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Paper Topic:

Treatment of Serial Killers in Prison

Treatment of Serial Killers in Prison

Serial killers and the violence of the murders they commit have always been phenomena that have never failed to arouse both morbid curiosity and horror in people . Too often the bizarre and exceptional violence included in their crimes have been judged to either be the work of a madman or the product of pure evil . These perceptions have become so popular that it is not extraordinary for serial killers to enter in a plea of insanity in their defense . What causes such "insanity " is a question

that has long challenged psychiatrists and criminal psychologists alike . The question however is , are they really insane ? Is there hope for correction and rehabilitation once they have been convicted

The term "serial killer " was coined in the mid-70 's by Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI ) special agent Robert Ressler (Seltzer , 1993 ,

. 93 Before this , people who have killed several people were simply called "mass murderers " Serial killers however , were looked at as different as they killed repeatedly to the point of addiction and usually picked their victims at random

Killings are done as in sequence or a "series " hence the term "serial The motives revolved around sex , financial gain , thrill seeking fulfillment of a perceived "mission " or ideal , and the driving need to exercise power and control (Prins , 2005 ,

. 195

In his book "Serial Murder : An Elusive Phenomenon (1990 ) Steven Egger states that most serial killers have a "desire to have power over his victims (Egger , 1990 ,p .4 . Victims are viewed as nothing and insignificant and are often unable to defend themselves due to their occupation (prostitutes , age (children and elderly women , gender (women and homosexuals ) and social status (migrant workers , homeless people

For some time there was a very influential stereotype of a serial killer which described them typically as "white male in his thirties or forties a sexually motivated murderer who preyed on either men or women depending on his sexual orientation (Jenkins , 1994 ,

. 21 ) While this type of pro fitted Jeffrey Dahmer , Ted Bundy and John Wayne Gacy perfectly , the emergence of other serial killers that did not fit the pro soon dispelled this stereotype (p .22

It is not at all easy to detect serial killers according to Helen Morrison , author of the book "My Life Among The Serial Killers (2004 These people often have above-average intelligence , are capable of maintaining relationships and even get married , and usually are community-oriented , getting involved with charity work and acting the genial , friendly neighbor "Peering into the Minds of Serial Killers REVIEW " 2004 ,

. 58 . They can also possess considerable charm that could be key in getting their victim 's defenses down

Were they naturally born evil ? Are they a case for psychiatrists ? Or were they just influenced and turned into what they have become by circumstances they experienced in their lives

While research in genetics do reveal that "certain strands of DNA predispose individuals to alcoholism and other self-destructive behaviors (Guldmann , 2006...

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