Essay on Research into the Mind of Serial Killers

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The criminal homicide rate for the United States is currently at its lowest rate during the last forty years (6.3 per 100,000 people in 1998: Bureau of Justice Statistics); yet according to the media and entertainment fields, homicide is reaching epidemic proportions. Unfortunately these fields tend to exploit the concept of homicide in American society, rather than attempting to understand and control it. No where is this more prevalent than in the study of a small subset of criminal homicide referred to as serial murder. This area of serial homicide specifically refers to the murder of several victims by a single person, generally unknown to the victim, over a designated period of time. Serial murder and those who commit it have always …show more content…
This data brings up the question then of why only a handful of the many abused children become serial murderers. This and other theories of childhood socialization, including a critical analysis of current ideas and theories regarding the construction of serial murderers, are the focus of the following work.

Due to the inability of professionals to reach a uniform consensus on the definition of serial murder, those murderers in whose homicides involve trolling, or roaming and lust (those who murder for the sheer desire of it)(Keeney & Heide, 1995) will be the focus of this work. For the purposes of this paper, nurses who murder patients, contract killers and babysitters or parents who murder children, as well as other similar such types of multiple murder, will be eliminated because they are currently not considered within the field of serial murder.

First-degree homicide, or murder, is defined as “intending or knowing that the person’s conduct will cause death, such person causes the death of another with premeditation” (ARS 13-1105). The key points being intending and premeditation. According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics and the FBI’s Uniform Crime Report (FBI UCR), the two federal record keepers of criminal reported activity, just under 17,000 people were victims of homicide in 1998. Of those, only twenty two percent (3,800) were women

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