Crime Scenes

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Go to this website:

The site is not very organized, but if you scroll down you will see that there are crime scene photos of various famous crimes. Browse around as much as you want. Be aware these are graphic. If you are blood phobic, skip this part and don't click on the links, just read the crime titles.

Choose a crime from the website (e.g., OJ Simpson). Now find out as much as you can about that crime. It is acceptable for this assignment to use Wikipedia and Google to get information. What was your chosen crime scene like? What elements of crime scene investigation were required for this case you chose? What psychological factors are relevant to the crime scene and the investigation of it? What aspects of your readings are relevant to crime scenes in general, and your crime scene in particular?

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After looking over the website I decided to do some research on the Hillside Stranglers. These are the two websites in which I found the most information:

The crime occurred in Los Angeles, and at first many did not even worry about the murders for they were prostitutes and their deaths came as no loss or surprise. The crime scenes however, were rather disturbing. Many women left naked, sexually assaulted, and strangled to death. In order for the crime scene to be properly investigated, the investigations must ask about the acts and the intent. The actually act that has occurred (the sexual trauma, strangulation, women left naked) can help understand intent, which would look at their psychological state.

There were many psychological factors that became relevant to the investigation. After researching, I learned that these two guys, Kenneth Bianchi and Angelo Buono, had rough pasts. They were both cousins, but Bianchi was adopted and his biological mother was a prostitute. Buono was said to have problems with being bullied and had trouble getting along with teachers. Bianchi had many issues with aggression and was able to take Buono under his wing and make him a loyal companion. Their pasts most likely had much influencing on the crimes. Prostitutes were targeted at first.

One thing that stuck out from the reading in this case was the perpetrators state of mind. Bianchi was caught after raping two university students and claimed to have multiple personalities. After being seen by a psychologist and put under hypnosis, Bianchi confessed to the other murders and implicated Buono. Was the investigation legit? Can this be taken as a confession? Also, seeing as the acts were quiet brutal, how was there not more evidence found? Was it the type of group that was targeted at first?

I decided to research Ronald DeFeo Jr. The famous Amityville Horror Murder. DeFeo Murdered his entire family. Around 6:30 pm on November 13th 1974, DeFeo burst into a bar screaming that his parents had been shot. Defeo killed his father/mother and 4 siblings using a .35 caliber lever.,_Jr.

The crime scene: The parents were attacked while laying in bed. Mr. DeFeo fought back then he was shot a second time. Wife Louise was also shot twice to silence her screams. Children Marc and John were killed by their own sister Dawn who helped brother DeFeo Jr. with the murders. Dawn then murdered sister Allison by shooting her in the face. Butch or DeFeo Jr. fought Dawn to the ground and shot her in the head. DeFeo tried convincing others that Dawn did the entire thing.

Evidence supports that Butch did not do this on his own. During Dawn's autopsy investigator found powder burns on her nightgown leading them to believe she too was involved.

DeFeo Jr. was quoted as saying upon testimony : "As far as I'm concerned, if I didn't kill my family, they were going to kill me. And as far as I'm concerned, what I did was self-defense and there was nothing wrong with it. When I got a gun in my hand, there's no doubt in my mind who I am. I am God." He clearly sounded insane, but he was not found insane.
Butch's defense lawyer tried getting the insanity plea. This plea was supported by the psychiatrist of defense. The psychiatrist for prosecution maintained that Butch used LSD and Herion and had antisocial personality disorder and was fully aware of what he did.,_Jr.

Many other people came to surface in regards to being involved with the murders. The reason DeFeo committed the crimes was to reap the life insurance benefits of his father. Based on our reading, you wonder what pushes people to kill. Could it have been just for the money? There are many underlying factors. Had he been born a murderer? Butch could not believe his sister Dawn killed the children as well..that was not according to plan. Dawn insisted that was to eliminate witnesses. Butch killed Dawn supposedly because she killed their siblings. It's strange to think Butch "cared" for his siblings yet he was willing to kill and did kill his own parents. It is possible to feel compassion even after murder? Although forensics were not all that great back then, they still were quite good. Autopsies reported that no sedatives were used on the children. This is hard to believe considering they were all able to stay sleeping while each member of the family was shot nearby. Then again according to chapter 4, you cannot trust DNA because it can be biased.,_Jr.

The crime I decided to look over and investigate was John List's murdering of his family.

John List killed his entire family, including his wife and three kids and his elderly mother. They were all laying, shot dead, in the ballroom of his large Victorian home, except for his mother who was left in her attic apartment because she was too heavy to be taken to the ballroom.
Fingerprint evidence and an age-progressed photo was what finally caught John in the end. After murdering his family, he fled and changed his identity, he was now Robert Clark. He was caught eighteen years after the murder because somebody had recognized his age-progressed photo on America's Most Wanted. He refused at first to admit his real identity, but because he served in the military years earlier, they had his fingerprints on file as John List.
The reason John had killed his family was that he had lost his job and was in financial trouble. Because he had obsessive compulsive personality disorder, the only two options he saw were welfare and killing his family and be reunited happily in heaven when he eventually died. He saw status as being too important and decided that murdering his family was obviously the better choice. A forensic psychologist also helped with the age-progressed picture of John by creating a psychological profile.
Fingerprint evidence is very reliable and was in the reading and that is what in the end, linked John to the crime and proved that he was in fact John List and not the man he was claiming to be, Robert Clark.

I chose to research Jerome Brudos. Two photos on the website were pictures of his women victim’s feet wearing high heels. The other two photos were of victim’s bodies. This was very disturbing for me. I found more information about Jerome Brudos following these articles:
In this article, the author names him: Jerome Brudos, The Shoe Fetish Slayer.

Jerome murdered several women in the Salem, Oregan area during the 1960s. In these articles, the authors described Jerome Brudos as having a foot fetish and a love for women’s shoes.
In fact, in first grade, Jerome began stealing his sisters shoes. At the young age of 17, Jerome began stealing shoes from his neighbors. At this time, he also threatened women with a knife to take their clothes off so he could take pictures of each of them. If a woman refused, he assaulted and beat her.
Not only did he have a fetish for shoes, but for women’s underwear as well. Jerome would sneak into neighbors’ homes and steal the woman’s underwear. There were instances where Jerome would attack women, strangle them until they became unconscious, rape them, and take their shoes. In another case, a saleswoman visited his house and Jerome strangled her to death using a nylon rope, keeping her body to dress in his gathered undergarments. Not only that, Jerome removed one of her feet to be used to model one of his finest high heeled shoes from his shoe collection. He did this with many other women and the number of killings escalated! Not only was his strangling and killing these women for their feet and shoes outrageous, Jerome also removed a few of the women’s breasts to keep for himself. When he was finished with the women’s bodies, he disposed many of the bodies in the river.
Police and investigators caught on to Jerome’s act and found a lot of evidence in his home. The investigators found a nylon rope and pictures of the victim’s bodies. With this evidence, it was clear Jerome was guilty. Jerome did admit to four murders and other assaults and abductions. He was charged with the Salee and Sprinker murders. Jerome tried to claim he was not guilty because of his insanity, but mental health experts determined that he was legally sane. For his crimes, he received three consecutive life sentences. Reporters say that he did not show any signs of regret. He served time at the Oregon State Penitentiary. He died of natural causes in 2006.
I was astonished to learn that he had such a fetish with shoes and feet at such a young age (first grade!). Was this man really sane? I am wondering what this man’s intent was. I find this man’s acts very disturbing. I thought it was interesting to learn that he was married and had two kids; however, reporters say that his wife left the state, changed her name, and remained unharmed. Overall, this was a very interesting topic to research. The investigators found clear evidence of this man’s acts. However, reporters claim that he has killed another woman, but her body remained missing.

I chose Jack the Ripper because I had heard a lot about him and never really knew what it was all about. It turns out that it is just a name given to an unidentified serial killer in London. I received a lot of my information from
There was one crime scene photo and the rest were only photos of the bodies or faces of the victims. The crime scene photo showed a lot of blood and it look like he had mutilated the faces of the victims. In the information I found that as the killer got more experienced his routine began to evolve to include mutilating the faces of the victims. I believe that some elements to look for at these crime scenes would be physcial evidence, such as the weapon used to slash the throat of the victim and mutulation to the genitals and face. I would also search for witnesses who may have seen something or may know the last person the victim was seen with. I would also look for things that could tie that murder with other murders. When looking at the psychological factors relevant to this scene, I would see the fact that the murderer aimed for women, mainly prostitutes, and mutilated their genitals. From this, I could possibly infer that the murderer had an estranged relationship with either a mother, a girlfriend, or possibly had a tramatic experience with a pregnancy. I would also see the time of night the murders occurred and thought that the murderer felt more comfortable at night and may be rather shy since he is going after prostitutes. I would use these inferences to build an investigation that may involve putting a female cop undercover as a prostitute around Whitechapel in London and see if that police officer could gather any further information or come into contact with the murderer. Some aspects that are relevant to the crime scenes of Jack the Ripper, are things like physical evidence, time, location, the victims involved, forensics could have played a huge role in the capture of the actual killer if it were more advanced at that time period.

Andrei Chikatilo: “The Rostov Ripper”, “The Red Ripper”, “The Butcher of Rostov”. No matter the designation, Chikatilo was one of the most notorious serial killers known Russia (let alone the whole world). Chikatilo was born in October of 1936 around the Ukraine. His geographical location makes this serial-killing case stand out amongst the others. Serial killers were unfamiliar to the Soviet Union; these types of murders were thought to be brought on by a corrupted Western Civilization.
Andrei Chikatilo married Fayina 1963 married—in 1984 his wife made Andrei seek psychiatric help for what she said was a lack of sexual drive. The hint Fayina didn’t acquire was that he had a sexual drive, just not for her. Maybe, in some twisted way, this was a romantic move for Andrei. After all, if he ever did want to reach potential sexual satisfaction with his wife, he would have to kill her.
Andrei Chikatilo: “The Rostov Ripper”, “The Red Ripper”, “The Butcher of Rostov”. No matter the designation, Chikatilo was one of the most notorious serial killers known Russia (let alone the whole world). Chikatilo was born in October of 1936 around the Ukraine. His geographical location makes this serial-killing case stand out amongst the others. Serial killers were unfamiliar to the Soviet Union; these types of murders were thought to be brought on by a corrupted Western Civilization.
Andrei Chikatilo married Fayina 1963 married—in 1984 his wife made Andrei seek psychiatric help for what she said was a lack of sexual drive. The hint Fayina didn’t acquire was that he had a sexual drive, just not for her. Maybe, in some twisted way, this was a romantic move for Andrei. After all, if he ever did want to reach potential sexual satisfaction with his wife, he would have to kill her.
In the winter of 1978, the first known victim of Chikatilo emerged into the limelight. He attempted to rape a 9-year-old girl; the struggle was too much so he slit her throat and, at the same time, ejaculating. This combination is what is thought to be the reasoning why Chikatilo had a strong connection with a sexual indulgence and death; this is also referred to as “necro-sadism”. Three years later, a 17-year-old girl would be the next victim documented which was sexually abused and strangled by Chikatilo. This second case began a distinct pattern which set Chikatilo apart from other serial killers, at the time. He would use brutality and weaponry to penetrate him victims. He focused on teens of both sexes who were at local transportation. At this time he would make nice with them and walk to a forested area, where the attack would proceed. Chikatilo was obviously mentally disturbed and found this to be a release from his self. He would, at times, eat the victims’ sexual organs or cartilage and removed his victims’ eyeballs. Chikatilo proceeded to rape and kill multiple boys and girls until November of 1990. Chikatilo eventually admitted to killing 56 victims; only 53 were affirmed.
He was convicted, in October of 1992, of 52 of the 53 affirmed murders and sentenced to death for each count. February of 1994 Andrei Chikatilo was sent to his destiny by a single shot to the back of the head.
This whole case is a psychological factor; from his extreme sexual sadism (necro-sadism) to the consumption of the victims’ bodily organs psychology plays a major role in this case. The man who helped try and convict Chikatilo of all these killings was psychiatrist Alexandr Bukhanovsky. Bukhanovsky helped narrow the Chikatilo’s profile and find specific incidences of repetitive (or serial) criminal actions. After the trial Bukhanovsky became one of the most famous experts on sexual disorders and serial killers; an excellent reference to an expert witness. Without the expert psychiatrist I do think Chikatilo would have gotten away with more murders than he acclaimed to have committed.

“What I did was not for sexual pleasure. Rather it brought me some peace of mind.”-- Andrei Chikatilo


I chose the Nicole Brown Simpson and Ron Goldman stabbings as my crime scene, aka, the OJ Simpson murders. Nicole’s throat was slit, her face was all bloody, she was just lying in a pool of her own blood, and there is a trail of blood on the side walk leading away from her body. Ron Goldman was stabbed to death, found lying in the yard against the fence, bloody shirt and body, blood soaked jeans. Nicole Brown Simpson was the mother of his 2 children and ex-wife, and Ron Goldman was a server at the restaurant where Nicole and family dinner that night, he is said to be a friend of Nicole’s, he was there at her home to return a pair of glasses her mother left at the restaurant. All the crazy events that led up to trial made it seem so certain that OJ was guilty, his violent past with Nicole, their toxic marriage, his jealousy issues. OJ Simpson was acquitted of the murders in criminal court, but was found guilty in civil court saying he responsible for their deaths (found guilty of wrongful death). I’ve started reading some of his book “IF I Did It.” And it’s claimed to be his hypothetical account of what happened that night, just reading the book you feel like you were there that night, you could feel every emotion he felt leading up to the murders, and after. DNA evidence found traces of Simpson’s blood, Nicole’s, and Ron’s blood at the crime scene, in and around his famous white bronco, bloody shoe prints, a cut on his hand was noticed by the police when interviewing OJ, fibers matching his broncos were found on Goldman, bloody socks, and the INFAMOUS BLOODY GLOVE!! Found at the crime scene and behind Simpson’s guest house and what did they do in court, had him try it on and it didn’t fit, so “If the glove doesn’t fit, we must acquit.” I do now know how the jury found him not guilty, every piece of evidence pointed to OJ, the way he reacted about the murder was unusual. It’s too bad for double jeopardy, because his book in my mind, is a full on confession of what happened that night.

After looking through a bunch of these pictures, I thought some of the crime scenes where hard to make out because of how old they were. However some of the things that we have been learning in our book and class are evident in the pictures and in some of the background done on these killers.
I chose to do some more research on Richard Chase, who they called the vampire because you guess it, he drank blood and lots of it.
He was born in 1950, and claimed to have been abused by his mother. Psychologist had evidence that he has exhibiting characteristics of the McDonald Triad, which is bed wetting, starting fires, and killing small animals. They believe this is where most of his rituals and behaviors began.
In his early adult life he was an alcoholic and a heavy drug user, he also developed hypocondria and thought that his heart stopped beating or that his skull came apart and was moving around. He lived alone and starting killing animals and eating them raw and drinking their blood. He was then instiutionalized and put on antipsychotic drugs. He was realeased to his mother who desided that he didn't need to be on his meds.
His first kill was a drive by and very impersonal. However his next victim was a pregnant women who he shot, had sex with her coprse then bathed in her blood. His final kills where of two adults a child and an infant. He then took the infant with him and drank his blood and ate a number of internal organs. He was convicted on six counts of murder and was denied his insanity plea.
Ahh, theres so much psychology in this example its crazy! From his childhood abuse to development of the McDonald Triad, it was probably only a matter of time before he started chosing humans as his victims. I think he was severly mentally ill and felt that he was not responsible for the murders that the Nazi UFO's made him do it. Clearly he should have never been released from that institution.

I picked the Crime scene of The candy man his real name is Dean Corll, i got info on this crime from these 2 web sites.

my chosen crime scene was On August 8, 1973 in Houston Texas. this Crime was about a 33 year old man name Dean Corll who was found shot and killed in his own home by a 14 year old boy name Elmer Wayne Henley. in this crime the elements required to solving this case was to 1.finding evidence about who was killed and who did the killing, 2. learning about the victim while examining the body of the victim, 3. finding the motive of the crime and 4.finding wittiness and evidence that back up the story told by the wittiness.
There were many psychological factors that became relevant to the investigation because 1. the killer was a friend of the victim 1. the investigation discovered a brutal story of torture, raped and murder going on in the home of the victim 3. the victim was pointed out to be the cause of 27 other victims died.
while reading this i discovered that 27 missing people did not grabbed the attention of the Houston Texas police but the death of the killer did, while reading it I learned that in order to be heard you have to be seen because corll was a member in the army and was seen by many as a leader in society his death was notice by the Police but the death of 27 missing teens and children was not. it shows that with out no money their is no power and with out a name in society their is no life.

I chose the Black Dahlia murder also known as the murder of Elizabeth Short and possible others. The murder of Elizabeth Short is quite gruesome. The case still remains unsolved and the media is blamed of trampling evidence and being in the way of the investigation. Short was believed to be tortured in one destination and placed in another post-mortem. The body was found in the Leimert Park district of Los Angeles, California on January 15, 1947. Her body was severely mutilated; she was severed at the waist and drained of blood and her face was slashed from the corners of her mouth toward her ears. The face mutilation is called the 'Glasgow smile' or the 'Chelsea grin' because in Glasgow, Scotland and Chelsea, London, these were ways of torture throughout gang violence. The investigation showed that her body was washed and cleaned and she had been "posed" with her hands over her head and elbows bent at right angles. She had rope marks on her wrists and ankles which goes along with the story of her blood being drained (like she had been hung upside down). Also noted in the investigation, there was evidence that showed she was forced to eat feces, she had bruising consistent with blows to the head; the initial cause of death was blood loss from the lacerations to the face combined with shock due to a concussion. She was only 22 at the time of her unfortunate death.
Her early life was composed of living with her parents in Massachusetts until her father left. It then went on to be just her mother in siblings, but she lived in Florida with family due to health issues during the winter months. She took a few trips out to California in her late teen years as she realized her father was still alive and living there. She moved with him and lived on an army base. She went on to meet boys and her later fiance. Her fiance was killed overseas and she then went on to hang around with an old friend who became a later suspect. She was made out to be some sort of a prostitute by the media, but people that actually knew her said otherwise.
The media played quite a role in this murder, because they were severely in the way of the investigation and acted in a way that is forbid nowadays. They would randomly walk into police departments and read paperwork, sit on their phone lines to collect tips, etc. There was a flood of 'tips' that would make the media blow up and it's said that journalists acted like the 'killer' to make it a big deal. The investigation still went on, though the majority of evidence was quite compromised. There was over 50 men and women that confessed to that murder, that is, they would say it was this person due to the mass amount of media involved. Many were interviewed and investigated throughout the years.
Evidence in an earlier investigations of the Cleveland Torso murders and the Lipstick murders created a link to the Black Dahlia murder. There were multiple investigations with the Cleveland murders but were cleared and said they were unconnected but new evidence was found later and implicated a former Cleveland suspect. Detective St. John investigated Jack Anderson Wilson and was close to arresting him, but he unexpectedly died before that could happen. Captain Donahoe of the LAPD stated that he believed the Black Dahlia murder was definitely connected to the Lipstick murders. Motive and evidence were too closely related to be ignored. William Heirens is convicted and is currently in prison for the Lipstick murders but it is still unsure that he committed the murder of Short. Copycats are born every day and this easily could have been an act of a copycat, the world may never know.


After reading through the list I decided to research the assassination of JFK.President Kennedy was assassinated on Nov. 22, 1963 while in a Presidential motorcade in Dallas, Texas.He was fatally shot in the head by Lee Harvey Oswald with a sniper rifle. As the Presidential limo was driving down Elm St. and passed the Texas School Book Depository the first shots were fired at Kennedy. Most earwitnesses that were talked to, reported hearing three gun shots at this time. Texas governor, John Connally, was the first to be hit, and it was concluded that Kennedy was hit in the neck by the same bullet. The next shot fired, as the car passed a concrete structure, entered the rear of Kennedy's head. All of this information came from eyewitnesses in and around the limo, as well as by reviewing images from the Zapruder film, which was a silent film of the event shot by a private citizen, Abraham Zapruder, on a home-movie camera. Other eyewitnesses in the area told investigators that they didn't see anyone behind the concrete fence on the grassy knoll. At the time another eyewitness told police that he seen a man with a rifle in a sixth floor window of the book depository. Two other men on the fifth floor of the depository also told police they heard gun shots above them, as well as the sound of cartridges dropping to the floor. Lee Harvey Oswald was reported missing by his boss at the book depository. About forty minutes after the assassination Lee Harvey Oswald was arrested, however he claimed he was innocent, and a couple days later was shot and killed by night club owner, Jack Ruby.
Investigators compared the rifle found on the sixth floor of the depository to a picture of Oswald holding the same type of rifle, and concluded that it was the same one. They also found a partial palm print on the gun that "matched" Oswald's, and fibers were stuck in the gun that were consistent with the fibers and colors of the shirt Oswald was wearing at the time of his arrest. It was also determined that a bullet found on Governor Connally's hospital gurney and bullet fragments found in the limo, ballistically matched the rifle thought to be Oswald's.
I don't want to sound like one of those people that have conspiracy theories about everything, and I'm not saying that Oswald was definitely not the shooter, but I had no idea that there was actually very little evidence against him. Considering what we have learned so far about how fingerprints aren't a dead match to one person, and that they have to be narrowed down to a single person by hand and not a machine, I think there really could have been some bias in this case. Additionally, investigators only had a partial palm print so I would think they would have had to do a lot of work by hand in order to come to a definitive conclusion, which is subject to each individual's interpretation. I'm not sure, but during this time did they even have computers to do this kind of work to the degree that we do today? We also know that fiber matching and ballistics aren't as accurate as it was once thought. I just think that there was definitely bias in this case on the part of the investigators and forensics team. I think Oswald was most likely considered guily until he could be proven innocent.

After looking over the website I decided to do more research on Ted Bundy. Ted Bundy was a serial killer who eventually confessed to over 30 murders, but the actual number is not for sure. Ted Bundy would usually bludgeon his victims, and then strangle them to death. He also engaged in rape and necrophilia. Bundy seemed to go for young female college students as his murder victims. During his first murders he broke into these woman’s places. Later on he would wear some sort of sling such on his arm or a cast on his leg and act like he was struggling with whatever he was carrying. That way a female would then offer to help him carry his things to his car or boat or wherever he was “going”. After getting them to his car he would then hit the woman in the head with a crow bar and place her inside his car where she was unseen. Many victims were taken miles and miles away from where he abducted them from. It has also been said that Ted Bundy would drink alcohol prior to abducting his victims. Bundy had also confessed to returning to the dead bodies of his victims and lie with them for hours, he would apply make up to them and also have sex with them. Something that was different about Bundy was his appearance. He was a pretty good looking guy overall which is why he drew attention to a lot of females when needing help because he didn’t look weird or creepy.

The elements of crime scene investigation required for this case was definitely the CSI and forensics. At every crime scene there was a dead body left and that was all they had to work with. They were able to take samples of blood and hair possibly. Also they would compare similar crime scenes in order to decide if the same person was committing the crime or not. The fact that he used the same ways to lour girls in and the woman had similar characteristics when the crimes occurred that they could piece info together.

The entire crime seems to have psychological factors. Bundy was manic depressive and his crimes usually occurred during his depressive episodes. Bundy also described his childhood as not good, especially his relationship with his grandparents. His grandparents seemed pretty harsh; he abused the family dog and harmed neighborhood cats.

I chose to focus on the murder of Elizabeth Short, also called The Black Dahlia. Elizabeth Short received this nickname by newspaper reporters as a play on words from the 1946 movie The Blue Dahlia.

Elizabeth Short lived in Los Angeles prior to her murder. She was engaged to an Army Air Corps Officer, who died in an airplane crash. She then continued living in Los Angeles at various places including hotels, apartments, and private houses. She was reported by media and other rumors as being a prostitute or call girl who roamed Hollywood Boulevard, however this was not true. Those who knew Elizabeth stated that she never drank, smoked, or even used swear words. The media continued to fire out outrageous claims, such as her last outfit being a tight skirt and a sheer blouse, when in fact she was wearing a business suit. The media also portrayed her as living a lifestyle that contributed to her being a victim of the gruesome murder. The media was a large part of why this crime was never solved. They continued to search for crazy stories that would sell, rather than working with the law enforcement to help locate suspects or get tips from the public. This case became so famous that several movies and books were based upon it.

The 1947 crime scene itself was very disturbing. Elizabeth's body had been extremely mutilated. Her body was drained of all blood, cut in half at the waist, and her face was cut at the mouth from ear to ear to produce a creepy grin-like look. Her body was found naked in an empty Los Angeles lot, the two halves spread apart. It appeared that her body had been posed by the perpetrator, with her arms above her head and her elbows bent. The grotesque crime scene is the reason that this case became so widely publicized and famous.

The investigation of this crime scene occurred in a very different time, before much of the investigative tools we have today. The investigators collected photographs of the crime scene, and then an autopsy was conducted. There is not much information about the actual investigation of this crime, despite its high profile. In today's standards, trace evidence would be collected at the crime scene. This could include fingerprints, DNA from semen or other bodily fluids possibly left on the body, footprints around the crime scene, tire tracks near the crime scene, or any other evidence left at the scene of the crime. These would all be collected, and then analyzed. Photographs would also be taken of the scene in a very detailed manner. An autopsy of the body would likely be done as well, in order to discover the exact cause of death and trauma to the body.

There are various aspects from readings that contribute to crime scenes and the crime scene of Elizabeth Short. Chapter 4 in Costanzo & Krauss discusses various crime scene investigation techniques used. This is necessary and crucial at all crime scenes in order to collect evidence to eventually solve the crime. Also, chapter 1 of M&M discusses various topics from Psychology & Law in an introductory manner. These topics will continue to be involved with the course and its learning objectives. Specifically, the chapter discusses the legal system and how it involves psychology. This is used in crime investigation, especially when looking at suspects and witnesses. There are various psychological aspects involved with solving a crime, from witness testimony, to confessions or false confessions, and motive of the perpetrator.

The most interesting psychological aspects of this case come from its massive publications. Actual gruesome crime scene photographs were published in the newspapers, much different from today's standards. Also, more than 50 people confessed to this crime, due to the claim of fame. Many people gave false reports about knowing the murderer. For example, one woman claimed that she knew the murderer and would talk about it for a large reward. As it turns out, she simply wanted revenge on an old boyfriend that had left her. Psychologically speaking, what is it about the claim to fame that makes people so crazy? Why would over 50 people confess to such a disturbing murder, seeking fame? Why would reporters trample the crime scene and defame the victim to sell stories? These are all very interesting questions that perhaps call for more research.

Lizzie Borden was the main focus of the murders of her father and stepmother at their home in Fall River, Massachusetts. On August 4, 1892 Lizzie Borden found Andrew Borden (Lizzie’s father) just after 11:00 a.m. on the downstairs couch. Shortly after Abby Borden (Lizzie’s stepmother) was found by the family maid in the guest bedroom upstairs. Andrew and Abby were both killed by devastating blows to the head by a hatchet.
Because these murders happened so many years ago, there was little technology making it hard to have any concrete evidence from the crime scene. However, there are signs of evidence. At the time of the murders, Lizzie claimed she was in the barn where the tools and water pump are located, when she returned to find her father dead. However, witnesses who saw Lizzie after the murders testified there was no blood on her. A detective also saw a foot-long stick in the flames and a hatchet head washed and rolled in furnace ash in the basement. Another interesting piece of evidence, which was inadmissible in court, was the fact Lizzie had attempted to purchase prussic acid (hydrogen cyanide) from local druggist Eli Bence, but Bence refused.
There were many psychological factors relating to the murders, this is mainly because no one was ever charged with the murders and many people have ideas about who committed the murders and what their motive was. Lizzie was the obvious suspect, her motive stemmed from an argument over the estate and inheritance of her wealthy father. Another idea is that the Borden's maid, Bridget Sullivan, actually committed the murders. This theory suggests that Sullivan was angry with the Bordens for being asked to clean the windows, a taxing job on a hot day, and just one day after having suffered from food poisoning. Some also theorize that William Borden, Lizzie's half brother committed the murders out of revenge following his failed efforts to extort money from his father.
After looking at the facts of the case, it is hard to determine how what we have read about crime scene investigation would pertain to the Borden murders. Although, crime scene investigators may have been able to take fingerprints from the victims or the hatchet head found in the basement. They may have also been able to find trace evidence on Lizzie or Bridget the maid. Finally, it may have been a long shot, but it has been widely reported, specifically when discussing that there was no blood on Lizzie, that Lizzie was menstruating the day of the crime. So it may have been possible that in a violent attack that she could have gotten some of her DNA on the victims.
I chose to investigate the BTK serial killings. BTK stands for bind torture kill. Denis Radar committed 10 murders between 1974 and 1991. He confessed to these murders at his trial and was sentenced to 175 years to life in prison. “After the BTK killer Dennis Rader was arrested on February 25, 2005, police uncovered his stashes of writings, photos, artwork and other assorted items he had kept over the years related to his crimes. He had a bondage fetish and enjoyed wearing the undergarments of his slain female victims. He enjoyed tying himself up in all sorts of ways. Using various mechanisms he was able to photograph himself with a Polaroid camera. During his years as a Boy Scout troop leader, he nearly got caught once when he couldn't escape his own bonds after tying himself up inside a camper during a scout outing. He eventually worked himself loose.” He would take pictures of his victims and then use tracing paper to draw them and added rope and other bindings around their mouths, necks, and bodies.
Psychological: As a boy he was a boy scout and a member of the Baptist church. “By his own admission, he says he developed fantasies about bondage, control and torture from an early age, while still in grade school. As he became sexual he dreamed of tying girls up and having his way with them.” In his youth he killed cats and dogs by hanging them. In 1966, at age 21, he joined the air force. “Rader received the Air Force Good Conduct Medal, the Small Arms Expert Marksmanship Ribbon and the National Defense Service Medal.” In 1974 he moved back to Kansas and would “troll” for young women whom he would watch and stalk. His fantasies of binding, torturing, and killing soon became real. In nearly all of his murders Radar masturbated and ejaculated on his female victims. Even with all of these disturbing fantasies, everyone that knew Radar before they found out he was the BTK killer said he was just a normal, quiet guy.
Crime Scene: He would tell his victims he only wanted food or clothing or that he only wanted to rape them. He hoped this would make his victims more compliant. When strangling his victims he would repeatedly strangle and revive them before murdering them. He admitted he was surprised at how long strangling actually took and how much pressure and effort was required. “After the killings he would send taunting letters, poems and drawings to the police and suggest possible names for himself, of which BTK was one.” His communication was what ultimately gave him away. After his first killings of a husband, wife, and 2 of their 5 children he wrote a letter to the local newspaper telling them they had the wrong suspects in custody. He went through and described the position and clothing of each of the victims. At the end of the letter he called himself the B.T.K. killer and told them that it would be marked on his next victim. He stole one of his victims drivers license and even called the police from a pay phone to tell them he had just murdered a woman at the address on her license. There was semen present at each crime scene but there was never any rape. In other communication he said he wanted national publicity, like Jack the Ripper and the Hillside Strangler. It is interesting that he wanted attention and recognition for his murders. “How many do I have to kill, before I get my name in the paper or some national attention? “
1984- Investigators re-examined evidence and found that all murders were within a few miles of each other, and that one of the letters from the BTK killer was linked to the Wichita State University Library. This led them to believe the killer could be a student or ex-student. In 1986, 7 years after his last communication, the BTK killer murdered again. The police wondered if it was him or someone trying to fill his shoes. Then in 1991, 6 years after the last murder, another body was found. This was almost 20 years after the first murder and police realized that serial killers can obviously take a break from the killings and resume to it on whim.
2004- He wrote another note to the newspaper addressed from Bill Thomas Killman (BTK). He also sent in 3 photos of one of his victims where he posed her differently in each picture. He also provided the license that he stole from her. “Soon, additional letters arrived along with more personal items from the victims. Packages containing key evidence were purposely left in public places. Communications via electronic media began. It was clear that the BTK killer had resurfaced and was in the process of disposing of his "trophies" and he was doing so in a hurried and sloppy manner. He was also clearing up misconceptions about the previous murders.” He was arrested in 2005 based on the DNA evidence found from the crime scenes and recent letters. He did not receive the death penalty because it was not created until 1994 in Kansas. He was sentenced the longest sentence which is 175 years to life in prison. “That a serial killer can begin a killing spree, stop for many years, resume killing again, and years later continue taunting the police is the most troublesome characteristic of BTK.” The fact that his semen was at nearly every single crime scene makes me wonder how he wasn’t caught until nearly 30 years after the first murder. It is scary to think that he left something that we come to rely on so much in criminal cases at each of his crime scenes, but it took police 30 years to find him. As we have been reading, trace evidence isn’t always so picture perfect like television portrays it to be.

For this assignment I chose to research Ted Bundy and his many murders. I chose this case because I have always been fascinated by serial killers, not in a weird way, I just can never figure out why they are so consumed with killing innocent strangers. For my research I used good old Wikipedia,

Ted Bundy was born and 1946 and he was an "active serial killer" between 1974 and 1978. It is believed, but unknown, that Bundy murdered 35 people but the range could be anywhere from 26-100. Bundy had escaped from county jails twice before he was executed and it wasn't until 1989 that he finally died from the electric chair, the sentence he recieved from his last murder in Florida. Luckily, before he died, Bundy admitted to over 30 murders but many remain unsolved. According to Wikipedia, Bundy would blugeon (club), his victims and then eventually strangle them to death. Bundy would also rape his victims, dead or alive. Most Bundy's victims, if not all, were college females. While he was active, college women would disappear at a rate of about 1 every month. Eventually, after being pulled over for a traffic violation and having his car searched, Bundy was connected to several murders and killings and taken into custody. The rest is history.

The kind of crime scenes that Bundy left behind left all sorts of physcial evidence, several kinds that were discussed in our readings. Fingerprints being a big one, sperm traces, and other physical traces were often left by Bundy. Eyewitnesses were also important in Bundy's cases because several people had been close to Bundy and all believed that something was "off" with him. The book, in chapter 4, discusses all the physcial trace evidences and almost discredits them. However, I think it is safe to say that Bundy was rightfully brought to justice. It is however interesting to wonder if Bundy was blamed for any murders that he did not commit. Almost as if an average joe knew he could get away with murder and just use Bundy has his scapegoat. The two biggest psychological factors that come to mind when thinking about Bundy would be his antisocial personality disorder. What makes people feel, think, and act the way Bundy did? Also, the communities that Bundy killed in must have had to been scared and psychologicaly distressed while he was still on the loose.

I was interested in the Sunset Strip Murders, the 1980 California crime spree attributed to Carol Bundy and Doug Clark. The pair targeted prostitutes, and their case remains somewhat open-ended to this day. Carol and Doug have both been described as highly manipulative and model sociopaths.

I first consulted Wikipedia to get a few more details. According to these articles Doug Clark was the leader of the killings. Clark met Bundy after his first marriage, and after spending a brief time together the relationship became abusive. Clark began to share his "dark desires" with Bundy, who was by then desperate for Clark's attention. Bundy had decided to aid Clark on his quest to kill a woman during intercourse to experience her death spasms...sick. Before their spree was over the two had beheaded a victim for use as a sex toy. Bundy reported Clark's crimes to the police, claiming she was not involved and knew only what Clark had told her.

However, many do not believe Bundy was a desperate companion. In fact, shortly before turning in Clark Bundy had committed a crime of her own. Bundy killed and beheaded her lover, Jack Murray. Bundy's testimony varies, as well as her emotions, leading to the expectation that she knows much more than she admits. Bundy was able to provide many details on crimes from which she had claimed to be absent. Clark denies that he was the orchestrator, citing a lack of evidence to tie him to the murders. Once in prison, Clark repeatedly claimed his innocence.

I found more information from another, more in depth source that catalogs different perspectives on the crime. This article claims Clark and Bundy were sociopaths, exhibiting extreme changes in mood and behavior and making frequent attempts to coerce and manipulate interviewers. This makes the forensic evidence collected during investigation that much more important, as both parties can not really be trusted.

Crime scenes were bloody, victims were shot or lacerated. Crimes occurred in the Bundy and Clark's vehicles and place of residence. Some feel important evidence was not considered, including a skull fragment found in Jack Murray's van. This piece of evidence could have tied Murray to the killings as well and debased Bundy's claim that Clark was the main operator. Also, the decapitations of Murray and the prostitute were not compared, though it was possible Bundy could have decapitated both victims. Much of the evidence brought against Clark was circumstantial, in the end Bundy's testimony as well as Clark's sexual relationship with a 13 year old girl were the damning bits of evidence. Bundy was charged with a diminished sentence.

This crime involved two people exhibiting psychological disorders, dubbed "sociopaths". This complicated the investigation. Investigators had to collect tissue samples, document blood patterns, and rely on testimony to tie information together. All cases of murder have these elements, but this case had a dark and sordid motive that is still not understood. The true relationship between Clark and Bundy, as well as Murray, is still a mystery.

Ted Bundy was a serial killer who was responsible for a series of murders of young white women in the 1970’s.He often kidnapped his victims and raped and later murdered them. The crime scenes which portray ted Bundy’s killings were mostly bloody ie, one of the crime scenes when he killed a woman named Lisa levy who was battered ,strangled and bitten and the crime scene was rather full of blood .
Ted Bundy was a notorious killer and in 1970’s there were not as many technological advances made but some of the techniques used in the investigation were sketches, DNA analysis but the most important factor that made Ted Bundy get caught was the analysis of the bite mark that he had left on one of his victim levy’s body and it was forensic deontologist (dentist) Dr. Richard Souviron who matched that bite mark to the pictures of Ted Bundy’s teeth and was able to match the unique characteristics of Bundy’s teeth to the victims bite mark.
A series of psychological factors played a role in this case as ted Bundy was not psychologically healthy which could be concluded through his meetings with the psychologist and the similarity between the characteristics also helped examine that it was the crime which had been committed by the same person. There were a variety of techniques used in this investigation in chapter 4 such as DNA analysis as their were fibers found in the cars he had stolen
Here is the website where i found more information about Bite mark analysis which was the most crucial in execution of Ted Bundy.

I chose to learn more about the BTK murders. Dennis Rader committed 10 known murders between 1974 and 1991. BTK stood for Bind, Torture and Kill. This man, overall, enjoyed attention. He was known for sending letters to the media, leading them to details and advising them which murders were linked. The crime scene investigations for Rader were a little different than normal I would say. First, a majority of his victims were bond by their hands and feet. That was a clue, but once word was out other murders try to play theirs off like his. The letters ceased between the 1990's and early 2000's but in 2004 the continued. And this eventually led to his arrest in 2005. Rader gave a 16 plus hour confession. Giving detail to each and every crime committed.
Some of the evidence techniques used to identify Rader was DNA testing, traced computer use and two coworkers. A floppy disk lead was traced back to a computer at a church Rader attended. From their they needed more of a link, so they received a DNA test from his daughter and found the near exact match. Another evidence lead was two of the victims were coworkers of Rader.
As for psychological factors, Rader admitted to torturing animals when he was young, he was also known to have a fetish for womens under garments and wearing one's taken from his victims. The idea of binding his victims could be another psychological factor, I think his "style" was so he was able to stick out more. From reading about Rader, it seemed he was screaming for attention. The only reason he started writing letters again is because he became "bored" and wanted to tell his own story. That is absolutely outrageous. The only benefit we have from that is that he was caught, arrested and convicted.

I decided to take a further look into Ed Gein. Gein committed his murders and bodysnatching in Wisconsin. Gein took bodies from local graveyards and made keepsakes and other items from their skulls and body parts. Gein conessed to murdering two people and charged with one murder. Gein wasn't found competent to stand trial, so he was given a life sentence in a mental institution. His murder and weird fascination of using body parts for bowls, lamps, etc. was the inspiration for movies including the Silence of the Lambs and Texas Chainsaw Massacre.
Gein admitted in custody that he was in a daze whenever he went into the graveyards to snatch body parts but woke up a majority of times while there and realized what he was doing. He dug up bodies that resembled his recently deceased mother. The bodies that he dug up were used to make a 'transvestite suit' as he wanted to get a sex change. The remaining body parts made a belt out of human nipples, a lampshade made from the skin of a human face and bowls made from human skulls to name a few.
He was initially found mentally incompetent to stand trial but eventually was found guily of murder and finished his sentence out in a mental health hospital.
The crime scene photos were a little difficult to make out seeing as they were old, but it was easy to see the body of a woman hung upside down. Reading websites I found out that at the crime scene and Gein's house, investigator's found a woman's decapitated body and gutted like a deer.
Most of the crime scene information was vague and general. It didn't discuss much trace evidence being left behind, but mostly centered on the decapitated heads of Gein's 2 vicims and the 9 graves he robbed that he took investigators to. Any person who would rob graves and make furniture coverings, dishes and a woman's body suit clearly has a problem. Hanging a body upside down and decapitating it to make these trophies seems to be a sign on a mental problem.

I decided to take a deeper look into Richard Cottingham. He is nicknamed the "torso killer" because he often decapitated his victims and took the heads. There wasn't a ton of stuff on him, but there was enough for me to get the general idea of his atrocities. Growing up he seemed to be a seemingly normal guy and was a successful high school athlete. He went on to have a wife, kids, and a normal career with an insurance company. Everything about him seemed to point to him being a good family man with a normal career. It was actually quite the opposite of that. He ended up being a sexual sadist. Instead of files and reports in his briefcase, he had several sets of handcuffs, a gag, 'slave' collars, knives, a fake pistol, and several bottles of prescription pills. It is safe to say these are not normal items to have in a briefcase. The crime scene photos are quite disturbing. It appears to be a nude woman who is headless and obviously very bloody. On the website it said the firefighters tried to perform CPR on the burning body, only to realize there was no head. This victim was only identified by CSI thanks to x-ray. Because he had burned the bodies and cut off their hands and head, it was difficult for them to be identified. Another surviving rape victim said she was raped, sodomized, cut with a knife, and her breasts were bitten so badly that they were bleeding. This is when Cottingham was arrested without incident. He obviously had psychological issues, but I could not find exactly what they were or if he was diagnosed with anything.

I decided to research the Pamela Smart Case since their was only one photo of the crime scene posted on the website. The Crime scene looked as follows: "Killed execution-style, death was instantaneous for Gregory Smart. Outfitted in a gray sports coat and dress pants, most of his body lay on the blue wall-to-wall carpet of the dining area, his right arm contorted, while his splayed feet and ankles rested on the foyer floor. His left foot was twisted against the stairwell wall and a brass candlestick. A 38-caliber hollow-point slug, lodged in his skull, had torn into his head just above the left ear, toppling him to the carpet. Underneath his body was his diamond-studded wedding ring, along with his keys and billfold. Two stereo speakers and a small television had been left uncharacteristically near the back door."

I couldn't find a lot of information on the case although I did search for quite sometime using different keywords. It is clear that a lot of forensic evidence could be gathered from the scene including finger prints, maybe hair follicles, blood spatter, and several other physical characteristics. But a lot of this case was psychological work as the detectives questioned students of Pam and friends of the students that might have heard something about plans for the crime. Motives had to be found and the police ended up wiring a student and had her get a minor confession from Pam. Pam ended up being arrested and charged for first degree murder as it seemed that she set the whole murder up; threatening a student of hers that she would stop having sex with him unless he killed her husband. Figures a horny 15 year old would be willing to do something so horrible.

The readings I've admittedly scanned over basically have to do with the actual science of crime scenes and process of incrimination. I haven't read much about the psychological aspects of crime and police work which is what I'm most interested in but I'm sure there will be plenty more information on that as this is a psychology and law course. While the technological and scientific aspects of crime scenes are interesting, I like to know about all the stuff that goes on behind the scenes and in the minds of the people involved. But maybe just scanning the stuff is leaving out some important details...

After looking rather extensively at all the possible crime scenes I decided to choose John Wayne Gacy in that the others I was interested in already have been chosen numerous times. I have heard much about Gacy himself but wanted to get a better look into who he really was and what triggered the madness. John Wayne Gacy was a born and raised Catholic in which he spent most of his life in the limits of Chicago. He is now known to civilization as one of the most notorious serial killers who often is referred to as the “Killer Clown.” He committed the murder (often rape) of 33 young men/boys between the years of 1972-1978.
My chosen crime scene was not one of those scenes that once a murder happens, police are called to the site. This crime scene was one in the making for quite some time. From the research I have done it appears as though most of the speculation against Gacy was triggered once he began to look into remodeling his home. He entered a department store and looked into possible ideas. The company itself hired teen boys to do the jobs, which intrigued Gacy. Robert Piest was chosen to go to Gacy’s home to talk about a contract/job that Gacy had for the young man to do. Robert came up missing and authorities took suspicion, even though Gacy denied even talking to the kid. Once detectives looked further into this suspicion they found that Gacy had an outstanding battery charge against him in Chicago and had previously served a prison sentence in Iowa. This triggered a search of his home and some quiet odd evidence prevailed as they found a class ring, drivers license, syringe, clothing that was way too small for Gacy himself and many others.
With the suspicion growing quiet fond they were sure to keep Gacy in the scope of this missing person and continued to pursue him as a possible suspect. Something odd that I noticed was how Gacy still acted as a normal human being who had nothing to hide. He nicely invited two detectives inside his home for some coffee to discuss some topics. The policeman once inside the house caught a foul odor coming from the heating ducts that resembled that of corpses. This was new evidence as the previous search which brought out the ring and other valuable evidence never mentioned anything about a smell as the house was cold and wasn’t being heated at the time. Another search warrant was granted and this time they took to it that they do indeed look into all crevices of the home. Upon search police and detectives found much crawl space room beneath the home itself and the garage. Within the crawl space they found 29 male bodies which had horrific odors and gases coming from them. They noticed how neatly the bodies were arranged and constituted much of the area underneath the floor.
With all of these bodies found in numerous pieces and each of them decomposed at different states and periods it would take many elements of investigation and experts help to piece this all together. First off their task was to identify the bodies one by one. X-ray and dental records were brought forth by many parents of kids who had been missing in a hope that this would speed up the process in possibly finding out if their son was in fact one of Gacy’s victims. Driver’s licenses were also found within the home which helped tie some of the cases together. Within the whole search and investigation detectives used dental records, fingerprint analysis, and X-rays of missing persons and hoped that it would help get some leads in to some identity into some of the many corpses. Gacy’s process consisted of piling these bodies on top of one another which caused a mess once the decomposition took place causing many of the bones and remains to scatter, so much sorting had to be done. Given that piece of information much investigation was done by Forensic Anthropologist (specialist in bones) and Forensic Odontologists (specialist in teeth) to help distinguish time frames and identity.
The Psychological factor present in the crime scene and those which are relevant came quiet obvious by looking into the case. Gacy was a very popular public figure in that he is known as the “Killer Clown” in the essence that he would dress up as a clown and work for local fundraising and charity events to help the cause in action. He was known as very nice man in that he was married and was a well respectable business man in whom no one would have ever guessed. The dark side and the Psychological factors of the scene may derive from Gacy’s previous life growing up. He was born and raised in a Catholic home and was one of three children. He took much respect to his father and looked up to him. Although through investigation it has come out that his father wasn’t much of a role model as he was an alcoholic and very consistent abuser of his wife (Gacy’s mom). At the age of 11 Gacy was hit in the head with a swing and suffered from head trauma and a blot clot that wasn’t discovered for a couple of years. He was a normal kid on the outside it seemed but admitted to his father putting great pressure on him and continually calling him nick names like “sissy” whenever he didn’t meet his father expectations. Further, if all this isn’t enough to constitute a rough child hood it was revealed that Gacys was one molested by a family friend at an early age. Throughout his life it seemed he would be ok and appeared to have hurdled those obstacles, there were signs that may have indicated his continuous suffering, for example, gay pornography was found in his garage kept hidden from his wife. I would see that the Psychological factors presented by his childhood would make them snowball into the aftermath of his crime scene and may explain why he did what he did and only too young men. He had a blood clot that lay undiscovered for two years which may have altered some imbalances and of course the visual memories of his father’s brutality must have stuck. Gacy claimed in trial to have had a multiple personality disorder while three expert psychiatrists argued that he was indeed a paranoid schizophrenic. Whether he was or not anyone knows but the prosecution evidently won the case in argument that he was sane in the idea that he had premeditation so strong that he had enough and numerous occurrences that demonstrated he knew what he was doing. (Designing the crawl space for the bodies). So as far as Psychological factors go he had to have had some effect of what he went through as a child but once confessing offered to go back to his home and reveal other bodies that had not yet been found. Schizophrenic, Multiple-personality disorder, or insanity one could argue any of the three but their does stand one common conclusion and that is that he had endured some kind of mental change that affected his being and it became an obsession that regrettably got taken to drastic measures.
Aspects of my readings that tie to this case are the types of forensic investigation used. They used Fingerprint analysis, x-rays, and even dental records to tie everything together. I see it apparent to my particular case that if these types of investigation were not available how would they identify the bodies of each individual in a case like this in which 29 bodies in one small area were left to rot? In summation, this chapter struck much attention to how important this evidence and its role in the investigation process really is and now given an opportunity to actually look at a case and see its true relevance really tied everything together to make one clear picture. The evidence wasn’t used here to determine if he murdered the victims or not because that was already determined, but in this case it was used to specifically indentify the remains left behind to give the families of those some answers. So it is not just used to convict a criminal but also to make a scene much clearer and erase any questions one may have.

For my crime, I chose Richard Cottingham. I referred to the book "Signature Killers" by Robert D. Keppel, Ph.D., for the information about the crimes committed by Cottingham.
The crime scenes that were shown on the page were particularly gruesome. He brutally tortured his victims by beating, cutting, strangling, and biting them. Two victims were even decapitated. Some of the victims survived, others did not. Cottingham had 8 victims total, all white females in their twenties.
The elements of crime scene investigation required for this case included dusting for fingerprints, examination of the wounds to determine the weapon, and collection of bodily fluids.
The psychological factors that were relevant to the crime scenes were the amount of time Cottingham spent with each victim, torturing her. The act of torture itself could be broken down into the use of the restraints for control over her, and the cutting of her body while she was alive (also know as piquerism, which is a paraphilia in which a person finds sexual gratification through the act of cutting or stabbing their sexual partner).
Eyewitness identification played a role in this case because all of the crimes took place in "seedy" motels and the front desk clerks had opportunities to see Cottingham as he rented each room.

I decided to look up more information about Jeffrey Dahmer. He was a horrible man who brutally murdered, raped, and drugged 17 boys and men. He also was a necrophiliac (had sex with them postmortem) and kept various body parts, such as their heads/skulls and penises. He also performed cannibalism, because he thought that the victims would live again inside him. He murdered them beginning in 1978 and didn’t stop until he was arrested for them in 1991. He would typically pick the guys up from gay bars or bath houses and take them home, drug them, get them drunk, have sex with them, brutally murder them and flay them, have sex with their body, and dismember them. He led a normal childhood until he had hernia surgery at the age of 6. This is when people started to notice a change in him. He began to be quieter, withdrawn, and show little interest in social activities. He would bring home dead animals and dissect them; he even put a dog’s head on a stake once. He would dabble with chemicals to see how the dead animals would dissolve. He drank heavily throughout high school. He attempted to attend college for one semester but flunked out due to his excessive drinking. His father told him to either get a job or go in the Army. He refused to get a job so he went into the Army, where he was discharged early for his alcoholism. He later moved to his grandmother’s house where he became even stranger. He had stolen a male mannequin from a store, had a gun under his bed, and there were terrible smells coming from the basement. He was also arrested twice for indecent exposure, where the second time he masturbated in front of two boys. His grandmother asked him to move out, so he moved to an apartment. The day after moving in, he was arrested for drugging and fondling a 13 year old boy. He was sentenced to 5 years probation and one year in a work release camp. He was let go 2 months early, however. He then moved into his “famous” apartment, number 213. This is when the real serious string of murders began. They increasingly became more frequent. At one point he was killing up to two men a week! He escaped capture when he drugged and raped a young boy. The boy escaped and was walking, druggedly, down the street naked. The cops were called, and Dahmer was able convince them that he was his 19 year old boyfriend who was drunk. They released the boy to him, where he murdered and dismembered him, keeping his skull as a souvenir. The police did not do a background check or they would have realized he was a registered child molester still under probation. He continued killing, and would try to create “zombies” by drilling holes in his victims’ heads while they were alive and inserting chemicals into their frontal lobes. Most died immediately, however, one lived for a few days.

He was finally arrested for good when one victim escaped and led police to his apartment. They found several things when they entered. He was charged with 17 murders. He pleaded not guilty by insanity. The charges were reduced to 15 and he was found guilty and sentenced to 15 life terms, totaling 937 years. The verdict was based on a 160 page confession and various witnesses. He was a master manipulator that wrote and read a four page statement claiming he was sorry for his crimes. In November 1994, he was beaten to death in prison by another inmate.

This website shows a list of what was found at the crime scene
Items found in Dahmer's apartment included:
• A human head and three bags of organs, two being a heart were found in the refrigerator.
• Three heads, a torso and various internal organs were inside a free-standing freezer.
• Chemicals, formaldehyde, ether, and chloroform plus two skulls, two hands and male genitalia were found in the closet.
• A filing cabinet which contained three painted skulls, a skeleton, a dried scalp, male genitalia, and various photographs of his victims.
• A box with two skulls inside.
• A 57-gallon vat filled with acid and three torsos.
• Victims' identification.
• Bleach used to bleach the skulls and bones.
• Incense sticks. Neighbors often complained to Dahmer about the smell coming from his apartment.
• Tools - Claw hammer, handsaw, 3/8" drill, 1/16" drill, drill bits.
• A hypodermic needle.
• Various videos, some pornographic.
• Blood soaked mattress and blood splatters.
• King James Bible.

Obviously it wasn’t hard to realize who had committed the crimes, but the scene still required forensic investigators to come in and collect all the evidence to process it and prove Dahmer did commit the murders. They would need to do fingerprint analysis, if possible. They would also need to do tool analysis. Since he had sex with the victims postmortem, they would have to do semen analysis. There are many other things they would need to do to collect all the evidence spread across his apartment.

A very obvious psychological factor is mental illness. He claims to have had urges that he could not control. He said they would take over him. He also said he didn’t feel like he had multiple personalities but that he was mentally sick. If he was mentally ill it would shed some light on why he had these urges. The fact that he was homosexual brings about a completely separate argument of psychological factors. There is so much controversy as to whether that is genetic or a choice. You can also look at his childhood to see if there are things that could have had a profound effect on his behavior. However, all of the literature I read, which was several websites, there didn’t seem to be any real thing in his childhood that would contribute. It was mentioned that he didn’t start acting socially awkward until his hernia surgery, which could have had a negative effect on a child, but it doesn’t seem like that could create the kind of monster he turned into. He genuinely was a psychopath. But how much of psychopathy is related to environment/biological/etc.? Personally I think it has more to do with the actual brain and chemical imbalances/brain structure problems and resulting mental illness. Studies do show that psychopaths have reduced temporal and frontal lobe volumes which result in an inability to control impulsiveness, emotions, empathy, aggression, and other functions similar to those. One article did mention that his brain was retained for study, however it did not state if anything was found within it. That would be really interesting to see. Someone who can do such gruesome things must have something wrong with them if they can do that. We will most likely never know what the cause of Dahmer’s behavior truly was. Chapter 4 would definitely be relevant to the crime scenes, especially this one. It discussed the evidence that is left behind, specifically DNA and fingerprint evidence which would be relevant to the Dahmer case. While it was obvious who did it, these aspects would help build the case to prove he did.

I ran across an interview of Jeffrey Dahmer which is chilling because he is so calm and seems harmless. It is hard to believe that person did all those terrible things. One of the pictures from the website we had to look at showed how Dahmer flayed a man exposing his chest, ribs, abdomen, everything. It was inexplicably horrifying. The interview is only about 4-5 minutes long, but it is interesting for sure.

This video shows the role of an expert psychological witness. It’s interesting to discover how she views that he was not responsible in the capacity of knowing what he was doing/that it was wrong.

Other websites used:

I decided to do this blog on Richard Ramirez aka the Night Stalker. He is currently awaiting his execution on death row in California at San Quentin State Prison. The Night Stalker was born in El Paso, Texas. His parents were illegal Mexican immigrants. When he was two years old he suffered a brain contusion and had to receive over thirty stitches when a dresser fell on him. Brain injury is common among serial killers. He also suffered from seizures and at the age of six he was diagnosed with epilepsy. At the age of ten Ramirez was reportedly spending the nights in cemeteries. When he was thirteen years old he was hanging out with his cousin Mike, a Vietnam veteran. Mike would show Ramirez pictures of women in Vietnam that he supposedly killed and tortured. According to Ramirez, Mike and him would go drive around and shoot and cut people. Mike also later murdered his wife in front of Ramirez. Ramirez later dropped out of high school and began stealing to support a drug habit. Ramirez was arrested twice for drug possession and grand theft auto. He started living his life as a drifter. When Ramirez started killing people, he started by targeting houses that were yellow. Ramirez spent his time drawing pentagrams on his body, the symbol often associated with Satanism. He then moved to southern California. He started burglarizing and one night on June 28, 1984 he opened window of 79 year old Jennie Vincow. Ramirez was furious when he did not find anything of value in her. He stabbed Jennie Vincow repeatedly and eventually slit her. The murder aroused him and he had sex with her corpse before leaving.
The Night Stalker was known for coming into victims windows at night. Males were killed right away with usually a bullet to the head and the females were kept alive while Ramirez would search for valuables. He would rape and degrade the women and then kill them, sometimes unsuccessfully.
Psychologically, one of the obvious reasons Ramirez was so disturbed was because there was obviously something wrong with his brain, from the brain injury to the seizures he experienced to the drugs he abused. All of these factors most likely contributed to him becoming a serial killer. The crime scene investigators used fingerprint analysis to help catch Ramirez.
During the trial, which was one of the longest trial in American history, over 1,600 jurors were interviewed. A lot of witnesses (there were over 100) had difficulty recalling information from four years prior. Eyewitness testimony is very unreliable.

I chose to read about the JFK assassination. I have always been very interested in what happened in Dallas, Texas on November 22nd, 1963. In fact, i wrote a paper on this subject in high school, so the information is rather fresh to me. There have always been the conspirisy questions involved with JFK's murder. He was our youngest, and one of the most popular president. That was why it was a surprise and shock to many to hear of his assassination.
The most common aspect you hear about this case is the illedged "second gunman on the grassy knoll." This theory has never been proven but many speculate this because of the angle of the shots, as well as the number of shots fired in the time span.
With that information many feel, without a doubt, that a second gunman was present. Despite the hundreds of cameras present on that day, only a few have shots of what happened that day. And none of the shots depict a second gunman.
After the assassination, police found shell casings in the Texas Book Depository, and their investigation lead to the arrest of Lee Harvey Oswald. Oswald, an ex-marine, was later murdered by Jack Ruby before his trial.
There were many psychological factors that played out in this scenario that led to the death of the president. First, the President was very trusting of the US citizens. The secret service wanted to put a roof on this car in prevention of a clear shot being fired upon it. The President respectfully decline, which in hindsight was one of his downfalls. Also, psychology played a factor on the part of Oswald. He had mental problems after leaving the corp, and like other killers, his father passed away at a young age. Leaving him with psychological problems.

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