Department

Criminal Justice

First Advisor

Dr. Scott Culhane

Description

Ronald M. Holmes and Stephen T. Holmes are scholars of serial murder, and lay out their model of serial killer classification in their text Serial Murder, 3rd Edition. A breakthrough theory that has been invaluable in the study of serial killers, the Holmesian model takes into account many factors that other theories such as the FBI’s Organized/Disorganized classification fail to consider, by examining special cases of female serial killer and serial killers in foreign countries. The core of the model is the classification of serial killers into six major categories: Visionary, Mission, three Hedonistic categories (Lust, Thrill, and Comfort), and Power/Control. I compiled criticisms of the Holmesian model of serial killing (including the criticisms that the model is ineffective at helping to capture serial killers, and that the categories are too exclusionary). The impact of this study was to create a revised Holmesian model of serial killing that expands and clarifies the six major categories as well as providing for a seventh category: Multikiller, which allows for investigatory agencies to avoid the myopia of classifying a serial killer as one particular type and failing to consider crossover.

Comments

Oral Presentation, UW Honors Program

Share

COinS
 

A Revised Holmesian Model of Serial Killer Classification

Ronald M. Holmes and Stephen T. Holmes are scholars of serial murder, and lay out their model of serial killer classification in their text Serial Murder, 3rd Edition. A breakthrough theory that has been invaluable in the study of serial killers, the Holmesian model takes into account many factors that other theories such as the FBI’s Organized/Disorganized classification fail to consider, by examining special cases of female serial killer and serial killers in foreign countries. The core of the model is the classification of serial killers into six major categories: Visionary, Mission, three Hedonistic categories (Lust, Thrill, and Comfort), and Power/Control. I compiled criticisms of the Holmesian model of serial killing (including the criticisms that the model is ineffective at helping to capture serial killers, and that the categories are too exclusionary). The impact of this study was to create a revised Holmesian model of serial killing that expands and clarifies the six major categories as well as providing for a seventh category: Multikiller, which allows for investigatory agencies to avoid the myopia of classifying a serial killer as one particular type and failing to consider crossover.