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¥SERIAL KILLER HISTORY¥

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You are in: SERIAL KILLERS/MOST NOTORIOUS






What Makes Serial Killers Tick?:
"It was an urge. ... A strong urge, and the longer I let it go the stronger it got, to where I was taking risks to go out and kill people risks that normally, according to my little rules of operation, I wouldn't take because they could lead to arrest." —Edmund Kemper.
Where does this urge come from, and why is so powerful? If we all experienced this urge, would we be able to resist? Is it genetic, hormonal, biological, or cultural conditioning? Do serial killers have any control over their desires?

We all experience rage and inappropriate sexual instincts, yet we have some sort of internal cage that keeps our inner monsters locked up. Call it morality or social programming, these internal blockades have long since been trampled down in the psychopathic killer. Not only have they let loose the monster within, they are virtual slaves to its beastly appetites. What sets them apart?



Atlanta Child Murders:
In the 1970s Atlanta was one of the most dangerous cities in the U.S. A series of murders of black children and teenagers began to emerge, throwing an unwelcome spotlight on the entire city. The murders, believed at that time, to be the work of a racist white group did nothing to recommend the city to tourists and new business opportunities.
Two black boys were found murdered at the end of July 1979, officially starting one of the most highly publicized murder series in history. A couple of years later, 29 black youths would be dead and a black man, Wayne Williams, who many people believe was railroaded by the government, would be imprisoned for life. Recent efforts to vindicate Williams have stalled.



David Berkowitz:
Calling himself the Son of Sam, this serial killer terrorized New York City in the late 1970s. What is he doing now and will he ever get paroled?


David Berkowitz's Lost Letters:
Author M. William Phelps uncovers Son of Sam prison letters written to serial killer Gary Evans that make a mockery out of David Berkowitz's supposed embrace of Christianity.


Paul Bernardo & Karla Homolka:
It was a daring thing to do, but writer and director Joel Bender made a true-crime drama based on the infamous story of Paul Bernardo and Karla Homolka. Karla was quite controversial when released in Canada in 2006, and some groups even tried to block it. They were unsuccessful. Now it's available on DVD.
The film adopts Karla's point of view throughout, and if you believe the performance you'll regard Karla as the prototypical battered wife and compliant accomplice. This can get annoying for anyone familiar with the facts, but in the end it's made clear that her story is pretty much a self-serving "reorganization" of what happened: she never apologized to victims' families, never expressed public remorse, and seemed as narcissistic upon her release as she'd ever been.



Boston Strangler:
Between June 14, 1962 and January 4, 1964, thirteen women in the Boston area were victims of a single serial killer or possibly several killers. In the early cases, the middle-aged and elderly women were obscenely posed, leaving a very distinct signature. Later cases were quite different, involving young women. The women of Boston were in a panic over the unsolved murders.
Eleven of these murders were popularly known as the Boston Strangler series. All of these women were murdered in their apartments, had been sexually molested, and were strangled with articles of clothing. With no signs of forced entry, the women voluntarily let the killer(s) in their homes. These were respectable women who for the most part led quiet, modest lives.

Even though nobody has ever officially been on trial as the Boston Strangler, the public believed that Albert DeSalvo, who confessed in detail to each of the eleven "official" Strangler murders, as well as two others, was the killer. However, most people who knew him personally did not believe him capable of the vicious crimes and today there is a persuasive case to be made that DeSalvo wasn't the killer after all.



Pat Brown:
Profiler and star of I, Detective, explodes 10 myths about serial killers.


Jerry Brudos:
Sharon Wood, 24, left her secretarial job in Portland and entered the basement level of a parking garage to look for her car when a tall, pudgy man approached her. She later told police that she had sensed someone behind her and had tried to return to an area where she could hear other people. But then someone tapped her shoulder and she turned around. The man was holding a pistol.
In a split second, she decided to fight. She had barely a chance against him, but she believed that if she didn't struggle while someone might still hear her, she'd die that day. Instinct told her that this man had murder on his mind.

Sharon kicked at him with her high-heeled shoes, screamed again and bit him hard. Yet he managed to slam her head on the concrete, dazing her. Fortunately another car came along, and her attacker ran off. She survived, but not long afterward another young woman did not.

Brudos is one of the most shocking serial killers ever and the subject of Ann Rule's book The Lust Killer. He abducted, tortured & mutilated young women in his garage, right under the noses of his wife and children. An analysis of the psychological factors that created this monster.

Serial killer Jerry Brudos, died March 28, 2006.



BTK- Dennis Rader:
For three decades, the terrifying serial killer who called himself BTK ("Bind, Torture, Kill") was uncaught. First he would cut the phone lines, and then he would get into the house somehow, waiting for his victim to come home. The killings drove Wichita's women into a frenzy, but then the murders unexplicably stopped. Police theorized that BTK could have died or have been incarcerated for some other crime or mental disease, or maybe even moved away.
Then in March, 2004, BTK sent a very convincing letter to the local newspaper, taking responsibility for the September, 1986, unsolved death of Vicki Wegerle. Included with the letter were a photocopy of Wegerle's driver's license and three photos of her body that BTK took after he killed her.

In May, BTK sent a copy of the chapter titles of David Lohr's Crime Library story on the case to a local TV station. Lohr's feature story was the only BTK case history on the Net at that time. However, BTK had changed several of the chapter titles, including one that he changed to "Will There Be More?"

And so, it began again, with BTK impatiently pointing out to police the murders of his that they missed. Finally, BTK made the mistake that culminated in his capture.

Here is the most detailed story of this case as it unfolded in 1974 and then again in 2004.



Ted Bundy:
The most frightening of serial killers: a handsome, educated psychopathic law student who stalked and murdered dozens of young college women who looked very much like a young woman who broke off her relationship with him.
Bundy was a very adept and glib con artist who faked a broken arm in a sling to convince young women to help him carry his textbooks to his car. Once there, he battered them with a baseball bat and carried them off for ghoulish rituals.



Ted Bundy - "The Hollow Men" by Stephen Michaud:
Well-known author explains why serial killers have to kill, using his extensive knowledge of Ted Bundy


Ted Bundy - The Only Living Witness by Stephen Michaud:
An excerpt from Michaud's book that delves into the twisted psyche of one of the most terrifying serial killers.


Ted Bundy - Dr. Robert Keppel interview:
Interview with the serial killer expert, Dr. Keppel, who took Ted Bundy's confession.


Ted Bundy - Serial Murder:Future Implications for Police Investigations by Dr. Robert Keppel:
Dr. Robert Keppel, expert on the Ted Bundy and Green River cases, explains the lessons learned for future police investigations.


Celluloid Serial Killers:
Author Paul Kidd discusses the roots of seminal serial killer movies and how Hollywood has developed the genre. He reviews his top 15 favorites.


John Norman Collins:
Convicted of one murder in the late 1960s Michigan college campus serial murder case, police believed that he was responsible for all of them. Collins was implicated superficially in fifteen murders, but only the first seven on the list were officially considered his
At the time, he was a 22-year-old student at Eastern Michigan University, majoring in education when he was arrested for the murder of Karen Sue Beineman. He was from Center Line, a suburb north of Detroit, where he had lived with his mother and stepfather. At six feet, he was wiry and muscular, with neatly trimmed dark brown hair and sideburns. Many people thought him handsome and easy to talk to.

Attractive or not, he had a dark side that was beginning to emerge. He had belonged to a fraternity, but had been kicked out under suspicion of theft. He had also engaged in petty burglaries for fun and kept his four motorcycles running with stolen parts. One of his professors suspected him of cheating.

In addition to being sexually very aggressive with dates, Collins also had expressed some ideologies that bordered on psychopathy. He had told a girl that if a man had to kill, he killed. If he decided it was right for him to do it, then he had to do it. The perfect crime, he told her, was when there was no guilt. Without guilt, a person could not get caught.

New DNA evidence and the conviction of Gary Earl Leiterman suggest that there were several perpetrators.



Juan Corona:
In Sutter County, California, near the Feather River five miles north of Yuba City, a Japanese farmer named Goro Kagehiro was touring his peach orchard on May 19, 1971 when he spotted a freshly-dug hole between two trees that appeared to be the size of a man. He could not understand why someone had dug there. It turned out to be the grave of migrant workers who had been the victims of a killing spree. At least 25 men were eventually found buried in that area.
Corona provided labor to the farmers and was eventually convicted of the crimes, but evidence has surfaced that suggests a rush to judgment.


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