Posted in Psychology, Serial Killer Sunday

Serial Killer Sunday: Jeffrey Dahmer

Warning: Do not read these posts if you are easily affected by gore/abuse. Read at your own risk.
I’ve had a few people say to me that they really loved my Serial Killer Sunday and that it was one of the things they really loved reading on my blog, therefore as I am now doing Forensic Psychology as one of my modules and are getting more information on Serial Killers, I thought I would bring it back!
Year’s active: 1978 – 1991

Number of Killings: 17
Killing method: There are a multiple different methods of murder Dahmer would delve into including the use of a powersaw, strangulation and injections of acid. However, the majority of his murders were followed by cannibalism and necrophilia
Year caught: 1991
Where now: Murdered in Prison in 1994.

Jeffrey Dahmer was born on May 21st 1960 in Wisconsin, USA. He is an incredibly infamous serial killer that many people will have heard of. There is a film that was created about him called Dahmer where he is portrayed by Jeremy Renner (you may have seen him in the avengers playing hawkeye) and there are numerous books and documentaries. Dahmer grew up in West Allis, Wisconsin with his mother, father and brother. His mother suffered from several illnesses and craved constant attention from her husband, she even attempted suicide. This ultimately lead to Dahmer being very reserved as he had little attention and was neglected by his parents.

From a young age, Dahmer had an interest in animals and collected large insects such as butterflies. Later, he started to collect animal carcasses from the side of roads which he would dissect in his home. His father later taught him how to preserve animal bones.
Once Dahmer became an adolescent he came to the realisation that he was in fact homosexual, but kept this a secret from his parents. He had several fantasies of knocking men unconscious and dissecting them as he had his animals earlier in life.

Dahmer committed his first murder at the age of 18, he picked up an 18 year old hitchhicker and invited him to his home where he lived alone. The pair drank together and listened to music and when the man wanted to leave, Dahmer bludgeoned him with a dumbbell and strangled him to death. Dahmer then stripped the clothes off the man and masturbated over his body.

All of Dahmers known victims were males, he has spoken openly about the majority of them, though it is well known that serial killers will not reveal every detail as they like to keep some things for themselves. A lot of Dahmers killings were opportunistic, of people that were just in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Dahmers murders escalated the more that he was able to get away with, he started to dismember and preserve body parts. The later murders he started to keep certain parts within his freezer in order to later consume them. He later also started to document his killings, taking Polaroid photos of the dismemberment process as well as also becoming more creative in his killings and using methods such as using drugs to render his victims unconscious.

Dahmer was caught as one of his intended victims managed to escape and contact the police. Once the police entered the apartment they found Dahmers Polaroids and were able to determine they were taken in that very apartment as the decor was the same. Dahmer attempted to fight the officers and resist arrest. Once Dahmer was handcuffed, one of the officers discovered a severed head within the freezer and called for back-up. After a thorough search of the apartment by the Investigation Bureau, 7 skulls, hearts and other parts were found as well as 74 photos.

Dahmer eventually confessed to his crimes, and was placed in confinement for his own safety. There was an attempt on his life with a razor blade but he managed to survive this assault. He was later attacked in a bathroom by two men which ultimately lead to his death.

What do you think of Dahmer? Why do you think he confessed to everything? Leave comments below!

Posted in Serial Killer Sunday

Serial Killer Sunday: Beverly Allitt

Warning: Do not read these posts if you are easily affected by gore/abuse. Read at your own risk.

Kicking off 2015 with a feature that I have had quite a few compliments on but had started to neglect *boo* so I am bringing it back! I hope you all enjoy this Serial Killer Sunday as this one is quite an interesting case; this Serial Killer suffered from a mental illness called Munchausen Syndrome by Proxy in which a carer exaggerates, creates or induces symptoms of an illness in themselves or other people in order to gain attention from medical staff. Some of you may now be aware of who this is but if you do not you are about to be incredibly disturbed. Be warned, if you are a mother with young children or you have young children in your life that you are close to, you may want to give this one a miss.

Year’s active: 1991
Number of Killings: 4 Deaths, Attempted murder and harm of 22 others.
Killing method: Police were unable to establish exactly how all the attacks were carried out, but large doses of insulin were found in at least two victims.
Year caught: 1991
Where now: Rampton High Security Psychiatric Hospital in Nottinghamshire, England

Beverley Allitt was born in 1968 in Lincolnshire, England. She had two sisters and a brother which she lived with along with her parents. She left school at the age of 16 to take a course in nursing at Grantham College near to where she lived. She had repeatedly failed her nursing exams and also had a history of excessive sick leave, however, she was hired at an excessively understaffed hospital for a six month trial period. Beverley suffered from a mental illness called Munchausen Syndrome by Proxy in which a carer exaggerates, creates or induces symptoms of an illness in
themselves or other people in order to gain attention from medical staff. In this instance, Beverly wanted to show the medical staff that she was able to do her job and do it well, which started her spree of harming children so that she could seemingly tend to them and make them better, to parents she would seem like an angel but oh how they were wrong.

On February 21st, 1991, a mother brought in her seven week old son called Liam, who had a chest infection, Beverley made herself available to the parents saying that she would tend to Liam’s needs and make sure that he was looked after, she sent the parents home to get some rest and upon their return Liam had gotten worse but had been rushed to emergency and had recovered… But this was only the beginning.

Just before midnight, Liam went into respiratory crisis but managed to get through it and rest. They all left Beverley alone with the boy, as Beverley had asked them to go and fetch some things that she needed, upon return one of the nurses found Allitt standing next to Liam who appeared white as a sheet until red blotches appeared on his face, Beverley then shouted for the crash team. This was the first suspicion, the nurses were confused as to why, if Liam had stopped breathing, the alarms had not gone off. Soon Liam suffered cardiac arrest and severe brain damage. Unfortunately his parents had to make the decision to turn off his life support.

The next few months followed similar incidents, usually involving cardiac arrests and respiratory problems. There were some children who had survived the attacks by Beverley and remember parts of it, you can read about this in more detail around the internet.

I want to also talk about the most twisted turn of events, in my eyes, in this case. That is involving two twin girls called Becky and Katie Phillips who were just two months old and were born prematurely, they seemed to be growing well but then suffered from gastro-enteritis and Becky was transferred to ward 4 of the hospital, the ward where Beverley Allitt was on staff. Two days later, Beverley exclaimed that Becky was hypoglycemic and cold to the touch but when examined by another nurse she found nothing wrong and Becky was sent home with her mother. But the story does not end here.

During the night Becky went into convulsions and cried out, the parents sent for a doctor but the doctor claimed she was simply colic and to keep a watch over her, she slept in bed with her parents that night where she quietly passed away. Taken into hospital for tests, pathologists were baffled and could find no clear cause of death. For extra precaution, Katie, the remaining twin, was admitted to the hospital and Beverly Allitt was on duty.

It wasn’t long before Beverly ran out shouting Cardiac arrest, Katie was suffering from lack of oxygen but was saved only to have the same thing happen two days later, this time she was not so lucky and her lungs collapsed as well as suffering serious brain damage due to oxygen deprivation. The irony of it all? Katies mother, Sue, thought that Beverley had saved her daughters life and made Beverley the childs godmother, of course Beverley basked in the glory acting like a hero.

Allitt continued attacking children in the hospital, eventually the hospital noticed that something wasn’t quite right. It was the death of a 15 month old girl that lead to Beverley’s capture. The young girl had seemingly died of natural causes, but the vast amount of cardiac arrests on ward 4 lead to an investigation, the ward was tested for an airbourne virus but nothing was found. The 15 month old was tested further and a drug was found in the tissue of the baby was is used in circumstances of cardiac arrest but never on a baby, this was when the theory of a killer was brought to light.

The police found a lot of pages missing from a nursing log, they counted 25 suspicious incidents with 13 victims, four of which were dead. The police started to look for the common factor and there they found; Beverley Allitt.

She was charged on 4 counts of murder, 11 counts of attempted murder and 11 counts of GBH (grievous bodily harm). Beverley pleaded not guilty on all charges, but was found guilty and sentenced in May 1993 to a minimum of 30 years imprisonment.

What are your thoughts on this case? Are there any Serial Killers that you want to know more about?

Posted in Psychology, Serial Killer Sunday

Serial Killer Sunday: Amelia Dyer

Warning: Do not read these posts if you are easily affected by gore/abuse. Read at your own risk.

I’m back with another Serial Killer Sunday! I’m back at university now, doing my second year of a Psychology degree, hence why I have been posting less. I am extremely excited this year because one of my modules is “Abnormal Psychology” and one of our lectures is on Serial Killers! I know, I’m so excited, which is kind of weird but hey, we all have morbid curiosity or you wouldn’t be reading this post. Before I continue, I just want to draw attention to this as some of you may not know, my first Serial Killer Sunday was on Jack the Ripper whose identity had never been discovered, recently it has! It turns out it was a Polish barber named Aaron Kosminski, the lecturer who helped with the DNA is actually a lecturer from my university! Who’d have thought, if you want to find out more click here.

I’m finding it quite difficult to pick what Serial Killers I want to talk about, but I want to make sure I cover a variety of different things. So my first post was a never found serial killer, my second a couple and my third a male, so it makes sense that my fourth be female!

Year’s active: 1880 – 1896
Number of Killings: 6-100 +
Killing method: Strangulation
Year caught: 1896
Where now: Executed by Hanging in Newgate Prison on June 10th 1896


Amelia is obviously one of the more older female serial killers but I thought that she was interesting and incredibly disturbing, it just brings about more questions of how? How was she able to do this?


Amelia was what was known as a “baby farmer” which was a common practice in Victorian England where she would offer to look after babies for a fee until they could find a new home, her “baby farm” was in Reading, England.

At the start of her baby farming career she decided to start neglecting and starving the babies that were in her care, a doctor became suspicious as he had to keep writing death certificates for babies in her care and she was sentenced to six months of hard labour in 1879. After this sentence she returned back to baby farming and began to murder and dispose of the bodies herself.

In January 1896, Amelia was given an illegitimate child called Doris who was just 4 months old. Amelia wrapped a white tape around the babies neck and tied the knot, a few months later she did the same thing to 13 month old Harry Simmons. With the help of her 23 year old daughter, Polly, she disposed of the bodies in the River Thames.

These bodies were discovered and eventually lead to her arrest and trial. She was found guilty of 3 murders and sentenced to hanging at Newgate prison.

There was also some speculation that she may have been responsible for the jack the ripper killings and that the opening of the bodies were an attempt at an abortion, there was never any evidence connecting her to the murders and the real jack the ripper has since been discovered.

Any thoughts on this serial killer? Any serial killer you want to hear more about? Or questions as to if there have been any serial killers in your area? Let me know!

Posted in Psychology, Serial Killer Sunday

Serial Killer Sunday: Albert Fish

Warning: Do not read these posts if you are easily affected by gore/abuse. Read at your own risk.

This week I decided that I would kick it up a notch and go with a man that perhaps is not as infamous as the rest of them, but one that is worth noting and perhaps one that is quite terrifying due to the fact that this man was not caught until he was an old man, age 65 to be exact, which shows that you can’t trust anyone, not even supposedly harmless little old men.

Year’s active: 1924 to 1932
Number of Killings: 3-10 +
Killing method: Strangulation or Stabbing
Year caught: 1934
Where now: Executed by Electric Chair in Sing Sing Prison, New York 1936

Before I start I just want to say that you should be warned about this one, Albert fish was quite a horrific human being and I perhaps wouldn’t recommend reading on if you don’t have a strong stomach.


Huh, I was just about to type “the most horrific thing about Albert Fish” when I realised it’s quite hard to pinpoint exactly what the most horrific thing about this man was. He was a pedophile, cannibal and serial killer; take your pick. 

Fish’s early life was one of confusion and pain. His family had a history of mental illness and at the age of 5 his mother put him in an orphanage because she couldn’t afford to look after him. Here is where he was regularly beaten and humiliated, to which he learnt he enjoyed pain. 

At the age of 9, Fish’s mother came to reclaim him and at the age of 12 Albert started a homosexual relationship with a telegraph boy who introduced him to practices such as drinking your own urine and eating your own faeces (I can almost imagine your face right now). 

At the age of 20, Fish began molesting and raping young boys mostly under the age of 6. Fish confessed. after being caught, to targeting those who he deemed “mentally retarded” and also African-American children because he believed they “would not be missed.” Fish often also tortured himself, sticking needles up his urethra and he also suffered from religious delusions and hallucinations. 

Grace Budd was the last victim that ultimately lead to the capture of Albert Fish. Her brother had put an advert in the paper seeking a job, Fish jumped at this chance and went to the house pretending to want to interview her brother for a job, he was invited to dinner at the house and just as he was about to leave he mentioned a party that his sister was throwing for his niece and invited the young Grace to come with him, she was never seen again. A number of cases had now been related to this where children had been taken by an old man in the same area. Six years after the disappearance of Grace Budd, the Budd family received a letter;

My dear Mrs. Budd,
In 1894 a friend of mine shipped as a deck hand on the Steamer Tacoma, Capt. John Davis. They sailed from San Francisco for Hong Kong China. On arriving there he and two others went ashore and got drunk. When they returned the boat was gone.
At that time there was famine in China. Meat of any kind was from $1 to $3 a pound. So great was the suffering among the very poor that all children under 12 were sold for food in order to keep others from starving. A boy or girl under 14 was not safe in the street. You could go in any shop and ask for steak — chops — or stew meat. Part of the naked body of a boy or girl would be brought out and just what you wanted cut from it. A boy or girls behind which is the sweetest part of the body and sold as veal cutlet brought the highest price.
John staid there so long he acquired a taste for human flesh. On his return to N.Y. he stole two boys one seven, one 11. Took them to his home stripped them naked tied them in a closet.  Then burned everything they had on. Several times every day and night he spanked them — tortured them — to make their meat good and tender.
First he killed the 11 year old boy, because he had the fattest ass and of course the most meat on it. Every part of his body was Cooked and eaten except the head — bones and guts. He was Roasted in the oven (all of his ass), boiled, broiled, fried and stewed. The little boy was next, went the same way. At that time, I was living at 409 E 100 st., near — right side. He told me so often how good Human flesh was I made up my mind to taste it.
On Sunday June the 3rd 1928 I called on you at 406 W 15 St. Brought you pot cheese — strawberries. We had lunch. Grace sat in my lap and kissed me. I made up my mind to eat her.
On the pretense of taking her to a party. You said Yes she could go. I took her to an empty house in Westchester I had already picked out. When we got there, I told her to remain outside. She picked wildflowers. I went upstairs and stripped all my clothes off. I knew if I did not I would get her blood on them.
When all was ready I went to the window and called her. Then I hid in a closet until she was in the room. When she saw me all naked she began to cry and tried to run down the stairs. I grabbed her and she said she would tell her mamma.
First I stripped her naked. How she did kick — bite and scratch. I choked her to death, then cut her in small pieces so I could take my meat to my rooms. Cook and eat it. How sweet and tender her little ass was roasted in the oven. It took me nine days to eat her entire body. I did not f*** her though I could of had I wished. She died a virgin.


The stationary on the envelope had an emblem for the New York Private Chauffeur’s Benevolent Association, the members of this association were called to a meeting and their handwriting tested, a janitor came forward and said that he had taken some stationary and left it in his old rooming house, giving them the address. When the police arrived at the address the land lady was shocked at the description of the man, this ultimately lead them to Albert Fish. He later confessed and was sentenced to death on January 16th 1936.

What are your thoughts on Fish? Anything to add? Or any serial killer you want to hear more about? Let me know!

Posted in Psychology, Serial Killer Sunday

Serial Killer Sunday: Fred and Rose West

Warning: Do not read these posts if you are easily affected by gore/abuse. Read at your own risk.

I didn’t get any suggestions last week on what to do this week so I decided to go with the serial killer which I find the most interesting. In this case it is a serial killer couple, the most confusing part in this is that the majority of serial killers tend to be male and work alone. But there are a few out there who have come together and encouraged each other in their sick deeds. So this week I am going to talk about…

Year’s active: 1971 to 1987
Number of Killings: Fred; 11-13, Rose; 10
Killing method: Strangulation, Suffocation
Year caught: 1992
Where now: Fred; committed suicide whilst awaiting trial in 1995, Rose; In Low Newton prison in Durham (Age 60)


The house of 25 Cromwell Street, Gloucester has often been known as “The house of horrors”, not long after the murders were discovered the house was demolished and now all that stands of the
house is an empty alley way. The most notable of the west’s murders was that of their own daughter, Heather West, who’s body they buried under the patio and used this as a threat towards their other children. The horrific incestuous and torturous couple managed to get away with murder for so long that they started to be less careful.

Fred West was born on September 29th, 1941. There has been a number of claims that Fred’s own mother sexually abused him as a child. He never did well at school and dropped out to work on a farm. At the age of 17, Fred was involved in a motorbike accident that left him with head injuries, this was suggested that could have been the significant turn for Fred.
At the age of 19 he was accused of molesting a 13 year old girl and when questioned by the police he said “Well, doesn’t everyone do it?” showing what Fred had considered the norm.

Rose West was born on November 29th, 1953. Her parents split up when she was a teenager and she moved in with her dad in Bishops Cleeve, Cheltenham at the age of 16. Her father was a paranoid Schizophrenic who was prone to violence and repeatedly sexually abused Rose. Even after Rose met Fred she worked as a prostitute whilst Fred watched, Rose’s father would also still visit her for sex with the permission of Fred.


Before Fred met Rose he married a woman named Rena Costello who had a daughter of her own named Charmaine. Fred and Rena also had a child together called Anne Marie. One of Rena’s friends Anne Mcfall became infatuated with Fred and stayed with him when Rena left. Anne Mcfall vanished when she was eight months pregnant with Fred’s child, her remains were not found until 1994, she was thought to be Fred’s first murder.

Heather Anne West

In 1970, Rose gave birth to their first daughter, Heather Anne. A few months later Fred was imprisoned for 6 months for theft, during this time Rose murdered Charmaine. According to Anne Marie (another of Fred and Rose’s children who is still alive today) both her and Charmaine were subject to beatings regularly, but Charmaine angered Rose due to her refusal to cry which eventually lead to her murder. When Rena returned to collect Charmaine, she too disappeared.

Just after Fred and Rose married, Rose went into prostitution and eventually went onto having seven children. Rose even had her own room that Fred created which had a peephole so he could watch and a red light above the door to warn their children not to enter.

Fred and Rose picked up people from bus stops and parks which they would torture and mutilate. They also had a number of lodgers and “babysitters” for their children which also lead the same fate. Other than the children their is only one known survivor of Fred and Rose West and that is Caroline Roberts.

 

Caroline Roberts was picked up by Fred and Rose West with the intention of her being a “nanny” for their children. She moved into

Caroline Roberts

Cromwell street but quickly became uncomfortable, with Rose’s outbursts at the children and casual way they spoke about sex, when Caroline was asked to join in group sex she fled the house and vowed never to return. However, a month later the couple picked her up again and apologised, so Caroline got back into the car. But Fred then turned around and punched her in the head repeatedly, they tied her up and repeatedly beat and sexually abused her, they left her tied up throughout the night and Fred came back the next morning and agreed to let her go as long as she carried on being the children’s nanny. Caroline fled the house and contacted the police but Fred and Rose only got a £100 fine.

The first point of discovery of the West’s murder spree was when a girl told her girlfriend about Fred West raping her, she immediately went to the police. The case was assigned to a detective by the name Hazel Savage who knew about Fred’s past with sexual assault. In 1992, the police arrived with a search warrant for Cromwell street where they found evidence of child abuse, the couple were arrested. Hazel went onto interviewing the couples children, this was where the idea of Heather Anne having being murdered came about.

 

Digging up of Cromwell Street

Fred eventually confessed to killing Heather Anne when the police came to dig up their back garden in search of bodies. Fred initially said that he acted alone but as soon as Rose abandoned Fred he changed his story and put all the blame on her. A number of bodies were found in their back garden. In the initial hearing Rose would not look at or touch Fred, this was devastating for Fred and he hung himself in his cell in Winson green prison, Birmingham in 1995. Rose was found guilty of 10 murders and sentenced to life imprisonment.

Any thoughts on this couple or their children? Any serial killer you want me to write about next week? Let me know.

Posted in Psychology, Serial Killer Sunday

Serial Killer Sunday: Jack the Ripper

Warning: Do not read these posts if you are easily affected by gore/abuse. Read at your own risk.

So, for those of you who don’t know I am insanely interested in serial killers. Mainly because I don’t understand why anyone would be capable of committing their crimes, which also makes me incredibly interested in the concept of psychopathy and sociopathy. I know that I’m not the only person in the world thats interested in this, so I decided to start a segment on my blog called “Serial Killer Sunday” where I write about a serial killer each Sunday! (Probably not every Sunday lets face it). If there is anything extra you want me to know about a serial killer, or there’s one that you want me to write about, please let me know in the comments or by contacting me on any of the sites listed on the side of my blog!


And to start off this series I thought that I would start with a serial killer who everybody has heard of, one that was never actually caught but everyone has heard his name…

Year’s active: 1888 possibly until 1891
Number of Killings: 5 accepted, possible 18.
Killing method: Strangulation
Year caught: Never Caught
Where now: Unknown

Jack the Ripper is considered one of the first ever recorded and most famous serial killer of all time. With five known victims that were heavily mutilated and over a hundred years later, his identity is still unknown.

The killings occurred in the east end of London in 1888. Even now, you can take a tour in London, at night, around where the killings took place, I wouldn’t be brave enough to do that! 
The name “Jack the Ripper” came from letters supposedly from the serial killer who signed them with that name. During the time, however, the serial killer was
often referred to as “The White chapel Murderer” or “Leather Apron”. Jack the Ripper’s victim count is often disputed over, it is generally accepted that he had five victims, however there are twelve more murders that were believed to have been the work of Jack the Ripper, but were never officially confirmed, if you want to read more detail on the victims click here

Jack the Ripper was known for mutilating and removing parts of the body of his victims. This is what lead to the possibility that Jack the Ripper could be in the surgical profession as in one instance he removed a kidney without damaging any other organs and in another case he removed sexual organs with one stroke of the knife. His method of murder was actually strangulation.

Jack the Ripper sent a number of letters to the press and the police. Only some were deemed genuine by the press and released in the hope that someone would recognise the handwriting. However, some people, even now, believe that all of the letters were fake and that “Jack the Ripper” made no contact with the authorities or the press. If you want to look at and read all of the letters click here. However, I am going to discuss two of his letters that perhaps are the most well known;

 

Dear Boss,
I keep on hearing the police have caught me but they wont fix me just yet. I have laughed when they look so clever and talk about being on the right track. That joke about Leather Apron gave me real fits. I am down on whores and I shan’t quit ripping them till I do get buckled. Grand work the last job was. I gave the lady no time to squeal. How can they catch me now. I love my work and want to start again. You will soon hear of me with my funny little games. I saved some of the proper red stuff in a ginger beer bottle over the last job to write with but it went thick like glue and I cant use it. Red ink is fit enough I hope ha. ha. The next job I do I shall clip the ladys ears off and send to the police officers just for jolly wouldn’t you. Keep this letter back till I do a bit more work, then give it out straight. My knife’s so nice and sharp I want to get to work right away if I get a chance. Good Luck.
Yours truly
Jack the Ripper
Dont mind me giving the trade name
PS Wasnt good enough to post this before I got all the red ink off my hands curse it No luck yet. They say I’m a doctor now. ha ha

This letter is the first letter in which the name “Jack the Ripper” was used. Sent to the central news agency on September 27th 1888, it was first considered a fake, until days later a double murder proved them wrong, particularly when a earlobe was cut off one of the bodies.

From hell.

Mr Lusk,

Sor

I send you half the Kidne I took from one woman and prasarved it for you tother piece I fried and ate it was very nise. I may send you the bloody knif that took it out if you only wate a whil longer

signed

Catch me when you can Mishter Lusk

This was a letter sent to George Lusk, president of the whitechapel vigilance committee, it was recieved with half a human kidney that is believed to have belonged to Catherine Eddowes, one of Jack the Rippers victims.

There were many suspects in this case, recently it has been suspected that Jack the Ripper was infact Queen Victoria’s surgeon. If you want to read the full article on this click here

I hope that you enjoyed this segment on my blog and that you may have even learnt something about jack the ripper that you didn’t know. Check back soon to learn about another serial killer! Do you have anything to add to jack the ripper? Is there a particular serial killer you want to know more about? Let me know!