Writ t en by:

True Crim es St ories

Franccesca Acevedo A report made by the FBI in

2005, claims that serial

homicides select their victim

based on availability,

vulnerability and desirability

(Morton et al., 2005).

Over the past two decades of

the 20th century, the police of

England and Wales had

recorded an approximate of

90,000 offenses each year. The

crime rates have increased from

250 offenses per 100,000

people since 1901 (UK

Parliament, n.d). Unfortunately,

there is not an answer to why

these numbers have increased

so markedly over the past

century. Despite this, not only

the crimes rates have increased

over the past years, homicides

have also grown their numbers

as well over the years.

A study made by The Global Burden of Disease has shown

that over 405,000 people had died from homicides in 2017,

this is three times higher than the numbers of people killed in

armed conflict and terrorism combined (Roser and Ritchie,

2013)In some countries particularly Latin-American countries,

have shown that homicides are the largest killers, this numbers

had rapidly increased since 2017. Nevertheless, some of these

crimes had been committed by ?normal ? people, which by a

rage of madness they decided to commit a crime. To add on,

some of this killers or convict have a desire for murder, this

people is commonly called ?serial killers ?. This term define a

person that have murder or killed more than 2 persons, on

some occasion seeking for a sexual desire, financial gain or in

some cases for attention.

Robert Ressler and John E. Douglas

In case you have not heard

these names before, they

were two famous FBI agents

that used to work for the

Behaviour Science Unit.

Robert Ressler was a

criminologist and the director

of Forensic Behavioral

Services International, he was

also an expert in violent

criminal offenders, particularly

on serial and sexual homicide.

John E. Douglas was a former

United States Federal Bureau

of Investigation (FBI) agents.

Also, one of the first criminal

profilers and criminal

psychology author. Douglas

became an expert on criminal

personality profiling and a

pioneer of modern criminal

investigate analysis. During

this time, John learned how

different criminal thinks and

what makes then do the things

they did and why.

Together Robert and John, started to interview different serial

offenders to find out their motivates and what makes then

different. On this journey, they interview multiples offenders like,

Charles Manson, Sirhan Sirhan, Ted Bundy and Ed Kemper. By

1978, Ressler and Douglas created a team inside the

Behavioural Science Unit, to start applying the psychological

theory, victimology and crime scene analysis in numerous cases

in line to create a profile of the person who committed these

crimes. Along with Roy Hazelwood, they discover a new method

of catching criminals. With the help of the interviews, they

capture multiples convicts, this study also shown that 36 of this

killers had a similar childhood. All this is used nowadays to help

to understand the criminals and their motivation.

Mot ivat ion

In contrast to what many of

us believed, serial killers on

certain occasions have a

lack of meaning or

motivation at the moment of

the murder. The reality is that

there is a big diversity in

needs and desires that

makes then decided on

ending somebody live. A

specific aspect or belief that

most people maintain, is that

serial murderers gain great

satisfaction from killing.

However, the motivation of

this action is difficult to

determinate as each serial

killer may have multiples and

different motivations for

committing these crimes.

A report made by the FBI in 2005 (Morton et al., 2005), shows a

category of motivation, which is used as a guideline in the


·Anger may be considered as a motivation, as the convict display

rage toward a certain group.

·Another one is Criminal Enterprise, which is when the offender

gets a benefit in status or monetary by committed murder.

·Ideology, is a different motivation as the offender takes the action

in order to follow the ideas of a specific group or individual.

·Power/thrill, is when the convict feels empowered or excited when

he kills his victim.

·Psychosis this occurs when the offender suffers from a severe

mental illness and it kills because of this.

·Sexually based, this motivation is only based on the killer sexual

needs or desires.

Childhood and t hings in Com m on

Law enforcement and

social scientists are often

trying to find out how to

assess serial killers that

have been caught, to

understand better their

reasons for such a violent

act. Since the start of this

investigation, they had

found common behaviours

on most of these

murderers, like animal

abuse, bedwetting and an

inclination for setting things

on fire. While these

similarities are not

associated with all serial

killers there is a tendency in

most of them.

Social science has also found that 90% of these convicts are

Caucasian males around the ages 25 to 35, nevertheless, there

are also female serial killers. Most of this individuals are very

smart and often struggle to secure a job (Salvatore n,d)

To add on, most of these offenders come from a dysfunctional

family or a member of their parents abandon them at a young

age. Psychological analysis has shown that this dysfunctional or

abandonment makes the individual commits these crimes.

On some occasions personal traumas may affect behavioural

choices, as an example, we have the serial killer Richard

Ramirez commonly called ?the night stalker ?, he was found

guilty of killing 13 people in San Francisco and Los Angeles,

Ramirez had a disturbed childhood receiving a brutal beating

from his father. Another example will be the killer duo Ottis Toole

and Henry Lee Lucas, it is believed that they murdered around a

hundred people, both individuals were victims of psychological

and physical abuse at a young age. However, not all abused

children will become convicts and not all serial killers had a

problematic childhood.


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