Serial Killers Essay Introduction
In contemporary society, the topic of serial killers is widely discussed. However, most of the time, people are wrong in their popular image of a serial killer. Most of them cannot imagine the serial murderer happen anywhere but in America. The thing is that recently the U.S.A. has become a country with very frequent serial killer cases. That is why individuals from all over the world have developed a stereotype of the serial killer as a single white man with psychological disorders. Yet, serial killers cannot be classified into one narrow criterion.
Serial Killers Can Be of any Race and Gender
In fact, serial killers can be of any race, sexual orientation, gender, family background, and social-economic status. Some killers are smart and attractive at first sight, while others are awkward and not very clever. Moreover, not all serial killers need to be anti-social and single. It is because there have been numerous convicts who have spouses and murdered their victims together. China has been known as an extremely closed communist country, with the government controlling every sphere of life. Therefore, a little is exposed to the world about such serious matters as serial killings. However, it does not mean that China does not have any. On the contrary, some of the Chinese serial killers are even crueler and wicked than the most terrible American killers.
Murderers have different reasons to commit their crimes. Some do it out of revenge, some out of joy and satisfaction, and some out of the severe mental disorders. The commonly accepted reason to commit serial killings is a psychological problem of the past. Often killers, who do horrible things to their victims, have suffered some mistreatment in their childhood or later. It has caused their cruel attitude toward human beings.
Most Serial Killers Are Psychopaths or Sociopaths
According to numerous researches, most serial killers are psychopaths or sociopaths. They are characterized by irrational and inadequate behavior. Early childhood, school, parenting, and everything have an influence on a person. If some of these aspects go wrong, the person has all the chances to become a sociopath. Studies show that in most cases psychopaths are those who have been deprived of the parents’ love and nurturing. These are those people who have lost one or both parents, whose parents were hypocritical. It means that they had humiliated a child privately, but publically presented an image of a happy family (Scott n. pag.). All these factors can lead the person to aggressiveness, a lack of fear and stress, and, as a consequence, to inhuman actions.
Furthermore, it is important to know that serial killers and such murderer are not the same things. Serial murder is a type of inadequate behavior which crosses the lines of normal and rational. Though the definition of serial murder has not been clearly stated, in general, it presupposes the killing of two or more victims by the same criminal, but in separate events. When the events are connected, and victims have common characteristics, it is a serial killer.
Serial Killer vs Mass Murder
Also, the serial killer must not be confused with mass murder. Usually, this criminal murders the victims separately in a certain interval of time. Most of the time, he/she does it for enjoyment. The serial murderer tends to kill for sexual gratification. His victims usually have a special feature in common, such as the same age, sex, or color of skin. The mass murderer, on the contrary, does not have special preferences in victims, but he kills a lot of people in one attack. His goal is usually revenge. While serial killers are difficult to catch, mass murderers are usually killed by the police or themselves after the murder has been completed.
Yang Xinhai “Monster Killer” and Ted Bundy Comparison
The most famous of Chinese serial killers is Yang Xinhai, also known as “Monster Killer”. He was accused of murdering 67 people, including kids, females, and males. It is impressive because of the biggest amount of these victims of the one murderer in the U.S. in 48. Yang, born in the poorest village of China, confessed in every murder that he had committed. This person is known to be the cruelest and the most unreasonable killer in history because he had killed his victims out of desire. The interesting thing is that except for his poor economic background, Yang did not have any history of abuse in his past, meaning that his life had been completely normal. He has been sentenced to several years of prison twice for robbery and an attempt of rape. After being released, he turned into a violent killer. He went to numerous houses and murdered the whole families with hammers, axes, and shovels. The most common explanation for his cruelty was his revenge against society. However, Yang himself told that he never had a desire to be a part of the society and did not care about it at all (Wax n. pag.).
The American serial killer Ted Bundy, compared to Yang Xinhai, had a far more exquisite imagination and more ideas of how to kill his victims. He had killed nearly 40 women across the United States between 1974 and 1978. His methods of catching victims were various. Sometimes he used clever and elaborate ruse, sometimes like Yang, he burglarized homes and bludgeoned victims in their sleep. However, most of the time, he relied on his attractive look alone. Ted asked his victims to help him to put some stuff in the car or to tell directions, whatever the method had been, in the end, he made blunt trauma to the head and eventually killed his victims with strangulation and sometimes decapitated them. Ted Bundy is one of the most famous American serial killers, known as a serial rapist and necrophiliac (Bell n. pag.).
Regarding there two criminals it can be said that they were examples of how early social experience made people dangerous cruel murderers in the future. Despite Yang Xinhai did not experience the parent loss or any kind of abuse, he grew up lonely and anti-sociable. It had led to his repelling of society, and everyone in it. Ted Bundy, as a child, was a very shy kid, who did not have any friends at school and did not understand why people were attracted to each other. Moreover, he was brought up by his grandparents, supposing they were actually parents, and living with his older sister, who turned out to be his mother. The moment he found out the truth was a turning point for him, and it broke him. Both, Yang and Ted, found joy and satisfaction in their deeds. There had been no actual reasons for killing except the desire.
Dr. Mike Aamodt of Radford University conducted research concerning serial killers in the world. He had developed statistics regarding killers’ and victims’ age, gender, race, and other characteristics. Those statistics show that over a hundred-year period, the number of women committing serial killings is ten times less than the number of men. For example, in the year 1960, the number of male serial killers was 198; and the number of female killers was only 18. The overall result shows that from 1900 to 2010 the percentage had equaled 90.7 for men and only 9.3 for women (Aamodt 4). Perhaps, it can be explained by the fact that women do not commit murders alone, but participate together with their male partners. It is natural because women are not granted such strength and inclemency as men do. They are not physically capable of attacking and mutilating another person on their own.
Women rarely venture themselves into violent actions. However, the case of a Chinese serial killer Yang Shubin and his girlfriend Ji Hongzhie proves that some females can actually be involved in serial violent killings. Yang Shubin pretended to be a rich businessman. He was going to nightclubs and luring young girls to his house day after day. There, the girls were surprised to see another young girl, who was Yang’s girlfriend and partner-killer. In general, there were four people who mutilated and murdered the girls: Yang, his girlfriend, and two of their best friends (Hunwick n. pag.).
Compared to most of the serial killers’ cases, this company of friends had a distinct goal. They were torturing those girls trying to get their bank accounts. Therefore, Young Shubin, Ji Hongzhie, Wu Hongye, and Zhang Yulian were not just psychopaths who killed to fulfill the desire. It was their perfectly planned strategy of making large sums of money. Only between 1998 and 2004, they had made around 2 million Yuan by beating the bank details out of their victims. After getting what they wanted from girls, they killed them violently, dismembered, and chopped up. The gang crushed the large bones with clamps and added to the paste of meat, and then threw them out in cans (Hunwick n. pag.).
Serial killers can be of different national, economic, and social backgrounds. However, there is one thing that unites them all, disregarding their color of skin, gender, and religion. They all find amusement in killing. Chinese killers are as much mentally ill as American, African, or Mexican. Radford University statistics state that in 48% of serial killing the motive is enjoyment, lust, and thrill. The second most popular motive is financial gain, like in the case of Yang Shubin (Aamodt 6).
Prostitute-Murders in China and USA
There can be numerous motives for murder. However, in most cases, a motive is just an excuse for horrible actions. Another famous Chinese serial killer is a taxi driver Li Pingping. In the 1990s, he murdered his ex-chef with his whole family. Later, in 2002 and 2003, four prostitutes were not lucky to stop his cab. His motive was anger and greed because prostitutes had made more money than he did. That drove him crazy. A prostitute-murder is not a rare event in China. In 2003, Hua Ruizhou killed 14 prostitutes that were working near the Great Wall. Not long ago, in 2011, Song Jinghua was executed for killing 9 prostitutes. His motive was revenge (Hunwick n. pag.).
However, China is not a special prostitute killing country. It has always been popular among serial killers to target streetwalkers. Back in the 1970s, a man named Lorenzo Gilyard killed near to 13 women, committing all the crimes in his native town Kansas City. His case became unusual for America, and not due to the fact that Lorenzo was killing prostitutes. No one outside Kansas City has ever heard about such serial killer as Lorenzo Gilyard (Krajicek n. pag.).
The most famous world’s serial killers have always preferred prostitutes for their victims. Streetwalkers are easy to catch; they are always willing to go away with strangers, and no one notices when they disappear. That is why prostitutes in the whole world are the best victim-material for psychopaths (Krajicek n. pag.).
Serial Killers and Religion Influence
Another interesting factor that influences most of the serial killers is religion. In fact, religion should be mentioned as one of the fundamental justifications for killing. It is hard to deny that it has caused more deaths in this world than epidemics of a deadly disease or anything else. Most of the wars in history were fought in the name of God, and all terrorists justified themselves with religious motives (Mcabee n. pag.). So, there is no wonder that psychopaths and sociopaths who commit serial killings often use God’s name as an excuse. No matter what God the person worships that God somehow forces him to make sacrifices in order for the person to reach salvation.
The studies of serial killers have shown that the perpetrators become extremely religious and devout right before the killing. There have been a lot of Christian offenders who could easily quote the Bible and find a passage that explains why they have killed, and believing that a passage totally justifies them. Another interesting thing about religious killings is the sexual deprivation that these people had to face because of their beliefs. It has been proved that when the individual has a lack of sexual activity, he endures a variety of psychological and emotional issues that often lead to terrible actions.
There are numerous examples of Christian serial killers; their names are Jeffery Dahmer, The Yorkshire Rapier, Andrea Yates, and others. Taking a step back from serial killers, there was a man named Josef Fritzl, who was a devoted roman catholic. He had kept his daughter in a cellar for 24 years and raped her regularly. He justified himself with the quotes from the Bible condoning the rape of women (“Christian Serial Killers: Murder in the Name of God” n. pag.).
For those who think that those people are not really Christian, it will be a shock to know that that is what Christianity looks like. All the serial killers and rapists that killed in the name of God were the real Christian because they followed Christianity by the book (“Christian Serial Killers: Murder in the Name of God” n. pag.). However, not only Christians can be violent and abominable in their actions. Every religion on the Earth presupposes violence.
China has several religions, such as Taoism, Confucianism, and Buddhism. However, it is preferred not to call them religions, but thought systems or philosophies. Neither Confucius nor Buddha was the divine creatures; they were just people and good philosophers. It means that all non-Christian Chinese do not worship any God. They follow the ideology of life taken from Confucianism, Buddhism, or Taoism. Therefore, Chinese serial killers and rapists, such as, for example, Huang Yong who was raping and killing teenage boys, are not afraid of God’s punishment, neither are they committing murders in the name of God, because there is no God for them.
Jeffrey Dahmer is standing among the most well-known serial murderers in America, and he is also famous as being a religious individual out of them. There are at least 17 victims on his record, including teenage boys and young males, in the majority. He was a homosexual. It was not habitual among serial murderers, and all his victims also were gays. In 1991, he was imprisoned, and after the arrest, Jeffrey became a surprisingly Christian, and even demanded to be once again re-baptized. He was baptized in the Church of Christ. It was a surprising change in his personality as he had shown repentance for his deeds after being baptized. Nevertheless, it did not save him from death because he was killed by his cellmate shortly after baptizing (“The Religious Affiliation of Milwaukee Serial Killer” n. pag.).
Having studied all the information about religion influencing serial killers, the existence of any God can be called into question. If God really existed, he could not allow such hideous people to live on this Earth. Then, if God is real, he must be a very cruel creature because he lets serial killers and terrorists do horrible things in his name.
30 Chinese Serial Killers vs 2320 in America
According to the Radford University statistics, by the year 2013, there had been recorded 30 Chinese serial killers, compared to 2320 in America (Aamodt 10). However, given the fact that China is a closed country with the government controlling the information that people perceive, it can be said that the actual number of serial killers there can be much bigger. China is the world’s most populated country. It is a real surprise that America with only around 317 million of the population has so many serial killers compared to over 1 billion population in China. Still, there may be a quite reasonable explanation for that.
The differences between American and Chinese cultures come from the very beginning – from the methods of upbringing. Chinese parents do not care about their child’s self-esteem as Americans do. There is no chance for a Chinese kid to get a B grade at school. If he does, the parents will not rest until they are sure that their child has improved to A. The biggest difference between Chinese and American childhood is leisure time activities. Chinese parents are so strict that none of their children ever does what he wants to, only what their parents tell them to do. While American children get involved in afterschool sports activities and having fun with friends, Chinese kids do not have a chance to do anything except extra studying (Chua n. pag.).
A childhood surrounding, parenting, and school time are the crucial moments in creating a personality of any kind. That is why unhappy childhood often leads children to violent actions. Yet, Chinese children must not be characterized as unhappy. They are successful in their education, perfectly brought up, and boundlessly grateful to their parents for making such good people out of them. American children, on the contrary, are less disciplined and more exposed to the world. All Western children and teenagers are used to being free in their life choices. That is why they often choose the wrong road in their adulthood.
Furthermore, the social ethos of America and China is quite different. China is a deeply traditional country with its special customs and rules. That is why it is often hard for a Westerner to understand the soul of the Chinese.
There can be one more factor that influences the abundant number of serial killers in America, but a smaller number of them in such Asian countries as China or India. The main reason for that is that America has a culture of violence, which follows people everywhere: from Hollywood movies to TV shows and actual news. China is isolated from all the bad influences of the Western world. It helps this country prevent people from seeing violence and murder on TV and on the Internet.
Notwithstanding, for some people, violence is a natural state, and they do not need to be influenced by media or movies to become killers. Recently, another Chinese serial killer has been caught and executed for killing people and selling their meat as an ostrich on the market. Zhang Yongming, also known as the “Cannibal Monster”, was sentenced to death for killing 11 people. The man killed young boys, dismembered them and ate their flesh. With their flesh, he also fed to his dog and sold it to local people. The police found eyeballs of victims in wine bottles at his home, and the neighbors regularly saw green plastic bags hanging in his house with human bones protruding from them (Evans n. pag.).
Zhang was previously convicted for the intentional homicide in 1979, but his sentence was reduced. Later, he was given a death sentence, but got released in 1997 (“China executes serial killer in Yunnan province” n. pag.). It is not rare that serial killers begin with robberies and thefts, at first, and only after being punished for lesser crimes, they start killing people in the most terrible ways. Of course, killing one person in 1979 is not a lesser crime than killing many people between 2008 and 2010. However, many killers start from easier crimes and then turn worse and worse.
Serial killers are not obligatory perverted in their ways of killing. Certainly, most of them are psychopaths who prefer a sophisticated murder involving dismembering, cannibalism, necrophilia, decapitating and many other abominable things. However, some killers prefer simple gunshots. America certainly has a gun problem because its population is lucky to have a right to own firearms. For China, gun crime is a rare case because people are not allowed to own guns in the country. However, not long ago, a Chinese policeman, Zeng Kaigui, turned out to be a serial killer. A former policeman had been guilty for bank robberies, killing of 7 people, and injuring several persons, while separating armed attacks on banks. That man had been serving in the PLA in Yunnan Province between the 1980’s and ’90s, during that time he acquired excellent skills of an expert shooter (Simpson n. pag.).
IQ of the Serial Killers
It is well known that to be a serial killer one needs to be very smart and probably have high IQ results. It is so, but every consistent pattern has an exception. Not all serial killers are geniuses, and consequently, not all geniuses are killers. According to an FBI investigator Robert Ressler, serial killers can be of two types: smart and not smart. He claims that organized killers are prone to have more than 110 IQ; and disorganized serial killers are usually the holders of poor IQ, lower than 90.
According to Dr. Aamodt, the IQ of the killer predetermines his preferred way of killing. The statistic shows that individuals with an average IQ of 140 prefer bombs as a weapon of killing. Also, the smart serial killers tend to strangle their victims, or use guns and bludgeons. The less smart prefer something easier like poison or stab. Moreover, the IQ level influences the number of people a person can kill before getting caught. If the serial killer manages to kill more than 5 victims, it means that his IQ is close to 100 (Aamodt 7).
Taking into consideration the information about killers’ IQ levels, it can be concluded that most of the famous Chinese serial killers possessed brilliant minds and were exceptionally smart. Yang Xinhai, who had killed 67 people, was certainly the most brilliant and exceptional serial killer because, on the one hand, his method of killing was always the same. However, on the other hand, it did not make it easier for the police to catch him. Zhang Yongming was also an interesting case because he managed to avoid a death sentence in the 1990s, and thanks to that he was free to cannibalize innocent people in his hometown. He even managed to sell human meat to unsuspicious people on the market for a long time.
Serial killers are brilliant minds in their majority. Most of the time, they are completely aware of what they are doing. It does not matter, which country the killer comes from, whether this is in America or China. He/she possesses a special mind organization that other people cannot understand. Most of them are psychopaths and sociopaths, but some of them can hide in the community and pretend to be normal for a very long time.
Ordinary people will never understand why serial killers love to kill. Only another maniac can understand the maniac. However, psychologists have been interviewing serial killers for decades, trying to find out the reason. Some murderers like a process of murdering, others do it for their financial gain or sexual satisfaction, and some of the killers, like Jeffrey Dahmer, started to feel remorse for what they did after being imprisoned.
Serial Killers Essay Conclusion
China and the U.S. are very different countries. That can be traced to almost every aspect of life. American children have more freedom than the Chinese do. However, in reality, control is what helps China remain stable. Criminals will always exist in every corner of the planet, but each nation has its mentality, and that influences the crime rate in their country. Despite America is considered the country which has the biggest serial killer history, China is also not so pure. The only reason why no one knows about Chinese killers and maniacs is that China professionally hides that information from the world. Therefore, there may have been a lot more serial murderers in China’s history than the rest of the world is allowed to know.