The irresistible urge of the serial killer: an examination of the role of fantasy and its relationship with motivation

Harding, Abbie (2008) The irresistible urge of the serial killer: an examination of the role of fantasy and its relationship with motivation. BSc dissertation, University of Portsmouth.

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    Abstract

    As the most harmful act one person can commit upon another, murder is a subject that is of constant interest and fascination. The increase of media interest in high profile cases of the 1980s led to the development of definitions, typologies, academic responses, research, and debates as to the causes and motivation behind a crime of such violence (Brookman, 2006, p. 1). With a focus on three key theoretical explanations for murder, this literature review examines the development of fantasy and its influence upon the motivation to commit murder. The most relevant biological, psychological, and sociological theories are examined in relation to the development of the serial murderer and will be used in conjunction with the concept of fantasy to highlight this process. By understanding the role of fantasy, the application of motivational typologies, such as Fox and Levin (2005, p. 19) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) (Ressler, Burgess and Douglas, 1995, p. 70) are applied to the possible causes of becoming a serial killer. Although humans are motivated by a basic need for survival, the findings suggest that, for the serial killer, the occurrence of a fantasy to commit crime materializes previous to any motivational factors that appear to induce one to begin killing.

    Item Type: Dissertation
    Departments/Research Groups: Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > Institute of Criminal Justice Studies
    Depositing User: Jane Polwin
    Date Deposited: 20 Jan 2011 12:48
    Last Modified: 28 Jan 2015 11:14
    URI: http://eprints.port.ac.uk/id/eprint/512

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