Many misunderstand the true meaning of the term serial killer and confuse it with those of mass murderers and spree killers. However, a serial killer has much different tactics than those of mass murderers and spree killers. In order to be declared a serial killer, one must commit three or more murders over a period of more than thirty days with time in between each murder known as a “cooling off” phase. Each murder for a serial killer is committed for some sort of psychological fulfillment. Most serial killers have similar characteristics either within each murder, victim or sometimes both. These may include: occupation, sex, age, appearance, and race for the victim and molestation, rape, strangulation, shooting, decapitation, and many more gruesome acts most cannot even begin to imagine. There are many various classifications of serial killers depending on how and what they get from each murder they commit. Organized nonsocial offenders often methodically plan out each and every offense meticulously prior to actually carrying out their crime. Organized nonsocial serial killers may look and act like ones neighbor seemingly normal with a steady job and family. However, they follow their crimes through the media intently. Unlike organized nonsocial offenders, disorganized asocial offenders often act on impulse using blitz type attacks killing their victims in whichever ways they desire to at the time. They rarely cover their tracks but somehow seem to get away unnoticed. They are often socially awkward with few friends and previous mental disabilities.
Jack the Ripper was the first known and reported serial killer. He first struck in 1888 in Whitechappel, London. The theory that ties into the story of the gruesome serial killer in London would be the trait theory. The sub theory of the trait theory is psychological due to lack of evidence to help support his past experiences in his life and because it was not premeditated. It was simply a rage of violence against middle class women prostitutes. The way this killer showed no remorse to the brutal mutilation of these women proved in fact to be a psychological problem. Not only did Jack the Ripper kill multiple women but he mutilated their bodies almost to the point of an unrecognizable state. He was a nonsocial offender who simply attacked his victims as he found them rather than premeditating each attack. He wanted to be known in London at the time and involved the press by writing letters in order to give himself a name. Jack the Ripper only killed within the city of Whitechappel and made most of his attacks under the cover of darkness. Mary Nichols was a 43 year old woman and prostitute who became Jack’s first murder. She was discovered at 3:40 A.M. with no clues as to who killed her and her body completely mutilated. Her lover at the time was only able to identify her remains by her eye color and hair color. By September 30, 1888 he had killed two more females; Elizabeth Stride also known as “Long Liz” who was fully recognizable and Catherine Eddowes a 46 year old female prostitute who, like his first victim, was found mutilated. Mary Jane Kelly was Jack the Ripper’s final victim before he stopped killing and vanished in February of 1891. To this day the identity of Jack the Ripper has never been discovered. During this time period it would have been difficult to stop a psychopath on a rampage to mutilate any prostitute they ran across due to the lack of privacy, security on one’s home, and lack of technology to gain significant evidence against the murderer. The evolution of society has created its own solution to stopping killers before they become serial killers, in most cases. (America’s)
The Zodiac Killer attacked in Northern California where he claimed his first victim on October 30, 1966. (Newton) The Zodiac Killer used a gun and most often searched out couples to kill. He did not necessarily have a motive...
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