Types Of Serial Killers

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Based on extensive research and the overwhelming amount of serial killer cases, it seems as if identifying a serial killer or recognizing the signs of one would be easier with the modern technology and sciences we have today. This is not the case, however, as there are extensive profiling strategies and origins in which a serial killer can bloom from. Pinpointing exact turning moments for a potential killer can be difficult, as many face suppressed memories from their childhoods and variables which ultimately impact their mental health. Understanding the mind of a serial killer goes deeper than knowing family background, but conflicts in personality and genes. Pinpointing potential serial killers by examining a range of suspects’ psychological…show more content…
J.S. Dalal. Serial killers tend to fall into four different categories that help to explain the nature of their crimes, which branch into their origins. There are four types of serial killer: visionary, mission-oriented, hedonistic, and control-oriented. A visionary tends to commit crimes based on psychotic delusion, like murder because of voices in their head telling them to do so (Dalal 110-111). Mission-oriented killers have a certain goal with overwhelming feelings that it is their duty to kill a certain type of person like a homosexual or prostitute to “clean up” society (Dalal 111). Hedonistic killers are “sexual sadists” who kill for pleasure and are active thrill seekers (Dalal 111). Control-oriented killers seek absolute power over their victims and recieve pleasure from knowing they have complete dominance (Dalal 111). In cases of abuse and neglect in childhood, control-oriented habits are more prevalent within…show more content…
Motivations for multiple murder, according to Fox and Levin, are power, revenge, loyalty, profit, and terror. Several cases of serial murder seem to derive from need to have control over a victim and gain a certain control over them. Power motivated killings tend to entice serial killers because of the thrill the kill gives them. This type of motivation compares to the control and mission-oriented origins stated by Dr. Dalal. Although most cases of power motivated murders are based solely around sexual acts, a significant number of homicides are based around “playing God” (Fox and Levin 21). A man by the name of Donald Harvey confessed to the murders of nearly 80 patients that were under his care in a hospital in Cincinnati. Many claimed that he was a mercy killer, meaning he only did it to put his patients out of their misery, but he ultimately enjoyed the dominance he had over his patients and what he viewed as dominance over God himself. Revenge motivations are targeted at specific individuals, groups of individuals, or society which can also be compared with the mission-controlled origin. According to Shervert Frazier, this is also known as “murder by proxy” which means victims are chosen specifically because of their resemblance to whom they wish to get revenge on (Fox and Levin 22). Referencing back to Arthur Shawcross, it is easy to see that the
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