The Role of Psychopathy and Sexuality in a Female Serial Killer
The Role of Psychopathy and Sexuality in a Female Serial Killer INTRODUCTION When you think of serial killers and gender most people will assume that the offender is male. Although not as common, female serial killers do exist. The FBI recently reported that of the 70-140 estimated serial killings a year only 5%-10% are committed by women which roughly comes to 4-12 people (Myers, 2005). Unlike men who kill for a type of sexual gratification, women tend to kill for money and some type of power such as “Angel of Mercy” killers (Myers, 2005).
Female serial killers can be divided into seven areas based on Kelleher and Kelleher, the authors of “Murder Most Rare” and well known experts on the subject (Myers, 2005). Those are Black Widow, Angel of Death, Revenge Killer; Murder for Profit, Killer whose has a questionable frame of mind, Team Killers, and Sexual Predator. (Myers, 2005). Unfortunately, there is no credible information that can determine with certainty the frequency of these types of serial killings, and of the few known cases of a sexual nature, there was usually a male team member (Myers, 2005).
The purpose of this research project focused on “the role psychopathy and sexuality play in a female serial killer” who acted alone without a male counterpart (Myers, 2005). THE METHOD This research was based on a case study based on Aileen Wuoronos, the only American serial sexual murder as well as the only known serial killer (Myers, 2005). Methods used to collect information for the study were, an exhaustive review of the Department of Corrections files as well as clinical interviews (Myers, 2005).
The study focused on three areas of questioning, was she a psychociopath, other possible personality disorders and finally what if any, did sexuality or sexual sadism play in her crimes (Myers, 2005). Wuoronos, arrested in 1991 for serial murder, admitted killing seven men in an approximately one year (Myers, 2005). Wuoronos, a prostitute killed her victims to rob them after having sexual intercourse with them. She told a filmmaker during an interview in 2002 that she “killed those men in 1st degree murder and robbery….
Not so much for the thrill of the kill, she was in the robbery biz, and she killed to eliminate witnesses…. ” (Myers, 2005). RESULTS During the study, it was discovered that Wuoronos had a less than desirable upbringing born to teen parents who divorced upon her birth (Myers, 2005). Another discovery in her history is that her father was an alcoholic as well as a child molester but had never been a part of her life. Her mother was also an alcoholic and abandoned her before she was a year old (Myers, 2005).
Her grandparents who were also alcoholics raised her, and her grandfather would be physically and emotionally abusive repeatedly calling her a “whore” (Myers, 2005). She had never had a stable relationship and was always in and out of trouble with the law” (Myers, 2005). The study concluded that Wuoronos suffered from BPD or borderline personality disorder, as well as antisocial personality disorder, which allows her the ability to have complete lack of remorse or ability to feel normal emotions (Myers, 2005). This allowed her to commit her crimes with aggressiveness and cruelty (Myers, 2005).
Even with the sexual nature of these crimes, the evidence collected from the study does not point to a sexual predator, but rather killings that fit the definition of sexual homicide (Myers, 2005). DISCUSSION I found this study fascinating, although I am not sure if I agree that her crimes were not of a sexual predator. I find her stories that conflicted in the beginning over her first victim cause for suspicion as to her true drive to kill these men and used robbery as an excuse. I also find it a bit odd that we have had only two recognized cases of female serial killers over the last century.
Although this probably has to do with the lack of creditable data out there on the subject, personally think there are many more out there than we know. Unfortunately, according to the article women tend to have longer killing careers and take better care in planning their crimes (Myers, 2005). In addition, I think our society is gender biased when it comes to the subject of serial killers; authorities are quick to name a male as a serial killer but seem to be less likely to connect the dots when it comes to females.
Especially when we see true life movies made about women who by the information in this study should be labled as “Black Widows,” but are not. It is my personal opinion after reading this study that female serial killers are out there, and they are cloaked by their gender and getting away with murder. REFERENCES Myers, W. C. , Gooch, E. , & Meloy, J. (2005). The Role of Psychopathy and Sexuality in a Female Serial Killer. Journal of Forensic Science, 50(3), 1-6. Retrieved July 13, 2011