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Signature Killers by Robert Keppel and Bill Birnes

In this investigation, special attention is concentrated on two aspects. First of all, this is the book Signature Killers by Robert Keppel and Bill Birnes. The paper displays his depth analysis and a brief overview. It was found to be more appropriate to consider such people who left a negative imprint on the history of mankind. The activity and their relationship to the victims of the following serial killers Dorothea Puente, Charles Albright, and Joseph Christoper have been analyzed. The main objective of this paper is to identify the signature killer.

With this book, one starts to think more. Probably, this book should be required reading for those students who are interested in criminology. Robert David Keppel was born on June 15, 1944. Keppel is an American police officer and a retired detective, most famous for his investigations of serial killers of Ted Bundy and Gary Ridgway. Keppel spent this childhood in Spokane, Washington, and graduated high school in California Valley in 1962, where he was a sports star. He studied at the University of Washington in Pullman, Washington. Now he teaches at the University of New Haven.

Signature Killers describes murderers and how a signature that reveals some facts about them or patterns of their behavior. According to MO, there are plenty of murderers who are not just satisfied with murder, thus, continuing their way. They are forced to leave their personal stamp. The expression of the murderer takes the shape of its unique signature imprint that is left at the scene and reflects that a killer psychologically is forced to leave to satisfy them sexually. The kernel mark of killers will never change. Unlike MO offender characteristics, the core remains the same. They often take souvenirs or gifts with them from their victims. Murderers pay special attention to these items. They accept new gifts to support their fantasy life after killing. Killer experiences pleasure from such trophies (Keppel and Birnes).

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Serial killers are criminals who kill many people for a long time. Between the murders, there is often quite a long time, during which the killer has a perfectly normal life (criminologists Hervey Cleckley, Robert Hare called this condition “mask of holiness”). A sexual motive is often present in murders. The victims of these killers often have something in common - gender, age, profession, race, age.

The Term Serial Killer

The term “serial killer” appeared in the mid-1970s, and its author is an FBI agent Robert Ressler or criminologist (and then the police investigator) Robert D. Keppel. Ressler and Keppel investigated the cases of known homicidal maniacs and published a series of articles and books on the subject.

The personal experience of Keppel is known. The fact that the writer Thomas Harris, who wrote the novel The Silence of the Lambs, which later became the basis for the film with the same name, founded the conversation of his characters - FBI agent Clarice Starling and a maniac Hannibal Lecter - on the protocols of interviews Keppel and serial killer Ted Bundy.

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Keppel also describes in his book such a thing as necrophilia. They are leaving in the world of their fantasy. Clinical anger is the basis of murder. Keppel emphasizes that it is important to note that a crime scene may reflect aspects of both organized and disorganized characteristics.

Serial killers are usually white, heterosexual males 20 to 40 years old, insecure people, in many cases, have problems in their sexual life. Most studies show that the serial killer begins to take shape at the age of 8 to 12 years old. They feel like loners who are isolated from the rest of society. However, this does not mean that these people are shy and try to stay in the shade. Some of them had compelling oratory skills or sometimes that makes them becoming leaders of children’s groups. However, in most cases, serial killers are the hidden people leading a solitary life, so their mental problems are often overlooked by others.

Most serial killers have a difficult biography. They tend to develop in single-parent families (parents or one of them, they truly hate). Among their close relatives or ancestors, there are alcoholics, drug addicts, or mentally ill people. Often parents or brothers (sisters) beat or sexually humiliate them (a similar moment occurs in the histories of most maniacs), and sometimes similar roles are performed by their friends or strangers people. Many serial killers have attempted suicide, sometimes at a young age.

Encyclopedia of Murder notes that the modern American criminologists operate on the principle of the “triad” (formulated in 1963), according to which the vast majority of childhood killers in three different features. First, 60% of serial killers up to 12 years (that is, much longer than normal children) suffered from enuresis (bed-wetting). Second, about half of the children later became hunters of people who had cravings for unhealthy fire. Third, most serial killers adored torturing animals or playing with dead animals.

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Already in childhood, maniacs are interested in sadomasochistic pornography. Sometimes they are addicted to cannibalism and necrophilia. There are many cases where the maniacs kept body parts of their victims as trophies. Many of the killers are addicted to alcohol and drugs.

Most of the killers had a reasonable level of intelligence, but despite this, they do not learn in school and subsequently worked for low-skilled, low-paying jobs. Most serial killers were unemployed, suffered from loneliness, or a breakdown in the family. As a rule, they have easy access to firearms.

In the U.S., these components are used to investigate murders, which are committed by similar offenders. However, in published in the 2006 research University of California, Davis found that these algorithms often do not work. However, statistics also change. For example, serial killers are not necessarily men. Among them, there were many women and even teenagers. Indeed, most of the maniacs are white. However, the share of maniacs among the white population of the USA is relatively small (white constitute 75% of the U.S. population and 55% of maniacs). In comparison, African Americans constitute 12% of the population. Among them, there are 22% of serial killers.

In this research paper, the activity and their relationship to the victims of the following serial killers: Dorothea Puente, Charles Albright, Joseph Christopher have been analyzed.

Dorothea Puente: Female Serial Murderer

In the middle of the 1980s, sixty-year-old Dorothea Puente rented a room in his country house to wealthy, elderly customers. They began to disappear without a trace. Police found seven headless bodies in the garden behind Puente’s house, although the killer tried to destroy evidence of a crime. Dorothea Puente exposed the lack of knowledge of chemical reactions. Pathologists easily found that the victim died from significant doses of poison (Pulham). In this research, attention is focused on Puente’s victims.

Dorothea Puente fleeced their guests to the skin, using their disability benefits, social insurance, and cashing their checks. In total, she “earned” on their dead lodgers about $ 5,000 a month. She loved money. It was her main reason for the murders.

She had a hard life. His father died of tuberculosis when she was 8 years old, and a year later, her mother was killed in a car accident. She had to live in an orphanage until relatives have not taken her. From an early age, Dorothea was an excellent liar. She gave birth to two daughters. She was not going to raise them. One of her daughters was sent to relatives and the other one was given for subsequent adoption. USA Today reported that when the prosecutor showed photos from the land of decomposed corpses, Puente was looking at the image through thick glasses, with a poker face (“Dorothea Puente”).

December 10, 1993, Dorothea Puente had been sentenced to two life terms in prison without the possibility of conditional release and died in prison of natural causes at the age of 82 years.

Charles Frederick Albright: a Serial Killer from Dallas

The next person in this research is Charles Frederick Albright. He was a serial killer from Dallas. He killed three women in 1991. He had a non-native child Delle and Fred Albright. They adopted him from the orphanage. The criminal career of the boy began early. At age 13, he had already committed petty theft. Police arrested Charles for assault with physical violence. From an early age, he felt an interest in hunting and began to make out of hunted animals stuffed animals, and maybe that was the cause of his mania. Charles suffered from pedophilia. He killed prostitutes.

The police arrested Charles in 1991. He killed three women. The prosecution had a very hard time proving the guilt of Albright, who may have an escape from punishment, if not the only evidence of his guilt, provided forensics – Albright’s hair found at the murder scene. Charles Albright was convicted of three murders and sentenced to three life sentences without parole (Newton).

Joseph Christopher: 22-Caliber Killer

Another person who could never be understood is Joseph Christopher (“22-Caliber Killer”). It is believed that he had killed 12 people and wounded many others. Almost all of his victims were African American, and one of his victims was a male Hispanic. He had deep pathological racism. It was the main motive for his attack. The first victim was 14-year-old Glenn Dunn. The next day, he killed 32-year-old Harold Greene. The same evening he shot 30-year-old Emmanuel Thomas, and in the same month, he killed Joseph McCoy. Manic syndrome hatred, which he pursued completely, controlled his mind (Newton).

In October 1981, Christopher had waived his right to a jury trial. Two months later, he was insane. In April 1982, he was convicted and sentenced to 60 years in prison.


Probably, politics should think about social policy in the country. Of course, such people can not be eradicated, but they can be traced. It is necessary to introduce measures to improve the social security of the people. After the analysis, it is clear that maniac syndromes occur in early childhood. To further the growth of a healthy nation, each person should think about where they are developing and with whom.

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