Re: violence...

Michael S. Lorrey (
Sat, 25 Sep 1999 19:34:42 -0400 wrote:
> I don't know of any correlation between urban environment and serial
> killers. I think a much more significant trend has been the increase in
> mobility in American society. while I do not believe that this necessarily
> has increased the number of serial killers, it has probably allowed the
> organized (more sociopathic versus psychopathic) serial killers to operate
> longer before capture. As for the connection between hunting and decreased
> level of serial killing, I also know of no connection.

I will dig up the citation, but its not that unknown, I've seen it cited several places.
> Correlations I do know of in serial killers: As children, they tend to
> do two or more of the following; set fires, torture animals, continue to wet
> beds late in childhood. The first two are thought to relate to a fascination
> with power, destruction, and a disregard for others. That reminds me of
> another large factor in the make-up of a serial killer, depersonalization of
> the victim. There is a slighter correlation between serial killers and abuse
> in the home (i.e., several serial killers come from backgrounds of neglect
> and/or violence, but only very, very few people raised in neglect and/or
> violence ever become serial killers). Serial killers tend to be fantasy
> driven, starting out with a violent fantasy through which they feel powerful,
> over time the fantasy builds, becoming more elaborate. The serial killer
> will reach a point where imagining is no longer enough, so they begin to act
> out their fantasy, often starting with simulated activity, then moving on to
> animals. If not stopped, they continue to increase the level of violence and
> the type of target evolves. This is both because the serial killer gains in
> sophistication through practice and finds that he needs greater levels of
> violence and/or more difficult targets to gain the same thrill. Oftentimes
> they will make the switch from animals to humans, starting with assaults,
> then serial rapes, then finally murder. Also, they may start with children
> and work up to adults.
> Interestingly, recent studies have suggested that violent crime is not
> related to urban vs rural differences, socioeconomic status, or ethnic
> background, but rather the values and sense of family within neighborhoods.
> In those neighborhoods where people know each other, where it is considered
> the responsibility of all adults to look out for the neighborhood kids, these
> were the ones with the lowest violent crime rates. The main study showing
> this was one done of the area in and around Chicago.

Then why is there such a striking difference in the crime rates between Rockinham County, NH and Middlesex County, MA (right next to each other), which have nearly identical population desities different economic statuses, and vastly different ethnic makeups and gun laws? This sort of disparity is seen in many locations.

> Also, I would suggest that it is not the frequency or severity of
> punishment which most strongly effects crime rates, but rather the certainty
> and consistency of punishment. Few people commit crimes with the expectation
> of being punished (with the exception of those who do it as some sort of
> protest or statement).

Which is why giving citizens the ability to carry their own guns is so important. There is no surer or swifter, certain or consistent punishment than to be shot by your victim at the scene of the crime. Its the only death penalty that works.