Criminology,

Profiling the Serial Killer - FBI Style

10/31/2012 DK 0 Comments

Article Source: Sheer Investigations
Posted by  on Friday, October 26th, 2012
This weekend, masked killers holding bloody knives will be attending Halloween parties all over America. We are a nation obsessed with serial killers as entertainment, and the serial killer has become the new anti-hero. The FBI knows the real story.
Image source: Storify.com
In 1998, a federal law passed by the United States Congress included a definition of serial killings as: “ three or more killings, not less than one of which was committed within the United States, having common characteristics such as to suggest the reasonable possibility that the crimes were committed by the same actor or actors.”
Speaking of actors: If there is any fictional character who personifies the serial killer as anti-hero, it is Dexter Morgan. The TV series, Dexter was based on the novel Darkly Dreaming Dexter by Jeff Lindsay. Why are we so interested in Dexter’s evil deeds? Over three million people watched the season premiere last month.
Dexter is a psychopath, but he has emotions and cares for his family.  He only kills other murderers. Dexter is extremely intelligent and works for the Miami-Dade Police Department as a blood spatter expert. Women are attracted to Dexter, or maybe they just like Michael C. Hall the actor who plays Dexter.
Dexter is exercising a form of vigilante justice and that makes him a more sympathetic character, but he is just as evil as those he kills, he has just redirected his rage to make it more acceptable.
Dexter TV Show about a Serial Killer
Image source: Popculted.com
The market for true life crime books and TV series, or fictionalized portrayals of serial killers such as Hannibal Lechter proves that the general public has a lust for this type of violence. The character of Hannibal Lechter was based partially on real life serial killer Ed Gein, who also inspired Psycho and The Texas Chainsaw Massacre.
Serial killers have always been in our midst; think of Jack the Ripper. Considering the amount of attention paid to this type of killer, it is still a rare phenomenon. According to the FBI, less than one percent of murders committed in any given year are the work of serial killers.
The television program Criminal Minds follows a team of fictional FBI profilers from the FBI’s Behavioral Analysis Unit in Quantico, Virginia. Every week they investigate another serial killer wreaking havoc across the country.
These shows get a few things right. In fiction, serial killers are usually charming, intelligent and charismatic. So it is sometimes in real life, with killers such as Ted Bundy. Theodore Robert “Ted” Bundy (November 24, 1946 – January 24, 1989) was a rapist and serial killer, who sexually assaulted and murdered a number of girls and young women in the 1970’s, or even earlier. He was executed by the State of Florida in 1989, and before his execution confessed to at least 30 homicides committed in a number of states. The true number is not known.
Ted Bundy in Court
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Bundy fit the profile of the attractive, smart and charismatic killer, which is how he was able to lure some of his victims to their death. Bundy was the epitome of evil. Some of his victims were as young as twelve years old. He put these women through horrible torture before murdering them in an alcohol fueled, sexualized rage.
Before his death Bundy claimed to have found God and he cooperated with authorities who were interested in studying him. If you can bear it, watch this interview the day before his execution where Bundy talks about his theory on why he committed these crimes. It’s a fascinating look into the mind of a serial killer.
Bundy claims that being exposed to pornography and violence in the media at an early age contributed to his urges. Alcohol reduced his inhibitions. Now remember, this was in the 1970’s or earlier, there was no Internet, and there wasn’t the availability of pornography or graphic violence that there is today.
Criminal Minds TV Show

Image source: Fanpop.com
The other thing these shows get right is the FBI’s involvement in hunting down serial killers. Serial killers don’t pay attention to state lines, although the FBI states that most serial killers remain in the same general area, where they know the lay of the land, and are comfortable. As in Criminal Minds, The FBI are the experts when it comes to profiling serial killers.
It may be a sick topic, but it is a fascinating one. We will never understand the darkness that is in some men’s souls. (Most serial killers are male).  For the real story, go to the experts. The FBI dispels many of the myths put out by Hollywood. Read true serial killer reports, or FBI analysis and insight into the minds of serial killers on the FBI website.

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