Holmes Typology

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When one thinks of a serial killer does their victims come to mind? Or does one think of the person behind the murders and what drove them to kill? Serial killers all have a situation that triggers them to commit murder. A majority of society views serial killers as insane for murdering. Despite these assumptions by society, only two serial killers have successfully pleaded guilty by reason of insanity. Society judges serial killers too harshly and they need to take a second to look at all the factors that caused them to kill. There are numerous factors which produce a serial killer. A serial killer’s childhood, behavior, brain development, mental stability and personal motives all affect their decision to slaughter other humans. A human’s …show more content…
Unlike typical motives, serial killers’ motives are classified into a few catagorites. The main type of classification for serial killing motives is called the Holmes typology. This classification was named after Ronald M. and Stephen T. Holmes, two uthors who wrote numerous textbooks on serial murder and violent crimes (How Serial Killers Work pg. 2). The Holmes typology is divided into two catagories, act-foucsed and process-focused. Act-focused serial killers murder quickly and for the enjoyment of killing. Those killers who are act-focused are subcategorized into visionary and missionary killers. Visionary killers hear voices and have visions that persuade them to kill. On the other hand, missionary killers believe that they are meant to get rid of a specific group or people or a certain individual. Similar to act-focused killers, process-focused killers enjoy torturing their victims. However, process-focused murderers are more centered on the action of killing, as the name implies. Serial killers who are process-focused murder for either lust, thrill, gain or because they are power-seeking. Lust motivated serial killers murder for sexual pleasure while thrill motivated killers slaughter for the joy of killing. In contrast, gain motivated murderers are driven by profit whereas power-seeking serial killers slaughter because they want to play god or they want to be in charge of life and death (How Serial Killers Work pg. 2). Although, serial killers murder because they choose to, almost all have no relation to their victim. A serial killer may also have multiple motives. In addition to being act-focused or process-focused, a serial killer may be motivated by anger, criminal enterprise, financial gain, ideology or sexual based reasons. An example of a serial killer motive is in Shakespeare’s play Macbeth. Macbeth was motivated by ideology, murdering to further one’s

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