Serial Killers And The Psychopathic Personality Essay

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The concept of the psychopathic personality originated in the early nineteenth century with the research of J. C. Prichard, who formulated the notion of “moral insanity” to refer to a number of mental deficiencies that led to violent or undesired behaviors. Prichard’s findings “certain individuals lacked the “natural feelings” of respect and responsibility and therefore lacked the ability to restrain themselves from socially unacceptable behavior” The distinction of the psychopath from the ordinary criminal was due to the lack of guilt and failure to have a definable reason for committing crimes. Law Enforcement Characterization: Most serial killers can be defined as a Caucasian male, between the ages of 18 and 32 and are usually heterosexual. A significant characteristic among serial killers is their fascination with police and law enforcement. Serial killers are categorized by law enforcement as ‘organized’ or ‘disorganized.’ Organized killers often appear outwardly as socially normal and typically plan their kills in advance. They have a means of transportation and take a murder kit with them containing tools that they need in order to commit the crime. They go to public places to find their victims who include prostitutes, the homeless, and teenagers, students on campuses or people in bars at night spots. Usually, their victims fit a specific profile that has a meaning only to them and they tend to be of the same race or ethnicity as they are. Disorganized serial

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