“I want to be a good person, but I’m just not…” - Ted Bundy

Most serial killers have no control over their homicidal impulses. Ted Bundy, for example, could recognise that what he was doing was completely wrong, but his strong desires fueled by his psychopathic nature overcame any shadows of conscience and he ultimately lost control of his perverted desires. In a later interview, Bundy stated that he “just wanted to kill!”

Thanks to modern forensic science, the true identity of Jack the Ripper, the serial killer responsible for at least five grisly murders in Whitechapel in East London during the autumn of 1888 has finally been revealed.

DNA evidence has now shown beyond reasonable doubt that Polish immigrant Aaron Kosminski was Jack the Ripper.

A shawl found by the body of Catherine Eddowes, one of the Ripper’s victims, has been analysed and found to contain DNA from her blood as well as DNA from the killer.

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Trying to discover Jack the Ripper‘s identity remains one of criminology’s enduring puzzles. Several potential suspects exist, and have existed since the murders were committed. But the relatively primitive police work of the day and the loss of physical evidence over time means the mystery may never be solved.

Whether the killer was a member of the royal family, as one popular theory has it, or a surgeon with a grudge, at least two things are certain: Jack was skilled with a knife and certainly a sexual psychopath. All the Ripper’s victims had their throats cut and all were sexually mutilated: the unfortunate Ms. Kelly worst of all. When discovered by her landlord’s rent collector, she was barely recognizable as a human being.

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phestudiesAutumn Study Challenge

Day 2: Why are you studying this topic?

I actually had a choice in choosing my assignment topic, which was a much harder decision to make than I thought it would be.

For this essay, I had to choose two studies that attempt to answer the same research question using one or more of the main theoretical frameworks that orient environmental criminology (namely the opportunity theories: routine activities theory, rational choice theory, and crime a pattern theory) and compare and contrast them.

One of the readings for last week was an article written by three authors, two of which come from my university. They used an agent-based model to test whether the simulation produced results that are consistent with routine activities theory, rational choice theory and crime pattern theory. They created and ran a simulation of burglary to test the core concepts of the aforementioned theories and found that the criminal agents in the model acted exactly as these theories say they should.

I find that incredibly interesting because it’s a relatively new piece of technology and software and has huge implications in terms of theory evolution, research practice, policy making and prevention and intervention.

I’m incredibly anxious about writing this essay because it’s my first one for my post grad degree and I’m really scared I’m going to mess it up. At least it’s an interesting topic :)

Also, using theorganisedstudent‘s Essay Planning printable.

Ted Bundy had no real understanding of social behaviour, however he was highly observant of social expectations and norms and was skilled in ‘faking it’- indicating a propensity toward psychopathy. He would go to great lengths to feign empathy: volunteering at a suicide hotline helped him to establish a respected name for himself in the community and Bundy also displayed an interest in politics, tricking those close to him into thinking he was a bright, successful young man, and the last person you would think would be capable of serial rape, murder, and necrophilia.


Filicide is the murder of children by parents. Several distinctions are made depending on the age of the victim. Neonaticide is the murdering of a newborn within the first 24 hours of life. Infanticide is the murdering of a child between the period after the first 24 hours of life and up to 5 years of age. Filicide is the term used for the murder of one’s own child over the age of 5 years . Early filicide is defined as the killing of one’s child between the ages of 5 and 18 years; and late filicide is the killing of one’s adult child over the age of 18 years. 

“A conscienceless, Satanic criminal with poor hygiene, rotten teeth and no prospects.” 

The hefty criminal record of Richard Ramírez began in 1977, when he was sent to a juvenile detention unit for a series of petty crimes, including robberies and minor assaults. He received a probationary charge for marijuana possession a few years later, but after this, his record remained clean. However, when he moved to San Francisco and then Los Angeles, he developed a serious cocaine addiction. This is also when he started to break into houses and became an expert burglar. In 1984, his murder spree started as he killed his first victim, 79-year-old Jennie Vincow. He would carry on to become one of the world’s most notorious serial killers.