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Paths to Destruction: The Lives and Crimes of Two Serial Killers

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Although research into the phenomenon of serial murder has revealed that serial killers frequently do not fit the initially described paradigm in terms of their physical and psychological profiles, backgrounds, and motives to kill, the media continues to sensationalize the figures of such killers and the investigators who attempt to analyze them on the basis of aspects of their crimes. Although the so-called “typical” profile of the serial murderer has proven accurate in some instances, in many other cases the demographics and behaviors of these killers have deviated widely from the generalized assumptions. This report details two unusual cases in which five and eight murders were committed in upstate New York. The lives and crimes of these offenders illustrate the wide spectrum of variations in the backgrounds, demographics, motivations, and actions witnessed among serial murderers, and highlight the limitations and dangers of profiling based on generalities.
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Keywords: forensic science; profiling; serial killers

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Office of the District 21 Medical Examiner, 70 Danley Drive, Fort Myers, FL 33907. 2: Cook County Medical Examiner's Office, 2121 West Harrison Street, Chicago, IL 60612.

Publication date: January 1, 2007

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