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Infamous Serial Killers

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Infamous Serial Killers
Option 4: Forensic Psychology Literature Handout Select an infamous serial killer and perform an analysis of this individual’s
motivation, in terms of at least two of the four learning theories. Prepare a 3- to 5-page handout for police officers, explai
John Wayne Gacy, one of the nation's most notorious and prolific serial killers, was convicted in 1980 of
the murders of 33 young men and boys. He buried most of their bodies in the crawlspace beneath his
house in Norwood Park Township, an unincorporated area on the northwest edge of Chicago. A building
contractor who was active in local politics, Gacy sometimes performed as a clown at children's parties.
He had been killing for six years before he was arrested in December 1978 in connection with the
disappearance of 15-year-old Robert Piest of Des Plaines. An honor student at Maine West High School,
Piest had run into Gacy outside a local drugstore where Piest worked as a stock boy. Piest's mother had
gone to the drugstore to pick up her son to attend her birthday party. As she waited, Piest went outside to
Gacy's car, and was not seen alive again. It was then that police began to take a serious look at Gacy.
Eight days later, police began searching Gacy's home and found the remains of the first of 27 bodies

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buried in the crawlspace.Two other bodies were found buried in the back yard, and four, including
Piest's, were found in the Des Plaines River. Many of Gacy's victims were male prostitutes. He
sometimes pretended to be an undercover police officer, and would handcuff his victims as soon as they
got in his car. He then drove them to his home, where the killings took place. A jury convicted Gacy of all
33 murders on March 12, 1980, after deliberating for only two hours. The next day, the jury sentenced
him to death after deliberating for two hours and 15 minutes. In 1994, Gacy, then 52, was executed at
Stateville Correctional Center in Joliet
Jack the Ripper is the best known pseudonym given to an unidentified serial killer active in the largely
impoverished districts in and around the Whitechapel district of London in 1888. The name originated in
a letter by someone claiming to be the murderer that was disseminated in the media. The letter is widely
considered to be a hoax, and may have been written by a journalist in a deliberate attempt to heighten
interest in the story. Other pseudonyms used for the killer at the time were "The Whitechapel Murderer"
and "Leather Apron". Attacks ascribed to the Ripper typically involved women prostitutes from the slums
whose throats were cut prior to abdominal mutilations. The removal of internal organs from at least three
of the victims led to proposals that their killer possessed anatomical or surgical knowledge. Rumours that
the murders were connected intensified in September and October 1888, and media outlets and
Scotland Yard received a series of extremely disturbing letters from a writer or writers purporting to be
the murderer. One letter, received by George Lusk of the Whitechapel Vigilance Committee, included
half of a preserved human kidney, supposedly from one of the victims. Mainly because of the
extraordinarily brutal character of the murders, and because of media treatment of the events, the public
came increasingly to believe in a single serial killer, Jack the Ripper. Extensive newspaper coverage
bestowed widespread and enduring international notoriety on the Ripper. An investigation into a series of
brutal killings in Whitechapel up to 1891 was unable to connect all the killings conclusively to the
murders of 1888, but the legend of Jack the Ripper solidified. As the murders were never solved, the
legends surrounding them became a combination of genuine historical research, folklore, and
pseudohistory. The term "ripperology" was coined to describe the study and analysis of the Ripper
cases. There are over one hundred theories about the Ripper's identity, and the murders have inspired
multiple works of fiction.
The Violent Criminal Apprehension Program (ViCAP) is a unit of the United States Federal Bureau of
Investigation responsible for the analysis of serial violent and sexual crimes, organizationally situated
within the Critical Incident Response Group's (CIRG) National Center for the Analysis of Violent Crime
(NCAVC). ViCAP was created in 1985 by the FBI out of Quantico, Virginia. Pierce Brooks was appointed
as the first director, primarily because as a homicide detective in Los Angeles he had been the first to
propose the idea. Brooks was inspired by the Harvey Glatman case he had worked on in which he
realized serial homicides could be linked by their signature aspects. Brooks would later obtain a $35,000
government grant in an attempt to realize his idea. In 1982, he met with Robert Ressler to discuss the
idea and was convinced by Ressler that VICAP should be located at Quantico as opposed to Lakewood
where Brooks originally planned to have it housed. It is designed to track and correlate information on
violent crime, especially murder. The FBI provides the software for the database which is widely used by
state and local law enforcement agencies to compile information on: solved and unsolved homicides,
especially those involving a kidnapping or if they are apparently motiveless, sexual or random or
suspected to be part of a series missing persons, where foul play is suspected unidentified persons,
where foul play is suspected sexual assault cases Cases fitting these categories can be entered into the

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system by law enforcement officials and compared to other cases in an attempt to correlate and match
possible connections. Vi-CAP has been an tool in solving many cases, including cases decades old and
cases in widely separated states. Vi-CAP is particularly valuable in identifying and tracking serial killers,
where separate victims might not otherwise be connected as part of the same pattern.[citation needed]
The aforementioned pattern that links serial homicides is what is commonly referred to as "signature".
VICAP operates under the knowledge that serial homicides are almost always sexually and control
driven with a consistent evolving signature present in each murder. In the summer of 2008, the ViCAP
program made their database available to all law enforcement agencies through a secure internet link.
This allows for real time access to the database and allows agencies to enter and update cases directly
into the database.[citation needed]
Christine Falling is a female serial killer, and is also known as the Caretaker killer. By the time she was
18, she killed six people while working as a babysitter and later caretaker. Falling was born on March 12,
1963 to the sixteen-year-old Ann and the sixty-five-year old Thomas Slaughter. She was obese and of
below-average intelligence, and epileptic, which required her to take seizure medication daily. Due to her
family's poverty she was given up for adoption and drifted from shelter to shelter. As is a common trait
amongst serial killers, the young Falling enjoyed torturing animals, dropping cats from heights or
strangling them, explaining it as showing her "love" for them and "testing their nine lives". Falling was
married by age 14 to a man a decade older than her, and the marriage crumbled after nearly constant
fighting. She then became a hypochondriac briefly, going to the hospital as many as fifty times a week
for symptoms such as "red spots", vaginal bleeding and snakebite. Falling began to work as a babysitter
for neighbors. On February 25, 1980 one of the children she was babysitting for, Cassidy Johnson, was
taken to a doctor's office and was diagnosed as suffering from encephalitis. The 2-year-old died on
February 28. The autopsy listed the cause of death as blunt trauma to the skull. Falling said the baby
"passed out" and fell from her crib. One physician didn't believe Falling's story, and wrote a note to police
to have the babysitter checked out. The note was lost, and the case was closed. Later, Falling moved to
Lakewood, Florida. Two months afterwards, she would kill 4-year-old Jeffrey Davis, then days after that
his cousin Joseph Spring while their families were attending Jeffrey's funeral. Both times doctors found
some signs of viral infection. By July 1981 Falling had begun working as a caretaker for the elderly in
Perry, Florida, where 77-year-old William Swindle died in his kitchen her first day on the job. Falling
would later kill her eight-month-old niece while her mother was at a grocery. On July 2, 1982, ten-week-
old Travis Coleman died in Falling's care. The autopsy revealed internal damage caused by suffocation.
Falling was taken in for questioning where she admitted to killing three of the baby's by "smotheration",
where she would press a blanket over their faces in response to disembodied voices chanting, "Kill the
baby." "The way I done it, I seen it done on TV show," she explained. "I had my own way, though. Simple
and easy. No one would hear them scream." Based on her confession, she was given a term of life
imprisonment, with no parole for the first 25 years. Even though her motives have not been satisfactorily
explained and she was known to have suffered from mental illnesses, Falling was not classified as
legally insane
Donald Harvey (born in Butler County, Ohio in 1952) is an American serial killer who claims to have
murdered 87 people. The official estimates of the number of people he murdered range anywhere from
36 to 57 deaths. He is a self-professed "Angel of Death". Harvey is currently serving four consecutive life
sentences at the Southern Ohio Correctional Facility in Ohio. His inmate number is A-199449. Dating as
far back as the age of eighteen, Harvey had worked in and around the medical profession, beginning his

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