John Wayne Gacy is a cruel serial killer. Looking at the murders of Gacy is enough to keep a fearless man awake at night. Gacy was a murderer in the making. “Gacy was born March 17, 1942, in Chicago, Illinois to an alcoholic, often abusive World War I Veteran and a homemaker.” Gacy’s cruel murders stemmed from, not only pure evil, but also from his childhood. Gacy was often beat with a razor strop for anything that was seen as wrong in his father’s eyes.
Aside from the verdict from the Hinckley trial, the public’s view on the insanity defense is not altogether accurate. There’s a misconception that criminals who use this type of reasoning as a plea can evade punishment. When it comes to the use of the insanity defense, only about one percent of criminals use this type of justification. By using the insanity defense, the criminal is admitting they are guilty of the crime however they are requesting a not guilty verdict based on the state of mind they were in at the time of the crime. This can get tricky for a defendant because if not proven mentally ill, they will be found guilty and usually endure a harsher sentencing for the crime.
Murder can be defined as “the unlawful premeditated killing of one human being by another”. How then, are others able to make us sympathize with not only murderers, but people who have committed horrendous crimes? For example, the media is constantly attempting to humanize rapists and even terrorists with phrases like “lone wolf” or “alienated and adrift.” Such phrases make some of us want to pity the criminal. This can be seen when we compare Perry Smith and Dick Hickock from Truman Capote’s In Cold Blood. Capote portrays only one of these two seemingly distinct characters (Perry) in a way that the reader feels the need to relate to and even sympathize with him.
A psychopath is classified as someone who shows no remorse and has no conscience, while a sociopath has some sort of conscience and sometimes shows some guilt or remorse ("What's the Difference Between a Sociopath and a Psychopath"). Psychopaths do not feel sorry for other people (“What’s the Difference Between a Sociopath and a Psychopath”) and Kuklinski certainly did not feel sorry for any of his victims (“Married to The Iceman”). During an interview with HBO, Kuklinski stated that he probably could have killed his father and wouldn’t have felt bad about it ("Richard Kuklinski The Iceman Mafia Hitman HBO Interview 2001 (Part 1)"). Richard Kuklinski also showed sociopathic traits. He only showed remorse when talking about his wife and kids ("Richard Kuklinski 'The Iceman' Part 12 of 12").
Perry has many sociopathic characteristics including, lack of moral responsibility or social conscience, erratic behavior, rage and anger, ability form a particular relationship to one person, crimes are usually spontaneous. Perry’s erratic spontaneous outbursts is what caused him to go through with the murders and slit Mr. Clutter’s throat which put him on the killing frenzy that ended the rest of the Clutters lives. Capote highlights Perry’s sociopathic tendencies by comparing them to that of Dicks Psychopathic tendencies which exemplifies how when put together they are at each others fault for the
It also aims to analyse the reasons and motives of the serial killer Francis Dolarhyde in the light of psychological theories like psychoanalysis and behavioural theory. Francis Dolarhyde is a fictional character in Thomas Harris’ novel Red Dragon. He is a serial killer who murders entire families by shooting them in their beds. He is nicknamed “The Tooth Fairy” due to the nocturnal nature of his crimes, his tendency to bite his victims’ bodies, the uncommon size and sharpness of his teeth and other apparent oral fixations. He kills at the behest of an alternate personality; he refers to his other self as “The Great Red Dragon” after William Blake’s painting The Great Red Dragon and the Woman Clothed in Sun.
In Alfred Hitchcock’s film Psycho, Norman Bates is portrayed as a serial killer. It can be implied that due to Norman’s multiple killings, he’s both a bad person and a murderer; however, Norman Bates is innocent. Suffering from Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID)- or multiple personality disorder- Norman’s uncontrollable and horrendous acts of murder are his cries for help. Norman’s lack of social interaction plays a grand role in his inability to properly interact with people. Moreover, in Norman’s twisted childhood, he depending strongly on his mother for “social interaction.”.
The grotesque is “characterized by bizarre distortions, especially in the exaggerated or abnormal depiction of human features,” and “the literature of the grotesque involves freakish caricatures of people’s appearance and behavior” (Baldick 93). A character becomes grotesque “because of one particular incident or event,” and as a result, “their lives are distorted, disfigured and maimed” (Lihua 301). In the case of the Misfit, the grotesque antagonist of O’Connor’s “A Good Man is Hard to Find,” the event that warps him into a psychopathic murderer is the moment he was accused of murdering his father and sent to prison. However, the Misfit shares an exchange with the grandmother at the end of the story that O’Connor suggests is an exchange of grace. When the Misfit holds the grandmother and her family hostage in the woods, a discussion takes place between the Misfit and the grandmother about the Misfit’s innocence and his childhood.
Another disorder relating to him is borderline. He had very unstable relationships, starting with his father-son affair. Also, his wife had divorced him and his relationships were short term and very meaningless. He was very impulsive with his actions and was unpredictable with his sexual behaviors, considering he managed to rape 33 people. John Gacy was organized, which shocked many on their psychoanalysis of the crazed killer.
“It is also important to note that the "triad of evil" that has historically been used to identify social behavior typical of a serial killer is incorrect.” (Dawn Wissman, 2013). Behavior affected by nature can play its part in creating a serial killer. “ Bedwetting, cruelty to animals, and fire setting were behaviors typically used by criminologists and psychologists to identify likely violent offenders, especially serial killers. Current research has shown no true relationship between the three behaviors and violent criminal behavior“ (Dawn Wissman,