Serial Killers with Mental Illnesses

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About this sample


Words: 2524 |

Pages: 6|

13 min read

Published: Apr 29, 2022

Words: 2524|Pages: 6|13 min read

Published: Apr 29, 2022

Table of contents

  1. Clinical Significance
  2. Schizophrenia
    Borderline Personality Disorder
    Antisocial Personality Disorder

The fulfillment that goes with that the fruitful completion of any errand would be inadequate without the specify of individuals whose organization made it conceivable, whose steady direction and support crown all endeavors with victory. I would like to thank my staff and Amity University for giving me embrace this venture. I would like to thank my guide Dr. Priyanka Singh who is the greatest driving force behind my effective completion of the venture. He has been continuously there to fathom any inquiry of mine conjointly guided me within the right heading regarding the extend. Without their offer of assistance and motivation, I would not have been able to total the extend, too, I would like to thank my batch mates who guided me, made a difference for me, and gave thoughts and inspiration at each step.

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The relationship between mental illness and criminality has been the subject of intense debate and examination within the recent past in light of numerous mass shootings within the United States. Whereas the renewed center and media consideration on the importance of mental wellbeing within the consequence of such tragedies may be a positive improvement, the relationship between mental sickness and culpability is as well frequently conflated.

The prevalent conviction is that individuals with mental illness are more inclined to commit acts of savagery and animosity. The open discernment of psychiatric patients as perilous people is frequently established within the portrayal of hoodlums within the media as “crazy” people. A huge body of information proposes something else. Individuals with mental sickness are more likely to be a casualty of rough wrongdoing than the perpetrator. This predisposition amplifies all the way to the criminal equity framework, where people with mental ailment get treated as offenders, captured, charged, and imprisoned for a longer time in imprisonment compared to the common populace.

A fundamental component that plays into the wrong prevarication of psychiatric illness and culpability is the inaccurate labeling of all offenders as people with mental ailments. Society at expansive sees behavior and conduct issues as an indication of a mental clutter, which has driven to the untrue open recognition that likens culpability with psychiatric ailment. The tall levels of detailed mental sickness in imprisonment and jail populaces are essentially due to untrue labeling of offenders as having a psychiatric ailment. These figures are not continuously based on intensive therapeutic and psychiatric evaluation and conclusion, but maybe due to social variables.

Antisocial personality disorder (ASPD) is one such conclusion that's broadly and subjectively applied to numerous within the jail populations. As a result, there's a wrangle about as to whether ASPD is indeed a psychiatric illness or fair a societal ethical judgment. The name is progressively utilized to paint offenders as casualties of psychiatric illness. In this way, it is basic for clinicians to guarantee that analysis of identity clutters such as APSD is connected as it were when characteristic characteristics show up in childhood and youth, to not let offenders utilize the cover of psychiatric analysis to sidestep criminal discipline.

Issues of concern individuals with mental illness are captured and sent to jail in unbalanced numbers, regularly due to a need of mindfulness and assets in taking care of these people. The police frequently capture these people for trivial violations such as jaywalking or meandering behavior as a preventive law and arrange degree. Concurring to one think about, 12 percent of grown-up psychiatric patients accepting treatment within the San Diego Province wellbeing framework had earlier incarcerations, whereas 28 percent of Connecticut inhabitants treated for schizophrenia and bipolar clutter had been captured or kept.

The closure of state psychiatric hospitals which started with the deinstitutionalization drive in 1960 constrained numerous psychiatric patients on the boulevards, constrained to battle for themselves. As a result, these patients came into contact with the police and the courts more regularly. The circumstance is exacerbated by a need for preparing and staffing within the court framework, possibly bookkeeping for people with mental ailment comprising an ever-larger division of the imprison and jail populace. Numerous of the side effects of psychiatric sicknesses are behaviors considered reserved or criminal such as meandering behavior. The result has been the untrue discernment of a causal relationship between psychiatric sickness and culpability.

Clinical Significance

Certain psychiatric conditions do increase a person’s chance of committing a wrongdoing. Investigate recommends that patients with the mental ailment may be more inclined to violence on the off chance that they don't get satisfactory treatment, are effectively encountering daydreams, or have long-standing distrustfulness. Such patients are frequently beneath the impact of their psychiatric ailment such as command visualizations. Other comorbidities incorporate conditions such as substance utilize clutter, unemployment, vagrancy, and auxiliary impacts of mental ailment such as cognitive disability, compound the chance of committing a violent crime.

The most vital and free hazard figure for guiltiness and savagery among people with mental illness may be a long-term substance utilization disorder. In patients with a major psychiatric illness, comorbid substance utilizes clutter, there's a four-fold increment within the chance of committing crime or violence. Thinks about have appeared that the rise in rough wrongdoing committed people with mental illness, may entirely be accounted for with a history of alcohol andor drug use.

People with extreme mental sickness that drop through the breaks or for one reason or another are non-adherent to treatment are especially at higher hazard of committing grave acts of savagery. Untreated significant mental sickness is especially critical in cases of homicide—the apex of the criminal range, and such ailment is indeed more noteworthy for mass murders of outsiders. Still, these cases are a little extent to silly acts of viciousness committed by hoodlums who act out of sheer criminal intent.

Many people with mental sickness confront a tough fight when attempting to get to mental health treatment. Numerous people don't get the suitable and opportune treatment required. Budget overwhelms and cuts in subsidizing for open wellbeing and mental wellbeing in numerous cities assist put individuals with the mental ailment in circumstances where they are included in a criminal action. Assist complicating the picture is the need for mental wellbeing treatment offices. In spite of greater awareness and exertion to extend get to mental wellbeing treatment offices, mental hospital beds per capita within the U.S. are lower than they have been since the 1850s.

Mental Illness of Infamous CriminalsMental illnesses have been found in a few of the U.S.’s most nefarious killers all through history, but it’s imperative to note that most individuals enduring these illnesses don't commit any violent offenses. These occurrences of mental disarrange speak to as it were a little division of individuals analyzed and the larger part of people beset don't lock in in criminal action, particularly on the off chance that given appropriate treatment and social support.


Schizophrenia could be a wide-ranging (and often misdiagnosed) mental illness that's side effects incorporate extending from hallucination and delusions to emotional flatness and catatonia. It is one of the foremost common mental disorders diagnosed among offenders, particularly serial killers:

  • David Berkowitz, better known as the “Son of Sam” murdered six individuals in the 1970s claiming that his neighbor’s puppy had told him to do it. He was diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia.
  • Ed Gein, horrifying inspiration for fiction’s Norman Bates, Buffalo Charge, and Leatherface, killed and mutilated his victims frequently keeping grisly “trophies.”
  • Richard Chase—” the vampire of Sacramento”—killed six individuals in California and drank their blood.
  • David Gonzalez murdered four individuals in 2004 and claimed he’d been propelled by “Nightmare on Elm Street.”
  • Jared Lee Loughner, convicted of murdering six individuals and injuring 13 counting U.S. Agent Gabrielle Giffords in 2011, was diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia.
  • James Eagan Holmes, as of now on trial for the 2012 “Batman murders” in Aurora, has been diagnosed with schizophrenia by 20 specialists.

Borderline Personality Disorder

This illness is characterized by impulsive behaviors, intense mood swings, sentiments of low self-worth, and issues in interpersonal connections. It has moreover been analyzed among a few of the U.S.’s most infamous serial killers. Interests, this appears more common among female criminals:

  • Aileen Wuornos, the lady who inspired the 2003 film “Monster” featuring Charlize Theron, confessed to seven murders in Florida. She was moreover diagnosed with an antisocial personality disorder.
  • Jeffrey Dahmer, too known as the “Milwaukee Cannibal,” murdered seventeen boys and men between 1978 and 1991. He moreover battled with overwhelming alcohol abuse.
  • Kristen H. Gilbert slaughtered four patients at a Northampton, Virginia clinic where she worked as a nurse by regulating lethal measurements of epinephrine to actuate cardiac arrest.

Antisocial Personality Disorder

Known in the past as “psychopathy,” this mental disorder is characterized by a total neglect of the sentiments of others. Individuals with APD may lie, act out violently, or break the law and appear no regret. WebMD reports that while APD influenced 0.6% of the population, it may influence up to 47% of male prisoners and 21% of female inmates. It’s moreover been diagnosed among three of the foremost merciless American serial killers

  • Ted Bundy, a notorious killer, and necrophile confessed to 30 murders within the 1970s.
  • John Wayne Gacy, known as the “Killer Clown,” assaulted and slaughtered 33 boys and youthful men within the 1970s.
  • Charles Manson, the pioneer of the “Manson Family” religion and plan behind the 1969 murders at the domestic of Sharon Tate, was diagnosed with antisocial personality disorder.

Whereas these three disorders are commonly seen among violent criminals, there have to be several killers who were never diagnosed with mental illnesses. For example, Dignitary Corll, moreover known as the “Candy Man” or the “Pied Piper,” captured, assaulted, and murdered 28 boys between 1970 and 1973 in Houston, Texas, and was never diagnosed.

Furthermore, Timothy McVeigh, the Oklahoma City aircraft of 1995, murdered 168 individuals and harmed over 600, and however he as well never was given a mental illness diagnosis.

Still, mental illness in jail population and among offenders proceeds to be an issue within the United States nowadays. In arrange to diminish jail recidivism and rates of rough wrongdoing, it’s fundamental that rehabilitative administrations and mental illness medications be progressed in this perilous however defenseless population.

In a study of crimes committed by individuals with profound mental disorders, as it were only 7.5 percent were specifically related to symptoms of mental illness, concurring to modern research distributed by the American Psychological Association.

Researchers analyzed 429 violations committed by 143 wrongdoers with three major sorts of mental illness and found that 3 percent of their violations were straightforwardly related to indications of major depression disorder, 4 percent to indications of schizophrenia, and 10 percent to indications of bipolar disorder.

“When we hear about crimes committed by people with mental illness, they tend to be big headline-making crimes so they get stuck in people’s heads,” lead researcher Jillian Peterson, PhD said. “The vast majority of people with mental illness are not violent, not criminal and not dangerous.”

The study was conducted with previous litigants of a mental health court in Minneapolis. The members completed a two-hour meet approximately their criminal history and mental wellbeing side effects, covering a normal of 15 a long time. The think about, distributed online within the APA journal Law and Human Behavior, maybe the primary to analyze the association between wrongdoing and mental sickness indications for guilty parties over an expanded period of their lives, said Peterson, a brain research teacher at Normandale Community College in Bloomington, Minn.

The study didn’t discover any unsurprising designs connecting criminal conduct and mental illness side effects over time. Two-thirds of the wrongdoers who had committed violations straightforwardly related to their mental ailment side effects moreover had committed disconnected violations for other reasons, such as poverty, unemployment, homelessness, and substance abuse, concurring to the investigation. Peterson said, “Is there a small group of people with mental illness committing crimes again and again because of their symptoms? We didn’t find that in this study,”.

Within the United States, more than 1.2 million individuals with mental sickness are imprisoned in correctional facilities or detainment facilities, concurring to the government Bureau of Justice Statistics. Individuals with mental illnesses moreover are on probation or parole at two to four times the rate for the common population.

In expansion to interviews with offenders, the analysts checked on criminal history and social laborer records to assist rate violations based on their affiliation with indications of schizophrenia disorders (hallucinations and delusions), bipolar disorder (impulsivity and risk-taking behavior), or major depression (hopelessness and suicidal considerations). The evaluations were: no relationship between mental illness symptoms and the wrongdoing, for the most part, disconnected, for the most part, related or directly related.

A crime might be rated as mostly unrelated or mostly related to mental illness indications on the off chance that those indications contributed to the cause of the wrongdoing but weren’t exclusively dependable for it. For case, a wrongdoer with schizophrenia who was disturbed since he listened to voices prior to the day afterward got into a bar fight, but he wasn’t hearing voices at the time of the quarrel, so the crime was categorized as mostly related.

When the directly related and mostly related categories were combined, the rate of violations ascribed to mental illness indications expanded from 7.5 percent to 18 percent, or less than 1 in 5 of the violations analyzed within the study. Of crimes committed by members with bipolar disorder, 62 percent were directly or mostly related to symptoms, compared with 23 percent for schizophrenia and 15 percent for depression. A few participants may have depicted their disposition as “manic” amid wrongdoing indeed in spite of the fact that they might have just been angry or abusing drugs or alcohol, so the rate of wrongdoings ascribed to bipolar disorder may be expanded, Peterson said.

Nearly two-thirds of the study participants were male, with an average age of 40. They were equally separated between white and black offenders (42 percent each, 16 percent other races), and 85 percent had substance abuse disorders. The study did not incorporate wrongdoers with genuine violent offenses since the mental health court did not arbitrate those violations, but the participants did depict other violent violations they had committed. The study too did not look at how substance abuse connecting with mental illness impacts criminal behavior.

The analysts said programs planned to decrease recidivism for mentally ill offenders ought to be extended past mental health treatment to incorporate cognitive-behavioral treatment around criminal considering, anger management, and other behavioral issues. Programs to address fundamental needs too are basic to diminish recidivism for all wrongdoers after imprisonment, counting medicate treatment and lodging and work bolster, Peterson said.

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Writing this paper, I learnt, people with mental illness are not prone to be violent, if anything people with mental health issues are more likely to be victims. People with serious mental illness who do commit crimes are also not given the right treatment for their conditions. Prisons aren’t equipped to help people with mental health issues and these issues usually go untreated. The criminal justice system also doesn’t care about mental health and will try to improve its prisons. Yes, some mental illnesses may make people commit horrible crimes and yes it is their fault, however if our mental health sector was improved, it could have been avoided. I would just like to suggest to improve the no of therapists in prisons and help prisoners turn into model citizens.

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Dr. Oliver Johnson

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Serial Killers With Mental Illnesses. (2022, April 29). GradesFixer. Retrieved December 3, 2023, from
“Serial Killers With Mental Illnesses.” GradesFixer, 29 Apr. 2022,
Serial Killers With Mental Illnesses. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 3 Dec. 2023].
Serial Killers With Mental Illnesses [Internet]. GradesFixer. 2022 Apr 29 [cited 2023 Dec 3]. Available from:
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