Determining Defining Female Serial Murder Essay

Determining Defining Female Serial Murder Essay

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In order to collect data, the researchers took three distinct steps: criteria defining female serial murder were identified, preliminary data collection that used the criteria in the first step was used in order to select a sample of female offenders, and the initial samples were compared to Kelleher and Kelleher (1998) study (Farrell, Keppel, & Titterington, 2011). Also, Farrell, Keppel, and Titterington also looked at a number of offenders and case characteristics other than just motivation, such as the offender’s age at the time she committed the crime and when the crimes were discovered, race, how long the offender was active, the number of victims, method, location, career, mental state and more. Serial murder, in this research, was defined as “three or more victims, killed separately, with common characteristics to suggest that the same offender committed the murders” (Farrell, Keppel, & Titterington, 2011). Also, the criteria for the research included a woman offender, acting alone, having at least three known victims, the homicides were separate in time, and all homicides occurred with the United States (Farrell, Keppel, & Titterington, 2011). Farrell, Keppel, and Titterington (2011) utilized an exploratory analysis by using newspaper articles from nonscholarly resources, such as Newton’s (1993) Bad Girls Do It: An Encyclopedia of Female Murderers and The Encyclopedia of Serial Killers (Newton, 2000). Within these resource articles, the research generated a list of 54 solo female serial murderers from the United States without any time period restrictions set during the initial search for cases. From the 54 solo female serial murderer, ten cases were randomly selected for the research during the time period prior to 1960 a...


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...eppel, & Titterington, 2011). By looking at both the age the offender committed the crime and the age at which they stood trial for at least one victim helped the researchers discover the length of time the women serial murderers were active. The active periods ranged from two to 30 years, with an average of about 11 years (Farrell, Keppel, & Titterington, 2011). In the previous study by Kelleher and Kelleher (1998), the average active year was eight. Also the average number of victims was approximately nine according to the research. Whereas, previous research showed that average number of victims was approximately six. These findings could have indicated that female serial murderers were accumulating more victims than previous supposed. Findings show that further research is necessary before any valid classification system of female serial murderers should emerge.

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