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The Psychology of Serial Killer

The Psychology of Serial Killer

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B IO G R A P H IE S
R o b e r t D . K e p p e l, P h .D ., is an A ssociate Professor of C rim inal Justice

a t S a m H o u s to n S ta te U n iv e rs ity a n d th e D ire c to r o f th e C e n te r fo r C rim e A s s e s s m e n t a n d P ro fiU n g . H e h a s o v e r 2 9 y e a rs o f h o m ic id e in v e s tig a tio n experience, having participated in m ore than 2000 m urder cases and includ\ue000 in g 1 7 y e a rs a s th e C h ie f C rim in a l In v e s tig a to r w ith th e W a s h in g to n S ta te A tto rn e y G e n e ra l's O ffice. H e h a s b e e n a c o n s u lta n t to th e A tla n ta P o lic e on the M issing and M urdered Children's Cases; a m em ber of the national p la n n in g

co m m ittee
fo r
th e
V io le n t
C rim in a l
A pprehension
P ro g ra m
(V IC A P); the prim ary investigator for the K ing C ounty Sheriffs
D e p a rt\ue000
m ent in the Ted Bundy m urder cases in the Pacific N orthw est; and w as a
c o n s u lta n t to th e G re e n R iv e r M u rd e rs T a sk F o rc e in S e a ttle , W a s h in g to n .

D r. K eppel is the author of a num ber of articles and four books on serial m u r d e r a n d h a s le c tu re d e x te n s iv e ly to p o lic e o ffic e rs a t n a tio n a l s e m in a rs o n h o m ic id e in v e s tig a tio n . H e h a s te s tifie d

in trials as an expert on the
m e th o d
of o p e ra tio n
of serial killers, the "signature

aspects" of m urder in v e s tig a tio n s , a n d p o h c e in v e s tig a tio n s . H e is th e fo u n d e r o f th e W a s h in g \ue000 to n

S ta te H o m ic id e In v e s tig a tio n
a n d T ra c k in g
S y s te m

(HITS), and has b e e n th e p ro je c t d ire c to r fo r s e v e ra l fe d e ra l g ra n ts o n in v e s tig a tiv e te c h \ue000 nologies, case m anagem ent, and the apprehension of m urderers.

D r . K e p p e l re c e iv e d h is D o c to r o f P h ilo s o p h y D e g r e e in C rim in a l J u s tic e
fro m
the U niversity of W ashington (1992), a Bachelor of Science D egree
in P o h c e S c ie n c e a n d A d m in is tra tio n
fro m
W a s h in g to n
S ta te

U n iv ersity (1 9 6 6 ),and a M aster of A rts D egree in Police Science and A dm inistration (1 9 6 7 ). H e a ls o h o ld s a M a s te r o f E d u c a tio n D e g re e fro m

S e a ttle U n iv e r\ue000
sity (1 9 7 9 ).
X I
X II
B IO G R A P H IE S
W illiam
J . B ir n e s , P h .D .,o b ta in e d
h is d o c to ra te fro m

N ew Y ork U ni\ue000 v e rs ity a n d is c u rre n tly c o m p le tin g h is J.D .at Concord University Schoolof Law . D r. B irnes w as responsible

fo r e v a lu a tin g
the use of com puters in
h o m ic id e ta s k fo rc e in v e s tig a tio n s a s p a r t o f a g ra n t fro m

the Bureau of Ju stice A d m in istratio n for th e In stitu te ofF o r e n s i c s . H e h as also acted as a c o n s u lta n t to th e S e n tin e l C o rp o ra tio n o n in te rn a tio n a l a n ti-m o n e y la u n \ue000 d e rin g c o m p lia n c e tra in in g . D r. B irn e s h a s b e e n a N a tio n a l E n d o w m e n t fo r th e H u m a n itie s F e llo w , a L ily F e llo w , a n d

a grants award judge for the
N a tio n a l E n d o w m e n t fo r th e A rts .

D r . B irn e s is aN e w Y o r k T im e s b e s t-s e llin g a u th o r a n d h a s w ritte n o v e r 20 books, as w ell as a hterary agent. H e has w orked w ith the D rug E nforce\ue000 m e n t A d m in is tra tio n o n th e d e v e lo p m e n t o f a m o tio n p ic tu re , a n d is c u r\ue000 re n tly p ro d u c in g a c a b le te le v is io n fe a tu re

a n d a re a lity s e rie s fo r H e a rs t
T e le v is io n . D r . B ir n e s liv e s in N e w Y o rk
a n d L o s A n g e le s w ith h is w ife ,
n o v e lis t, N a n c y H a y fie ld .
IN T R O D U C T IO N :
TH E
STU D Y
O F
S E R IA L
M
U R D E R
IN V E S T IG A T IO N S

Serial m urder has becom e part of the pubhc consciousness even though m ost people are not really sure w hat it is, why it happens, and m uch less h o w to in v e s tig a te it. T h is ig n o ra n c e is a s m u c h a p a r t o f th e p ro fe s s io n a l circles as the lay pubhc. Federal and local law -enforcem ent officers have a com m on interest in how to investigate serial m urder cases, but no author\ue000 ity

h a s
p e rfe c te d
a n
answ er
t o
in v e s tig a tin g
th e s e
m ost

tro u b le s o m e c a s e s .W hen the acts of a serial m urderer are discovered, these very law - enforcem ent officers only share the vaguest of ideas on how to solve them .

M y study of serial m urder began in 1974. It was not prom pted by any g re a t d e s ig n , b u t o u t o f th e fu tility I e n c o u n te re d in v e s tig a tin g th e m u rd e rs of eight fem ale coeds later attributed to Theodore R obert Bundy. It w as th is la c k o f in v e s tig a tiv e k n o w -h o w

in th is a n d th e s u b s e q u e n t 5 0 s e ria l m u r d e r in v e s tig a tio n s th a t I h a v e b e e n in v o lv e d in , a s a n in v e s tig a to r o r a c o n s u lta n t, th a t fo rc e d m e to c o n tin u e s tu d y in g fo r th e la s t 2 5 y e a rs . T h e pursuit of successful procedures in the investigation of the serial killer is w h a t d ro v e m e to c o n tin u e .

A s I s tu d ie d , firs t te c h n iq u e s o f h o m ic id e in v e s tig a tio n
a n d
th e n
th e
crim e of serial m urderi t s e l f , I w as stru ck w ith how re m o te th e reality I saw
w as fro m
th e rh e to ric I h e a rd . T h e m o st p o te n t e x a m p le w a s fro m
the early

1 9 8 0 s a t a h o m ic id e in v e s tig a tio n s e m in a r in A tla n ta ,G A . A d e te c tiv e fro m F lo rid a , w h o in v e s tig a te d th e 4 0 -p lu s m u rd e rs of G e ra ld S ta n o , w a s g iv in g a le c tu re a b o u t th e u n iq u e u s e o f s o d iu m p e n ta th o l in in te rv ie w in g a s e ria l k ille r. H is p re s e n ta tio n w a s w e ll re c e iv e d , b u t I d e te c te d a tin g e o f s h a m e in h is v o ic e . A fte r th e p re s e n ta tio n , I in tro d u c e d m y se lf to h im . Im m e d i\ue000 ately, he took on the role of a subservient and hum ble person. H e claim ed

X III

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