Presentation on theme: "Serial Killers: Nurture or Nature?"— Presentation transcript:
1 Serial Killers: Nurture or Nature? Matthew Coleman, Ruchika Gothoskar, Chelsi Henry & Jimmy Luu
2 Table of Contents Introduction Psychological Perspective Sociological PerspectiveAnthropological PerspectiveNature VS NurtureConclusionQuiz
3 Introduction What is a serial killer? Has committed more than 3 murdersMurders committed over a short period of timeVery cautious about their murdersMass murderers are different from serial killersCommon MisconceptionsSocial misfits, dysfunctional or “loners”Have no social controlAre “evil geniuses” or insaneAlways maleAlways white
4 Introduction Common Misconceptions Are all entirely sexually driven Have been abused in the past or have grown up in “broken” homesSerial Killer’s True ColoursMany have not finished high schoolAre generally middle class citizensCan easily blend into societyUnlike murderers, serial killing is not a one time offense, and serial killers usually have a motive
5 Psychological Perspective Common Trends in Serial KillersMany similarities seen in serial killersMay stem from abuseHatred towards a certain group of people may be a motiveNurtureNeglect and abuse at homeJohn Gacy, serial killer in 1970’sAlbert Fish, serial killer in 1920’sJohn GacyAlbert Fish
6 Psychological Perspective NatureDefects or differences of the brainLack of remorse and guiltStrong signs of psychopathy“In this functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) study, we find that more psychopathic individuals show reduced activity in the amygdala during emotional moral decision-making, with particularly conning and manipulative individuals showing reduced activity in the entire moral neural circuit. These results provide initial evidence that psychopaths exhibit deficits in brain regions essential for moral judgment in normal individuals.”- Dr. Adrian Raine, Department of Psychology and Neuroscience Program, University of Southern California
7 Psychological Perspective Both Nature and NurtureJeffrey Dahmer, serial killer in 1970’sSame environment, different resultsJeffrey DahmerBad seeds blossom in bad environments.
8 Sociological Perspective Nature and NurtureMany socialization techniques may affect how the person grows up and interacts with othersAre able to smooth talk their way past officials and authority figuresNo treatment for psychopathyMany are granted early release from prison“All those convicted of 2nd degree murder will receive a sentence of life imprisonment. Their parole eligibility date will be within a range of 10 to 25 years at the discretion of the judge. Despite a sentence of "life imprisonment" being imposed, the vast majority of first degree murders will eventually be released back into society. Their freedom, however, will be limited by the conditions of parole for the remainder of their lives. Further, a breach of parole could easily result in them having to return to prison to serve additional time.”- Section 222 of the Criminal Code of Canada
9 Anthropological Perspective Types of Serial KillersThrill Seekers: Enjoy media attention, police pursuit and evading the authoritiesMission Oriented: Doing society a favour by eliminating certain peoplePower and Control: Enjoy the victim’s terrorSouvenir Oriented: Keep mementos of the victims, such as souvenirs and “trophies”
10 Anthropological Perspective CanadaRussiaSerial killers are automatically assigned a life time imprisonmentNo death penalty in CanadaMany rehabilitation programs and other similar activities availableLife imprisonment is an option in much lighter circumstancesDeath penalty still an option in modern day RussiaRehabilitation is once again taken lightly, used mainly for youth, may occasionally be used for adults
11 Anthropological Perspective Paul + Karla BernardoAndrei Chikatilo“The Ken and Barbie Killers”Murdered and raped 20 men, women and childrenWere arrested in 1995, Karla was released in 2006, Paul continues to be held at Kingston Penitentiary.“The Red Ripper”Murdered and raped over 50 men, women and childrenWas arrested and released in 1984 for “good behavior”Final arrest took place 1992, was given the death penalty
12 Nature VS Nurture Nature In 2000, a report published by Dr. Richard Davidson, compared brain scans of approximately 500 people between those who were prone to violence and those who were "normal" The study discovered that the brain images of those who had been convicted of murder with aggressive or antisocial disorders showed distinct brain activity as compared to those who were normalThese brain scans showed a relationship between the orbital frontal cortex, the anterior cingulated cortex, and the amygdale, which plays a large part in the control of negative and violent emotions.
13 Nature VS Nurture Nurture Socialization agents and the environment around them as they’re growing up plays a massive role in the development of a childCriminologist Eric Hicky discovered in a study of sixty two male serial killers, that forty eight of the subjects had been rejected as children by someone important in their lives.When rejected or neglected as children, they begin to stress and get confused as they get olderHatred towards certain groups of people may also be a motive for many serial killers
14 ConclusionAll in all, we believe that both nature and nurture make a serial killer. Sociological and psychological aspects such as socialization agents prove that a person’s initial nurturing and the environment around them may influence the decisions they make in the future, however, psychological and anthropological perspectives also aide in shedding light on the differences in the brain of “normal” humans and psychopaths. Although it seems that the debate of nature versus nurture on the topic of psychopathy is never ending, through the psychological, sociological, and anthropological lenses, we believe it is evident that both nature and nurture play a vital role in the making of a serial killer.
15 Quiz List three common misconceptions about serial killers. Social misfits, dysfunctional or “loners”Have no social controlAre “evil geniuses” or insaneAlways maleAlways whiteAre all entirely sexually drivenHave been abused in the past or have grown up in “broken” homesFrom a psychological point of view, which body part is affected and where, that in turn “creates” a serial killer?The brain is the body part that is affected which sides with the nature argument. Many scientists believe that it is orbital frontal cortex that has been damaged in some way which, in turn, causes symptoms of psychopathy.
16 Quiz3. Fill in the blanks: All those convicted of 2nd degree murder will receive a sentence of _______________. Their parole eligibility date will be within a range of ___ to ___ years at the discretion of the judge.Blank 1: Life imprisonment, Blank 2: 10 to 25 years4. Name all four types of serial killers and give an example.Thrill Seekers: Enjoy media attention, police pursuit and evading the authoritiesMission Oriented: Doing society a favour by eliminating certain peoplePower and Control: Enjoy the victim’s terrorSouvenir Oriented: Keep mementos of the victims, such as souvenirs and “trophies”An example would be The Zodiac Killer
17 Quiz5. True or False? Hatred towards a certain group of people may be a motive for a serial killer.True! One of the most common trends seen throughout serial killers.6. True or False? In Russia, rehabilitation is taken lightly and is used only for youth and more juvenile crimes.False! Although rehabilitation of criminals and programs of correction are used mainly for youth, they are also used on adult offenders with lighter cases.
18 BibliographyMorton, J. Robert. (2005). Serial Murder: http://www.fbi.gov/stats-services/publications/serial-murderSpears, Tom. (2009). Early Release Too Easy for Psychopaths: http://canadianjusticereviewbaord.ca/ article-psychopaths.htmScott, S. (n.d.). What Makes Serial Killers Tick? — Monsters or Victims? — Crime Library on truTV.com. truTV.com: Not Reality. Actuality.. Retrieved January 10, 2012, from http://www.trutv.com/library/crime/serial_killers/notorious/tick/victims_1.htmlSerial Killers: Nature vs. Nurture. (n.d.). National Center for Crisis Management. Retrieved January 10, 2012, from http://www.nc-cm.org/article213.htmRaine, A. (2005, January ). The neural correlates of moral decision. Retrieved fromRaine, A. (2009, March 2). White collar psychopath fraudfeasors who use other people as tools for conning, duping, manipulating and perpetrating fraud: brain scan study. does a broken moral neural circuit excuse evil?. Retrieved from
19 Bibliography7. Unknown. (2011, December 16). Victims of violence. Retrieved from 8. Unknown. (n.d.). Types of serial killers. Retrieved from
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