Serial Murder: An Exploration and Evaluation of Theories and Perspectives
Ju-Lak Lee, Kwan Choi

The phenomenon of serial murder has always received substantial attention from both the public and the media. Despite the high level of interest, very little is known about the serial killers and few theoretical explanations have been offered by academia. Especially, definition of the crime, its analysis, and the valid explanations for offenders’ behaviours must be explored at a deeper level. The present study has sought to offer various theories of violent and aggressive behaviour, and apply such concepts to the explanation and evaluation of serial murder. Perhaps it is inappropriate to single out a theory or a perspective as the sole answer and suggest that it is superior compared to the alternatives. In fact, a better way to explain serial murder would be through some sort of an integrated approach, with elements from all three key academic stances; biological, psychological, and sociological approaches to analyse and explain both behaviour and personality of serial killers. This is a bid to apply the existing theories of violence, hostility, aggression, and criminality in general, to the incidents of serial murder. In an attempt to evaluate the related theories, similarities among and treatments and solutions for the murderers are drawn upon. The paper is written with a basis upon existing literature, combined with web sources and secondary documents.

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