Serial Killers: Nature Or Nurture

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Ghina Fahs Nagham Jaber September 26, 2015 Serial Killers: Nature Or Nurture? “I don’t feel guilty for anything. I feel sorry for people who feel guilt.” Said Ted Bundy, one of the most notorious serial killers of all time. Many of us have wondered, what makes a serial killer, well, a serial killer? For decades after decades, the vicious crimes committed by serial killers have brought the stuff of nightmares into a terrifying reality, leading us to the question; Are serial killers a product of mother nature, born with something missing that results in homicidal tendencies, or are the homicidal tendencies a feature of their upbringing, eventually developing under a specific environment? Does it have to be one or the other? In order to try…show more content…
J. L. Gillin (Social Backgrounds of Sex Offenders and Murderers) studied prisoners at the Wisconsin State Prison, and compared the backgrounds of sex offenders and murderers, in his journal he writes, “The outstanding findings in the study of the sex offenders related to the physical, psychical, economic and social conditions in the parents' families, and to the conditions in the immediate families of the prisoners themselves”. Relatively, almost all serial killers sexually abuse their victims before murdering them, and this is a very important connection that needs to be considered. Dr. Pincus, a believer that serial killers are born and not made, acknowledges that child abuse has enormous and terrible psychological consequences that help in the formation of a serial killer. However, as E. Galen explains more about Dr. Pincus’s study, he writes “What is still being researched is how the abuse affects the working and even the physical structure of the brain, altering its developmental anatomy, physiology and…show more content…
It explores a more unique theory, mentioning a doctor in the 1870’s, named Dr. Cesare Lombroso, who studied criminals imprisoned in Turin. He focussed more on the physical appearance of the prisoners, becoming convinced that criminals were somehow still connected to primitive humans, or humans that go far back in the evolutionary ladder. After years of study he concluded that some ways to tell if a person could possibly be a criminal are to look at the shape of their face or the length of their ape-like arms. “A criminal's ears are often of a large size. The nose is frequently upturned or of a flattened character in thieves. In murderers it is often aquiline like the beak of a bird of prey.” Wrote Dr. Lombroso. Eventually though, Dr. Lombroso’s “scientific findings” were discredited, as it is obviously much more complex to try to understand serial killers and criminals. However his search was the start of many following searches and studies that explore the brains of serial

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