A brief look in the world of serial killers Essay

Published: 2020-01-01 07:12:05
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Category: Serial killer

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Often people get confused between a serial killer and a mass murderer. A mass murderer is a person who kills several people, all at once or within a short period of time. A serial killer on the other hand is one who kills several people over a long period of time, sometimes spanning several years. Technically, a serial killer is someone who kills at least three people with a break or free period between the killings. A mass murderer may have victims who cannot be generalized to fit into any category, as these victims are generally those who happen to be present at the time of the incident.

However, the serial killers select their victims according to some preferred type or class, like sex, age, looks etc. Generally serial killings occur for sexual gratification, but there are also cases where victims have been selected with the sole intent of killing. Just like any other criminals, serial killers can also be profiled. The FBI has developed a Behavioral Science Service Unit in 1978 at Quantico, Virginia to study and establish profiles of serial killer suspects. The profiles attempt to predict the age, race, sex, and habits etc. of the serial killers.

Although all serial killers wont fit a same profile, most killers can be characterized by a general profile. The general profile of a serial killer suggests they are mostly white males of 25 to 35 years of age, and have a similar type of victims (CCMC, 2007). These killers are thought to have an above or average intelligence, suffered child abuse or have had a troubled childhood and have little or no social attachments. Serial killers are also thought to return to the scene of killings or burials and keep body parts of their victims as souvenirs.

Playing with fire, bed-wetting and cruelty to animals are some important childhood traits of a serial killer. Serial killers are generally associated with a pattern, because of which they are ultimately tracked down by the police. Such patterns may include either their method of killing, location, motive or the profile of victims. Serial killers have existed for several centuries. Four types of serial killers are (Holmes and De Burger, 1988) a) The Visionary type who believe that they are guided to kill by an inner voice or vision.

b) The mission oriented type who believe they have to eliminate a particular group or class of people from the society. c) The hedonistic type of killers who get pleasure from the killings they carry out. d) The control or power driven type who derive sexual satisfaction by controlling their victims. In addition to this the FBI has identified two more categories of serial killers namely the organized type of serial killers and the disorganized type of serial killers. The organized killer is intelligent, socially acceptable, uses restraints and targets strangers.

These organized killers are likely to hide the victims body, leaving little or no evidence; they keep a track of the developments in crime through the media, while anticipating questioning by the police (David, 2001). The disorganized killers on the other hand are socially withdrawn, generally know their victims and kill instantly without planning. These disorganized killers do not follow crime on the media, despite leaving evidence on the crime scene The serial killer John Wayne Gacy Jr. was a big businessman, liked and admired by many. He frequently hosted parties for friends and neighbors, dressing up as a clown.

He also entertained children at local hospitals, and associated himself with groups like Jaycees, working for the improvement of the community. Everyone knew him as a devoted, hard-working man dedicated to he cause of friends and family. However Gacy had another side, a very dark unknown side, and when that side became known, he was known as the clown who killed. John Wayne Gacy Jr. was born as the second child and the first son to a Chicagos Irish couple in 1942. His older sister Joanne was about two years older to him, while his younger sister Karen was two years junior to him.

The three children attended catholic schools. Gacy, like any other boys of his age, took up part time jobs and scouting activities while at school. He worked as a bag boy and a clerk in a grocery store. Gacys childhood was absolutely normal except for his relationship with his father. He had a very deep relationship with his mother and sisters. The senior Gacy was an abusive alcoholic, who beat his wife and verbally abused his children (Bell and Bardsley). Although his father was not a pleasant man, young Gacy loved his father and wanted to get close to him.

He longed for his fathers affection and love, but never got it. All his teachers, friends, and co-workers liked him very much and he was indeed popular. When Gacy was eleven, he was hit in the head by a swing while playing, which caused a blood clot in his brain. This blood clot was only discovered at the age of sixteen. Between eleven and sixteen, he suffered several blackouts as a consequence of his blockage. At seventeen, he was found to have a heart ailment, for which he was hospitalized several times. However, he suffered no major health problems due to this.

After attending several schools and not being able to graduate, he dropped out from school and left for Las Vegas. He worked as a part time janitor in a mortuary, with which he wasnt satisfied and again left for Chicago. He joined a business college and learnt the skills of a good salesman. A mature salesman, capable of handling all sales situations, he joined as a management trainee with a shoe company in Chicago. Thanks to his excellent performance on the job, he was soon promoted and transferred to take over the mens apparel outlet in Springfield, Illinois.

Gacy married and relocated and to Waterloo, Iowa in 1966 when his wealthy father-in-law asked him to manage the familys chicken restaurant. Gacys first encounter with the law was in 1968 when he was arrested for homosexual acts and sodomy. He was arrested on felony charge of forcing a male employee to join in homosexual acts. Gacy who was by then a father of two infants, pled guilty to the charges and was sentenced to ten years in prison. His wife filed for divorce and parted ways. After 18 months, he got parole and went back to Chicago where he started his own construction business and married a recently divorced woman.

In 1971, he was charged with the attempted rape of a man, but was freed of the charges when the victim did not turn up to press the charges. A shrewd businessman, he beat his rivals by hiring very young school age like employees, to cut costs. His second wife too divorced him in 1976 when she realized his passion for homosexual magazines. His minor role in party politics even got him photographed shaking hands with the wife of President Jimmy Carter. It was in December 12, 1978 when the police required to have a closer look at Gacy and his background.

A teenaged boy working with a pharmacy had gone missing and Gacy was the last person seen with him. His background check revealed that he had spent time for sodomy. During a search of his house they found a ring belonging to another teenager who disappeared a year back. When investigators got to the sprawl space beneath his home, they sensed a foul smell, which they initially attributed to sewage. They then left his house and called him again for interrogation the next day. Since they had nothing incriminating, they let Gacy go. However Gacy was under 24 hour surveillance.

Further investigation and lab work on the items confiscated, gave critical evidence on Gacy. Realizing the importance of the developments, investigators obtained a second search warrant to search Gacys home. Among the items confiscated at his home, there was a box containing marijuana and rolling papers, seven erotic movies, nitrate and valium pills, a stained rug, a pair of handcuffs with key, a eighteen inch rubber dildo and nylon ropes. Knowing that his dark game was over, Gacy confessed to the police that he had killed about 33 men, all young over the last seven years.

He showed the locations to 28 graves under his house and garage. He also revealed that he had dumped five others into the river. He confessed that he had his first victim in January 1972, second one in January 1974. He revealed that he would lure his victims with the promise of marijuana, drinks or employment. He would then play with them and trick them into getting handcuffed and then sexually assault them. He would stuff an underwear or socks into their mouths to muffle their screams. He killed them by pulling a rope or board across their throats while he raped them.

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