast to a study done by the FBI that found that 69% of their offenders had some form of psychopathology. One study found that 28% of serial killers had been treated for mental illness. This is in sharp contrast to a study done by the FBI that found that 69% of their offenders had some form of psychopathology.

7 F. Offender Sexual History Sexual orientation--predominantly heterosexual, followed by homosexual, and bisexual, respectively. Sexual orientation--predominantly heterosexual, followed by homosexual, and bisexual, respectively. Sexual activity: Sexual activity: Pornography (64-81%) Pornography (64-81%) Fetishes (sex toys, etc. --58%) Fetishes (sex toys, etc. --58%) Voyeurism (17%)** Voyeurism (17%)** Bestiality (sex with animals)-less common, but has occurred in some serial killers. Bestiality (sex with animals)-less common, but has occurred in some serial killers.

8 II. Who tend to be the victims? A. Gender of victim A. Gender of victim Serial killers tend to prey on women of their same race (predominantly Caucasian). Serial killers tend to prey on women of their same race (predominantly Caucasian). Women account for as much as 67% of the victims in serial murders. Women account for as much as 67% of the victims in serial murders. In studies of sexually sadistic criminals, it was reported that 73% of the offenders only victimized females, compared with 17% who only victimized males. Ten percent victimized both genders. In studies of sexually sadistic criminals, it was reported that 73% of the offenders only victimized females, compared with 17% who only victimized males. Ten percent victimized both genders.

9 B. Victim’s age The target age range for most serial murderers is between the ages of 18 and 50 years. The target age range for most serial murderers is between the ages of 18 and 50 years. Age of victimPercentage Age of victimPercentage Under age 105% % % 50+5%

10 C. Victims are often strangers & easily accessible to offenders Victims are usually complete strangers to serial killers in majority of cases. Victims are usually complete strangers to serial killers in majority of cases. Prostitutes, drifters, & hitchhikers are their victims of choice because they are easy prey & aren’t usually missed by society. Prostitutes, drifters, & hitchhikers are their victims of choice because they are easy prey & aren’t usually missed by society. Some homosexual killers enjoy hunting young gay men (e.g., Jeffrey Dahmer, John Wayne Gacy). Some homosexual killers enjoy hunting young gay men (e.g., Jeffrey Dahmer, John Wayne Gacy).

11 III. Female Serial Killers & their victims Female serial killers tend to be "black widows" who kill a succession of husbands, lovers, or other family members. Female serial killers tend to be "black widows" who kill a succession of husbands, lovers, or other family members. They can also be nurses or other medical professionals who become self- appointed "angels of death" murdering babies, elderly, or the desperately ill in a misguided effort to relieve their suffering. They can also be nurses or other medical professionals who become self- appointed "angels of death" murdering babies, elderly, or the desperately ill in a misguided effort to relieve their suffering.

12 IV. Serial Killer Behavior Personality: Serial killers tend to be sexually dysfunctional & low in self-esteem. Personality: Serial killers tend to be sexually dysfunctional & low in self-esteem. Nature of killings: killings tend to be sexual in nature. Usually are part of an elaborate fantasy that builds to a climax at the moment of their murderous outburst. Nature of killings: killings tend to be sexual in nature. Usually are part of an elaborate fantasy that builds to a climax at the moment of their murderous outburst. Serial killers generally murder strangers with cooling off periods between each crime Serial killers generally murder strangers with cooling off periods between each crime

13 Serial killer behavior contd. Many enjoy cannibalism, necrophilia, & keep trophy-like body parts as mementos of their work (e.g., fingers, heads). Many enjoy cannibalism, necrophilia, & keep trophy-like body parts as mementos of their work (e.g., fingers, heads). Killers are usually sadistic in nature and often return to crime scenes or grave sites of their victims to fantasize about their killings. Killers are usually sadistic in nature and often return to crime scenes or grave sites of their victims to fantasize about their killings. Many follow the police investigation of their crimes & some enjoy taunting authorities with letters or carefully placed pieces of evidence (e.g., Zodiak Killer, Serial Snipers). Many follow the police investigation of their crimes & some enjoy taunting authorities with letters or carefully placed pieces of evidence (e.g., Zodiak Killer, Serial Snipers).

14 V. Background of Most Serial Killers: Most serial killers grew up in violent and dysfunctional households. Most serial killers grew up in violent and dysfunctional households. Most had conduct disorder behaviors: enjoying torturing animals, setting fires, chronic bed-wetting etc. Most had conduct disorder behaviors: enjoying torturing animals, setting fires, chronic bed-wetting etc. In adulthood many serial killers have been reported to have some type of brain damage & substance abuse problem (alcohol and/or drugs). In adulthood many serial killers have been reported to have some type of brain damage & substance abuse problem (alcohol and/or drugs).

15 VI. Killers’ Method of Homocide Weapons are chosen with care (Godwin text). Weapons are chosen with care (Godwin text). Hands-on weapons are chosen for 3 reasons: Hands-on weapons are chosen for 3 reasons: 1. To touch the victim 1. To touch the victim 2. Because touching the victim with the weapon further terrorizes the victim. 2. Because touching the victim with the weapon further terrorizes the victim. 3. The touch degrades the victim 3. The touch degrades the victim Most common forms of death (in order from most to least) are: Most common forms of death (in order from most to least) are: Knife (stabbing, throat- slashing, hack-sawing, axing) Knife (stabbing, throat- slashing, hack-sawing, axing) Ligature (strangulation) Ligature (strangulation) Firearm (guns, shotgun, rifle) Firearm (guns, shotgun, rifle) Hands & Feet (kicking, stomping) Hands & Feet (kicking, stomping) Bludgeoning (being beaten to death by blunt instrument) Bludgeoning (being beaten to death by blunt instrument)

16 VII. Serial Killers’ Sexual Degradation of the Victim It is argued that most serial killers, harm and kill their victims in an attempt to gain control over others. Possibly causing physical pain and humiliation to their victims, makes the serial killer momentarily feel a sense of control and power in their lives. Many killers were terribly abused as children and this is often for revenge. It is argued that most serial killers, harm and kill their victims in an attempt to gain control over others. Possibly causing physical pain and humiliation to their victims, makes the serial killer momentarily feel a sense of control and power in their lives. Many killers were terribly abused as children and this is often for revenge. Sexual sadism is a particularly strong method by which serial killers show their strength, domination, and power over their victims. Sexual sadism is a particularly strong method by which serial killers show their strength, domination, and power over their victims.

17 Forms of sexual degradation produced by killers’ (from most to least) are: Vaginal Penetration (rape) Vaginal Penetration (rape) Attempted Sex Assault Attempted Sex Assault Anal Penetration (anal rape) Anal Penetration (anal rape) Sex Organs Assaulted (hands, objects, or weapons used to harm genital areas) Sex Organs Assaulted (hands, objects, or weapons used to harm genital areas) Foreign objects (bottles, gun, other projectiles inserted into genitalia) Foreign objects (bottles, gun, other projectiles inserted into genitalia) Male sexual assault (anal rape) Male sexual assault (anal rape) Necrophilia Necrophilia

18 VIII. Serial Killers’ Sadistic Behavior A. Torturing their victims- while they are still alive by -- cutting them, presenting electric shock to their genitals/body parts, stabbing them, cutting off body parts, repeated sexual assault, mentally torturing them,etc. A. Torturing their victims- while they are still alive by -- cutting them, presenting electric shock to their genitals/body parts, stabbing them, cutting off body parts, repeated sexual assault, mentally torturing them,etc. B. Dismemberment postmortem--body parts will be cut off following victim’s death. B. Dismemberment postmortem--body parts will be cut off following victim’s death.

19 C. Ritualistic acts These include evidence of candles burning, blood poured, and other potential religious/Satanic symbols found near body. These include evidence of candles burning, blood poured, and other potential religious/Satanic symbols found near body. D. Piquerism- killers’ experience sexual excitation from ripping or tearing material or human flesh. Is usually a unique signature of killings. D. Piquerism- killers’ experience sexual excitation from ripping or tearing material or human flesh. Is usually a unique signature of killings.

20 E. Victim’s body posed Where is the body positioned. Does not refer to posing the body which is rare. Where is the body positioned. Does not refer to posing the body which is rare. F. Anthropophagy - F. Anthropophagy - Refers to cannibalism (eating human flesh & body parts). Usually is the signature for the killer since its fairly rare.

21 IX. Serial Killer Psychological Reflection A. Serial Killers may take trophies from crime scenes. A. Serial Killers may take trophies from crime scenes. These trophies allow the killer to relieve his crime and to receive vicarious gratification from the murder. These trophies allow the killer to relieve his crime and to receive vicarious gratification from the murder. Trophies often include personal belongings of the victim: teeth, hair, body parts, clothing, jewelry, victim identification cards (license, credit cards). Trophies often include personal belongings of the victim: teeth, hair, body parts, clothing, jewelry, victim identification cards (license, credit cards).

22 B. Photos Offender may take photos or videotape victims during sadistic acts (to replay for their enjoyment after the victim is dead and the body has been disposed). Offender may take photos or videotape victims during sadistic acts (to replay for their enjoyment after the victim is dead and the body has been disposed). C. Diary - C. Diary - Some serial murderers keep diaries or other written accounts of their killings. They may also have a scrapbook containing the news paper clippings of the crimes and police investigations.

23 D. Offender Interjecting himself into police investigation The serial killer may follow the investigation very closely and get involved, but this is fairly rare. The serial killer may follow the investigation very closely and get involved, but this is fairly rare.

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