According to Bryant and Clark, the term “serial killer” was coined in the 1970’s by former FBI agent Robert Wrestler. He chose the word “serial” because the crimes are in a specific series. In the past century, there have been approximately 400 killers in the US that fit this theme. Since the 1950’s, there has been an explosion of serial killers. Nearly 80% of the 400 known serial killers came about since 1950. There are a number of theories as to why this explosion occurred, but perhaps the most widely accepted is the “societal breakdown” that has occurred in the years since 1950. (Bryant and Clark) Bryant and Clark referred to this societal breakdown as “degradation of morals, violent films, and videogames where you kill people in the first person point of view.” This abrupt shift in American culture incubated serial killers.
When it comes to serial killers, the exact “textbook” definition can be a little fuzzy. The official FBI definition of a serial killer is the killer of three or more vict...
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... Dexter Morgan is the main character of the hit HBO series Dexter. He is a mild-mannered blood analyst by day and a serial killer who targets killers by night. Dexter is motivated by the process of killing because he likes the thrill he receives from it. He would fall under the organized or social pattern because he blends in with society. During his childhood, he was cruel to animals, one of the elements of the Macdonald Triad. Another example in American culture is Hannibal Lecter from Silence of the Lambs. Hannibal “The Cannibal” is a brilliant, yet spine-chillingly evil, ex-psychiatrist who offered insight on who “Buffalo Bill” was. In his case, severe and repetitive childhood trauma was enough to push him to kill. There are countless other fictional serial killers in the media; take a look at your favorite. Can you tell what makes them a serial killer?
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- The criminal homicide rate for the United States is currently at its lowest rate during the last forty years (6.3 per 100,000 people in 1998: Bureau of Justice Statistics); yet according to the media and entertainment fields, homicide is reaching epidemic proportions. Unfortunately these fields tend to exploit the concept of homicide in American society, rather than attempting to understand and control it. No where is this more prevalent than in the study of a small subset of criminal homicide referred to as serial murder.... [tags: Serial Killers Murder Violence Psychology Essays]
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- Serial murder as defined by the FBI is, “[t]he unlawful killing of two or more victims by the same offender(s), in separate events" (Morton Robert J. Ed, & Hilts., Ed, 2005, p. 9). Numerous people disagree with the definition, this researcher included, since it lacks the cool- down period after they murder, which various people feel stands necessary for serial killer status. Serial killers remain a rare phenomenon. The FBI states, serial murder accounts for less than one percent of killings per year (Morton Robert J.... [tags: Crime, Murder, Serial killer]
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