Serial Killers And Mass Murderers

Thomas Blankenship
6 April 2000
Mrs. Waggener
English II

Mass Murderers and Serial Killers

Mass Murderers and Serial Killers are nothing new to today’s society. These vicious killers are all violent, brutal monsters and have an abnormal urge to kill. What gives people these urges to kill? What motivates them to keep killing? Do these killers get satisfaction from killing? Is there a difference between mass murderers and serial killers or are they the same. How do they choose their victims and what are some of their characteristics? These questions and many more are reasons why I was eager to write my paper on mass murderers and serial killers. However, the most interesting and sought after questions are the ones that have always been controversial. One example is; what goes on inside the mind of a killer? In this paper I will try to develop a better understanding of these driven killers and their motives.
Although mass murderers and serial killers are both dangerous and somewhat sick people, there are several distinct characteristics of each that put them in different categories. The most distinct differences between the two are; Most mass killers kill several victims over a relatively short period of time, usually hours, but sometimes days (Murder 1). Serial killers most often kill his or her victims separately, over a much longer period of time, sometimes lasting several years until the killer is taken into custody by authorities or killed.
If a mass killer’s murders are committed in more than just a single location, then they are part of a continuous action (Murder 1). Their victims are usually chosen at random, not just killed at first sight. Their targets may also come in specific groups. More than occasionally, a mass murderer will take his own life after his urge to kill is over. This is possibly because authorities recognize the killer is unstable and are likely to shoot the killer in order to protect themselves. A typical mass murderer uses a semi-automatic weapon and plots his murders to be made in a school, university, or restaurant (murder 1).
Serial killers commonly attack a single target at a time one on one. There also tends to be no or very little relation between the person being killed and the killer (murder 1). “The nature of this drive has been heavily debated, but there is a consensus on some points (Anderson 1).” Many researchers have noted sexual behavior in the murder. This point was first introduced twenty years ago by David Abrahamson. More recently, this was qualified by Albert Drukteinis who recognized that “the sexual element of the crime varies depending on its meaning to the offender” (Anderson 1). This means, whatever trademarks womanhood may differ between killers. At the same time, similarities in the acts and thoughts of serial killers cannot be denied. “These sexual undertones are one of the more prominent difference, and have inspired several researchers to refer to the self-motivated serial murderer as a serial sexual murderer” (Anderson 1).
“Although there may be a “pattern” or “victim” trait, individual murders within a series rarely display a clearly defined or rational motive.” (Murder 1) With the invention of the automobile many years ago, there has been a growing increase in serial killings. This is due to the fact that an automobile enables the killers to move quickly and unnoticed from one place to another before the murder is discovered. When a serial killer kills, there is often a high level of over brutality meaning the killer tends to do more than kill the victim; such as putting them through unnecessary pain. The last and possibly one of the most unique characteristics of a serial killer is their choice to stab or strangle their victims.
In an article off of the Mass Murder Web Site titled “Murder Characteristics”, many of these characteristics were described.
Mass Killers usually attack schools, universities and restaurants believing it to be a place for a maximum kill effect, usually
striking with a semi-automatic weapon and wearing camouflage gear, they attempt to kill all they see and their rampage usually ends with them committing suicide or being killed/captured by police. Serial killers are different. They can usually go up to years without being caught and when they