Information and Analysis of a Serial Killer, Joseph Paul Franklin Essay

Information and Analysis of a Serial Killer, Joseph Paul Franklin Essay

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Joseph Paul Franklin, born James Clayton Vaughn, Jr., is one of the most well known serial killers of our time. The white supremacist is responsible for between 7 and 20 deaths using primarily a sniper rifle and targeting primarily Jews and blacks. Born in Mobile, Alabama, Franklin is responsible for some of the worst horror stories of serial killers we have today. One of the most interesting and difficult questions to answer of course is “what makes a serial killer?” What turns a man into one, who would kill repeatedly and with purpose, ultimately glorying in the blood of others? The purpose of this paper is to use three commonly accepted models of psychosocial analysis – Erikson’s Theory of Psychosocial Development, Defense Mechanism, and the Five Factor Model of Personality – to trace the development of James Clayton Vaughn, Jr. into Joseph Paul Franklin, murderer and ultimately death row prisoner. This will be accomplished, this ambitious endeavor, by first summarizing the three tools of analysis being used, analyzing their strengths and weaknesses as analytical tools, and comparing/contrasting the parts of each that can be used to create a full psycho-biographical profile of Franklin’s life.
Background Information and Analysis
The tools used for the analysis of Franklin are important and highly accurate, and it is predicted that they will be used in conjunction with one another to provide a comprehensive profile of a serial killer. The three analytical tools being used today have been established tools for psychology for several decades each. The Five Factor Model, for instance, is the result of decades of research and there is no other trait theory used in psychology today that has had a better consensus in terms of effecti...


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...r that creates serial killers, but that perhaps the answer lays in an individual examination of each one. Though the theories cannot predict and prevent, it is certain that childhood and development is an important indicator.
Finally, it took some undertaking to utilize the three analytical tools here in a comprehensive way. It is important to note that these three tools worked together to provide what was a comprehensive issue – the entire issue of the life of one individual. Perhaps more important than the conclusions drawn about Joseph Paul Franklin, his acts and what made him behave the way he did is the fact that these analytical tools hold great potential overall for analysis. The potential these tools hold for the analysis of any individual must be great if it can be so effective on one single individual the psychologically complex likes of a serial killer.

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