Hello all! I have chosen an awful, morbid topic and I apologize for that. This semester I am taking a forensic behavior analysis senior seminar where we are learning about serial sexual homicide. Here is some information about the motivations of those that commit these crimes
In their book, Profilers, authors John H Campbell and Don DeNevi (2004) present a motivational model for understanding what drives an individual to commit sexual oriented murder and sadistic violence. The authors use data collected from interviews conducted with 36 sexual murderers to form this motivational model.
Campbell and DeNevi (2004) hypothesize that:
“The murderers early development of an active, aggressive fantasy life (daydreams) combined with later sexual reinforcement (compulsive masturbation) and increasing detachment from social rules of conduct (social isolation) provide a framework that reinforces his subsequent behavior.”
Five components interact within the killers lives to motivate them to commit and continue to commit sexual homicide. The first component is an ineffective social environment. Here bonding with the child’s parents fails, or is selective. Caretaker and adults in the child’s life are non-protective and non-intervening .
The second component is formative events that happen in the child’s life. This could be direct (physical/sexual abuse) or indirect (witnessing) trauma, interpersonal failure, and the lack of a role model due to absence, physical abuse, or substance abuse.
The third component is the patterned responses the developing child generates in response to their environment. These responses are critical personality traits and cognitive mapping and processing. They interact to influence the child’s internal life and fantasy.
The fourth component is actions toward others. The child’s behavior pattern becomes a reflection of the child’s interpersonal world. This can be expressed through cruelty to humans or animals. This aggressive, impulsive, and erratic behavior discourages friendship, which in turn lead to isolation.
The fifth component is a concept known as feedback filter. Here, the killer justifies their actions, and identifies and corrects their mistakes. The killer learns to continue without detection or punishment. Increased exposure and arousal from their fantasies and actions reinforce and justify the desire to continue to kill, and the cycle feeds back into itself.
While this is only a hypothetical model of the motivation to commit sexual murder, it suggests that early traumatic experience, non-normative family bonds, and the way that the individual dwells on, interprets, and acts on these factors can create a cycle of deviance and murder.
Campbell, J., & DeNevi, D. (2004). Profilers
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