Awesome Followers

Saturday, April 9, 2011


John Wayne Gacy, Jr. (March 17, 1942 – May 10, 1994) was an American serial killer also known as the Killer Clown who committed the rape and murder of 33 teenage boys and young men between 1972 and 1978. Twenty-six of Gacy's victims were buried in the crawlspace of his home, three others elsewhere on his property and four victims were discarded in a nearby river.
Gacy became known as the "Killer Clown" due to his charitable services at fundraising events, parades and children's parties where he would dress as "Pogo the Clown," a character he devised himself.

Identified victims (age in parentheses)

Only twenty-five of Gacy's victims were ever identified. By the time of Gacy's trial, twenty-two victims had been identified. In March 1980, Dr. Robert Stein was able to identify two further bodies unearthed from Gacy's crawl space as those of Kenneth Parker and Michael Marino; two teenage friends who were reported missing on October 25, 1976. One further unidentified victim was eventually identified in 1986 as Timothy McCoy, Gacy's first victim.
  • Timothy McCoy (15) January 3, 1972
  • John Butkovitch (17) July 29, 1975
  • Darrell Sampson (18) April 6, 1976
  • Randall Reffett (15) May 14, 1976
  • Samuel Stapleton (14) May 14, 1976
  • Michael Bonnin (17) June 3, 1976
  • William Carroll (16) June 13, 1976
  • Rick Johnston (17) August 6, 1976
  • Kenneth Parker (16) October 25, 1976
    • Robert Winch (16) November 10, 1977
    • Tommy Boling (20) November 18, 1977
    • David Talsma (19) December 9, 1977
    • William Kindred (19) February 16, 1978
    • Timothy O' Rourke (20) June 16–23, 1978
    • Frank Landingin (19) November 4, 1978
    • James Mazzara (21) November 24, 1978
    • Robert Piest (15) December 11, 1978

  • Michael Marino (14) October 25, 1976
  • Gregory Godzik (17) December 12, 1976
  • John Szyc (19) January 20, 1977
  • Jon Prestidge (20) March 15, 1977
  • Matthew Bowman (19) July 5, 1977
  • Robert Gilroy (18) September 15, 1977
  • John Mowery (19) September 25, 1977
  • Russell Nelson (21) October 17, 1977

Unidentified victims
Eight victims remain unidentified: seven from Gacy's crawl space and one from beneath his barbecue pit. Experts used the skulls of the unidentified victims to create facial reconstructions.Based upon Gacy's confession, where the victims were buried in his crawl space relative to Gacy's identified victims, and forensic analysis, police were able to determine the most likely dates when his unidentified victims were killed.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Ted Bundy


My previous post told Jeffrey Dahmer's story. He was a mild-mannered, and at least seemingly remorseful serial killer. Ted Bundy is on the opposite side of the spectrum. Ted Bundy enjoyed killing. Jeffrey Dahmer killed as a means to an end, but Bundy got his kicks from the kill. In my first post, I listed the Serial Killer Diagram. Serial killers are generally predisposed as a result of abuse from their family, or they become disassociated from other people and reality because of the submersion in a deep fantasy existence. As a result of this, the adolescent goes through a period of trauma before having violent fantasies, committing murders, and finally going through the cooling off period of stress. However, it doesn't stop at once. As a result of the stress during the cooling off period after a murder, they cyclically  return to fantasies, violent fantasies, murder, and cool off period.

     Unlike Dahmer, who was disassociated, Ted Bundy was on the predisposed side of the diagram due to childhood trauma. He was an illegitimate child, which led to a world of insecurities. He grew up thinking his mother was his sister, and was very ashamed of the truth. He was a cheat and a thief, but wanted to go to law school. He was a very attractive man, and usually had no trouble with women.

     His M.O. was wearing an artificial cast and asking young ladies to help him carry his books to his car. Once they had reached his car, he would club them with a weapon until they were unconscious and he could abduct them. He would take the women into the woods and rape and torture them to death. He would revisit the corpses to have sex with them until there was very little left of their bodies. 
 One night, Ted Bundy randomly walked into a sorority house  and beat several women to death with a bedpost. He kept getting caught and escaping from prison.

He was finally arrested for the last time and decided to defend himself in court. The judge thought he was intelligent and would have been a good lawyer, but he chose a different path. Bundy was sentenced to electrocution. He did several interviews, similar to Jeffrey Dahmer's, in an attempt to "help" figure out why people become serial killers. However, I felt that he was full of excuses, blaming his actions on pornography. In his last interview, he seemed to be in full manipulation mode. Before his execution, he admitted to killing several other women. He was diagnosed as a psychopath after stating that he was "the most cold hearted son-of-bitch in the world."

Written By: Midge Mantis

Bundy was executed for killing at least 34 women. It is believed that he killed many more. 

Bundy remains a suspect in other unsolved murders beyond the twenty known, identified victims whom he confessed to killing. Rule and Keppel believe Bundy may have started killing as far back as his early teens.[136][137] Ann Marie Burr, an eight-year-old girl from Tacoma, vanished from her home in 1961 when Bundy was 14 years old. Bundy always denied killing her.[29] He was for many years a suspect in the December 1973 murder of Kathy Devine in Washington state,[138] but DNA analysis led to William Cosden's arrest and conviction for that crime in 2002.[139][140] Bundy is a suspect in the murder of Melanie Suzanne "Suzy" Cooley, who disappeared April 15, 1975, after leaving Nederland High School in Nederland, Colorado. Her bludgeoned and strangled corpse was discovered by road maintenance workers on May 2, 1975, in nearby Coal Creek Canyon. Gas receipts place Bundy in nearby Golden the day of the Cooley abduction.[141] The Jefferson County, Colorado, Sheriff's Office has classified the Melanie Cooley murder as a cold case.[142] He is a suspect in the murder of Carol Valenzuela, who disappeared from Vancouver, Washington, on August 2, 1974. Her remains were discovered two months later south of Olympia, Washington, along with those of an unidentified female.[143] However, law enforcement authorities are still investigating another suspect for the Valenzuela murder.[144]

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Jeffrey Dahmer

Jeffrey Dahmer

Jeffrey Dahmer is one of the most baffling serial killers because he seems so gentle in his interviews. It's hard to imagine that he was capable of the murders of 17 young men, necrophilia, dismemberment, and cannibalism. 

Jeff's Childhood 
Jeffrey Dahmer was an awkward child that was constantly bullied. His parents had a volatile relationship which led to Jeffrey's plummet into a morose world of dark fantasies. He spent his time looking for roadkill as a child. He initially would cut open the diseased animals because he wanted to see "what they looked like on the inside." During his prison psychiatric evaluations, Jeff revealed that, as a child, he performed sexual acts on animal carcasses. This led to an intermingling of violence and sex in his mind. Because of his isolation as a youngster, he had trouble connecting with people. He began to discover his homosexual feelings, which were not generally accepted in his small community at the time.

Jeff's Urges
He struggled with his inability to find a companion that would stay with him. Because of this, he would drug people and have his way with them, whether it be sex, or listening to them as they slept. Jeff tried different things in an attempt to satisfy his urges, such as having sex with a stolen mannequin, and he tried to dig up a grave to have sex with the corpse. He frequented bath houses and was eventually banned because he was drugging and having sex with the customers.

Jeff's First Murder
Jeff's mother and little brother went out of town. His father was living in an apartment after divorcing his mother. Therefore, Jeff, 18, was the only person at his house for the weekend. He took a hitchhiker back to his house to have a few beers and watch TV. Whenever the young man was ready to go home, Jeff panicked and hit him with a piece of exercise equipment. He subsequently had sex with the body and disposed of it.

Jeff Tries to Straighten His Life Out
He did not commit any more murders for years because he went to the army. After being discharged because of his alcoholism, he tried to assume a normal, healthy life and moved in with his grandmother. He went to church with her on Sundays. However, after finding his mannequin and experiencing strange smells from his room, she asked him to move out. Jeff moved into an apartment and got a job as a chocolate mixer. This marked the last hint of normalcy coming to an end in Jeffrey Dahmer's life.

Jeff Loses Control
Jeff begins going to bars and asking men to let him take pictures of them for money. Once back at his apartment, he would have a cup with a sleeping potion already in the bottom. He would mix a drink into it and wait for the victim to lose consciousness, similar to what he did at the bath houses. He would then live his fantasy out with them. When they began to regain consciousness, he would beat or strangle them to death. He would take pictures of them in strange positions and keep their body parts as trophies. The rancid odor coming from his apartment was noticed by his neighbors. This odor was a result of three torsos decomposing in a barrel of acid. There were body parts in cooking pots, the freezer, and a head in the refrigerator. He even had an entire skeleton. He had plans of making a shrine out of this skulls and skeletons. He began to take new victims, before he had time to properly dispose of the bodies. He lost his job at the chocolate factory and became completely fixated on his murderous obsession.

Monday, March 21, 2011

All About Serial Killers: The Development of a Serial Killer

The Cycle of a Serial Killer:

Childhood Pre-disposition,  Caused by Abuse,  OR  Disassociation, Caused by Isolation, is followed by Trauma  which leads to a repeating cycle of: Fantasy---> Violent Fantasy---> Murder---> Distress/Cooling off Period

Evaluating a psychological profile of a serial killer (Updated)

* Editors Note *Many thanks are extended to Robert Beattie (Attorney and counselor at Friends University Wichita, Kansas) for contributing oppinions which have lead to corrections within this document (Blue Text).

     Murder has been illustrated as "the unlawful killing of a human being by another" (Oxford dictionary, 1997, p.742). The definition of Serial killings on the other hand, is not so simple to define, for it takes on many different forms, and is brought on by many different states of mind. Holmes and De Burger (1988) have attempted to define serial murder as consisting of repetitive killings which are one-on-one with rare exceptions, where the relationship between the victim and the offender is that of a stranger or slight acquaintance, and the motivation to kill and apparent motives are lacking (p.138). As we will see, this is not an extremely accurate description, because the motivation and motives are not lacking at all, but are just shrouded. Rarely do any of these killers act for money, instead they do it for the thrill, sexual satisfaction and/or dominance they achieve in their own world.

     A more specific profile of a serial killer has been presented by Apsche (1993) stating that most are white males in their twenties or thirties, who target strangers near their homes or places of work. "According to criminologist Eric Hickey, who has assembled the most extensive database on demography of serial murder states that, 88% of serial killers are male, 85% are Caucasian, and the average age when they claim their first victim is usually around 28.5. In terms of victim selection, 62% of the killers target strangers exclusively, and another 22% kill at least one stranger. Finally, 71% of the killers operate in a specific location or area, rather than traveling wide distances to commit their crimes"(Apsche, 1993, p.16). Also, the F.B.I claims that to be classified as a serial killer, the person must first complete 3 separate murders, that are spaced by a duration they call "the cooling off period" which can vary from a few days to years. But one thing that very few definitions include is that for a killer to be known as a "serial Killer", they must have a particular method to their killings. For instance, Wayne Gacy, had the trade mark of gagging victims with their own underwear so that they would die in their own vomit.

     To discover what makes a serial killer function, it is necessary to look back into their past, particularly their adolescent life. By looking at many and varied cases, it is evident that virtually all serial killers come from dysfunctional backgrounds involving sexual or physical abuse, drugs or alcoholism and their related problems. Many traits that seem to be universal in all these serial killers, though in varied amounts, include disorganised thinking, bipolar mode disorders, a feeling of resentment towards society brought on by their own failings, sexual frustrations, an inability to be social or socially accepted, over bearing parents and a wild imagination that tends to drag them into a fantasy world. In a chart of serial killer - childhood development characteristics - created by Ressler, Burgers and Douglas (1990), the three most frequently reported behaviors included day dreaming, compulsive masturbation, and isolation.
     The daydreaming, which is brought on by an over productive imagination, tends to lead the way into the general fantasy world that the serial killer begins to live in to protect himself from any isolation he is faced with. At an early age, if a child is left alone, or forced to live in isolation whereby little attention is given to them for long periods of time, their minds become the object of their company, and thus begin the daydreams and the fantasy world (Ressler, Douglas and Burgess, 1990).This kind of isolation tends to breed feelings of inadequacy in some way or other in all serial killers. These feelings maybe masked by numerous artificial successes, but these feelings run deeper than the normal neurotic feelings of not being good enough. Essentially, these early life attachments which are known as ‘bonding’, set up a map by which the child will in later life react to others. In such cases, the children do not learn how to interact properly within their society, and at best, turn into mirror images of their isolators. A prime example of this can be seen in the case of Ed Kemper, whose mother condemned him to the basement of their home at the tender age of ten in fear that he would molest his younger sister (though he had not given his mother any reason to think this). Confused and angry as to why he was suffering this punishment, he turned to his fantasies, which may have started out as ‘normal’, but with the continued isolation they quickly became his dominant world.

     At this point, it is important to acknowledge that the majority of all daydreamers will not find themselves turning into murderers in later years; and so too, not all fantasy life is pathological. In fact, ordinary, healthy human beings often dream about their hopes and pleasures, even those that are beyond their reach. "Some of these fantasies may include such deviant and bizarre sexual practices as fetishes, pedophilia, bondage, and rape…Because of their strong sense of conscience or concern over their public image, most will resist translating their desires into action" (Ressler, Douglas and Burgess, 1990). Detailed, ongoing research by the F.B.I shows that many convicted serial killers enact their crimes because of the incredibly rich, detailed and elaborate violent fantasies (including the act of murder) that have developed in their minds as early as the age of seven and eight. What distinguishes killers from ‘normal’ civilians is that the aggressive day dreams that have been developed as children, continue to develop and expand through their adolescence right into manhood, where they are finally released into the real world (Wilson & Seamen, 1992). Through the use of murder and mayhem, the serial killer literally chases his dream. With each successive victim, he attempts to fine tune the act, striving to make his real life experiences as perfect as his fantasy (Apsche, 1993).
David Berkowitz, known as "The son of Sam", is a typical example of an average serial killer, and quiet normal in comparison to his other counterparts who have been known to eat their victims. From the years of 1976 through to 1977, he set out his reign of terror in New York City, by shooting over ten lovers who were parked in secluded areas. Upon being interviewed by John Douglas (a member of the F.B.I) at Attica State Prison, it was discovered that Berkowitz came from an adopted home, and upon discovering his real mother, was told by her that he wasn’t wanted. Originally being shy, insecure, and angry, he blossomed into a potential killer. He procured a large and powerful weapon, which in turn made him feel bigger and more powerful, and set about unknowingly to obtain revenge for what his mother had done to him.
In most cases, there is an event known as the "Pre-crime stresser", as discussed by Ressler, Burgess, and Douglas (1990). The pre-crime stresser can be looked at as the reason for why the person turns to killing as a form of release, even if the criminal does not realise the full extent of his motivations or fails to see the reasons behind the stress he feels. A clear example of this can be seen upon the questioning of Berkowitz who denied he had anything against women, nor did he have reason as to why he killed so many. In actually fact, his mother’s rejection was the stresser that ultimately turned him violent. He did not attack his mother directly (few serial killers ever attack the source of their resentment), but the majority of his killings where based on women who had a likeness to his mother.

     Serial killers come in many different varieties. One which is driven by the desire to be acknowledged and feared is the "copy cat". As described by John Douglas (1996), they basically set out copying the actions of previously ‘famous’ serial killers who struck terror into people’s hearts. For example, in Wichita Kansas, the BTK strangler (Bind, Torture, Kill), has been said to have attempted following in the footsteps of Berkowitz. This particular issue has been much debated, with some people arguing that the BTK incidences took place prior to any of Berkowitz's. As to the accuracy of this concept, it is debatable, particular when evidence suggests that the BTK activities continued up until 1979, though the murders where said to have ended during 1977. It is not so much the celebrity statues that they so enjoy, but instead the ability to control the lives of thousands of area residents, who are held in their grip of terror. "Psychologically the thrill-motivated killer tends to be a sociopath, someone with a disorder of character rather than the mind. He lacks a conscience, feels no remorse, and cares exclusively for his own pleasures in life…It has been estimated that 3% of all males in our society could be considered sociopathic" (Fox & Levin, 1994, p.18).
Society generally is quick to place tags on serial killers. Many believe that they are psychotics who hear voices or see visual hallucinations, but this is a misconception as explained by John Douglas (1996). Most are not at all psychotics who have lost touch with reality, but instead psychopaths who are suffering from chronic mental disorders with violent or abnormal social behaviors. Only a small hand full, like Richard Trenton who believed he needed to drink other people’s blood to stay alive, are actually psychotics. And this group is so disorganised in its crimes that it is generally apprehended quite quickly.

     One of the most hideous serial killers would undoubtedly have to be the sexual killer. Many specialists, including Douglas (1996) have agreed that the most crucial factor in the development of the serial rapist or killer is the role of fantasy. It has been suggested that the escalation from fantasy to reality in these instances, can be attributed to pornography. In response I would tend to agree, for pornography tends to build on the natural inner desires that exist within us all. The desire to have sexual intercourse is dominant in all males. The action of penetration brings on a sense of triumph and conquest . The only difference here is that these killers have not had the opportunity to learn intimacy due to childhood restraints, and they substitute intimacy with control (which they obtain by inflicting bodily harm to the other(the equivalent to the penetrating conquest) to counteract their inner desires for a mate. As Dr. Richard G. Rappart, a forensic psychiatrist, writes that the mode of death is one where factors indicate that the victim has meaning to the killer and that the intimacy of the murderous act is part of a close bond between himself and the victim formed in the killers fantasy and delusions. A study by Samuel Yochelson and Stanton Samenow (1988) pointed out that a high proportion of serial killers are ‘highly sexed’ in childhood, and have been known to look into bathrooms through keyholes on females undressing, or initiated sexual games - sometimes amounting to rape - with girls at school.

     As Jack Apsche (1993) makes clear, serial murderers see themselves as dominant, controlling and powerful figures. They hold the power of life and death, and in their own eyes, they perceive themselves as God. In their fantasies and their enactment of the murder, they become God. This is actually probably the only power they have ever had, and for this reason they savor and continue to persist. As B.F Skinner proved in ‘Science and Human Behavior’, once a killer has tasted the success of a kill, and is not apprehended, it will ultimately mean he will strike again. He put it simply, that once something good has happened, something that made the killer feel good, and powerful, then they will not hesitate to try it again. The first attempt may leave them with a feeling of fear, revulsion and remorse, as stated by Ted Bundy to psychologists on the eve of his execution in 1989; but at the same time, it is like an addictive drug. Some killers revisit the crime scene or take trophies, such as jewelry or body parts, or video tape the scenario so as to be able to re-live the actual feeling of power at a latter date. Many have been reported as saying that they had fallen into the power of the devil after several kills, which is contradictory to their initial beliefs that they were God. It is almost as though initially they believed that they would be powerful in that they had the choice in taking or sparing life, but as time progresses, and the kills mount up, they find they are driven to kill as though they have no choice. Apsche (1993) has noted that many killers have attempted to get help when they discovered they had little control. They appear to want to stop their actions, but regain control to avoid their discovery. This is possibly an example of a bipolar personality clash.
Ultimately, it is virtually impossible to detect a serial killer. Many seem to be quiet normal in their everyday lives, only some actually tend to act differently to the general population. Many have stated that it is easy to fool society, especially psychiatrists, by simply stating what they want to hear. Nor is there any way of detecting for certain who might become a homicidal maniac. But by comparing many past cases it is possible to put together a list of general personality traits that are common in serial killers, and that may prove useful in determining future killers. The F.B.I has its own list, but due to its unavailability I have prepared my own. Traits that should be looked at when trying to decide if a person is a potential killer include: Social withdrawal, abnormal dependence’s on ones mother or ulcerated relations with ones parents, hypochondria or other attention seeking behavior including forms of clothing, delusional mind as to grandeur, severe depression, a general feeling of emptiness as to the future, inability to take criticisms, a general feeling of being mistreated, inability to assert ones self, parental taunts as to ones inability to be sufficient (or as I prefer to call it - the Hitchcock ‘Psycho’ syndrome), mood disorders, and a general failing in attempts to succeed. Of course these are very general points, and even if someone had the majority of these (as I do), it would not necessarily mean that they would become serial killers, it is only meant as a point of reference.
As Freud once commented, a child would destroy the world if it had the power. In a sense the serial killer’s mind can be contrasted to that of a child’s for it has not had the opportunity to develop to that of a ‘normal’ adult. Instead, fantasy takes the place of reality, and it is almost always solely based on acquiring power. A majority of serial killings might have been avoided if the killers had been better treated in their youth. But then again, there is no concrete evidence that suggests this to be true. In all actual fact, most of the conclusions that have been made on serial killers are only speculations based on observations and interrogations of the subjects. But to be realistic, can we really trust anything that may come from the equivalent of a child’s mind filled with falsities created through fantasy?

Apsche, J. (1993). Probing the mind of a serial killer. International information Associates.

Douglas, J., (1996). MindHunter. Mandarine Publishing

Fox, J.A., & Levin, J., (1994). OverKill - Mass Murder and Serial Killing Exposed. Plenum PressHughes, J.M. (Ed.).(1997). Oxford Concise Australian Dictionary (2nd ed.). Melbourne: Oxford University Press

Ressler, R.K., Burgess, A.W. & Douglas, J.E., (1990). Sexual Homicide patterns and Motives. Lexington Books
Wilson, C., & Seamen, D., (1992). The Serial Killer. Carol Publishing’s
Yochelsen, S. & Samenow, S. (1988). The criminal personality. New York Press

Written By Evan Sycamnias