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NCJ Number: 136791 Find in a Library
Title: Female Serial Murderesses: Constructing Differentiating Typologies
Journal: Journal of Contemporary Criminal Justice  Volume:7  Issue:4  Dated:(December 1991)  Pages:245-256
Author(s): S T Holmes; E Hickey; R M Holmes
Date Published: 1991
Page Count: 12
Type: Historical Overview; Survey
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article discusses the history and typology of female serial killers.
Abstract: Despite the claim of Egger (1985) and Rule (Reynolds, 1990), there is clear evidence that some women are serial killers. These are defined as women who have killed more than three victims in a time span of at least 30 days. One type of serial killer, the "visionary" serial killer, kills in response to internal visions that compel killing. In contrast to the visionary type, the "comfort" serial killer is motivated to murder for material reasons rather than for psychological gain. Perhaps the least understood and the least represented of all female serial killers is the "hedonistic" type. The hedonistic killer makes a critical connection between fatal violence and personal, sexual gratification. Murder becomes pleasurable to the killer. Serial killers who are "power seekers" crave domination over the lives of others. Persons boost their self-esteem by exercising the power of life and death over others. Also, some women kill when they are under the influence of a charismatic leader. Although some research suggests many women kill for financial gain, other more intrinsic and complex explanations that address sociopathy and psychopathology should be explored. A 14-item bibliography
Main Term(s): Female offenders; Serial murders
Index Term(s): Offender profiles
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