Charles Manson Essay

1297 Words6 Pages
The 1960s were a volatile era of social and political turbulence – a majority of which was centered in culturally progressive areas (San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York, etc.). In 1969, Charles Manson, an American criminal, rose to infamy with his orchestration of seven gruesome murders in Los Angeles, California. What's even more shocking than the murder scenes, was the fact that Manson did not perpetrate any of the murders himself, but instead convinced others to commit the crimes for him: the murderers had been done by the Manson Family, a cult Manson himself had created. Manson’s total control over his followers marked him as a manipulative and cunning psychopath, however the development of his cult was largely due to the 1960s…show more content…
In addition, these criminals have affected our public perception to view them as popular figures rather than for the violent acts they have committed (Schmid 4). By buying their merchandise, watching their movies and treating them as celebrities, society no longer sees the killer – they see the mask, hence alternating our perception to judge if a killer is 'good' or 'bad'. That is to say, serial killers are psychopaths that shouldn't be idolized. Although some serial killers react to social changes, society has a reaction to all serial culture.
In order to understand how serial killers are affected by social changes, one must understand their psyche. A serial killer is "sexually motivated but the underlying reason is power" (Newton 197). The killer wants power over his victims. Serial killing, itself, is a "distinctly modern phenomenon, a product of relatively recent social and cultural conditions to which criminologists can provide fresh insight by accentuating the broad institutional frameworks, motivations, and opportunity structures within which serial killing occurs" (Haggerty and Ellerbrok 6). According to John E. Douglas, co-author of Mindhunters, the reason that murders committed by serial killers, at first blush, seem to be senseless crimes is because serial killers are often "motivated by a strong emotional feeling" (Dokterman), such as hate, vengeance, or regret. FBI agents have identified domination,

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