FBI - Serial Killers Among Us: There is No Set Profile

Discussion in 'Serial Killers' started by shadowraiths, Apr 15, 2011.

  1. shadowraiths

    shadowraiths LISK Liaison, Verified Forensic Psychology Special Staff Member Moderator

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    [mods, not sure where to post this, pls feel free to move]

    They account for less than 1 percent of all killings in the U.S. in a given year, but serial killers attract the most attention. They fascinate us. They terrify us. And we wonder if they walk among us.

    It’s difficult to know exactly which murders are serial killings. The FBI’s Behavior Analysis Unit – the so-called “profilers” - define serial murder as: “The unlawful killing of two or more victims by the same offender(s) in separate events.”

    By that definition, many gang killings or organized crime hits could be considered serial killings.
    Full Article: click here
     
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  3. Sonya610

    Sonya610 Former Member

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    Serial killers are completely different than hit men, gang related killing, or just violent muderous acts of rage etc... The motivation is the crucial factor, they kill for psychological and or sexual fulfillment, not to make money or settle grudges.

    They plan it, look forward to the acts, then reflect on them for a period of time afterwards. Course they don't always, Henry Lee Lucas and Ottis Toole didn't seem to do a lot of planning or reflecting but they are most definitely classified as serial killers, they just basically drove around the country killing random folks, raping, sometimes supposedly cannibalizing, etc... but without defined "cooling off periods". Nevertheless they did it for fun and for psychological rewards.

    People like Richard "The Iceman" Kuklinski wracked up a heck of a body count but is still not considered a serial killer. Fascinating youtube documentary on him. His acts have been turned into storylines on some crime dramas, he was freezing some victims so the time of death could not be nailed down and he dumped a partially frozen body which ultimately lead to his capture.

    Very interesting series in which The Iceman talks about various murders and methods:

    [ame]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ErNrZ6ttPuI[/ame]​
     
  4. shadowraiths

    shadowraiths LISK Liaison, Verified Forensic Psychology Special Staff Member Moderator

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    I was admittedly surprised the writer of that article omitted the "cooling off period" as that is the hallmark that differentiates serial murder from other multi-victim crimes. Importantly the phrase "cooling off period" parallels drug use, where the user experiences a high, and some time passes before they need another fix. Where, in the case of serial murder, the "fix" is the act that results in the death of the victim.

    As for the Iceman? He sort of straddled the line. While he certainly was not a classic SK, he tortured many of his vics as opposed to standard mob hits. There was a sadistic element. And not all those he murdered were mob hits.
     
  5. Sonya610

    Sonya610 Former Member

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    Yes I agree with that. He was definitely not just "doing a job" he enjoyed it. At the same time I do not think he hunted or had a cooling off period.

    He apparently just found killing easy and enjoyable and found a successful career nitch. He killed based on a trigger, either anger or cash, which is different than obsessing over the idea and then reveling after the fact.

    I found it interesting that he seemed (some of the stories were questionable but he honestly did seem) to have a problem recalling dates and incidents and the number of victims. I think while he is coherent and bright his perception of reality is probably more than a bit different. His questions regarding why he does not feel and why he is different sounded very very sincere to me.
     
  6. Knot4u2no

    Knot4u2no Verified Expert

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    The following is an excerpt from Richard Kuklinski’s BRACE Character Profile Psychological Autopsy.

    http://www.braceanalysis.com/free_downloads/BRACE Character Profile Kuklinski Autopsy.pdf

    SUMMARY CONCLUSIONS:
    The current findings are consistent with those of forensic psychiatrist Dr. Park Dietz who actually interviewed Richard Kuklinski (The Iceman Confesses, HBO America Undercover, 1992). Given Richard Kuklinski’s chosen profession of crime and his repeated self-exposure to high risk situations, which often culminated in his violent acts against others, it was particularly surprising to find such clear patterns of underlying fear other than that associated with Paranoid Personality Disorder (e.g., see Avoidant Personality Disorder and Borderline Personality Disorder positive correlations). It is reasonable to conclude that Richard Kuklinski’s god-like desire for ultimate power and control (murder) was fueled in part by his underlying fear of being at the mercy of others. In combination, his paranoid and antisocial characteristics made him a particularly lethal criminal.

    Richard Kuklinski’s fear and preemptive active avoidance of being under the control of others may well have been conditioned during his developmental years as a result of repeated abuse at the hands of his parents, the very people he needed most to trust for protection. As a young adult, he increasingly took on the dominant, controlling role, inflicting pain and suffering on others rather than being the victim (first murder at 14). In doing so, he further distanced himself from painful memories and experiences, taking control of his fear by directing his personal power against others. Making others suffer instead of him suffering transformed violence into a very potent positive reinforcer. In terms of learning processes, anything (violence) associated with the termination or decrease of pain and discomfort (fear) will acquire positively reinforcing properties (valued) --- i.e., it (i.e., violence) will be strengthened and more likely to occur again in the future under similar circumstances. One clear trigger for his violence was fear, any type of fear, any threat to his survival (witnesses). Additionally, violence was his primary means of acquiring money to support his idealized family life, giving violence another role to boost its progression in terms of frequency, intensity, and/or duration. Violence became his “good pleasure,” even a source of deviant humor. In addition to having the characteristics (in rank order) of a Paranoid Personality Disorder (r = +0.58), a prototypical 40-point Hare PCL-R Psychopath (r = +0.43), an Antisocial Personality Disorder (r = +0.36), and a Narcissistic Personality Disorder (r = +0.28), Richard Kuklinski has an even higher correlation with a Sadistic Personality Disorder5 (r = +0.76). Richard Kuklinski’s high risk criminal lifestyle matched the same level of excitation he had experienced as a child when anticipating being abused, only now it was a positive rush at the expense of the lives of others. He was a sophisticated hustler, deceiving his marks through positively reinforcing processes (flattery, sharing information, friendly presentation), until he killed them (eliminating witnesses) and stole their money (source of income). He thrived on his reputation and “respect,” willingly inflicting fear on others to motivate their cooperation and compliance (including family members). Ultimately, Richard Kuklinski deliberately and systematically chose his own pleasure and comfort (positive reinforcement) and his own avoidance of pain and discomfort (negative reinforcement) at the bloody expense of others.

    My personal opinion,
    Russell
     
  7. Sonya610

    Sonya610 Former Member

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    Very nice synposis. He reminds me a lot of Carl Pamzram, except of course Carl was into guys and some of his kills were an offshoot of sex. Just like the Iceman Carl didn't hunt perse but he did enjoy killing and he wracked up quite the body count.

    I did not see signs of narcissistic personality disorder (then again I am not a shrink). He was a sadist no doubt, and he enjoyed the reaction of the victims but not sure it was narcissistic. Narcissists appear to need the reaction of others, they live throught the eyes and reactions and emotional manipulation of others; sociopaths may like the screams but they do not care about the emotional manipulation or the experience of others, they care about the reaction. Narcissists seek the buy in and drama, sociopaths see objects of amusement.

    Had a bad experience with a narcissist a while back and would take a sociopath any day of the week over those evil narcissist types. Plus if you are on good terms with MOST sociopaths they will help you out in a crisis.
     
  8. Knot4u2no

    Knot4u2no Verified Expert

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    The following is an excerpt from the BRACE Character Profile of a Prototypical Psychopath. Note the high positive correlation with Narcissistic Personality Disorder.

    http://www.braceanalysis.com/free_downloads/BRACE Character Profile of 40 pt Hare PCL R.pdf


    My opinions,
    Russell
     
  9. Sonya610

    Sonya610 Former Member

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    Having had a bad experience with a "classic narcissist" I just do not really think they are the same. Sure SOME traits are the same, manipulation, lack of empathy, etc... but from what I have read very very serial killers have displayed narcisistic traits.

    Narcissists live for the mind games, emotional torture of those arround them, emotional abuse and manipulation of those in their circle etc... They are obsessed with showing how they are "special" and they demand that attention and recognization from most everyone in their world.

    Serial Killers and sociopaths in general don't really give a hoot what the people around them think, they don't care if people make them feel "special or important", they can be charming but that is typically to manipulate others not because they live through the EYES of others the way a narcissist does. They simply manipulate when you have something they want (i.e. money or maybe they want to see your head on a stick).

    In short narcissists start out as a charmer that tells you how special you are, and how you MUST be special for them to choose YOU as a friend or employee or lover or whatever, and then after that short honeymoon the emotional rants, drama, histrionic scenes, tirades, and such begin. Very few serial killers have openly showed such characteristics, and Narcissists are very very open and noticeable, they don't keep their specialness "hidden". Sure some Serial Killers are family men but a whole lot more were rather antisocial and kept to themselves or had fairly quiet social lives.

     
  10. Nova

    Nova Active Member

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    Just lurking here as I have nothing to add. But I want to thank everyone for this very interesting discussion.
     
  11. Sistah Sleuth

    Sistah Sleuth Member

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    To me, Iceman is a psychopathic serial killer who got paid to serial kill. Nothing like getting paid for doing what you love...
     
  12. Knot4u2no

    Knot4u2no Verified Expert

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    The following excerpt is from a Wikipedia article which is a good overview about Dr. Hare’s PCL-R (Psychopathy Checklist-Revised):

    [ame]http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hare_Psychopathy_Checklist[/ame]

    PCL-R Factors 1a and 1b are correlated with narcissistic personality disorder and histrionic personality disorder. It is associated with extroversion and positive affect. Factor 1, the so-called core personality traits of psychopathy, may even be beneficial for the psychopath (in terms of nondeviant social functioning).

    PCL-R Factor 2a and 2b are particularly strongly correlated to antisocial personality disorder and criminality and is associated with reactive anger, criminality, and impulsive violence. The target group for the PCL-R is convicted criminals. The quality of ratings may depend on how much background information is available and whether the person rated is honest and forthright.

    Russell
     
  13. shadowraiths

    shadowraiths LISK Liaison, Verified Forensic Psychology Special Staff Member Moderator

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    FBI Reports & Publications. Stats & Services: Serial Murder (2007)
    SK Myths from the FBI Report:
    • Serial killers are all dysfunctional loners.
    • Serial killers are all white males.
    • Serial killers are only motivated by sex.
    • All serial murderers travel and operate interstate.
    • Serial killers cannot stop killing.
    • All Serial killers are insane or are evil geniuses.
    • Serial killers want to get caught.
    Also see Issues regarding Talking Heads in Media (briefly excerpted below).
    If responsible professionals are requested to provide statements about ongoing cases, the following guidelines are suggested:
    • Speak in general terms only.
    • Do not comment on the particulars of the current case.
    • Do not criticize the investigative efforts.
    • Do not misrepresent one’s credentials or experience.
    • Provide information to educate the public on the issues involved in serial murder.

    Report: click here
    PDF: click here
     
  14. Knot4u2no

    Knot4u2no Verified Expert

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  15. Sonya610

    Sonya610 Former Member

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    Most of the BIG name killers from the last few decades were fairly bright guys. Not geniuses, but still brighter than the average criminal at the very least (a lot of the violent offenders filling our prisons have IQ's in the 80-90 range).

    Fact is a really stupid serial killer often won't typically last long enough to go "big time" and get a lot of public attention. Sure some retarded types (Lucas and Toole for example) got away with it via randomness and luck, but that is an exception in modern times.

    The not so bright serial killers often get busted after 3-4 murders and people forget about them quickly. The public dramatizes them as "very intelligent" because in a way many of the better ones WERE very intelligent in their pursuits, plus more than a few that got a lot of attention had decent careers and were fairly eloquent. Combine that with the big name killers that had famous trials and granted interviews and such and the difference is even more noticeable (especially compared to the typical **** that kills a checkout clerk during a late night robbery and sounds like they barely passed the 4th grade).

    Anyone that thought "serial killers are just like all the other crude often dumb violent criminals and common sense make them easy to identify" wouldn't stand a chance against a Ted Bundy or a John Wayne Gacy type (well almost none of us would for that matter).
     
  16. kalekona

    kalekona Well-Known Member

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    Personally I think the label "Serial Killer" is being used more and more loosely. And many repeat murders who don't fit in other categories are tossed in as "SK"

    For instance I have never seen Eileen Warnos as a Serial Killer. While she was indeed cold blooded I think she killed more out of fear, revenge and financial gain rather than for the thrill or compulsion.
     
  17. vlpate

    vlpate Sleuther with a porpoise

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    I respectfully disagree - if Eileen were afraid (fear), why would she put herself in a position to be raped again and again? Revenge is a motivator for many serial killers - so with this I agree. Financial gain? She absolutely robbed her John's - but she never had to kill them, it wasn't like they would call LE to report her - most were married and it wouldn't have been worth it. That's the thing that bothered me about the movie Monster, they tried to find an excuse for innate evil. Very bad things happen to a lot of children and young adults, but a minute number go on to be serial killers. IMO, she is the epitome of a serial killer.

    Someone here stated it correctly - the difference between a serial, spree, mass, rampage, or mob murderer is the cooling down period.

    I always wonder which category someone like Ted Kazynski (sic), and the Tylenol killer would be placed in. I think Ted has been called both serial and rampage.
     
  18. bessie

    bessie Administrator Staff Member Administrator Moderator

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  19. HMSHood

    HMSHood Admiral-Class Battlecruiser

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    Interesting analysis on Richard Kuklinski. I read about him. Quite a killer he is. Probably the most prolific hitman besides Giuseppe Greco.
    [ame="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Giuseppe_Greco"]Giuseppe Greco - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia[/ame]


    I always thought Ted Kaczynski was also a terrorist. As for the Tylenol Killer, he or she is a hard one to classify. Probably more of a spree killer as they do not have a "cooling off" period. An example of spree killers are John Muhammad and Lee Boyd Malvo, Christopher Wilder, and Andrew Cunanan.
     
  20. woodlawn

    woodlawn New Member

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    I tried to do a good, thorough search before posting, and this thread seems 'least inappropriate' [?] but if there's a better place than this thread, or folks feel it doesn't belong, mods should feel free to move/split, etc.

    As the article says, the human mind has a powerful bias to glean patterns where none exist, aside from which, extrapolating from one killer to a one-size-fits-all model seems iffy, but nevertheless, this seems like a fairly provocative area of research. (Though I'd certainly quibble with the first paragraph, quoted below...'when', perhaps. 'Why' is rather different matter.)

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/46045497/ns/technology_and_science-science
     
  21. mkilroy2

    mkilroy2 New Member

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    You have a point. Serial killers don't have a conscience. They also are aware that there are societal rules, but these rules don't apply to them. These aspects are ingrained into their personalities.
     

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