Understanding the mind of a serial killer The Canadian Law and Serial killing

Essay by hipsterCollege, Undergraduate May 2004

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"A census taker once tried to test me. I ate his liver with some fava beans and a nice chianti". This is a quote from the movie Silence of The Lambs. The movie stars Hannibal Lecter, a serial killer who eats his victims. On the surface the idea of a killer eating his victims sounds repulsive, but the movie was based on real life occurrences.

The quest for further knowledge has long been a central goal of mankind. To understand, to know "why" things are the way they are and "why" people do the things they do. Mankind continues to strive to comprehend the complex thought processes and motivation of a serial killer. When most people think of serial killers, they do not think of them as human, they think of them as monsters. Hollywood's version of a serial killer, which is a man with a hook who is eight feet tall and usually wears some sort of mask, is far from the reality.

What's fascinating about serial killers is that there just like us. But what could possibly compel someone to murder? The study of serial killers has brought psychological and scientific study to the field of law. This essay will explore the central question: How does the study and analysis of the mind of a serial killer translate into the legal process concerning Canadian serial killers? Criminal profiling serial killers can aid in the mens rea as well as alter the analysis of homicide, but no Canadian laws directly correspond to serial killing.

London England, 1888,- Jack the Ripper kills five female prostitutes as well as removes and rearranges their organs (Barbee). This was the first serial killing incident of the modern day era. There have been many bewildering cases since, such as Peter Kurten, who received sexual...