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Joel Rifkin: A Serial Killer

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Serial killers have significantly affected people’s lives for thousands of years however, we’ve only recently been getting an insight into why they commit these horrendous acts of violence. Many people have written it off as pure evil but there is more to these people that meets the eye. One famous serial killer was Joel Rifkin. Through many psychological tests and brain scans, researchers were able to learn more about his brain and the parts of it that did not function correctly. The defective or damaged parts of his brain had a large role to play in the murders he committed and even this information can help us identify dangerous behavior and possibly prevent the death of innocent people. The first step in these series of tests was to look…show more content…
After his first murder, he continued this behavior and eventually killed seventeen prostitutes, all by strangulation or suffocation after participating in sex. Rifkin stated that he did not like what he was doing and he even tried to engage in sexual acts during the day instead to avoid these murders but alas he continued to kill. He claims that he murdered seventeen women but he was only convicted for nine. This information is only the surface of this incredibly complex man. He decided that he wanted to be extensively tested by neurologists because possibly this unexplained violence came from brain trauma and disorders. There are three factors that can contribute to human behavior. These include genetics, which are what we are born with that may or may not bring out certain traits such as alcoholism and addiction. Another factor is the environment, which affects us physically and mentally and changes our perception of the world, such as bullying. The last factor is the brain. This organ controls everything we do and without it we would not be able to function. Thus, if the brain is damaged through trauma or is underdeveloped, there may be traits such as lack of impulse control, coordination, and many other things that help humans live from day to day.…show more content…
Charles Manson was obviously insane in interviews but Rifkin seemed relatively normal and was very calm. He was not angry and it was as if he was on autopilot when he murdered these women. He was anything but what I thought a stereotypical serial killer would be. This subject is interested to me and I would enjoy studying these serial killers and learning what is going on in their brains that cause them to do these things. The more we learn about them, the more we can identify them early on and get help for these people and possibly save
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