Surprisingly, Jeffrey Dahmer is ranked a 22 on Dr. Michael Stone’s Scale of Evil

-22. Psychopathic Torture-Murderers

"Defined by a primary motivation to inflict prolonged, diabolical torture. Most in this category are male serial killers."

Dahmer’s method for most of his victims the scene was the same. He would meet them at a gay bar or mall and entice them with free alcohol and money if they agreed to pose for photographs. Once alone, he would drug them, often torture them and then kill them usually by strangulation. He would then masturbate over the corpse or have sex with the corpse, cut the body up and get rid of the remains. He also kept parts of the bodies including the skulls, which he would clean much like he did with his childhood road kill collection and often refrigerated organs which he would on occasion eat.

The Five Stages of Decomposition Found a little summary of human decomposition primarily used for writing, but an interesting read for everyone else. 

Following death, the human body progresses through five basic stages of decomposition. The duration and degree of each stage is largely influenced by the environment (temperature, humidity, etc.), body mass, any wrappings or coverings of the body, and obviously scavenging or other post-mortem disturbances. Additionally, submerged or buried bodies will decompose much differently than bodies left on the ground. This is what I will be referring to below. Here are the general descriptions of the five stages of decomposition:


The fresh stage begins immediately after death when the circulatory system (heart beating/pumping blood) stops functioning. It is during this stage that the blood will settle with gravity creating a condition known as lividity. After several hours the muscles will also begin to stiffen in a process known as rigor mortis.  The body temperature will also begin to acclimate to the environment.  Cells will begin to break down and release enzymes during a process called autolysis which can cause blisters on the skin. The anaerobic organisms in the digestive tract will begin to multiply, producing acids and gases (the source of the bad odors). This process is often referred to as putrefaction.


As the name implies, the gases being produced during putrefaction begin to build and will give the body a distended appearance. Gases and fluid will eventually escape through the natural orifices as the pressure builds.  As the gastrointestinal bacteria multiply and can lead to conditions like marbling which is a discoloration pattern seen in the skin. You may also see green discoloration in the abdomen areas and eventually a darkening (blackish) coloring of the skin overall as the process advances. Interestingly enough; I remember one time I was giving a lecture on forensic entomology at a college campus and after the lecture a serious looking young black student approached me. She asked me why I only showed pictures of black victims in my presentation. I was a bit taken back and briefly confused as I ran through a mental recap of the cases I presented. I finally told her that all of the victims were in fact white (Caucasian) in life but due to this process their skin darkened. It was an eye-opening experience and I made sure to describe this process more effectively when lecturing the public.

Active Decay

During his phase the body begins to lose much of it’s fluids and mass (tissue) through purge and insect and/or vertebrate scavenging (coyote, fox, lion, etc). During this phase you may see very large maggot masses and notice a considerable increase in foul odors.

Advanced Decay

This phase is the end of the active decay process. Temperatures can either speed up (heat) or slow down (cold) how quickly a body reaches this phase. The body has very little body mass and soil staining of the surrounding soils is still evident. This soil staining (from body fluids) may actually kill some of the surrounding vegetation temporarily. Maggots will migrate away from the body to pupate and flies will cease laying eggs.


This phase is the last measurable stage of decomposition. The timing of this stage varies widely by environment. For example, a body in Florida in July (hot/humid) may reach this stage in a week while in the Winter in the Rocky Mountains (cold/arid) it might take months. If there is any skin left it will be leather-like and very tough. Mostly the body is reduced to bones and connective tissue. There is no biomass available for diverse insect colonization. Some beetles and adventitious insects may colonize a body for shelter or feeding on other insects and connective tissue. Over time the bones may “bleach” (turn white) with exposure to sunlight and eventually will begin to exhibit cracks after several years. These weathering cracks are distinctive and would not be confused with a fresh break (injury) unless by an inexperienced analyst.

Criminologist Adrian Raine was the first person to conduct a brain imaging study on murderers, violent criminals and psychopaths. His research convinced him that while there is a social and environmental connection to violent behavior, there is also a biological component. Raine says this re-visioning of violent criminals could potentially help direct how we approach crime prevention and rehabilitation.

He tells us about working with psychopaths:

"The most striking thing I found working one-to-one with psychopaths is … how I really liked being with them, which is shocking and at the time surprising to me but, gosh, I loved dealing with the psychopaths because they were great storytellers. They were always fun. They were always interesting, and I was fascinated most of all with how they could con and manipulate me."

photo via aei

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.

Source: (X)

CSI Doll’s House: How 1940s criminologist replicated real-life crime scenes in miniature to show detectives how when it comes to murder even the smallest detail matters

For detectives working a crime scene, even the smallest detail counts, which is how Chicago criminologist came up with a revolutionary idea for how to train investigators. 

In the 1940s and 1950s Frances Glessner Lee replicated crime scenes in miniature to train detectives who would have 90 minutes to analyze the scenes. 

The 18 sets have been photographed by Corinne May Botz, whose claustrophobic images hint at the tragedy behind the crime scenes depicted.

(Source: Daily Mail)


Visualizing Punishment by Sarah Shannon and Chris Uggen

Four decades ago, the United States launched a grand policy experiment. The nation began locking up an unprecedented share of its citizens, increasing its rate of incarceration by more than 400% over the period.

I had a chance to see Sarah Shannon’s job talk at my university this past year. She did a great job, and this article gets to some of the points that she was forced to omit because of time restraints. 

Check out the article for more graphic representations of incarceration rates.

I do consider “rape culture” to be a useful and accurate way of describing the way in which sexual violence has been normalized and sexualized in our culture. There is simply no denying that, when we see male students “joking” about raping female students, as we did recently at the University of Ottawa, when fraternities are untouchable on campus despite the fact that the “Greek scene” is a cesspool of toxic masculinity and sexual violence, when students at Canadian universities participate in “rape chants” during frosh week while fellow students are actually being raped on campus, when violent pornography that depicts sexual violence is defended as “just a fantasy,” or when we learn that acting out rape scenes is a way for us to recover from our own trauma, when women are afraid to walk alone at night, when women are afraid to be home alone at night in their own homes – this is a rape culture. We’re living it, every day.
America Has More Prisoners Than High School Teachers

If sitting in a prison cell was a job, it would be one of the most common jobs in the United States. In 2012, there were some1,570,000 inmates in state and federal prisons in the U.S., according to data from the Justice Department.

By contrast, there were about 1,530,000 engineers in America last year, 815,000 construction workers, and 1 million high school teachers, according to theBureau of Labor Statistics.

This does not even include the amount of inmates incarcerated in jails, and is missing 3 states because they didn’t get their numbers in on time.

Something that is missing from this chart: This is the 3rd consecutive year that the prison population is decreasing. We are starting to see inmate populations level-off and decrease for the first time in decades.

Which states are in the extremes?

In 2012, states with the highest imprisonment rates included Louisiana (893 per 100,000 state residents), Mississippi (717 per 100,000 state residents), Alabama (650 per 100,000 state residents), Oklahoma (648 per 100,000 state residents), and Texas (601 per 100,000 state residents).

Maine had the lowest imprisonment rate among states (145 per 100,000 state residents), followed by Minnesota (184 per 100,000 state residents), and Rhode Island (190 per 100,000 state residents).

Who are the offenders? First and foremost, men. After that it gets complicated.

In 2011 (the most recent data available), the majority (53 percent) of sentenced state prisoners were serving time for a violent offense, including robbery (14 percent), murder or nonnegligent manslaughter (12 percent), rape or sexual assault (12 percent) and aggravated or simple assault (10 percent). About 18 percent were serving time for property offenses, 17 percent for drug crimes and 11 percent for public order offenses, such as weapon violations, drunk driving, commercialized vice and court offenses.

White prisoners comprised 35 percent of the 2011 state prison population, while black prisoners were 38 percent and Hispanics were 21 percent. The percentage of Hispanic inmates sentenced for violent offenses (58 percent) during 2011 exceeded that of non-Hispanic black (56 percent) and non-Hispanic white (49 percent) inmates, while the number of black inmates imprisoned for violent crimes (284,631) surpassed that of white (228,782) or Hispanic (162,489) inmates.

Probably not intentional, but there is a lot of new strong empirical research coming out that indicates a school-to-prison pipeline.

Ted Bundy is ranked a 17 on Dr. Michael Stone’s "Scale of Evil" -

17: The Sexually Perverse

"Serial killers with some element of sexual perversion in their crimes. In males, rape is usually the primary motive and killing follows to hide the evidence. Torture is not a primary motive."

Bundy’s method of obtaining victims varied; sometimes he would burglarize their homes and bludgeon them in their sleep, sometimes he would use an elaborate ruse, and sometimes he merely relied on his looks alone. The latter method was successful for Bundy because of the fact that women considered him to be good-looking and charming. In fact, this characteristic even allowed him to successfully abduct women in broad daylight, even if they were aware that a serial killer was present in the area.