Richard Speck and Comparison of Theories

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Introduction Varying theories such as rational choice theory, trait theory, and social structure theory are commonly used to explain why crime happens. Application of these three theories in discussing the crimes of Richard Speck can help us to better understand which of the theories may apply and perhaps help give us insight into why he committed his crimes. But they are more beneficial when not looking at a single specific crime, but the person and all the crimes they may have committed throughout their criminal careers. The Crime Richard Speck is without a doubt what is considered a chronic offender having been arrested over 40 times prior to committing the crime for which he is best known; the 1966 murder, rape, and robbery of eight student nurses. His victims were female students between the ages of 19 and 24 who lived together on Chicago's South Side. Speck forced his way into their dorm at gunpoint, rounded the women up, and ordered them to empty their purses before tying them up. He then proceeded to brutalize them. The women were robbed, raped, beaten, and then strangled or stabbed to death (BIO, 2013). Cooper and Smith (2011), tell us that crimes of this nature involving 3 or more victims represent less than 1% of all homicides committed each year (p. 24) and crimes of this nature are more likely to be carried out by use of a gun (p. 27). Additionally, young adults aged 18-24 continue to experience the highest homicide rates, but homicides across the spectrum have fallen since the early 1990s (Cooper & Smith, 2011). Fang, French & McCollister (2010) estimated the cost to process a murder for our court systems was $390,352, the crime victim costs were $737,517, and the criminal’s activities other than the homici... ... middle of paper ... ...ebruary). Bureau of Justice Statistic. Homicide trends in the United States, 1980-2008. Retrieved from http://www.bjs.gov/index.cfm?ty=pbdetail&iid=2221. Fang, H., French, M. T., &McCollister, K. E. (2010). The cost of crime to society: New crime-specific estimates for policy and program evaluation. Drug alcohol dependence 108(1-2), 98-109. doi:10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2009.12.002 Greenwood, P., & Zimring, F. (1985). One more chance: The pursuit of promising intervention strategies for chronic juvenile offenders. (Research Report). Pittsburgh: Rand Corporation. Howell, J. & Lipsey, M. (2012). Delinquency prevention: A broader view of evidence-based programs reveals more options for state juvenile justice systems. Criminology & Public Policy 11(3), 515-523 Siegel, L. J. (2012). Criminology: International edition. Andover: Wadsworth Cengage Learning.

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