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A serial killer is someone who murders three or more people in three or more separate events over a period of time for largely psychological gratification.[1] Many serial killers suffer from Antisocial Personality Disorder but usually not psychosis, and thus appear to be quite normal and often even charming, a state of adaptation which Hervey Cleckley calls the "mask of sanity." There is sometimes a sexual element to the murders. The murders may have been completed/attempted in a similar fashion and the victims may have had something in common, for example occupation, race, sex, etc. However, many times the race of the victim is not the same as the perpetrator. Antisocial personality disorder (APD) is a psychiatric condition characterized by an individuals common disregard for social rules, norms, and cultural codes, as well as impulsive behavior, and indifference to the rights and feelings of others. ... Psychosis is a generic psychiatric term for a mental state often described as involving a loss of contact with reality. Stedmans Medical Dictionary defines psychosis as a severe mental disorder, with or without organic damage, characterized by derangement of personality and loss of contact with reality and causing deterioration... The pioneer of the research of psychopathy was Dr. Hervey Cleckley who released in 1941 a book called The Mask of Sanity: An Attempt to Clarify Some Issues About the So-Called Psychopathic Personality. ... For other uses, see Race (disambiguation). ...

The term serial killer is widely believed to have been coined either by FBI agent Robert Ressler or by Dr. Robert D. Keppel in the 1970s (the credit for the term is disputed). Serial killer entered the popular vernacular in large part due to the well-publicized crimes of Ted Bundy and David Berkowitz in the middle years of that decade. F.B.I. and FBI redirect here. ... Colonel Robert K. Ressler Robert Ressler is a former FBI agent and author. ... Robert D. Keppel (born 1944) is a former Seattle, Washington police detective most known for his work tracking serial killers Ted Bundy and Gary Ridgway, also known as the Green River Killer. ... Theodore Robert Ted Bundy (November 24, 1946 – January 24, 1989) was an American serial killer. ... Son of Sam redirects here. ...


Psychology and development

Serial killers are specifically motivated by a variety of psychological urges, primarily power and sexual compulsion. They often have feelings of inadequacy and worthlessness, sometimes owing to humiliation, bullying, and abuse in childhood and/or the pressures of poverty and low socioeconomic status in adulthood, and their crimes compensate for this and provide a sense of potency and often revenge, by giving them a feeling of power, both at the time of the actual killing and afterwards. The knowledge that their actions terrify entire communities and often baffle police adds to this sense of power. This motivational aspect separates them from contract killers and other multiple murderers who are motivated by profit. For example, in Scotland during the 1820s, William Burke and William Hare murdered people in what became known as the "Case of the Body Snatchers." They would not count as serial killers by most criminologists' definitions, however, because their motive was primarily economic. Psychology (ancient Greek: psyche = soul and logos = word) is the study of mind, thought, and behaviour. ... Much of the recent sociological debate on power revolves around the issue of the constraining and/or enabling nature of power. ... Sexual Compulsion (also sex/sexual addiction) is an overwhelming need for sex or preoccupation with sex or the procurement of sex. ... A boy from an East Cipinang trash dump slum in Jakarta, Indonesia shows what he found. ... Socioeconomics is the study of the social and economic impacts of any product or service offering, market intervention or other activity on an economy as a whole and on the companies, organization and individuals who are its main economic actors. ... This article is about the country. ... The West Port murders were perpetrated in Edinburgh, Scotland, in 1827-1828 by William Burke and William Hare who sold the corpses of their 17 victims to the Edinburgh Medical College for dissection. ... Criminology is the scientific study of crime as an individual and social phenomenon. ...

Another recent theory about the compulsion of serial killers, propounded by Helen Morrison, states that serial killers are not a result of sexual abuse, inadequacy, or socioeconomic status, but are rather the result of retarded emotional development. The low level of emotional development, arguably, causes serial killers to have fractured or disparate personalities - that is they are not a whole person. Low emotional development also explains some common traits among serial killers such as enjoying holding soft materials against their mouths (being the primary sensory organ of infants) which was observed in Richard Otto Macek, John Wayne Gacy and others - the material often being women's panties because of the material's softness.[citation needed] Helen Morrison, M.D., is a forensic psychiatrist currently residing in Chicago, Illinois. ... John Wayne Gacy (March 17, 1942 - May 10, 1994) also known as The Killer Clown, was an American serial killer. ...

The Helen Morrison theory also suggests that a serial killer has not developed basic levels of emotional control and that, as a result, a serial killer does not have "feelings of inadequacy and worthlessness, sometimes owing to humiliation and abuse" which draw them to killing, rather, the act of killing is actually a kind of experimentation, which is uninhibited due to the subject's low or non-existent level of sympathy/empathy with the victims. It is arguable that serial killers are in fact trying to understand their own existence by inflicting pain, killing, and experimenting with victims' dead bodies. This also explains some of the macabre practices of serial killers such as Ed Gein, John Wayne Gacy, Jeffrey Dahmer, and others. Helen Morrison, M.D., is a forensic psychiatrist currently residing in Chicago, Illinois. ... “Gein” redirects here. ... John Wayne Gacy (March 17, 1942 - May 10, 1994) also known as The Killer Clown, was an American serial killer. ... Jeffrey Lionel Dahmer (May 21, 1960 – November 28, 1994) was an American serial killer. ...

The element of fantasy in a serial killer's development is extremely important. They often begin fantasizing about murder during or even before adolescence. Their fantasy lives are very rich and they daydream compulsively about domination, submission, and murder, usually with very specific elements to the fantasy that will eventually be apparent in their real crimes. Others enjoy reading stories or seeing photographs in magazines featuring rape, torture, and murder. In some cases, however, these traits are not present. See fantasy for an account of the literary genre involving the development of common or popular fantasies. ... For other things named OCD, see OCD (disambiguation). ... For other uses, see Torture (disambiguation). ...

Some serial killers display one or more of what are known as the "MacDonald triad" of warning signs in childhood. These are: The MacDonald triad are three major personality traits in children that are said to be warning signs for the tendency to become a serial killer. ...

  • Fire starting, or arson invariably for the thrill of destroying things, for gaining attention, or for making the perpetrator feel more powerful.
  • Cruelty to animals (related to "zoosadism"). Many children may be cruel to animals, such as pulling the legs off spiders, but future serial killers often kill larger animals, like dogs and cats, and frequently for their solitary enjoyment rather than to impress peers.
  • Bed wetting beyond the age when children normally grow out of such behavior.

When caught and tried in a court of law in the United States, some serial killers will plead not guilty by reason of insanity. In most U.S. jurisdictions, the legal definition of insanity is still generally based upon the classic common law "right or wrong" test delineated by an English court in the 1843 M'Naghten case.[2] The Skyline Parkway Motel in Afton, Virginia after an arson fire on July 9, 2004. ... Ernest Bornemann (1990, cited by Rosenbauer 1997) coined the term zoosadism for those who derive pleasure from inflicting pain on an animal, sometimes with a sexual component. ... Diversity 111 families, 40,000 species Suborders Mesothelae Mygalomorphae Araneomorphae  See table of families Wikispecies has information related to: Spiders Spiders are predatory invertebrate animals that have two body segments, eight legs, no chewing mouth parts and no wings. ... Trinomial name Canis lupus familiaris The dog (Canis lupus familiaris) is a domestic subspecies of the wolf, a mammal of the Canidae family of the order Carnivora. ... Binomial name Felis catus Linnaeus, 1758 Synonyms Felis lybica invalid junior synonym The cat (or domestic cat, house cat) is a small carnivorous mammal. ... Bedwetting (or enuresis) is involuntary urination while asleep in bed. ... In criminal trials, the insanity defenses are possible defenses by excuse, by which defendants argue that they should not be held criminally liable for breaking the law, as they were legally insane at the time of the commission of alleged crimes. ... ‹ The template below (Expand) is being considered for deletion. ... This article concerns the common-law legal system, as contrasted with the civil law legal system; for other meanings of the term, within the field of law, see common law (disambiguation). ... This article is about the MNaghten case. ...

The M'Naghten rule, as it is generally known in the legal profession, hinges upon whether the defendant knows the difference between right and wrong at the time of the offense. With some serial killers, extensive premeditation, combined with lack of any obvious delusions or hallucinations that would hinder the defendant's ability to elude detection after committing multiple murders, make this defense extremely difficult and almost uniformly unsuccessful in achieving a not guilty verdict. However, it does allow the defense to introduce evidence about the killer's background that would normally be deemed inadmissible (for example, a history of having been abused as a child), in hopes that some sympathy from the jury will spare the client a death sentence. The MNaghten rules, also known as McNaughten or Macnaughton rules, are a set of guidelines for an insanity defense formulated by the Judges of the House of Lords in 1843, used in England and Wales until the 1960s: Persons acting under the influence of an insane delusion are punishable... A hallucination is a sensory perception experienced in the absence of an external stimulus, as distinct from an illusion, which is a misperception of an external stimulus. ... Capital punishment, also referred to as the death penalty, is the judicially ordered execution of a prisoner as a punishment for a serious crime, often called a capital offense or a capital crime. ...


There have been conflicting reports as to the extent of serial murder. The FBI claimed in the 1980s that at any particular time there were roughly 35 active serial killers in the United States, meaning that the serial killers in question have committed their first murders but have not yet been apprehended for their crime or stopped by other means (e.g., suicide, a physical incapability to commit their crimes, imprisonment for a different offense, or a natural death). The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is a federal criminal investigative, intelligence agency, and the primary investigative arm of the United States Department of Justice (DOJ). ... For other uses, see Suicide (disambiguation). ...

This figure has often been exaggerated. In his 1990 book Serial Killers: The Growing Menace, Joel Norris claimed that there were 500 serial killers active at any one time in the United States, claiming 5,000 victims a year, a quarter of the country's homicides.

Serial murder before 1900

Further information: List of serial killers before 1900

Although the phenomenon of serial murder is popularly regarded as a modern one, it can be traced back in history with a limited degree of accuracy. The following is a list of serial killers before 1900, in roughly chronological order. ...

Liu Pengli of China, cousin of the Han Emperor Jing, was made king of Jidong in the sixth year of the middle period of Jing's reign (144 BC). In the evenings, according to the Chinese historian Sima Qian, he would "go out on marauding expeditions with 20 or 30 slaves or young men who were in hiding from the law, murdering people and seizing their belongings for sheer sport." Although many of his subjects knew about these murders, "so that [they] were afraid to go out of their houses at night," it was not until the 29th year of his reign that the son of one of his victims finally sent a report to the Emperor. Eventually, "it was found that he had murdered at least 100 or more persons." The officials of the court requested that Liu Pengli be executed; however, the emperor could not bear to have his own cousin killed, and Liu Pengli was made a commoner and banished.[3] Han Dynasty in 87 BC Capital Changan (202 BC–9 AD) Luoyang (25 AD–190 AD) Language(s) Chinese Religion Taoism, Confucianism Government Monarchy History  - Establishment 206 BC  - Battle of Gaixia; Han rule of China begins 202 BC  - Interruption of Han rule 9 - 24  - Abdication to Cao Wei 220... Sima Qian Si Ma Qian (司馬遷) (c. ... Wiktionary has related dictionary definitions, such as: slave Slave may refer to: Slavery, where people are owned by others, and live to serve their owners without pay Slave (BDSM), a form of sexual and consenual submission Slave clock, in technology, a clock or timer that synchrnonizes to a master clock...

In the 15th century, one of the wealthiest men in France, Gilles de Rais, is said to have abducted, raped and killed at least 100 young boys whom he brought to his castle as pages. The Hungarian aristocrat Elizabeth Báthory was arrested in 1610 and subsequently charged with torturing and butchering as many as 600 young girls. Like Liu Pengli, De Rais and Báthory were rich and powerful; therefore, although their crimes were known in their areas, they were not brought to justice for a long time. Chronicles of the times dealt largely with the affairs of the powerful; moreover, there was a lack of established police forces, at least in Europe, during those centuries. Therefore, there may have been many other classical or medieval serial killers who were either not identified or not publicized as well. (14th century - 15th century - 16th century - other centuries) As a means of recording the passage of time, the 15th century was that century which lasted from 1401 to 1500. ... Gilles de Rais Gilles de Rais (also spelled Retz) (September 10, 1404 – October 26, 1440) was a French noble, soldier, and one time brother-in-arms of Joan of Arc. ... Aristocracy is a form of government in which rulership is in the hands of an upper class known as aristocrats. ... A portrait of the Bloody Lady of ÄŒachtice. ... The Middle Ages formed the middle period in a traditional schematic division of European history into three ages: the classical civilization of Antiquity, the Middle Ages, and modern times. ...

Thug Behram, a gang leader of the Indian Thuggee cult of assassins, has frequently been said to be the world's most prolific serial killer. According to numerous sources, he was believed to have murdered 931 victims by strangulation by means of a ceremonial cloth (or rumal, which in Hindi means handkerchief), used by his cult between 1790 and 1830, thus holding the record for the most murders directly committed by a single person in history. In total, the Thugs as a whole were responsible for approximately 2 million deaths according to Guinness World Records. The notoriety of the Thugs eventually led to the word thug entering the English language as a term for ruffians, miscreants, and people who behave in an aggressive manner towards others. Recent scholarship has cast doubt on the Thuggee cult and suggested that the British in India were confused by the vernacular use of the term by Indians and may also have used fear of such a cult to justify their colonial rule (see Kevin Rushby's Children of Kali: Through India in Search of Bandits, the Thug Cult, and the British Raj). Thug Behram, of the Indian Thuggee cult, was said to be the worlds most prolific serial killer. ... A drawing of Thug Prisoners published by Illustrated London News, C. 1857 Thuggee (or tuggee) (from Hindi ‘thief’, from Sanskrit ‘scoundrel’, from ‘to conceal’) was an Indian network of secret fraternities who were engaged in murdering and robbing travellers, operating from the 17th century (possibly as early as 13th century... This article does not discuss cult in its original meaning. ... Jack Ruby murdered the assassin, Lee Harvey Oswald, in a very public manner. ... Hindi ( , Devanagari: or , IAST: , IPA: ), an Indo-European language spoken all over India in varying degrees and extensively in northern and central India, is one of the 22 official languages of India and is also used for central government administrative purposes , along with English. ... This article does not discuss cult in its original meaning. ... Guinness World Records 2008 edition. ... The English language is a West Germanic language that originates in England. ... A ruffian can be defined as [1] As a proper noun, Ruffian may refer to: Ruffian, a famous thoroughbred filly racehorse. ... It has been suggested that Benign colonialism be merged into this article or section. ...

The unidentified killer Jack the Ripper killed prostitutes (the exact number of victims is not known) in London in 1888. Those crimes gained enormous press attention because London was the centre of the world's greatest power at the time, so having such dramatic murders of financially destitute women in the midst of such wealth focused the news media's attention on the plight of the urban poor and gained coverage worldwide. Jack the Ripper is the pseudonym given to an unidentified serial killer active in the largely impoverished Whitechapel area of London, England in the second half of 1888. ... This article is about the capital of England and the United Kingdom. ...

In his 1886 book Psychopathia Sexualis, Richard von Krafft-Ebing notes a case of serial murder in the 1870s, that of an Italian man named Eusebius Pieydagnelle who had a sexual obsession with blood and confessed to murdering six people. Joseph Vacher was executed in France in 1898 after confessing to killing and mutilating 11 women and children, while American serial killer H. H. Holmes was hanged in Philadelphia in 1896 after confessing to 27 murders. It has been suggested that this article or section be merged into Richard Freiherr von Krafft-Ebing. ... Richard Freiherr von Krafft-Ebing with his wife Marie Luise Richard Freiherr von Krafft-Ebing[1] (August 14, 1840 – December 22, 1902) was an Austro-German psychiatrist who wrote Psychopathia Sexualis (1886), a famous study of sexual perversity, and remains well-known for his coinage of the term sadism (after... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... Herman Webster Mudgett (May 16, 1860 – May 7, 1896), better known under the alias of Dr. Harry Howard Holmes, was an American serial killer. ... Hanging is the suspension of a person by a ligature, usually a cord wrapped around the neck, causing death. ... For other uses, see Philadelphia (disambiguation) and Philly. ...

Some historical criminologists have suggested that there may have been serial murders throughout history, but specific cases were not adequately recorded. Some sources suggest that legends such as werewolves and vampires were inspired by medieval serial killers. A werewolf in folklore and mythology is a person who changes into a wolf, either by purposefully using magic in some manner or by being placed under a curse. ... Further reading Christopher Frayling - Vampyres: Lord Byron to Count Dracula 1992. ...

Types of serial killers

A significant number of serial killers will show certain aspects of both organized and disorganized types, although usually the characteristics of one type will dominate. Some killers descend from being organized into disorganized behavior as their killings continue. They will carry out careful and methodical murders at the start, but become careless and impulsive as their compulsion takes over their lives. Regardless, the FBI generally categorizes serial killers into the two different types. The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is a federal criminal investigative, intelligence agency, and the primary investigative arm of the United States Department of Justice (DOJ). ...

OrganizedㅡNonsocial Offenders types are usually of high intelligence, have an above average IQ (120+ range), and plan their crimes quite methodically, usually abducting victims, killing them in one place and disposing of them in another. They will often lure the victims with ploys appealing to their sense of sympathy. For example, Ted Bundy would put his arm in a fake plaster cast and ask women to help him carry something to his car, where he would beat them unconscious with a metal bar (i.e. a crowbar), and spirit them away. Others specifically target prostitutes, who are likely to voluntarily go with a serial killer posing as a customer. They maintain a high degree of control over the crime scene, and usually have a solid knowledge of forensic science that enables them to cover their tracks, such as by burying the body or weighting it down and sinking it in a river. They follow their crimes in the media carefully and often take pride in their actions, as if it were a grand project. The organized killer is usually socially adequate and has friends and lovers, often even a spouse and children. They are the type who, when captured, are most likely to be described by acquaintances as kind and unlikely to hurt anyone. Some serial killers go to lengths to make their crimes difficult to discover, such as falsifying suicide notes, setting up others to take the blame for their crimes, and faking gang warfare. The case of Harold Shipman, an English family doctor, is slightly unusual in that his social position and occupation was such that he was able to portray victims as having died of natural causes; between 1971 and 1998 he killed at least 215, and possibly well over 250, of his own mostly elderly patients – and until very near the end of his killings it was not even suspected that any crimes had been committed. IQ redirects here. ... Agents of the United States Army Criminal Investigation Division investigate a crime scene Forensic science (often shortened to forensics) is the application of a broad spectrum of sciences to answer questions of interest to the legal system. ... For other uses, see Suicide (disambiguation). ... Gang warfare is the conflict between differing groups of people identifying themselves as gangs. ... Harold Frederick Fred Shipman (January 14, 1946 – January 13, 2004) was an English general practitioner who was one of the most prolific known serial killers in modern history. ... This article is about the English as an ethnic group and nation. ...

DisorganizedㅡAsocial Offenders types are often of low intelligence, have a below average IQ (80-95), and commit their crimes impulsively. Whereas the organized killer will specifically set out to hunt a victim, the disorganized will murder someone when the opportunity arises, rarely bothering to dispose of the body but instead just leaving it at the same place in which they found the victim. They usually carry out "blitz" attacks, leaping out and attacking their victims without warning, and will typically perform whatever rituals they feel compelled to carry out (e.g., necrophilia, mutilation, cannibalism, etc.) once the victim is dead. They rarely bother to cover their tracks but may still evade capture for some time because of a level of cunning that compels them to keep on the move. They are often socially inadequate with few friends, and they may have a history of mental problems and be regarded by acquaintances as eccentric or even "a bit creepy." They have little insight into their crimes and may even block out memories of committing the murders. A ritual is a set of actions, performed mainly for their symbolic value, which is prescribed by a religion or by the traditions of a community. ... Look up Necrophilia in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... Cannibal redirects here. ...

Arguably the medical profession has produced the most serial killers, primarily as doctors but closely followed by nurses.[4] [5] [6] [7]


The motives of serial killers can be placed into five different categories (suggested by Holmes and DeBurger, 1988), although there may be some serial killers that have characteristics of more than one type. Image File history File links Question_book-3. ...


Contrary to popular opinion, serial killers are rarely insane or motivated by hallucinations and/or voices in their heads. Many claim to be, usually as a way of trying to get acquitted by reason of insanity. There are, however, a few genuine cases of serial killers who were compelled by such delusions. A delusion is commonly defined as a fixed false belief and is used in everyday language to describe a belief that is either false, fanciful or derived from deception. ...

Herbert Mullin killed 13 people after voices told him that murder was necessary to prevent California from suffering an earthquake. Mullin went to great pains to point out that California did indeed avoid an earthquake during his murder spree. Image:Herbert Mullin 2. ... Official language(s) English Capital Sacramento Largest city Los Angeles Largest metro area Greater Los Angeles Area  Ranked 3rd  - Total 158,302 sq mi (410,000 km²)  - Width 250 miles (400 km)  - Length 770 miles (1,240 km)  - % water 4. ... This article is about the natural seismic phenomenon. ...

Ed Gein claimed that by eating the corpses of women who looked like his deceased mother, he could preserve his mother's soul inside his body. He killed two women who bore passing resemblances to his mother, eating one and being apprehended while in the process of preparing the second woman's body for consumption. He also used the flesh of exhumed female corpses to fashion a "woman suit" (as well as various other household adornments, such as curtains and lamp shades) for himself so that he could "become" his mother. After his arrest he was placed in a mental institution for the rest of his life. “Gein” redirects here. ... For other uses, see Soul (disambiguation). ... A psychiatric hospital (also called a mental hospital or asylum) is a hospital specializing in the treatment of persons with mental illness. ...


So-called missionary killers believe that their acts are justified on the basis that they are getting rid of a certain type of person (often prostitutes or members of a certain ethnicity), and thus doing society a favor. Gary Ridgway and Aileen Wuornos are often described as missionary killers. In Wuornos' case, the victims were not prostitutes, but their patrons. Dr John Bodkin Adams, meanwhile, was a British fundamentalist Christian (a member of the Plymouth Brethren). His rich, 'non-believing' victims were killed partly in order to redistribute their wealth to people Adams considered more "deserving", usually - but not always - himself[8]. Missionary killers differ from other types of serial killer in that their motive is generally non-sexual. Prostitution is the sale of sexual services (typically manual stimulation, oral sex, sexual intercourse, or anal sex) for cash or other kind of return, generally indiscriminately with many persons. ... This article or section should be merged with ethnic group Ethnicity is the cultural characteristics that connect a particular group or groups of people to each other. ... Gary Leon Ridgway (born February 18, 1949), known as the Green River Killer, is one of the most prolific serial killers in American history. ... Aileen Carol Wuornos (born Aileen Carol Pittman) (February 29, 1956 – October 9, 2002) was an American prostitute and convicted serial killer who was sentenced to death by the state of Florida in 1992. ... John Bodkin Adams, (January 21, 1899–July 4, 1983) was a general practitioner in Eastbourne cleared of murdering one of his patients. ... Fundamentalist Christianity is a fundamentalist movement, especially within American Protestantism. ... The Brethren are a Christian Evangelical movement that began in Dublin, London, Plymouth, and the continent of Europe in the late 1820s. ...


This type kills for the sheer pleasure of it, although what aspect they enjoy varies. Yang Xinhai's post-capture statement is typical of such killers' attitudes: "When I killed people I had a desire sexual excitement. This inspired me to kill more. I don't care whether they deserve to live or not. It is none of my concern" [9]. Some killers may enjoy the actual "chase" of hunting down a victim more than anything, while others may be primarily motivated by the act of torturing and abusing the victim while they are alive. Some, such as Dennis Rader, Wichita's notorious "BTK Strangler" (standing for Bind Torture Kill) who killed 10 known victims, enjoyed both the hunt and torturing his victims after capturing and subduing them. Yet others, like Jeffrey Dahmer, may kill the victim quickly, and then indulge in necrophilia or cannibalism with the body. Usually there is a strong sexual aspect to the crimes, even if it may not be immediately obvious; some killers obtain a surge of excitement that is not necessarily sexual, such as David Berkowitz, who got a thrill out of shooting young couples in cars at random and then running away without ever physically touching the victims. Yang Xinhai (1965–4 February 2004) was one of the worst serial killers in Chinas history. ... Dennis Lynn Rader (born March 9, 1945) is an American serial killer who murdered at least 10 people in Sedgwick County (in and around Wichita), Kansas, between 1974 and 1991. ... Jeffrey Lionel Dahmer (May 21, 1960 – November 28, 1994) was an American serial killer. ... Son of Sam redirects here. ...

Gain motivated

Most criminals who commit multiple murders for material ends (such as Mafia hit men) are not classed as serial killers, because they are motivated by economic gain rather than psychopathological compulsion. There is a fine line separating such killers, however. For example, Marcel Petiot, who operated in Nazi-occupied France, could be classified as a serial killer. He posed as a member of the French Resistance and lured wealthy Jewish people to his home, claiming he could smuggle them out of the country. Instead he murdered them and stole their belongings, killing 63 people before he was finally caught. Although Petiot's primary motivation was materialistic, few would deny that a man willing to kill dozens of people simply to acquire a few dozen suitcases of clothes and jewelry was a violent sociopath. This article is about the criminal society. ... Psychopathology is a term which refers to either the study of mental illness or mental distress, or the manifestation of behaviors and experiences which may be indicative of mental illness or psychological impairment. ... Doctor Marcel Petiot (January 17, 1897–May 25, 1946) was a French doctor who was convicted of multiple murder after the discovery of the remains of twenty-six people in his home in Paris after World War II. // Early life Marcel André Henri Félix Petiot was born January 17... Motto Travail, famille, patrie French: Unoccupied zone of Vichy France (until November 1942) Capital Vichy Capital-in-exile Sigmaringen (1944-1945) Language(s) French Religion Roman Catholic Government Dictatorship Chief of state  - 1940 — 1944 Philippe Pétain President of the Council  - 1940 — 1942 Philippe Pétain  - 1942 — 1944 Pierre Laval... The Croix de Lorraine, the symbol of the resistance chosen by de Gaulle French Resistance is the name used for resistance movements during World War II which fought the Nazi German occupation of France and the collaborationist Vichy regime. ... The word Jew ( Hebrew: יהודי) is used in a wide number of ways, but generally refers to a follower of the Jewish faith, a child of a Jewish mother, or someone of Jewish descent with a connection to Jewish culture or ethnicity and often a combination... Antisocial personality disorder (APD) is a psychiatric condition characterized by an individuals common disregard for social rules, norms, and cultural codes, as well as impulsive behavior, and indifference to the rights and feelings of others. ...

Power and control

This is the most common serial killer. Their main objective for killing is to gain and exert power over their victim. Such killers are sometimes abused as children, leaving them with feelings of powerlessness and inadequacy as adults. Often they indulge in rituals that are linked, often very specifically, to forms of abuse they suffered themselves. Many power/control-motivated killers sexually abuse their victims, but they differ from hedonistic killers in that rape is not motivated by lust but as simply another form of dominating the victim.

Serial killers in popular culture

Serial killers have been featured in many novels, movies, songs, comic books, true crime, video games, and other media. Films such as The Silence of the Lambs, Psycho, Scream, and the Halloween series, have featured serial killers as villains, antiheroes, and even protagonists. Fictional serial killers such as Hannibal Lecter, Norman Bates, Carnage, Michael Myers, Patrick Bateman, Serge A. Storms and Dexter Morgan have become some of the most famous, popular characters in modern popular culture. This article is about the literary concept. ... This article is about motion pictures. ... For other uses, see Song (disambiguation). ... A comic book is a magazine or book containing the art form of comics. ... True crime is a non-fiction genre in which the author uses an actual crime and real people as a point of departure. ... Computer and video games redirects here. ... The Silence of the Lambs is a 1991 film directed by Jonathan Demme and starring Jodie Foster and Anthony Hopkins. ... Psycho is a 1960 suspense/horror film directed by auteur Alfred Hitchcock from the screenplay by Joseph Stefano about a psychotic killer. ... Scream can refer to several topics: Look up scream in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... Halloween (also known as John Carpenters Halloween) is a 1978 American independent horror film set in the fictional Midwest town of Haddonfield, Illinois on Halloween. ... In literature and film, an anti-hero is a central or supporting character that has some of the personality flaws and ultimate fortune traditionally assigned to villains but nonetheless also have enough heroic qualities or intentions to gain the sympathy of readers or viewers. ... A protagonist is the main figure of a piece of literature or drama and has the main part or role. ... Hannibal Lecter is a fictional character in a series of novels by author Thomas Harris. ... Norman Bates is a fictional character created by writer Robert Bloch as the central character in his novel Psycho. ... Carnage is a fictional character in the Marvel Comics Universe, a supervillain and adversary of Spider-Man and Venom. ... Michael Myers is a fictional character from the Halloween film series. ... Christian Bale as Patrick Bateman Patrick Bateman is a fictional character, the protagonist and narrator of the novel American Psycho by Bret Easton Ellis and its film adaptation. ... Serge A. Storms is the main character in most of Tim Dorseys novels (and appears in all of them to date). ... Dexter Morgan is a fictional character in a series of novels by Jeff Lindsay, which include Darkly Dreaming Dexter (2004), Dearly Devoted Dexter (2005), and Dexter in the Dark (2007). ... Popular culture, sometimes abbreviated to pop culture, consists of widespread cultural elements in any given society. ...

Serial killer memorabilia and serial killer lore is a subculture revolving around the legacies of various infamous and notorious serial killers. While memorabilia is generally confined to the paintings, writings, and poems of infamous killers, a market has expanded in recent years with serial killer encyclopedias, trading cards, and action figures. Some of the best known articles of serial killer memorabilia include the clown paintings of John Wayne Gacy and the poetry of Jack Unterweger. A souvenir stall in London, England A souvenir (from the French for memory) is an object that is treasured for the memories associated with it. ... Cyclopedia redirects here. ... Various trading cards A trading card (or collectible card) is a small card which is intended for trading and collecting. ... Zarbon action figure from Dragon Ball Z made by Bandai An action figure is a posable plastic figurine of a character, often from a movie, comic book, video game, or television program. ... John Wayne Gacy (March 17, 1942 - May 10, 1994) also known as The Killer Clown, was an American serial killer. ... Johann Jack Unterweger (born 1950 in Steiermark, died 29 June 1994 in Graz) was an serial killer who murdered prostitutes in several countries. ...


  1. ^ Macmillan Encyclopedia of Death and Dying entry on "Serial Killers" (2003) by Sandra Burkhalte Chmelir
  2. ^ An important distinction: "Not guilty by reason of insanity" and "diminished capacity" at Cornell University Legal Information Institute, access date 28 September 2007.
  3. ^ Sima Qian, Records of the Grand Historian. tr. Burton Watson. Revised edition 1993, Columba University Press. Han Dynasty Volume I, p. 387
  4. ^ Sitpond, M. Addicted to murder. The true story of Dr Harold Shipman. London: Virgin; 2000.
  5. ^ Whittle, BC.; Ritchie, J. Prescription for murder. The true story of mass murderer Dr Harold Frederick Shipman. London: Warner; 2000.
  6. ^ Linedecker, CL.; Burt, BA. Nurses who kill. New York: Windsor; 1990.
  7. ^ Hickey, EW. Washington DC: Wadsworth; 1997. Serial murderers and their victims; p. 142.
  8. ^ Cullen, Pamela V., "A Stranger in Blood: The Case Files on Dr John Bodkin Adams", London, Elliott & Thompson, 2006, ISBN 1-904027-19-9
  9. ^ http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/asia-pacific/3488047.stm

Norman Cornell redirects here. ... is the 271st day of the year (272nd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2007 (MMVII) is the current year, a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar and the AD/CE era in the 21st century. ...


  • Douglas, John and Olshaker, Mark. Journey into Darkness. Pocket Books, (1997). ISBN 0-671-00394-1
  • Douglas, John and Olshaker, Mark. Mind Hunter: Inside the FBI's Elite Serial Crime Unit. Pocket Books, (1997). ISBN 0-671-01375-0
  • Lane, Brian and Gregg, Wilfred. The New Encyclopedia Of Serial Killers. Headline Book Publishing, (1996). ISBN 0-7472-5361-7
  • MacDonald, J. M. "The threat to kill." American Journal of Psychiatry 120 (1963).
  • Norris, Joel. Serial Killers: The Growing Menace. Arrow Books, (1990). ISBN 0-09-971750-6
  • Ressler, Robert K. and Schachtman, Thomas. Whoever Fights Monsters. St. Martins Mass Market Paper, (1994). ISBN 0-312-95044-6
  • Schechter, Harold and Everitt, David. The A to Z Encyclopedia of Serial Killers. Pocket Books, (1996). ISBN 0-671-53791-1
  • Vronsky, Peter. Female Serial Killers: How and Why Women Become Monsters, The Berkley Publishing Group, (2007). ISBN 0-425-21390-0
  • Vronsky, Peter. Serial Killers: The Method and Madness of Monsters. The Berkley Publishing Group, (2004). ISBN 0-425-19640-2
  • Wilson, Colin. A Plague Of Murder. Robinson Publishing, Ltd., (1995). ISBN 1-85487-249-4
  • Elliott Leyton. Hunting Humans: The Rise of the Modern Multiple Murderer (1986) McClelland and Stewart ISBN 0-7710-5025-9
  • Holmes, Ronald. Holmes, Stephen. "Murder in America". Sage Publishing ISBN 0-7619-2092-7

McClelland and Stewart is a Canadian publishing company. ...

See also

This is a list of notable serial killers, by their country of origin or activity. ... A serial killer is defined as a person who murders three or more people, in three or more separate events over a period of time. ... Mass murder (massacre) is the act of murdering a large number of people, typically at the same time, or over a relatively short period of time. ... Offender profiling, or more scientifically, psychological profiling, is a behavioral and investigative tool that helps investigators to profile an unknown subject (unsub) or offender(s). ... A spree killer, also known as a rampage killer, is someone who embarks on a murderous assault on his victims in a short time in multiple locations. ...

External links

  Results from FactBites:
Stories about famous serial killers and murder cases at the Crime Library. (2223 words)
The most frightening of serial killers: a handsome, educated psychopathic law student who stalked and murdered dozens of young college women who looked very much like a young woman who broke off her relationship with him.
One of the most notorious serial killers, "respectable" Chicago-area businessman hires young men to work in his contracting company, then rapes and murders scores of them, burying their bodies on his properties.
This extraordinary murderer killed by decapitation unique in the annals of serial killing but then, he was a surgeon by training, brought down by alcoholism and drug addiction, and knew the human anatomy like the back of his hand.
Serial killer - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (3944 words)
Serial killer entered the popular vernacular in large part due to the well-publicized crimes of Ted Bundy (for who the term was first used) and David Berkowitz ("Son of Sam") in the middle years of that decade.
Serial killers are generally perceived to be largely consisting of white males and it is true that they are distinctly over-represented in percentile figures of known serial killers.
Serial killer memorabilia and serial killer lore is a subculture revolving around the legacies of various infamous and notorious serial killers.
  More results at FactBites »



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