Table of Contents
A study of the existing literature
Original: The literature review revealed several key findings
Paraphrased: The analysis of the literature revealed some major discoveries.
This is the introductory section of the document.
Most people are fascinated by serial killers. Why do they kill? Was this their natural desire to kill? We need to know if serial killers are born or made. The truth is that infamous serial killers Ted Bundy, Richard Ramirez and others are dead. Because society must be educated about serial killers, the question of nature versus nurturing needs to been addressed.
A study of existing literature
Original: The research indicated that there was a lack of understanding in the area of study.
Paraphrased: It was found that the area of study was not well comprehended.
Johnson and Becker (1997) begin their article explaining the foundation of Natural Born Killers. This implies that the main characters would end up as they did. This article examines whether it is possible to predict the likelihood of young people becoming homicidal. The researchers do this by studying case studies. Johnson and Becker reviewed 9 cases. The first case was L, a fourteen year-old white male. The researcher also heard that he fantasized about his mother’s death. This study looked at the cases and compared them to different types of serial killers. This article focuses mainly on nature. There are reasons why each killer is classified. L, for example, had a fantasizing about killing his mother based on Johnson and Becker (1997). Research has also shown that sexually sadistic killers are often in mixed relationships with mothers and fathers, have poor social skills, and can be commanding. Johnson and Becker (1997) concluded that the desire to kill is a common trait in infants. They believe more research is needed to understand why this happens. Miller, 2013, states that serial killers have a rich history dating back to the Ancient Roman Emperors. Looking at serial killers’ nature, the demographic is dominated by white men in their 20s and 40s. Known serial killers are known to have no criminal record, but they start committing crimes and display antisocial behavior after being caught (Miller 2013, 2013). Although the article doesn’t go into the details of the origins of a serial killer, it does observe how serial killers treat victims’ bodies and compares it to early societies. This article supports the evolution theory that serial killers seek to inflict pain on others. Miller (2013) asserts that killing, dismembering sexing with and eating victims is part of their survival need. Miller (2013) also identifies serial killers by identifying the characteristics and types. Although their research doesn’t answer the question of whether serial killers are born from nature or nurture, it addresses the important issue that serial killers share some commonalities in order to identify them. Part two will discuss the development factors that lead to serial killers. It will also address nature vs. nurture. Scott (2008) explains that serial killers usually follow a pattern when they kill. They often have ulterior motives for their crimes and feel the need of dominating their victims. Also, they are often distant from their victims. According to Scott (2008), the typical serial killer is a white, middle-class man, often in his twenties, or thirties. Scott, 2008 also notes that many serial killings occurred as children. As everyone knows, there is no specific marker that can distinguish between serial killers and non-serial killers. Scott (2008) states that serial killers are difficult to identify because of their psychopathic nature. They lack empathy and can kill others. However, this does not mean they will stand out from the crowd. Instead, they mimic other emotions. Scott (2008) explores the possibility that some people may believe some children are born evil or good, but it all depends on the child. Scott (2008) uses Ed Kemper’s killing spree as an example.
Barbie dolls and the fantasies of murdering his 2nd-grade teacher. However, there are also some evidence to support the idea that nurture can lead to serial killers. Albert DeSalvo, better known as the Boston Strangler or the Boston Strangler was sold by his abusive father as an slave (Scott, 2008). This article shows that serial killers can be a mixture of nurture and nature. Scott (2008) argues that the majority of serial killers have psychopathic tendencies. They kill to satisfy a need and do not view their victims as human beings. Pilson (2011) has shown that serial murderers are a mixture of nurture and nature. But it is the nurture that is most responsible for creating them. Pilson (2011) points out Jack the Ripper’s case. He was a serial killer as a result of the city environment he lived. A person’s economic background can also support the notion that nurture is the key to making them a serial killer. Harold Shipman was another serial killer. He was also a doctor that killed his patients then put himself in their wills to gain financial gain. Pilson (2011) says that both nurture (and nature) can make someone a serial killer. However she prefers to look at the primary reason why people kill. Jeffrey Dahmer became serial killer after feeling isolated throughout his youth, which led to him becoming violent. Mitchell and Aamodt (2005, p. 4) acknowledge that serial killers are often a result of child abuse. Mitchell & Aamodt, 2005. Mitchell and Aamodt, 2005, examined the motivations of serial killers. They only considered those who wanted to be able to observe whether they had been abused as children. Mitchell and Aamodt (2006) compared the data and discovered that serial killers are not always caused by child abuse. However, they found that there is a significantly higher number of serial killers whose childhoods were abused than the general population. Mehra Pirouz and Samavati pirouz (2012) write that serial killers can be attributed to mental disorders. A crime investigator may find it difficult to discern a serial killer’s motivation. It may be difficult to identify a criminal’s motives because they are not easily visible. And those with mental disorders might not take responsibility for their crimes. Psychopathy, which is defined as a mental disorder, is common in serial killers. Psychopaths are not able to empathize, they are impulsive, and seek control (Mehra-Samavati Pirouz (2012)). The article goes on to describe the characteristics that make psychopaths a serial killer. They are charismatic, mysterious, and violent. This work considers both nurture and nature because psychopathy is not yet understood. Stone (2001), discusses serial killers’ history and why they are often called “serial”. Stone, 2001. Killings are spaced apart and isolated. This article examines the nature of killing. Stone (2001), recalls that an FBI investigation revealed that most serial killers were forced to witness child abuse and neglect. Stone (2011) further reveals that serial killers who were children were also deviant and had killed animals as they grew up. Injuries and illnesses that occur after birth fall under the nurture umbrella. Stone (2001), for example, uses Fred West. Fred West was injured in a motorbike accident at the age of 17 and then began to exhibit personality shifts. After he began to feel moody and had random outbursts, it was discovered that he was molesting young girls and became a serial killer. Although this article doesn’t provide much information about serial killers, it does give some insight into the factors that could lead to them killing.
It is vital to research the nature and nurture of serial killers. This will help society to better understand potential risk factors that could lead to multiple murders within a short time. Psychopathy is often linked to serial killers. This can help people identify symptoms and make it easier for them to be treated. The mental health and criminal justice authorities can benefit from research that examines the nature versus nurture for serial killers.
While not all victims of abuse as children go on to become serial murderers, some people who aren’t able to address their issues will. Although it is unclear whether serial killers are born or nurtured, research can be used to help professionals identify them and treat any mental health issues. Psychopaths can be criminals or serial killers, so further research on them should be done.