Essay on Serial Killers: Joseph Vacher

Essay on Serial Killers: Joseph Vacher

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The killer Joseph Vacher wasn’t always a criminal with sociopathic tendencies, he was once an innocent child. He may have scared his friends and family with his actions and continued to grow more violent and dangerous as he grew older, but at one time he was a child. As an adolescent he served in the military and lived at a monastery. When he came to adulthood he was charged and treated at two different mental institutes. The reasons for his violent nature may have been mental illness or a born criminal, whatever is the case he continued to commit crimes and was the target of new criminology technics.
He is described in appearance by the first object of his obsession, Louise Barant, as projecting a disarming innocence, while still being brutish looking. At the time of their meeting he was wearing the dress uniform of the French army and had sergeant chevrons on his sleeves. On the night of their first meeting that he showed his tendency toward obsession by abruptly proposing marriage. The realization that Ms. Barant has made a mistake became relevant when he threatened to kill her if she every betrayed him. The weeks following his proposal he pursued her with a series of threats, pity, and charm which lead to the assault of another man that attempted to talk to her at a dance.
While she was attempting to distance herself from Vacher, in any way she could, she eventually moved back home. Even though she left, he continued to write to her while he was with his battalion. At a loss for a way to end the relationship she lies and says that her mother has forbidden the relationship and does not wish to go against her wishes. This lie did not detour him and he continued to send a large amount of love letters, and desperation bluntly st...


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...her was insane or just a criminal. This question was answered by his examination and a notebook given to Vacher to fill out, in an attempt to see any sign of regret which was a sign of someone without any control over their actions. The consensus was that Vacher was in fact not insane and did deserve to be held responsible for his actions, as a result he was executed.
While Vacher may have been insane, mentally ill, or damaged from any number of reasons will need to be decided by an expert. In my examination of Joseph Vacher I have found he showed almost no regret for his crimes. While it was shown by his childhood that he was a rather violent and didn’t grow calmer as he aged, on the contrary he grew more capable of terrible acts. The believe that he was a born criminal in the 19th century, gives me great pride in how far we have come in the study of criminology.

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