Are There Similarities Between Serial Killers and Serial Rapists?

I believe that law enforcement, criminal profilers, and private investigators can learn more about the dynamics of serial killers and their crimes by studying cases of serial rapists.  It has been determined by the way that victims are chosen, plan of attacks, and the fantasy internalization of the specific crime, have some close similarities between serial killers and serial rapists.

Who are these individuals who commit serial rape? 

It has been determined that as many as 34% to 39% of rapists have some type of sexual dysfunction during the actual rape.  Many investigative reports have concluded that the cause of the dysfunction can lead to valuable information about the unidentified rapist.  Alcohol and drug use has also been commonly associated with rapists prior to the attacks. 

Rapists are generally repeat offenders and will continue to rape until law enforcement intervenes to stop the cycle of violence.  This type of criminal makes it difficult for investigations if the crime hasn’t been recognized as a serial rape.   Serial rapes are categorized by the facts that are more than two rapes by one offender on different dates.     

For the serial rapist, they have developed a method for approaching, selecting, and subduing their victims.  Generally, the rape crimes are premeditated and the method will be used again and improved upon to obtain the desired result.  It will depend upon the social skills of the rapist which method of approach will be used.  There are three different approaches that rapists commonly use: the con, the blitz, and the surprise. 

John Douglas, expert criminal profiler, has categorized that serial rapists are similar in some ways to other serial violent offenders, such as serial arsonists as well as serial killers.  They exhibit low self-esteem and internalize their fantasies about their crimes.  This fantasy, fueled by the compulsive need, can keep building over time until it’s time to act.  This type of individual puts emotional and physical distance between him and everyone else, which makes any type of relationships doomed from the start.  A serial rapist may be that of an individual who would be quick to blame others and would have interest in rough style pornography that would have to do with bondage and control.            

There have been indications that sexual abuse as a child may contribute to the need to control or humiliate women or a part of the women’s anatomy as the victim of earlier abuse becomes an adult.

The early development through teen years of personality confusion of an individual can be a psychological indicator of what experiences, family dysfunction, substance abuse, physical and emotional abuse will contribute to the mind of a serial rapist, just as possible for a serial killer, later on in their life.  It is important that signs of emotional distress and violence towards others, especially women, be interpreted and understood.  Perhaps early medical and psychological help would deter these fantasies of control over women.     

Are all serial rapists going to become serial killers?

This is not known to any certainty and there have been cases that have escalated to serial murder. Serial rape and the pattern of behavior reflected in this type of crime is worthy of more study to begin to fully understand the mind of a serial killer.

Jennifer Chase
Award Winning Author & Criminologist

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About jchasenovelist

Published thriller author, criminologist, and blogger.
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3 Responses to Are There Similarities Between Serial Killers and Serial Rapists?

  1. Pingback: California Man Accused of Raping Woman He Met through Christian Dating Site | Author Jennifer Chase

  2. Pingback: Social Media Plays Critical Role in Guilty Verdicts Handed Down in Ohio Rape Case | Author Jennifer Chase

  3. Pingback: Sexually Motivated Serial Killers – English Literature Essay | BluPapers

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