The United States alone has over 200 convicted serial killers, and John Douglas, the former Chief of the FBI’s Elite Serial Crime Unit, says that there is an estimate of 30-35
active serial killers in the United States at any given time. A serial killer can be defined as “an individual who kills three or more individuals on separate occasions, returning
to a state of normal function between murders.” This “state of normal function” is what separates serial killers from other murders, also making it even more difficult for
investigators to apprehend these killers. However, investigators have developed a method known as criminal profiling to assist in the capture and understanding of serial
While serial killers commit terrible and unforgivable crimes, they have impacted our society in one positive way. Serial killers, like Ted Bundy and the Zodiac Killer, have
been the inspiration to american entertainment for years. Movies, television series, books, and even video games have been all been created due to serial killers. Americans
spend millions of dollars on movies alone, based off of serial killers. Serial killers have also affected society by establishing what we, average citizens, believe to be typical
characteristics of any serial killer. Most of these characteristics don’t even fit a serial killer and some of them are not always true.

Table of Contents:

I.) Robert Hansen

1-Past, family, childhood

2-First petty crimes

3-The perfect killing spot

4-Evidence piles up

5-Video: psycological analysis, victims, methods of murder

II.) Ted Bundy

1-Past, family, childhood

2-Crime spree begins

3-Escaped being caught


5-Video: Interview Ted Bundy gives 24 hours before execution

III.) Impact on America

1- Entertainment

2- Criminal profiling

Robert Hansen:
Robert Hansen was born on February 15, 1939, to a Danish immigrant and his wife, Edna Hansen, in Estherville, Iowa. Hansen had a rough childhood, with a strict father
who forced Hansen to work in their bakery, Hansen was also of small stature and had horrible acne as well as a stutter. He was picked on and is remembered as a "loner".
external image 5-1Robert-Hansen-yearbook-photo.jpg
Hasen displayed a characteristic that placed him into the psychological profile of a developing serial killer. On December 7, 1960, Hansen forced a 16 year old employee at
the bakery to assist him in burning down the school bus garage. The employee turned both himself and Hansen in. Hansen was sentenced to 3 years in prison and his
wife soon divorced him. He only served 20 months of his sentence despite the fact that he displayed and was assessed as having and "infantile personality," meaning he
had an obsession with getting back at people. Hansen soon married again within a few months of being released and he started stealing "just for the thrill of doing it." No
charges were ever laid even though he was caught multiple times. in 1967, Hansen decided to leave for Alaska.

Due to things like clubs, Hansen was able to locate women all over Anchorage Alaska and found that for money, these women would go practically anywhere with him.
Women noted how "He sort of looked like the perfect dork," and they didn't find him threatening. However, once they entered his vehicle, Hansen turned into a
psychopath. Over the years, the number of victims accumulated rapidly. Most rapes were never reported and even if they were, and Hansen was positively identified,
Hansen always won over the prostitutes story.
external image Hansen's_victims.jpg
Hansen was able to remain a respected figure in society, as he opened a bakery at 9th and Ingra in January 1981. In January 1982, he bought a Piper Super Cub
N1089Z, while he never actually obtained his pilot's license. He used this plane on his killing sprees as he would pick up a woman on Fourth Avenue, handcuff her at
gunpoint, and fly her out to Knik River. Hansen was discovered to be a very methodical killer. He contained an aviation chart on which he marked the location of several
bodies, the Knik River being the favorite.

external image hansen021.jpg external image hansen031.jpg
Hasen, like many other serial killers, collected "trophies." These trophies were items from his victims which included things like jewelry, and this helped in his successful
conviction. Police were also able to obtain several search warrants and on October 27, 1983, police went through the Hansen family house, cars, and plane. Police
photographed, vacuumed, sketched and seized any evidence they could. Robert Hansen had a bail set at a half-million dollars and was arrested and charged with assault,
kidnapping, weapons offenses, theft and insurance fraud.Police gathered enough evidence to charge Hansen with four murders. Hansen agreed to a plea bargain, where
he showed police the location his victims. Police were able to locate eleven.

On February 27, 1984, Hansen was sentenced to 461 years plus life without a chance of parole by Superior Court Judge Ralph E. Moody. He was sent to the maximum
security facility at Lewisburg, PA, but was then transferred to the Spring Creek Correctional Center in Seward, Alaska, in 1988.
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Ted Bundy:
Ted Bundy was born on November 24, 1949, to Elinor Cowell, a single mother. The family chose to raise Bundy as her brother, as opposed to her son, and Bundy never
knew of his biological father. Ted Bundy showed how serial killers could appear to be a normal guy and a socially respectable person, as he was a law student and then
became the assistant director of the Seattle Crime Prevention Advisory Commission. Bundy was also highly intelligent, later leading to his classification as an organized
killer. Bundy's psychopathic personality began to show itself in the way that he looked at others. He considered other people as objects, and only objects, not people you
could love or hate.
external image Ted-Bundy.jpg
By 1974, Bundy began to murder people. He abducted, raped, and tortured students in Oregon, Washington, Utah, and Colorado. Police knew of twelve killing by
August of that year by a mysterious man known as "Ted". A police officer pulled Bundy over and noted a crowbar, a ski mask, handcuffs and rope in Bundy's car.
Because of these items, Bundy was arrested for possession of burglary tools. Police could then connect him to a kidnap victim from a year earlier as well as tie him to
several murders in Colorado.
external image O9Pi5TL2lJOn3UyrQgcU.jpg

A jury eventually found Bundy guilty and sent him to the Utah State Prison on a one-to-fifteen year sentence. Police continued to investigate him and succeeded in
linking him to three murder victims in Colorado. After a series of events, Bundy made his second escape and headed for Florida and a week after arriving, on the night of
January 14, 1978, he attacked several coeds at the Chi Omega sorority on the Florida State University Campus. He killed two and viciously wounded two others.
external image Ted_Bundy_in_court.jpg

In February, Bundy got pulled over again. He refused to identify himself, but a fingerprint check with the FBI established his identity as he was also recently placed on their
most wanted list. Bundy was convicted of killing the two students at FSU on July 23, 1979. One of the key pieces of evidence used in the trial were his dental impressions.
These impressions matched several bite marks on the body on one of the women. His sentence included death by electrocution.

Before his execution, Bundy tried several methods to avoid it. He even started listing bodies of where victims could be located in order to prolong the date of his
execution. Finally, on January 24, 1989, Ted Bundy was electrocuted by a female executioner.

Impact on American Society:
Serial killers, as gruesome and terrifying as they are, have been the inspiration to over 900 television shows and movies. Their crimes spark our imagination and entice our
sense of thrill and fear. The top ten serial killer movies include:
1) The Deliberate Stangler- Based off the compulsive killer, Ted Bundy.
2) To Catch a Killer- Based off of John Wayne Gacy who tortured and murdered over two dozen victims. He also buried them in the crawlspace beneath his house.
3) Helter Skelter- Based of the murders of the followers of Charles Manson.
4) Dahmer- Based off of the cannibalist Jeffrey Dahmer who killed 15 boys.
5) Ed Gein- Based off of the farmer Ed Gein. This movie also inspired the movies Psyco, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre and The Silence of the Lambs.
6) The Boston Strangler- Shows the confession of Albert DeSalvo to the rape and killing of 13 women in the early 1960s.
7) Bonnie and Clyde- Tells the story of the notorious couple, Clyde Barrow and Bonnie Parker, who robbed small banks in Texas and Oklahoma during the Great Depression in the 1930s.
8) Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer- Based off of the case of Henry Lee Lucas.
9) Summer of Sam- Taking place in the Bronx in the summer of 1977, the Son of Same terroizes a city by stalking and killing couples in parked cars.
10) Speck- Based off of the spree killer Richard Speck, the movie portrays the murder of nursing students at a Chicago dormitory on July 13, 1966.

Criminal Profiling~
Psychologists and investigators have developed the technique of criminal profiling in order to assist in the understanding and apprehension of serial killers. This is due to
the fact that serial killers are unique from other murderers because they are able to retain a facade of normality. Serial killers, unlike mass murderers and spree killers, are
able to return to a normal state of function in between murders.
Criminal profiling can be defined as "a method used to identify and apprehend criminals based on an understanding of an individual's psychological make-up." This
method is also known as offender profiling, psychological profiling, and criminal investigative analysis. A serial killer has very distinct psychological traits and behavioral
patterns that show themselves through the killer’s crimes, and this is what makes criminal profiling so useful in tracking down serial killers.
The Unknown Subject of an Investigation is referred to as an Unsub. Investigators are able to construct a psychological profile of the Unsub based on the analysis of the
crime scene and victim patterns. Investigators and criminologists can draw conclusions and create a profile based on the killer's method of murder, body disposal, victim
type, and any post-murder activity, like providing clues to the police and the media.
Dr. Thomas Bond is considered to be the first modern serial killer profiler as he examined the last victim, and previous murders, of the known killer, Jack the Ripper, in
1888. This is nearly a 125 years earlier than today's system of profiling, leading to the consideration of criminal profiling being a modern science.
The Behavioral Analysis Unit, BAU, was created under the direction of profiler, Howard Teten. The BAU uses criminal profiling techniques in order to aid in the apprehension
of violent criminals like serial killers.
In 1985, the Violent Criminal Apprehension Program (VI-CAP) was created. VI-CAP is a national computer database that finds patterns that investigators wouldn't notice,
among victims and crime scenes. It was originally suggested by Pierce Brooks, in 1954, who developed the program with the assistance of the convicted serial killer Ted

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“Criminal Profiling.” Issues: Understanding Controversy and Society. ABC-CLIO, 2012. Web. 4 May 2012.

Dimond, Diane. “America’s Serial Killers – How Many?” Diane Dimond. Diane Dimond, 2008. Web. 19 May 2012. <>.

Glenn, Senedra, and Yahoo! Contributor Network. “Serial Killers and the Media.” Yahoo! Voices. Yahoo! Inc. , 2012. Web. 30 May 2012.

Lundberg, Murray. “Robert Hansen, a Serial Killer in Alaska.” Explore North. N.p., n.d. Web. 19 May 2012. <>.

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Montaldo, Charles, and Guide. “Top 10 Serial Killer Movies.” Crime / Punishment., 2012. Web. 30 May 2012.

Stewart, Isabel, and Yahoo! Contributor Network. “Serial Killer Ted Bundy Blamed Pornography for His Rape and Murderous Behavior.” Yahoo! Voices. Yahoo! Inc., 2012. Web. 30 May 2012.

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