Serial Killers

"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.//
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
sociopaths, 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
killing, 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 .44 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,
and 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
serial 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
for 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