The Social Construction of a Serial Killer

  title={The Social Construction of a Serial Killer},
  author={Ross M. Bartels and Ceri Parsons},
  journal={Feminism \& Psychology},
  pages={267 - 280}
Much psychological research examining the serial killer has adopted an essentialist theoretical focus concentrating on the `nature' of the individual who commits the murder. This study, in contrast, aims to analyse the talk of a serial killer using principles taken from discursive psychology. A courtroom transcript concerning the confession to 10 murders by the serial killer, Dennis Rader, was analysed. The transcript was read and reread in order to examine how the killer drew upon popular… 

Serial murder in South Africa : asking different questions

This theoretical paper explores some prevailing discourses surrounding serial murder and that the existing debates surrounding serial murder, which adopted a singular theoretical focus, have offered

Denying the Darkness: Exploring the Discourses of Neutralization of Bundy, Gacy, and Dahmer

This exploratory study analyzed how three serial killers (i.e., Bundy, Gacy, and Dahmer) potentially rationalized and justified their murders by applying techniques of neutralization. This paper

Odi et amo: Discursive strategies and ambiguity in the narratives of violence

Ambiguity plays a central role in how narratives about violence are told, but research has rarely taken into account the ambiguity used by criminals with complex motives. Drawing on narrative

Reconceptualizing the notion of victim selection, risk, and offender behavior in healthcare serial murders

It is found that healthcare professionals work in an environment that is conducive to anti‐social behaviour like homicide, which adds to the ease with which healthcare serial killers can evade capture.

Self-reported psychopathology in a convicted serial killer

The following paper presents a case study of a convicted serial murderer. Through data from personal correspondence, police reports, a true crime novel, witness statements, medical examiner reports,

Application of the Serious Leisure Perspective to Intrinsically Motivated Serial Homicide

ABSTRACT This article briefly introduces the multidisciplinary field of leisure sciences before exploring how leisure theory, particularly the Serious Leisure Perspective, can provide important

When the closet is the grave: A critical review of the Bruce McArthur case

The article investigates the social impossibilities and constructed killability of brown queers. It critically focuses on the Bruce McArthur case, which involved the serial killing of predominantly...



The Killers Are Male Researching serial murder : Methodological and definitional problems

This paper examines issues related to the definition and study of serial murder. It examines definitional issues such as the notion that serialists are male, the notion that the killings are not for

Catch Me before I Kill More: Seriality as Modern Monstrosity

A colleague of mine, lamenting the disasters of her personal life, which included several broken engagements over the previous decade, said despairingly that she seemed destined to be nothing more

Doing cognitive distortions: a discursive psychology analysis of sex offender treatment talk.

  • T. AuburnS. Lea
  • Psychology, Sociology
    The British journal of social psychology
  • 2003
This study suggests that offenders utilize a particular narrative organization to manage their blame and responsibility for the offence, and suggests that this organization is based on a first part which is oriented to quotidian precursors to the offence and an immediately following second which isoriented to a sudden shift in the definition of the situation.

The Social Construction of Rape in the Talk of a Convicted Rapist

The study used a discursive approach to explore the rape narratives of a convicted rapist. These narratives were recounted during the group therapy sessions of a prison-based Sex Offender Treatment

Sexual Homicide: Patterns and Motives

Who are the men committing the rising number of serial homicides in the U.S. -- and why do they kill? The increase in these violent crimes over the past decade has created an urgent need for more and

Bill and Monica: memory, emotion and normativity in Clinton's Grand Jury testimony.

Analysis focuses on how Clinton's portrayal of Lewinsky accomplished a reflexive portrayal of himself, not as mendacious and exploitative, but as caring, responsible, sincere, rational and consistent, while reducing the scope and implications of their admitted sexual relationship.

Serial Killers: Death and Life in America's Wound Culture

Serial Killers: Death and Life in America's Wound Culture. Mark Seltzer. New York: Routledge, 1998. In Reading for the Plot, Peter Brooks identifies "ambition" as one of the driving forces of

Discourse and Social Psychology: Beyond Attitudes and Behaviour

`Potter and Wetherell have genuinely presented us with a different way of working in social psychology. The book's clarity means that it has the power to influence a lot of people ill-at-ease with

Telling it Like it isn’t: Obscuring Perpetrator Responsibility for Violent Crime

Part I of this article introduces the interactional and discursive view of violence and resistance, part II illustrates its application to the analysis of sexual assault trial judgments, and part III

‘I’m very careful about that’: narrative and agency of men in prison

My research is based on lifestory interviews I conducted with men in prison for violent crimes. Having been deemed fitting objects of punishment, they were enjoined to speak of themselves as