Serial Killers

Serial Killers

For this assignment you will review a serial killer’s case in depth. The killer you choose to review will also be the subject of your Week 5 final assignment, so keep your research material handy.

First, choose one of the following serial killers:

  • David Berkowitz (“Son of Sam”) taunted police over a year and shot 15 people (6 died) in New York City. The movie “Summer of Sam” was about this time.
  • Gary Ridgway (the “Green River Killer”) holds the American record for most victims. He confessed to killing 48 over a 16-year period but is suspected of having killed many more!
  • Wayne B. Williams is believed to be the killer of 24 children and young men in Atlanta, though there is still some doubt.
  • John Allen Muhammad and Lee Boyd Malvo were the “DC snipers” who shot 13 people (ten died) over three weeks in the Washington DC area in 2002.
  • Ted Bundy: Confessed to almost 30 murders (there may have been more). He was known for being smart and good-looking, and acted as his own lawyer.
  • Jeffrey Dahmer: His case captured worldwide attention after his capture, mostly due to his habit of keeping parts of his victims long after their deaths, as well as cannibalism and necrophilia.
  • Kristen Gilbert: An example of a female serial killer, she was a nurse who killed hospital patients in her care.

For this assignment, create a 4- to 5-page report in Microsoft Word that covers the following points:

  • Summarize the case: time period, location, number of victims, etc.
  • Describe the killer’s background, methods, and area of operation.
  • Determine which of the theories from Week 2 relate to this killer and show why you made this determination.
  • How did the killer select his or her victims? Was there anything that the victims did to provoke the killer? Are the victims in this case in any way responsible for their own deaths?
  • By analyzing all of the above information, you should now be able to propose a three-part typology and explain your analysis. Your typology should describe the killer’s motivation, location, and organized or disorganized factors. For instance, John Wayne Gacy might be described as a Power/Control, local, organized killer.

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