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Criminal Mind Essay Research Paper Although much

Criminal Mind Essay, Research Paper Although much has been written and many theories brought forth on identifying the criminal mind, it is still evident that there is no foolproof way to

Criminal Mind Essay, Research Paper

Although much has been written and many theories

brought forth on identifying the criminal mind, it

is still evident that there is no foolproof way to

know in advance whether a person is prone to

criminal activity. Law enforcement agencies have

begun using a method called profiling to identify

serial killers and terrorists. Some school

districts are looking into the concept as a way of

early detection into the minds of troubled

children whose violent ways might be discovered

before it is too late. By watching for certain

signals educators hope to intervene before these

students actually complete a violent act (Lord

PG).Some have felt it is the influence of drugs or

alcohol that induces this kind of criminalistic

behavior. While substance abuse may affect a

person as far as committing offenses, it is far

unlikely that substance abuse alone could create a

serial or mass murderer. Mitchell (PG) points out

that there are “studies correlating a geographical

prevalence of alcoholism and serial murder and

might show that there is some relation between the

two (although this relationship might well be

spurious).”Some personality traits have been shown to be

more prevalent in the makeup of serial or mass

murderers. Impulsiveness, low self-esteem and poor

social skills, as well as competitive and

aggressive behavior are quite common among these

killers as is hypersensitivity to criticism

(Mitchell PG). It has also been pointed out that

those with active or high fantasy prone

imaginations are more apt to be able to become

serial killers. Even Carl Jung pointed out that it

is the tortured that become the torturers, thus

establishing the fact that child abuse assumes a

very prominent role in the makings of a serial

killer. Perhaps it is a sense of helplessness or

lack of self worth that causes the abused to turn

to others to inflict pain upon. Sometimes this

fantasy life comes to the forefront in the

presence of actual abuse the killer has had to

endure, at which time the mind takes over and

concocts a fantasy in which the abuse is happening

to someone or something else. This can perhaps sow

the seeds in which the mind allows the fantasy to

be played out in reality later on in life

(Mitchell PG). So far, however, not enough has

been discovered in order to accurately predict

deviant behavior in the young and enable it to be

corrected before it comes to fruition.It is interesting to note that only a few

examples of female serial murderers exist. There

are even fewer examples of female serial sadistic

killers. It seems that serial killers are most

predominately male. Because women are socially

taught subservience and obedience, it is felt that

to overcome this sociological learning is more

than normally would take place in the mind of even

the aggressive female in a social setting. It

normally takes a propensity toward violence and

overbearing in order to be expressive rather than

alien to the social culture of a given individual.

It is noted that a feminist approach to serial

murder would have, no doubt, much to offer in the

terms of social analyzation (Mitchell PG).Children are not displaying normal behavior when

they hurt, torture or kill animals. That, say

behaviorists, is one of the significant

indications of underlying psychological trouble.

Bundy, along with Manson, Dahmer and most other

killers of this sort, began their torturous abuse

on animals. The evidence that childhood animal

abuse ultimately leads to adulthood crimes is

irrefutable. Senator Ed Perlmutter, who sponsored

a bill to stiffen the punishment of animal cruelty

charges, has no doubt that animal cruelty is

linked with “much more serious crimes” (Sanko 38A)

later in life. It is as though the animals act as

practice tools until the time is right to graduate

up to humans. But with the help of new laws

currently being passed in several states, law

enforcement is now taking a closer look at the

connection.According to psychologist Randall Lockwood of the

Humane Society of the United States, perpetrators

do not stop to count the number of legs on their

victims (Sharp, PG); rather, they just want the

thrill of the kill, no matter who is on the

receiving end. Make no mistake that there exists a

clear and distinct connection among the abuses of

animals, children, battered spouses and the

elderly. The late anthropologist Margaret Mead was

frequently quoted as having said that “one of the

most dangerous things that can happen to a child

is to kill or torture an animal and get away with

it” (Landers ).However, animal abuse is but one clue that a

child like Bundy, Gacy or DeSalvo will grow up a

serial killer; fire-setting and bed-wetting are

just two of several other pieces to the puzzle. As

well, torturous mischief can indicate that the

child derives pleasure from seeing others in pain

or fear. The makeup of such a killer starts early

on, long before the concept of murder ever enters

the mind. The inner motivation that compels

children to commit heinous acts of violence and

torture is not something that is consciously

recognized by the individual.”Children normally learn to trust and develop

attachments to people within the first two years

of life. By then they have also acquired a sense

of compassion and empathy for others. And they

have begun to be taught the difference between

right and wrong and that hurtful actions have

consequences. Many youngsters, though, fail to

acquire those early curbs on conduct. Later on,

when children misbehave, indulgent parents make

excuses and forgo punishments. Young boys who grow

up with absent or uninvolved fathers suffer doubly

in that they often fail to develop a healthy sense

of masculinity” (Toufexis 64).Not coincidentally, Bundy, as an example, started

demonstrating telltale signs at the age of three,

when he ever so quietly slid a butcher knife under

the covers of his aunt’s bed while she was still

asleep. As he stood there grinning, she shooed him

out of the room to put the knife away. The

unsettling thing about this incident is that no

one took notice of its message; in fact, says the

aunt, she was the only one who thought his actions

were strange (Simon simonb.html). Time and time

again, however, Bundy’s family insisted that he

had a normal childhood — that was before such

examples started leaking out.Experts in the field of serial sexual murderers

say that a commonality among serial killers is the

issue of sexual dysfunction, no matter if they are

heterosexual or homosexual. Impotency and the

inability to conduct or maintain “mature,

consensual sexual experiences” (Simon simonb.html)

are trademark for this kind of offender. Oddly

enough, however, they have no trouble at all

achieving intense sexual pleasure from their

deviant acts of violence. According to FBI

statistics, of the some 500 serial killers at

large, 90 percent of them commit crimes of brutal

sexual violence (Anonymous PG).There are many common factors that may lead

seemingly stable people to commit violent crimes.

Some experts say the breakdown of the family

structure plays a heavy role, while others say it

is a combination of abuses kids suffer at the

hands of their parents. When parents are even in

the picture, say still others, they are often void

of any parental abilities, thereby leaving the

teenagers to learn moral values of right and wrong

for themselves. However, not every child who has

had a lousy upbringing within a dysfunctional

family ends up a serial killer, so there has to be

more to the equation than just the home life

situation. There is, say some psychologists, who

suspect that biology plays yet another powerful

role (Toufexis, 64).In a study conducted by Psychologist Robert Hare

of the University of British Columbia, both normal

people and known psychopaths were rated on their

responses to such emotionally-illustrative words

as death, cancer and rape, as well as to neutral

works like table and chair. The psychopath brain

waves indicated a distinct lack of reaction to the

emotional words, while the normal people responded

right away. In short, because the brain produces

no reaction, it is apparent that killers like

Gacy, DeSalvo and Bundy have no conscience to

answer to, as their brains do not register the

action being wrong (Toufexis, 64).Society feels the effects of serial killers by

harboring significantly more fear towards

strangers. It has come to a point where no one is

safe walking in his or her own neighborhood — no

matter how upscale it may be — inasmuch as money

or status has no bearing whatsoever upon who falls

victim to a serial killer. As a means by which to

enact self-preservation, people have come to

withdraw from those whom they do not know, opting

not to answer doorbells or help strangers on the

street; indeed, this is precisely the manner by

which many of the killer’s victims lost their

lives.The fact that most serial killers are white males

in their thirties addresses issues that previously

have not been associated with this particular kind

of perpetrator. Society has historically looked

upon serial killers as having a certain repulsive

image or appearance, never once considering that

upstanding, nice looking, relatively young men

could ever fit that description. This severe

modification addresses American history in that

the overall representation of serial killers has

changed to the point that anybody’s next door

neighbor — the guy with the nice smile and kind

word for all — might very well be the country’s

next mass murderer.

60a

Anonymous. “Borrowed confessions.” 28 November

2000.http://www.feedmag.com/96.08selzter/96.08seltzer3.

htmlLanders, Ann. Newsday, April, 1994: .Lord, Mary. “The violent-kid profile.” U. S. News

& World Report, October, 1999: PG.Mitchell, Edward W. “The aetiology of serial

murder: towards an integrated model.” PhD

Dissertation to Satisfy the Requirements of

University of Cambridge School of Mental Health

Law. 1996.Sanko, John. “Bill would stiffen laws on animal

cruelty measure aims at deliberate mistreatment,

abuse, killing.” Rocky Mountain News, April 1997:

38A.Sharp, Deborah. “Public outraged by recent cases

of animal abuse.” USA T

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