women serial killers

Topics: Serial killer, Aileen Wuornos, Murder Pages: 7 (4343 words) Published: November 5, 2014

Amber Tracy
Nature of Crime
University of Nebraska at Omaha
December 5, 2013

The number of women committing heinous crimes (ex: serial killing) is nothing new. This research paper is going to explain what the term serial killer actually means, examine a few different cases and look into a small number of behavior theories that could possibly help explain why they do what they do. The reader will be learning actual names and the crimes of women that have committed such crimes, such as Nannie Doss, Velma Barfield and Aileen Wuornos; The actual types and details of the crimes being committed by these women will be explained. Examining a few characteristics and warning signs will hopefully give a look into the minds of these women and perhaps help explain what brought them to this point. In short, this paper will be about what makes a serial killer, women that have been deemed a serial killer and possible reasons as to why. Serial Killer

In order to totally understand what is meant by the term serial killer, according to USLegal.com the term means “Serial killer is a term describing a type of killer who kills a number of people over a long period of time. They are generally male and motivated by a variety of psychological urges, primarily power. The United States Bureau of Justice Statistics defines a serial killing as: "[involving] the killing of several victims in three or more separate events." They are distinguished from spree killers in that they have rest periods between killings.” (USLegal.com, 2001) A serial killer's way of thinking is far beyond that of “normal” human understanding. The pattern of killing is what gives serial killers their name. There is always something in common between the murders - the use of the same detrimental weapon, the race of the people being killed, the age/gender, the victim’s profession, and possibly the symbols left on the body of the victim. The motive for killing varies from perpetrator to perpetrator but usually consists of hatred/fear, which may have originated in the killer's childhood (explained later). In most cases, the victims of serial killers are physically weaker than the perpetrator. Serial killers usually target children and women. But as a female serial killer, their targets varied greatly and included old and middle-aged men. It must be kept in mind that a serial killer has such a demented mind, that he/she actually finds pleasure in doing this and according to this type of reasoning/way of thinking they are doing nothing wrong or have rationalized it into doing society a favor. This unbalanced sense of knowing right from wrong is what makes serial killers so dangerous and unpredictable. Society hears lots of talk about serial killers in general and the majority of them happen to be male--Rarely do they hear about all the female serial killers in the world. Some people just don't think females are capable of such an act of violence. Female serial killers have actually been around for centuries, they even date back to the BC time lines. (“female serial killers historically represent nearly one in every six known serial murderers in the United States between 1800 and 2004 (64 females from a total of 416 known offenders): over 15% of all known American serial killers have been women, with a collective number of victims between 427 and 612-- The longevity of a male's killing spree ranges from several months to, at the extremity, four years. Recorded lengths of like female activities are, on the average, from six to eight years. Some have gone undetected for three decades.” (Female Serial Killers, 2011) It was not until more recently that officials started documenting, investigating, and reporting things more precisely. Each year, more and more female serial killers are being discovered. The Background

Are serial killers psychopaths? Quite simply, yes most of them are. “A psychopath is a person who doesn't believe in social norms, and ethical principles and is...

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