Welcome to the first week of Profiling Serial and Mass Murderers.
Serial and mass murderers and their characteristics are inherently – albeit gruesomely – fascinating. Movies such as Monster and Silence of the Lambs and books such as Helter Skelter garnered much media attention and public interest. The widespread media coverage of serial and mass murders, however, has a cost – it can create a fear of being victimized by serial or mass murderers. As a result, there is significant interest in how these types of criminals, in particular, are apprehended by law enforcement. One potential key factor in the successful detection and apprehension of serial and mass murderers is the criminal profiler. During the first week of this course, you examine the differences between serial and mass murderers. You then explore criminal profiling practices and the roles and responsibilities of criminal profilers. Finally, you look at the role of profiling in the detection and apprehension of serial and mass murderers.
Analyze differences between serial and mass murderers
Analyze the influence of historical profiling practices on contemporary profiling practices
Analyze the roles and responsibilities of profilers in criminal investigations
Analyze profilers, in terms of how their roles, goals, and responsibilities influence the detection and apprehension of serial and mass murderers
Identify and apply concepts related to serial and mass murderers and profiling
Discussion: Serial and Mass Murderers
Examining the differences between serial and mass murderers always has been challenging. One way to distinguish serial murderers from mass murderers is to examine the number of murders that occur in a given amount of time. For instance, a serial murderer kills at least three victims over an extended period of time, while a mass murderer kills at one point in time. Another way to distinguish between serial murderers and mass murderers is to examine the murderers’ individual characteristics. A crime scene also can provide insight into whether the perpetrator is a serial murderer, a mass murderer, or some other type of killer. Understanding the distinctive features of mass and serial murderers is critical to the success and effectiveness of a criminal profiler.
READ READ, READ, READ, READ READ, READ, READ, READ
To prepare for this Discussion:
Review the Course Introduction, located in the navigation bar on the left. Keep this overview in mind as you work through each week of the course.
Review the book excerpt, “Defining Multiple Murder.” Reflect on what distinguishes serial murderers from mass murderers.
Review the article, “Understanding Mass Murder: A Starting Point.” Focus on the differences between serial and mass murders. In addition, consider the characteristics and typologies of the various mass murderers.
Review Chapter 2 of your course text, Profiling Violent Crimes: An Investigative Tool. Pay particular attention to the case studies of Richard Kuklinski and Dennis Rader (the BTK Strangler). Focus on the factors, especially the number of victims and the time between killings, which separate serial murderers from mass murderers.
Review the stories of at least two serial killers on the Biography website. Become familiar with the details of the crimes.
Select an example each of a serial murderer and a mass murderer. These examples can be ones you read about this week or ones you create based on the readings.
Reflect on the examples you selected and think about why each is a serial or mass murderer.
With these thoughts in mind:
Post an example of a serial murderer and an example of a mass murderer and explain why each person in your examples is characterized as a serial murderer or a mass murderer. That is, explain how the crimes they committed and their motivations to commit the crimes characterize each of them as a serial murderer or a mass murderer.
Note: In this Discussion, feel free to “create” your own serial murderer and mass murderer. You may or may not choose to use examples of real-life offenders. You can use all the readings to “construct” what you would consider a prototypical serial murderer and a prototypical mass murderer.
Be sure to support your postings and responses with specific references to the Learning Resources.
HERE BELOW IS THE TEXTBOOK READING THAT YOU WILL FIND ATTACHED TO THIS ASSIGNMENT YOU WILL ALSO USE TEXTBOOK REFERENCE WITH OUTSIDE REFERENCE THROUGHOUT THIS COURSE. THERE IS A TEXTBOOK FOR THIS CLASS BUT I DO NOT HAVE IT DUE TO IT BEING ON BACK ORDER AND ITâ€™S UNKNOWN TO WHEN IT WILL COME IN. SO, I HAVE PROVIDED YOU THE PAPER FORM TO READ FULLY TO UNDERSTAND HOW TO COMPLETE THESE ASSIGNMENTS EACH WEEK. THIS DISCUSSION QUESTION NEEDS TO 250 WORD NOTHING LESS THAN THAT. ALSO, I ATTACHED A SAMPLE PAPER FOR YOU TO REVIEW ONLY TO HELP YOU FORM YOUR WORK DO NOT REWRITE THIS PAPER OR USE ANYTHING FROM IT BUT THE REFERENCE AT THE BOTTOM THAâ€™S IT. PLEASE IF YOU HAVE ANY QUESTIONS OR CONCERNS, PLEASE FEEL FREE TO REACH OUT TO ME I WILL RESPOND BETWEEN MY BUSY SCHEDULEâ€¦THANK YOU
Holmes, R. M., & Holmes, S. T. (2009). Profiling violent crimes: An investigative tool (4th ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications, Inc.
Chapter 1, “Psychological Profiling: An Introduction”
Chapter 2, “Profiling in Fantasy and Fact”
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