lali2002 asked this question on 3/5/2000:
Hi, I have to do a Research project on Serial Killers, im not sure how to start it, all i find is examples of them. Nothing really intresting. i was wondering if anyone can help with absolutely anything. I'm trying to maybe, discover something unknown, or simply a way to make my project different and unique. My thesis sentence is.. Although serial killers' actions stem from their early childhood, they should still be held accountable for their crimes. Any opinions, facts or ideas, will be really appreciated. Thanks Lali
jellygator gave this response on 3/14/2000:
You've chosen a difficult topic, since the meanings of "how" to hold a person accountable vary so much. Do you mean life in prison, treatment in a mental hospital, the death penalty?
You received good suggestions from others, such as reading John Douglas' "Mindhunter". One of the things that separates a serial killer from the "normal" population is that they are unable to form intimate relationships with other people, even non-sexual intimacy. The psychological term for that is "antisocial personality" and diagnostic criteria is available in the "Diagnostic and Statistical Manual Revision IV". Another book that I think presents valid arguments about violent crimes and the death penalty is "It's All the Rage: Crime and Culture" (I picked up a copy for a buck at Barnes & Noble just the other day.)
You said you're looking for ideas. Have you considered narrowing your topic to something easier to research & write? (Examples: "Serial killers have biological differences that cause them to kill," or "There are different types of serial killers, but all of them have XYZ in common," or "Some serial killers, like Ted Bundy, have been judged to be perfectly sane, while others, like the notorious 'Son of Sam' were clearly delusional."
Hope you find something useful here!
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