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The Types Of Murder

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: Criminology
Wordcount: 2167 words Published: 4th May 2017

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Murder is defined as 1. The action or an act of killing. a. The deliberate and unlawful killing of a human being, esp. in a premeditated manner; (Law) criminal homicide with malice aforethought (occas. more fully wilful murder); an instance of this.

What makes the murder is the wilful killing of a human being by another human being. There are many people killed each year and in different ways which has developed different type of murderer’s with similar punishments for each one. The different types are

A one off murder – A “one off” murder that happens to a person that doesn’t necessarily have the psychological profile of the average murderer but under difficult circumstances or situations becomes one. An example being Ronnie sulivans dad [2] 

Murder by defence – In defending himself or her, the murderer protects himself from his victim’s attacks. In response he attacks back and results in killing him by accident while trying to escape. Majority of cases such as these, the murder is found innocent as it matter of defending your own safety.

Mass murder – A mass murderer would be a murderer whereby he has killed five and more people at one spot at any certain period of time from anywhere between a few minutes to a few days.

Spree killers are the type of murderers where after killing a few victims they pass to another location where they keep killing more victims without any cooling-off period. Usually the killing constitutes a single event, although it can last for a short bit of time. Colombia case

Serial killer – Usually kill victims on separate occasions. Unlike mass murderers and spree types, serial killers tend to select a certain type of victim who fulfils a role in the killer’s fantasies. For this type of murder they usually have cooling-off periods between their murders, which instance gives them time to think of a more cunning murder. An example would be Harold Shipman

Recorded crime statistics for overall murders in the twenty century counted at:

2002 – 2003 = 1,047 including the 172 attributed to Harold Shipman

2003 – 2004 = 904

2004 – 2005 = 868

2005 – 2006 = 764 including the 54 victims of the July bombings in London

2006 – 2007 = 758

2007 – 2008 774

2008 – 2009 657 being the lowest for 20 years

2009 – 2010 = 615 [3] 

Focusing on the serial killer, i.e. Harold shipman. Harold was a convicted English serial killer. A doctor by profession, he is one of the most dangerous serial killers ever with a staggering 250+ murders and still counting to his name. He was arrested in September 1998 being charged with the murder of Mrs Kathleen Grundy aged 81.

Shipman was born in Nottingham. Shipman was said to be relatively close to his mum, to who passed away when he was a child. In the manner that she died, it soon later began to be Harold’s own method of operating. His mother had cancer and relating to the final stage of her death, she was given morphine by a home doctor. At that point Harold viewed his mother’s pain disappeared while she passed away in June 1963.

There are however four types of serial killers:

The visionary type has visions ordering him to commit certain acts, to kill certain victims. It can even be he or she hears voices in their head to kill certain people.

The mission-oriented type sees a certain crowd as people unworthy to live and seeks to murder them. Murdering them resulting in a better world. This type is un-recognisable and is described usually as a normal individual.

The hedonistic type simply enjoys killing victim and has a taste for the buzz.

The power-oriented type is the type whom enjoys power over the people he is going to kill. They seem to can’t help themselves when kidnapping and controlling their victims so they do as they say.

Harold shipman would most likely be the hedonistic. Harold seemed to get a thrill of watching his victim die; in his eyes it seem to give him control over life and death. Also mission-oriented type as people who knew him did not suspect a thing even police officers.

However a close friend of Harold shipman disagreed with this and stated that Shipman had anxiety issues, perhaps one that Shipman did not know about.

The Characteristics of a murderer of this this type usually is due to the Childhood.

Childhood violence being, it is highly unlikely a serial killer suddenly at 40 changes from a normal person and turns into a disruptive murderous behaviour. The behavior that is used when the murder is committing the act would have been with him or her for a very long time, since childhood.

In some instances it is not always the serial killer is brought up in an unstable home, it can be that the serial killer started life as a big happy family where everything was steady and satisfactory and instead later come across serious emotional abuse during their childhoods. Developing into a dysfunctional adult where not being able to sustain relationships with others.

Serious emotional abuse for Harold shipman seeing his mother dying. And by pills

From birth to teenage years, the mother is seen as the more vital adult in a child’s life and to where there is a period the child learns what love is. Where there have been situations that the mother was distant and neglectful to the child, the child has been deprived of his mother’s love.

Harold shipman losing his mum no love.

The emotional abuse targeted at the children was mental and physical. The child would be in an environment where his actions were ignored and limitations on behaviour were not set. Harold shipman having no limitations on childhood, gave him the chance to kill, kill

Another characteristic is the murderer’s Fantasies

Usually murderers believe in effect that they could control the world. In their childhood sustain all the repetitive abuse compensates for them carrying out their action to fulfil their fantasy. Their Fantasy being a happenstance which usually cannot happen in normal life. A normal individual learns to place limits on their behaviour whereas the person who has lacked limitations on his behaviour from his childhood thinks he is able to act out his fantasy and nobody is able to stop him.

Harold shipman’s childhood, would consisted of no one laying down limitations on his behaviour causing him to believe he can act his fantasy where he can kill people as he pleases. After many murderous acts, Harold then seems to believe he is somewhat invincible and never be caught.

Contrasting the serial killer to a One off murder “spur of the moment”, the characteristics are much different.

Senior Sullivan set upon Mr Bryan and his brother Kelvin, allegedly hurling racist abuse at the pair, who is black. Pulling out a six-inch hunting knife, O’Sullivan stabbed Bruce Bryan to death.

His son Ronnie O Sullivan, snooker star stated “He was in the wrong place at the wrong time and it certainly wasn’t a murder, it certainly wasn’t premeditated murder.”

Looking at this type of murder, characteristics such as Childhood would not be relevant to Senior O Sullivan. It seems Mr O Sullivan came from a normal, average childhood and simply lost control the night he murdered Bryan. Mindless murder such as these are harder to explain, it may be the result of O Sullivan binge drinking under the influence of Alcohol it made more prone to act fantasies out such as brutal stabbing. Even so, beforehand there were rarely any acts of violence where Senior O Sullivan lacked in behaviour control.

During the years, people have testing out different theories in order to predict criminality by looking at factors of an individual’s personality

Lombrosso, (1836 – 1909) a criminal scientist, regarded that some people are born with an innate predisposition to criminality and anti-social behaviour (Savitz 1972). This leading to the Biological theory, such as brain pathology and hormone and chromosome theories. Biochemical Explanations show that Intelligence and Crime are linked. Criminals were 70 per cent in theory of being feeble mind out of a 100. Goddard 1914.

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However applying this theory towards a serial killer such as Harold, it is quite the opposite. Harold had quite the knowledge being a doctor, so clearly he was cable of understanding the consequences of murdering someone. This shows biological theory is not really accurate in predicting the criminal.

For The theory of the functionalist the development of anomie theory involved the work of two scholars, Émile Durkheim and Robert K. Merton. According to Durkheim, crime has functional or positive consequences. It is impossible for all people to be alike and to hold the same moral consciousness. Some individuals differ from others and usually include criminal behaviour. It was later developed by Robert k Merton whom prior to his approach on explaining the effect of anomie presented five types of adaptations to this criminal behaviour, Conformity, Innovation, Ritualism, Retreatism and Rebellion. Using ritualism in relating to serial killer Harold Shipman, it seems to fit that he lose sight of the reasons for doing his crime, such as

Killing people day to day continue his approved method making a lifestyle out of the method. But even so this theory may be critique when considering this theory on the one off murders, it does not explain mindless murders such as senior o Sullivan and in what adaption he may have been in.

Ronnie senior

For the Society structure theory, it has been outlined that so some sociologists are able to show that specific approach to why a person commits a crime. For example binge drinking. Using drugs, aggression have been found when under the right amount can constitute problem behaviour. Scholars have found that problem behaviour is related to environmental and personality factors. For instance when considering Senior O Sullivan particular at the time, he was using specific approach such as binge drinking running up to the amount he was using problematic behaviour. The environment being a club where fights are likely to happen making it related.

Relating to the topic of the victims of a murder, when determining the relationship between suspect and victim it is said to be that the female victim was more likely to be killed by someone she knew. Whereas for the male victim, they were more likely to be killed by a stranger. The figure for female victim was at 54 per cent whom knew their suspect and of that 54 per cent, 61 per cent was their partner, ex-partner or lover. Whereas for a male victim, 38 per cent knew their main suspect and as a result only 12 per cent were killed from the partner, ex-partner or lover. As for being killed by a stranger, the 2005 – 2006 stated it was 44 per cent.

For victims under the age of sixteen, it is said that 44 per cent were killed by their own parents during the period of 2005-2006, which is shocking.

.it was said that during the last couple of years, the method of killing most commonly used was the sharp instrument to kill the victim. The percentage was 28, splitting it up to gender, the male were 31 per cent more likely to die from a sharp instrument and a female being 23 per cent.

For the second common method of killing a victim, it is different between the two genders. For a male victim the second common method was involved hitting or kicking where as for the female they were more likely to be strangled. Also to add, just alone the effect of the London bombings alone amounted to 7 per cent.

Comparing it to the Harold’s staggering murder rampage, from the previous thirty years the method of killing them with pills seem to have decreased to the present years.

The majority of what the murder or homicide was based on was quarrelling and loss of temper. So 33 per cent of victims died as a result of an argument or someone losing their temper in the period between 2005 and 2006.

On the topic murder it was stated that the age group under 1 the infancy was most likely to be reported as homicide, male being the most likely victim.

For suspects, on being convicted for murder it is said to be in the period of 2005-2006 it is half of how many suspects were convicted in 2003-2004. The figure being 199 suspects comparison to 606 suspects for the period of 2003-2004.


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