Case study 1
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Edith Cowan University
and to identify life experiences that may have contributed to his offending. serial killer, develop a case description of Ted Bundy, an infamousIn spite of the continued elevated interest in the phenomenon of serial killings, not much is understood about serial killers. This report manages to find theoretical explanations on the causes of the phenomenon. It seeks to
It is established that Bundy is an unremorseful psychopath, which is a mental disorder listed under the ASPD and cluster B personality in the DSM-5. Bundy used charm, manipulation, as well as impulsive and unemotional violence to perform his killings and avoid conviction. It is believed that his killing sprees started after his college girlfriend dumped him and when he found out that, his “sister” was actually his real mother. He also developed sadistic violent sexual acts from watching hardcore pornography at a young age.
As established, the Social Learning Theory shows that Bundy learned his manipulation skills from mimicking others. He also learned his modus operandi for killing his victims from a psychology course. The instinct and impulse theory helps reveal that Bundy’s innate or instinctual qualities for undetected mischief influenced him to perform violent acts. The attachment theory also helps discover that early life experiences, particularly the false bond between Bundy and his mother, are linked to his offending. He grew up knowing his mother was his sister and that his grandparents were his parents. The Control Theory also helps discover that Bundy’s acts of violence were beyond his emotional control and he easily gave in to impulsive homicidal feelings and compulsive sexually sadistic behaviours.
Table of Contents
1.0 Introduction 1
2.0 Definitions of the Offence 1
2.1 The Offence under the Western Australian Law 1
3.0 History of the Offender 3
3.1 Brief Background of Ted Bundy 3
3.2 Linking Ted as a Serial Killer to ASPD and Psychopathy 4
4.0 Theoretical Explanations of Behaviour 5
54.1 Social Learning Theory
4.2 Instinct and impulse theory 6
4.3 Attachment theory 7
4.3 Control Theory 8
5.0 Conclusion 9
6.0 References 10
efinitions of the offence under the Western Australian Law, provides a behavioural definition of the offence as listed in the DSM-5. It further describes Bundy’s history and theoretical explanations of his offending behaviour. develop a case description of Ted Bundy, and to identify life experiences that may have contributed to his offending. The report provides a d(Ramsland, 2013). This report seeks to The phenomenon of serial murder continues to receive significant attention from the academic, media, and the public. In spite of the continued elevated interest in the phenomenon, very little is understood about serial killers. Additionally, scholars have only managed to suggest few theoretical explanations on the causes of the phenomenon (Lee & Choi, 2014). Among the most infamous serial killers in the history of sexual psychopath is Ted Bundy. He is believed to have killed more than 30 women in a span of 5 years (1973-1978), yet lived a normal life
2.0 Definitions of the Offence
2.1 The Offence under the Western Australian Law
Ted Bundy was guilty of a series of homicides. In a span of five years (1973-1978), he is believed to have killed more than 30 women. In Western Australia, homicide offences are considered the most severe offences under the Western Australian Law. The offences of homicide are subdivided into murder, wilful murder, and manslaughter. In Western Australia, wilful murder and murder attract death penalty. Section 277 Criminal Code of Western Australia (1913) stipulates that an unlawful killing, such as homicide, is a crime and dependent on the facts at hand, may be murder, wilful murder, infanticide, or manslaughter. Section 268 of the Code further states that killing is unlawful, except for when it is justified, authorised, or when the law excuses it.
Understanding of the behavioural definition as listed in the DSM-5
According to Pemment (2013), a widely documented mental disorder linked to serial killing is ASPD, which is a cluster B personality in the DSM-5. Lowe and Widiger (2009) relied on the DSM-5 to conclude that serial killing or murder is intrinsically linked to psychopathy. (Ramsland, 2013). According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders fifth edition (DSM-5), psychopathy and sociopathy are listed under the heading of Antisocial Personality Disorders (ASPD). Ted Bundy murdered more than 30 women, lived in the American society as a “normal” person, and made it difficult for anyone to suspect his offences. A prolific serial killer like Ted Bundy was unremorseful psychopathTed Bundy was a serial killer. While the term “serial killer” is in itself not considered a diagnosis, Morana et al. (2006) describe the term serial murder as “an unauthorized killing of two or several victims by the same offender in different durations, circumstances or incidents.” Psychological diagnoses also account for such kind of behaviour, although differently.
).Hare et al., 1991The two disorders have some similar behavioural traits, such as a tendency to disregard the laws and social norms, disrespect or violate other people’s rights, inability to feel guilt or remorse and a propensity to exhibit violent behaviour (Bonn, 2014; According to Pemment (2013), while many people diagnosed with ASPD are not considered psychopathic and are actually sociopathic, many of them, particularly those like Ted Bundy who demonstrated traits like limited empathy, callousness, and pretentiousness, do exhibit psychopathic behaviours.
3.0 History of the Offender
3.1 Brief Background of Ted Bundy
Ted Bundy was born on November 24, 1946 to Louise Cowell. During the initial four years, his mother’s parents raised him in Philadelphia before his mother took him to Tacoma, Washington, where she got married to Johnnie Bundy. Overall, Bundy was born in a poverty-stricken family, never actually known his real father, performed exceptionally at school, yet had inconceivable temper (Ramsland, 2013).
violent pornography at a young age, and is believed to have wanted to perform what he had watched. He was arrested in 1978. He then underwent several psychiatric examinations. At the outset, he was diagnosed to be having bipolar disorder, as well as a likelihood of multiple personality disorder. However, it was later concluded that he actually had ASPD, or psychopathic. Bundy later confessed to having killed more than 30 women. On January 24, 1989, he was executed by electric chair (Ramsland, 2013). killing sprees started after his college girlfriend dumped him, hence sending him into depression. It is also believed that he had found out that the person he had believed to be his sister was actually his real mother. He also started watchingThe stresses resulting from poverty in the urban areas of Philadelphia and Tacoma where Ted Bundy lived is believed to have diminished his family’s capacity for consistent and supportive parenting. Ted also developed an obsession for pornography and masturbation in his childhood (Ramsland, 2013). In his youth, Bundy joined UPS Law School. During this time, he started skipping classes even as young women numerously disappeared. He lured his female victims, bludgeoned, and handcuffed them, before strangling and spending nights with their bodies. It is deeply conceived that his
3.2 Linking Ted as a Serial Killer to ASPD and Psychopathy
Overall, Ted Bundy exhibited a number of other characteristics that theoretically showed he had ASPD. Ted Bundy was unremorseful, irresponsible, lacked empathy for others, had disregard to social obligations, norms, or responsibilities, was manipulative, was irresponsible, and had a sense of entitlement. Bundy could be described as being psychopathic, as he was an unremorseful predator that used charm, manipulation, as well as impulsive and unemotional violence to perform his killings.
They argued that the serial killers tend to exhibit schizoid and sadistic personality, as described by DSM-5. characterized by indifference to other people’s feelings, contempt for obligations and societal norms, intolerance to disappointment, and a propensity to perpetrate violent acts. According to Bartol and Bartol (2014) and Morana et al. (2006), ASPD is
By nature, Bundy was callous and lacked empathy for others. He also manipulated others to believe he was blameless. One of the witnesses called Kendall was conned by Bundy into permitting him to use her for financial support. He was also a pathological liar. For instance, Stephen Michaud who was writing a book with the help of Bundy to prove he (Bundy) was innocent found that he was elusive and an absolute liar.
4.0 Theoretical Explanations of Behaviour
4.1 Social Learning Theory
Ted Bundy also learned to act from mimicking others. For instance, Bundy learned how to speak and act by listening to the radio in addition to practicing talking like the actors. The skills he developed assisted him to triumph over his shyness and to become a barely discernible predator. They also helped him to act and manipulate psychologists, and to act and exhibit a chameleonic style, or unique kind of mental flexibility possessed by some predatory psychopaths (Ramsland, 2013). The Social Learning Theory, which is proposed by the Differential Reinforcement Theory, is in Sutherland’s theory of differential association, which focuses on learning in a social environment. The theory argues that criminal behaviours are reinforced by social or non–social factors that an individual learns.
(Ramsland, 2013). The Social Learning Theory hypothesises that people become initially indoctrinated into deviant behaviours through differential association with deviant social factors. In the case of Ted Bundy, his psychopathic behaviours were reinforced by watching hardcore pornographic acts, some of which were violent, which are typically viewed as deviant social factors in the society. Based on differential reinforcement, individual learning was on how to obtain rewards and evade punishment in accordance with the likely effects of certain behaviours. The idea of the theory is that if criminal behaviour is learnt, then someone or something has to teach it or reinforce it
LaBrode (2007) defines modus operandi (MO) as the actions of the offender while perpetrating a crime. In LaBrode’s (2007) view, MO is a learned behaviour that develops and the offender uses over time due to its presumed efficiency, although it may be modified based on the offenders’ experiences with preceding victims. Bundy learnt much of his modus operandi from a psychology course. Bundy admitted to drinking abundantly to make the killing easy. His modus operandi was to select initially a proper disposal site that provided privacy. He would then search for a victim that corresponded to his sexual preferences. The victims were typically college girls who came from good backgrounds. He then drove for hours searching for his preferred victim. On spotting a target, he would fake an injury and ask for their assistance, something he had learned from his psychology course. He would then use a crowbar to strike the victim to render them unconscious (Ramsland, 2013).
modus operandi.The theory also explains Bundy’s
4.2 Instinct and impulse theory
. (Lee & Choi, 2014)The instinct and impulse theory attempts to determine whether human beings have an innate or instinctual quality that influences them to perform violent acts
Bundy’s childhood can be described as having been “disturbed” to have some deviant innate or instinctual qualities. For instance, in his review of serial killers with psychopathic tendencies, when the childhood of serial killers is studied, LaBrode (2007) explained it becomes clear that they were “a little off or odd.’’ For instance, they could torture animals or even set fires. He added that certain historical factors were also prevalent in serial killers, including antisocial behaviours, trauma, abuse, abandonment by parents, and insecure emotional attachment. Bundy was also odd during his childhood. His Aunt Julia had one time confessed to psychiatrist Dorothy Lewis that she had woken one morning to find that a three-year-old Bundy had hidden knives under her covers (Ramsland, 2013). This provided evidence that Bundy had been deeply disturbed during his childhood.
Morana et al. (2006) also contend that the sadistic personality is highly prone to being the outcome of extreme aggression during childhood, including sexual, physical, or verbal abuse. Although there are some serial killers like Ted Bundy who with distinctly sadistic tendencies yet had no history of sexual, physical or verbal abuse during childhood. The causes of their sadism may not be apparent, even though it might have been caused by a mixture of extreme narcissism or self-absorption as well as cerebral configuration where certain regions relating to empathy are considerably deficient, leading the killers to be completely indifferent to other people’s suffering to have “an adjunctive impulsivity” complexity (Morana et al., 2006; Esbec & Echeburúa, 2010).
4.3 Attachment theory
. While Bundy did not undergo verbal or sexual abuse during childhood, he grew up knowing his mother was his sister and that his grandparents were his parents. Therefore, he most probably developed insecure attachments to his grandparents on realising the truth. He also experienced emotional abandonment or loss and instability during his childhood after he realised that his sister was actually his mother. The bond was broken. Some psychologists have, however, claimed that while Bundy generally had a stable childhood and was raised by church-going grandparents and parents who were caring, his grandfather had been violent, as Bundy has only recollected good memories of his childhood to manipulate the psychologists while being interviewed.(Lee & Choi, 2014)The attachment theory, which hypothesises that early life experiences, particularly a bond between mother and child, are linked to serial killings. When the bond is broken, a child is directed to a life of violence and delinquency
LaBrode (2007) explains that among the commonest and most upsetting factors exhibited by the history of serial killers are their odd relationships with their mothers, which usually includes sadistic and sexual elements. Clearly, Ted Bundy had an odd relationship with his mother, as he had been used to treating her like his sister. Ultimately, Bundy discovered the embarrassing truth that he was actually a bastard. As he felt extremely insecure afterwards, he made vigorous efforts to raise his status. As a result, he graduated with honours and even had a classy young woman for a girlfriend, and even got to conduct himself meticulously during a political campaign, which he was considered suitable for a political office. However, after his girlfriend dumped him. He was later convicted of kidnappings, and suspected of murders.
4.3 Control Theory
. In a different study, Dr Kent Kiehl sought to determine whether the brain was an important factor in Ted Bundy’s psychopathic behaviour and concluded that brain was indeed the factor. Kiehl considers psychopathy to arise from a brain deficit, which makes it difficult for psychopaths to recognize and control their actions, as they have an “an adjunctive impulsivity” complexity, which leads them to perform criminal behaviours (Ramsland, 2011).(Lee & Choi, 2014)The Control Theory, which hypothesises that a lack of control contributes to deviant behaviours, can be used to illustrate the concept victimology. The theory believes all human beings can become deviant, and derive pleasure from impulsive feelings, as well as what the act induces, hence serial killers would lack self-control and instead give in to the impulsive homicidal feelings they experience
Bundy had compulsive sexually sadistic behaviours. Morana et al. (2006) explains that majority of serial killers exhibit sexually sadistic behaviours. While seeing pleasure in how others suffer is a universal and vital component in sexual sadism, the longing to dominate other person and to subjugate them completely to the perpetrators wishes are critical features of many sexual sadists. This is clearly showed in Bundy’s case, where his central impulse was having total control over his women victims, and making them helpless object of his desire, and to make them suffer. Bundy believed that once his victims were dead, they belonged to him, and would be a part of him.
As established, Bundy was a psychopath. In a span of five years (1973-1978), he killed more than 30 women. He was an unremorseful predator; he used charm, manipulation, as well as impulsive and unemotional violence to perform his killings and avoid conviction. It is believed that his killing sprees started after his college girlfriend dumped him. This sent him into depression. It is also believed that he had found out that the person he had believed to be his sister was actually his real mother. He also developed sadistic violent sexual acts from watching hardcore pornography at a young age.
. The Social Learning Theory also helps discover that Bundy learned his modus operandi for killing his victims from a psychology course. The instinct and impulse theory helps reveal that Bundy’s innate or instinctual qualities for undetected mischief influenced him to perform violent acts. For instance, he put knives under his aunt’s covers. The attachment theory also helps discover that early life experiences, particularly the false bond between Bundy and his mother, are linked to his offending. He grew up knowing his mother was his sister and that his grandparents were his parents. As a result, he most probably developed insecure attachments to his mother. The Control Theory also helps discover that Bundy’s acts of violence were beyond his emotional control. His central impulse was having total control over his women victims, and making them helpless objects of his desire.
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