“God, I’ve never done anything. Help me, help me! God, why is this happening? Help me! ” Robert Violante screamed as the Son of Sam’s . 44 caliber bullet tore through his temple (Eyes of a Killer, http. //www. serialkiller. com). Serial killers are the most famous of all murderers because of their mass numbers of victims and their odd rituals of killing. What is a serial killer? A serial killer falls into two categories: psychotics and psychopaths. Psychotics are clearly insane, they fail to perceive reality correctly.
A minority of serial killers are psychotics. Psychopaths, also known as a ociopaths, do not suffer from a mental illness, but from a character flaw. They are in touch with reality, and know right from wrong. They know killing is wrong, they just don’t care (1994, Serial Killers, Time Life Books). You cannot pick a sociopath out in a crowd because they look just like everybody else. Actually, they act just like everybody else. You could have a neighbor that’s a serial killer and not even know it.
Psychopaths are everyday people with everyday lives, but they just have one problem, they have a need to kill. What does a serial killer do? Serial killers usually have reasons for illing, they just don’t go out and kill anyone (the majority). A serial killer will plan out where, when, why, and how before they actually kill. Ted Bundy used to lure his victims with a phony cast on his leg. Others lured with the promise of sex or porno movies. When they kill they usually have their own style. The Son of Sam used a . 4 Cal, Dahmer killed various ways and then hacked his victims into several pieces, dumping the bodies into vats of acid, and Gacy molested little boys before strangling them and dumping them into the crawl space under his home. What makes a serial killer? A serial killer tends to be white, male, nd middle aged. There are other races, sexes, and ages, but the majority fit the description I’ve just given. Their character flaw seems to come from their childhood. Ted Bundy grew up in a male dominated family, so Ted grew up to kill women.
John Wayne Gacy was sexually molested by a man and accused of being a “queer” by his father, so John grew up to kill little boys. Ed Gein was over protected by his mother so he grew up with a warped sexual sense and started, gravedigging, and making furniture out of corpses, and killing To be labeled a serial killer, a person must kill at least three people with intervals between each killing. That is what differentiates a serial killer from a mass murderer. Mass murderers will kill large numbers of people at one time, (1994 Mass Murderers, Time Life Books) while a serial killer will kill and kill again over a period of time.
Everybody knows that serial killers murder people in abhorrent ways, they often do not know the whole story behind these deranged people. Serial killers backgrounds are often too hideous for the common person to endure. Others view what these people do as taboo and refuse to believe that it happens in our society. Well it does happen, and to understand the full concept of a erial killer you have to know the whole story. Because every serial killer has their own uniqueness, you’ll have to hear several case profiles too understand the idiosyncrasies between them. Psychotics are the easiest of all serial killers to pick out.
That is because they are insane. They often tend to have interesting stories behind their killings because they often see and hear things that the normal person doesn’t. Schizophrenia is a common source are associated with psychotics. Schizophrenics will hear voices in their head and will ultimately make them go insane. Often the voices will make these people kill to appease them or to kill or a cause. Psychotics will most likely have a normal childhood unlike the psychopath. Although there are cases were psychotics have had a rough childhood as in the case of Ed Gein.
The number of psychotics compared to the psychopath are minimal. Psychotics have a mental disease unlike the psychopaths which have a character flaw. To show what a psychotic actually is, the following are two profiles on psychotics with interpreted case histories. Herbert Mullin Herbert Mullin had a normal childhood. Growing up in a middle class family Herbert had no major difficulties. But by the time he was twenty, Herbert started to become violent, had began learning Eastern religions, and became a drug user. In 1969, he started to imitate his brother-in-law and his parents were worried that he suffered from echopraxia.
Echopraxia is one of the first symptoms of schizophrenia. Herbert admitted himself into a mental health institution and was diagnosed with having schizophrenia. Six weeks later he was released. Upon released he shaved his head and began slipping away from reality, during this time he was quoted as saying “murder is an act of love”. In 1972 Herbert went to visit his parents in Santa Cruz; it was at this point when Herbert began to hear voices. He believed that his father was communicating with him telepathically. The voice would instruct him to go kill people. So in time he had done just that.
His first victim was a man that he clubbed to death. A few months later he picked up a hitchhiker, stabbed her to death and dumped the body. His third victim was a Catholic priest he stabbed to death in a confessional. By this time a new voice had entered his head. Albert Einstein told Herbert telepathically that Herb was the “designated leader” of his generation. Einstein then told Herb that he had to sacrifice people to stop the reat California earthquakes. Then the voices changed in Herbert’s head from Einstein to random people offering themselves to be killed. Herb killed five of these people.
In early February he came across some teenagers illegally camping, Herb first told them to leave but then shot and killed them all. Then on February 13 Mullin was delivering firewood when the voices told him that he could not deliver the wood until he killed someone. As he was on his way to deliver the wood, he observed a seventy two year old man, he shot him and continued on his way never leaving his vehicle. Herb was quickly arrested but he didn’t even know why. Herb was not found insane by the courts, but this is highly arguementive. Herb Mullin was sentenced to life in prison.
Ed Gein The people of Plainfield, considered Ed Gein a gentle man who everybody trusted. Ed had a very strict childhood. His father died when he was very young. His mother then decided that she would raise her children and not marry or be involved in any relationship. Mrs. Gein told Ed and his brother Henry that all women were bad and that sex would lead to heart breaks and diseases. Later in life, Ed confessed he felt his mother was good in every manner (deranged,wierd,sick, http. //www. deranged. com). Authorities suspected he had a sexual relationship with his mother.
Within a matter of time Ed’s mother and brother had died, leaving Ed desolate on a farm which didn’t even have electricity. Ed worked odd jobs like a handyman and baby-sitting. In his free time, Ed conducted psychotic experiments. Fascinated with the female body, Ed often indulged himself in anatomical textbooks. To actually see and feel for himself, he went to the graveyard and exhumed several bodies, including his mothers’. He found pleasure in handling dead women’s sex organs. Even worse, he skinned the corpses and dissected the bodies. The inventory inside his home onsisted of heads, hearts, livers, intestines, and skin scattered about.
At night he would take off all of his clothes, put on his mothers skin, and dance around the house. Seeking yet more sexual gratification Ed made furniture and musical instruments from body parts. Some of these items included lampshades, tom toms, and bracelets. Gein then moved on to killing other people. Even though he only killed two women (Mary Hogan and Bernice Wordan), Ed was still considered a serial killer. After killing Bernice Wordan, the evidence left behind lead to Ed Gein. When the authorities arrived they were welcomed by an ssortment of human artifacts. Shrunken heads, drinking glass skulls, and skin furniture.
Ed didn’t realize that what he had done was wrong so he invited the police in for coffee. In the kitchen there was a human heart simmering in a saucepan. The police then found Bernice hanging in the barn, she was gutted and strung up like a deer. Most of the officers became sick after viewing the carnage. Ed was arrested and found by the court to be insane. He was institutionalized for the rest of his life. The movies Psycho and Silence of the Lambs were based on his life (1994 Serial Killers, Time Life Books). Psychopaths or also known as sociopaths are people with a severe character flaw in which they feel like they have to kill.
Sociopaths know that killing is wrong, they just don’t care. Sociopaths act just like everybody else, some are shy, and some are extremely outgoing. These people are usually led to killing by influences that have warped their personalities. Common examples are child abuse, a fetish with a certain items, or a hatred of some sort. A serial killer loves to kill, it gives the killer a sense of power and gratification. Since sociopaths far out number the psychotic, seven profiles on select serial illers are givin to understand the many different aspects serial killers have.
Gilles De Rais This serial killer is the third most notorious serial killer known. His name is Gilles De Rais. During the Hundred Years War, De Rais was Joan of Arc’s personal bodyguard. Immensely rich, and popular throughout France, De Rais was named a baron to the people. Being a faithful Christian, it was hard to accept what De Rais had done. Other lords and the common people became suspicious of all the missing children in the area. The Bishop of Nantees demanded that De Rais’s castle be searched. In a pit within the castle, they dug up the remains f one hundred and forty boys.
De Rais had murdered them all by means of satanic ritual or sexual gratification. At times when he didn’t feel like killing, he had his servants molest, torture, and murder the young men. While this was happening, De Rais watched and masturbated over the children’s entrails. De Rais and his servants were found guilty of murder and torture. De Rais was simultaneously hanged and burned alive, while his servants were just burned alive. Though, they only found the remains of 140 people, it was estimated that he killed over 300 (Compulsion to Kill, Time Life Books). Albert Fish The next serial killer to be discussed is Albert Fish.
The father of sadism, Fish was sexually aroused by pain and misery. After Fish’s wife and six children left him, he would become aroused by inflicting pain upon himself. He would eat his own defications, stick flaming alcohol balls into his anus, flagellate himself with a nail studded paddle, burn himself with red hot pokers, and insert sewing needles into his groin. At night he would dance naked in his yard screaming “I am Christ! ” (1994,Serial Killers, Time Life Books). As a pass time Fish would answer lonely widow ads in the newspaper by giving promises of addling, punishment, and much worse.
He bigamously married three of the women he had met through the ads in the paper. None of these rituals could fully sexually appease him so Fish turned to molesting children and cannibalism. After molesting seven little girls and then strangling them, he decided to try cannibalism. The 8th and final victim was ten year old Grace Budd. He told her parents that Fish was taking her to Fish’s niece birthday party. There was actually no party, he took her to an abandoned house in the country. After molesting and strangling the girl, he chopped her into pieces and made a stew ut of her.
When Fish ate the stew he had experienced an orgasm that lasted seven days straight. He then quickly moved out of state but his conscience told him to inform the parents what had happened to their daughter considering the Budds were his friends. Albert wrote the Budds a letter telling them what a delight it had been eating their daughter. The police then traced the return address and apprehended Fish. He was found guilty of murder and a multitude of other charges and then sentenced to death. At age 65, Fish was the oldest person electrocuted at Sing Sing prison.
An untrue legend has it that Fish hort circuited the electric chair due to all the sewing needles in his groin (1994, Beyond Murder, John Philpin, Penguin Books USA Inc. ) Richard Ramirez The third sociopath I will write about is Richard Ramirez. Ever since Richard was a boy he was a loner. By the time he was in 8th grade he was sniffing glue and smoking marijuana but shunned group activities such as youth gangs. The one thing about Richard that is the most frightening is that he killed randomly. There were no racial, sexual, or age preferences. Richard would just break into houses and kill the occupants.
Ramirez’s first victim was eventy-nine year old Jennie Vincow, whom he raped and nearly decapitated. Ramirez was homeless, sleeping anywhere he could. As a pass time Richard would flirt with Satanism and practice in the occult. After killing thirteen people and assaulting about thirty more, Richard was finally captured with the first time used invention of the computer used to match finger prints (VICAP) (1994, Most Wanted, Time Life Books). Ramirez was found guilty and was given the death penalty. Richard tried pleading insanity but the court found that he wasn’t. “The Night Stalker” would kill just because he liked to.