Serial killer in modern classification is a killer that during each episode has committed more than three murders without an obvious motive. Although, according to the classification of FBI the determination of serial murder is different and begins from two or more kills that may be committed by one or more killers. Typically between episodes of murders there is a so-called period of cooling emotions and psychological satisfaction of killer. It is believed that most serial killers are antisocial psychological disorders treated with indifference to the suffering of others and contempt for the public morals, but very rarely suffer from distinct mental illness. Usually serial killers appear outwardly quite normal, and sometimes even attractive.
Nowadays, the theoretical analysis of the scientific bases of recognition and disclosure of serial murders increasingly attracts the attention of specialists. The interest shown on the part of researchers and practitioners to this problem, is caused by the global trend of growth of this type of crime, their particular social danger, enormous difficulties faced by investigative practices in identifying and exposing serial killers
It should be noted that the concept of serial killings cannot expand indefinitely relating to these acts very many different kinds of episodical, multiple crimes of a very wide range of motivational painting. Serial murder can be defined as the repeated, deliberate, caused by a certain motive (or number of motives) actions aimed at killing others, made with a time lag.
All repeatedly committed murders (and not only those crimes) are caused by various reasons. Question rests only in what is the motivation of serial killers. The mentioned above definition does not include the answer on this question. Also, does not change anything the fact that the criminal acts committed by a serial killer have an interval of time. The time interval is typical for any criminal acts committed repeatedly. There are no simultaneous criminal acts within the criminal behavior of one person, because such acts don’t exist. Each action is separated from other activities by certain time intervals.
Thus it is not difficult to conclude that the overall portrait (profile. or characteristic) of a serial killer would be less informative than portraits of individual types of perpetrators of serial murders. However, it provides no basis for concluding that it is impossible or unnecessary to develop this general portrait. These portraits have long developed and effectively used in practice, as with all the originality generalizable less common types of portraits of these persons all of them are characterized by a set of similar features: dysfunctional childhood, inability to voluntary termination of criminal activity, susceptibility to criminal fantasies, the choice of the victims of the same type, etc.
One of the main features of serial murder is the unity of motive. Psychologists and criminologists have long shown that the basis of the behavior of a serial killer is not one, but intertwining, complex motives (for example the desire to experience pleasure at the sight of suffering and humiliation of the victims). In addition, more accurate to mention not about the unity of the motives of the various types of serial killers, but about the similarity of motives of the same offender when making a series of crimes, and it is one of the important criteria for recognition in practice that the number of murders are committed by the same person.
Under present conditions the most important in practical terms appears the typological approach to the study of serial killers, which facilitates identification of specific traits of individual groups of this kind of criminals, especially their criminal pre and post criminal behavior and related marks. The usefulness of such research is undeniable. These results are important for the practice not only in terms of optimizing the recognition process the factor of serialization in the offense under investigation, but also to differentiate psychological profiles (portraits of killers), and the implementation of a more purposeful search for a serial killer.
There are different motives at the heart of the criminal behavior of a serial killer. What are the underlying psychological factors reflect these motives, what their subjective sense? So let's analyze what are the motives of serial killers. There are four major possible motives that force the person to make a serial murder: manipulation, dominance, control, sexual harassment (passion).
One common type of serial killers is a visionary. Visionary is a type of serial killers who exhibit mental disorder. Most often this type of serial killers argues their murder so that they ordered the God or the Devil. An example of this type of serial killers showing Herbert Mullin who believed that killing people during the Vietnam War, he saves the United States and California earthquake. Herbert Mullin said that he was acting on the orders of his father, who telepathically ordered him to kill people.
Mission-oriented murder is also one of the types of motives for serial killers. Typically, this type of killers believes in their messianism, that there is something that they have to do, a kind of mission that they have to with world. They also believe that they were elected for the killing of some individuals. One feature of this type of motive is that serial killers usually choose their target to kill a certain group of people. As a rule, these murders are aimed at people with a common race, common religious affiliation, ethnic origin, sexual orientation, profession, etc. For example, a group of serial killers from San Francisco killed people only Caucasians.
One of the most common motives for the killings is sex (lust). This type is characterized by the fact that in the murders the key role has played sexual fantasies of serial killers. As a rule, the satisfaction of this type of serial killers depends on the amount of violence, torture, trauma, and pain that killer make to victims. It is also often one of the reasons for these murderers are the desire to control and dominate their victims.
Subjective reasons for rape and subsequent murders are associated primarily with features of self-perception of the perpetrator, his sensation, often on a subconscious level, worthlessness, inadequacy as a person. Often such type of feeling, the experience that murderer has had, has a rigidly fixed nature, killer like to connect the object of frustration that he (she) depends on. The most of victims of such type of serial killers are women. The desire to get rid of this dependence and at the same time to assert them in the male role can push a person to commit rape and a murder.
The particular interest in this regard has a dangerous category of rapists, suddenly attacking strangers and try to force women to overcome their resistance. The behavior of such criminals similar to the actions of the hunter that waits or track down their prey. Most of these "hunters" are characterized by positive at home and at work, they are caring in the family, but in relation to other women have sharply negative emotions.
This type of killer take towards women subordinate, passive position, the woman dominates the man. As a rule, these serial killers have problems self-identification with male role with a powerful need of sexual tension, fixing on sexual relations that can be reduced only to have sex is without psychological intimacy. It was also established that such persons in childhood have had a overbearing, dominant mother. Hunters are dependent not only on the mother and wife, but also on women in general, since relationships with them subconsciously build on maternal-child basis. Therefore, as a rule, the motive of rape for hunters is desire to destroy the psychological domination of women in general, and not individuals. Sexual assault of women, accompanied by acts of cruelty, are not caused by sexual needs of offenders, but a necessary to get rid of psychological dependence on women as a symbol, an abstract image that has great power.
One more cause for sexual motive is social or biological rejection (real or imaginary) the fear that woman raises in killers, fear of losing their social and biological status, place in life. Raping and killing the victim, the killer completely dominates it a criminal in his own eyes appears as a strong personality. Thus there appears a motive of self-affirmation.
Also, most serial killers of this type kill their victims through close contact, use the knife as a weapon, or just rope or simply strangled the victim with their hands. However, the victims of these killers often become men such as victims of Jeffrey Dahmer.
Another type of motive for serial killers is a self-affirmation. The need for self-affirmation is the most important requirement, enabling a wide range of human behavior. It manifests itself in the human desire to assert itself on the social, socio-psychological and individual levels.
Affirmation of the individual on the social level is the desire to conquer the social status, to achieve certain social roles provisions related to the recognition of the individual in the field of professional or social activities. Affirmation at the social level is usually associated with the conquest of prestige and authority, successful career, providing material goods.
Affirmation of the socio-psychological level is associated with the desire to conquer the personal status, to gain recognition on the part of a personally significant immediate environment at the group level - the family, the reference group: friends, acquaintances, peers, colleagues, etc. However, it could be a group with which the person is not in contact, but tends to get into, to become a member of this group. In such cases, the crime acts as its mode of penetration into such a group, achieving recognition, and it is especially characteristic for adolescents.
Affirmation of the individual at the individual level (self-affirmation) is associated with a desire to achieve high self-esteem, improve self-esteem and level of self-esteem. This desire is achieved by committing such acts, which, according to the person, help to overcome any psychological flaws, weaknesses and at the same time demonstrate the strengths of the individual.
Most often, such affirmation happens unconsciously. It is characteristic, for example, the so-called looting prestigious type that wants to achieve certain social status, or save it in any way, including criminal. Failure to achieve it, and the more his loss means to them catastrophe.
Because of these levels of affirmation of the person self-assertion, in all probability, has a paramount importance, stimulating desire for recognition on the social and socio-psychological levels. Through self-affirming the person feels more independent, pushes the psychological limits of its existence, and becomes itself a source of changes in the environment, making it safer for them. It gives a person the opportunity to appear in the proper perspective and valued in the eyes of their group, and in the eyes of society. This recognition, complementing each other, provides individual internal psychological comfort and sense of security.
Often, by committing comfort\profit crime provides to killer solution of any internal problems, in addition to status. Possession of material goods gives a person confidence, reduces concerns about its social certainty, and eliminates most temporarily jealousy and inferiority.
Self-affirmation is a common major motive in the commission of the rape. Rape is not only sexual satisfaction, not only a manifestation of private-property psychology and primitive attitude towards a person it is not only disrespectful to victim, to honor and dignity, but above all, the assertion of killer's personality in so ugly and socially dangerous way.
One more motive for serial killers is a replacement of actions. There are many cases of violent crime on the mechanism of replacement actions. The essence of these actions is that if the original purpose becomes for any reason unattainable, the person seeking to replace it with another - accessible. Thanks to replacement of actions occurs removal of mental stress in a state of frustration.
Replacement of actions or displacement of the object of attack can occur in different ways. First, by "generalization" or "spreading" behavior when violent impulses are directed not only against persons who are a source of frustration, but also against their relatives, friends, etc. In these cases, the serial killers that have quarreled with one person direct their aggression on relatives or friends of the person. The secondly the aggression with replacement of actions is directed against inanimate objects or other people that happened to be at the wrong place at the wrong time. This is so-called respondent aggression, the most dangerous, as its object often appear defenseless people.
Another type of motive is a hedonistic motive. Serial killers through the thrill have fun and get satisfaction. Generally this type of motive includes three types of motives such as lust, thrill and comfort. Lust has already been analyzed, so let's look at two other subtypes.
Thrill as a motive for a serial killer is caused mostly by adrenaline addiction of killers. Committing their crimes through hunting their prey serial killers of this type get satisfaction. In the case of this type of the murder, the killer usually does not commit sexual violence and commit murder just killing the victim. Also, such killers often commit murder with long pauses between the murders and think through everything perfectly. However, these killers are often quite arrogant and eventually think that they will never be caught. An example of such a conceit is a serial killer Robert Hansen.
Also, among the motives for murder can allocate profit as a motive. Comfort or profit motive is the motive when a serial killer kills for better life (better living conditions), or for money. This type of serial killers includes assassins. Also, as a rule the victims of these crimes are members of the family. Most often serial killers of this type are women, but there are also men. Also, the hallmark serial killers of this type, is that they good hide their victims or kill their victim by using poison. This is due to the fact that the killers want to gain control over the victim's money or their shelter.
Also, there are at least two motives that force serial killers kill. The first motive is control. The desire to control over the victim and the desire of domination forces serial killers to kill. However, at the same time, the rape of victims of these serial killers is not caused by lust, but only by the desire to control the victims.
The second motive is more strange - media. Many serial killers in recent years have begun to declare that the brutal environment, culture and brutal cruelty through the media had affected them. Thus, they carry some of the responsibility on society, and in particular on the media. For example, some serial killers have said that a great influence on them had characters from the films played by John Wayne.
Thus, summarizing all the mentioned above, it should be stated that serial killers have certain personality traits, among which the most clearly distinguished: alienation from society, isolation, emotional deprivation, ill-adapted to the society, aggressiveness, low adaptive capacity, rigidity of thinking. Serial criminals also are hypersensitive to interpersonal interaction.
Also, it should be noted there are several types of motives for serial killers. Motives of serial are: manipulation, domination, control, sexual aggression (lust), media, mission, thrill, profit, etc. Psychological features of serial offenders can be considered as a predisposition to commit a crime, that is, as properties of the individual that reduce criminogenic threshold. As I have mentioned above, there is no only one motive for murder, but only a complex of motives. It is also should be noted that many of motives are connected with each other.
It can be concluded that the identity of the offender is different from the individual law-abiding citizen by certain psychological characteristics specific to the person transgresses the norms of the law. Causes of crime can be considered a genetic predisposition, alcohol and drug use, especially education, social environment that surrounds the man and his own active lifestyle.
The manifestation of the real psychological status of a serial killer had to be determined by mechanisms of mental protection, primarily the mechanism of repression and sublimation.
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