Essay on Serial Killers in the U.S.

Essay on Serial Killers in the U.S.

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Before we can discuss what serial killers do, we must first define what a
serial killer is. Some people might place serial killers into the same group as
mass murderers. This would be incorrect because they are two totally different
types of killers. While both of these individuals may kill many people, the
difference lies in the reason they kill and the period over which they kill
their victims. An event or a build up of circumstance triggers mass murderers
and causes them to act. This may be the result of a stressful situation or
frustration either at work or in their private lives. For whatever reason, they
may choose to use a weapon and kill people that they feel are responsible for
their prob-lems. They may also kill total strangers in a bid to get even with
whomever or whatever they feel wronged them. Whatever their reason, they are
usually cooperative and quite often docile if they survive the episode. It
seems that this one-time outburst of violence, once enacted, puts an end to any
future events of this type for that individual. While the mass killer may kill
many people in one attack, when the attack is over, their mission is complete.
The mass killer's victims may not be chosen for any other reason than being in
the wrong place at the wrong time.
Serial killers are a totally different and more dangerous threat to society.
They may not kill many people at one time, but they may kill for many years
without being detected. They are able to kill again and again without being
caught because they are careful in their choices of victims. They typically pick
victims who are vulnerable and un-able to defend themselves such as children,
the elderly or women. They also pick victims who will not be missed by society,
such as migrant workers, prostitutes, hitchhikers or homosexuals. They may even
pick victims based on specifics such as physical build or hairstyle.
Because of the fact that many serial killers may be mobile, similarities in
crime scenes may go undetected by law enforcement agencies. The nation's police
departments often lack the modern equipment and technology needed to track and
recognize connections between cases. It is generally accepted that many cases
of serial murder have not been reported because of lack of evidence or the
person murdered is never noticed to be missing.
The U. S. has had more than 150 docume...

... middle of paper ...

...God-awful does a
human being have to be before the American Civil Liberties Union will pronounce
him beyond pale? How many death sentences must a murderer re-ceive before the
first is carried out? The answers to these questions are far from imminent.
They, like the Night Stalker, will linger at length. Meanwhile, the Satanist who
gouged out the eyes of one of his victims - was she alive or dead at the time? -
watches TV, piles up pentagrams and attends to his correspondence with fans.
He's apparently happy, his health is robust, and we're told he needs no
medication to sleep."


Joel D. Roberts, Column Right/Joel D. Roberts; Why is the Night Stalker Still
Alive? Home Edition, Los An-geles Times, 11-06-1994

John Douglas, Mind Hunter, Inside the FBI's Elite Serial Crime Unit, Pocket Star
Books, 1996 Bernard Du Clos, Fair Game, 1993

Eugene Methvin, The Face of Evil, Vol. 47, National Review, 01-23-1995, pp. 34

Jack Levin and James Alan Fox, Mass Murder, America's Growing Menace, 1985,
Plenum Press

Larry Siegal, Criminology, West Publishing Company, 1995

Jill Serjeant, Mad or Simply Evil? Serial Killers test experts., Reuters, 11-27-

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