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Psychological profile: Andrei Chikatilo

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documents in English
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case study
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  1. Introduction
  2. Russia's most notorious serial killers
  3. The situations that compelled Andrei Chikatilo to commit heinous murders
  4. The task of catching serial killers
  5. Rational logic behind where criminals commit crimes
  6. Conclusions
  7. References

Every human is capable of committing murder; however, there are only a select few who actually chose to do so. Murders are classified by their nature, whether or not they were premeditated, and the number of victims slain and the time span of the murders. Serial killers are those who generally commit premeditated murder of three or more individuals over an extended period of time with a cooling off period between killings. Serial murderers pose a grand threat to society as they tend to continue killing until they are captured. Scholars across the disciplines of criminology, sociology and psychology have all proposed a number of theories which attempt at understanding what causes such abominable behavior. Focusing here on one particular serial killer, a psychoanalytic approach is applied at comprehending the motives behind his brutal slayings. Subsequently profiling techniques are examined as to their validity and accuracy in isolating and identifying serial murderers. It must be understood at this point that profiling does not aim to predict the actions of a serial murderer at large, instead profiles are created to assist police investigations by drawing a detailed illustration of the criminal by employing a multitude of techniques.

[...] Chikatilo was theorized to have university education with emphasis in the liberal arts . working in industry, perhaps in a supply division' (Krivich & Ol'gin 1993, p.228). Finally it was predicted that he possessed multiple personas: one normal persona with his family at home; the second living out fantasies of sadistic rape and murder; and third who played insane, this one showing itself at his court hearings as he sat locked in an iron cage (Krivich & Ol'gin 1993). A more recent method of profiling which has been developed, alongside other profiling techniques and investigative methods, is very useful in locating offenders. [...]


[...] This continuous sense of shame, humiliation and rejection would follow Chikatilo throughout his youth, nonetheless he percervered in his studies becoming withdrawn and reclusive. By his teens, Chikatilo was outperforming his peers academically and it was at this time he had discovered his sexual impotency, which yet again brought him deep shame and humiliation (Krivich & Ol'gin 1993). Consequently, Chikatilo devoted more time to his academic pursuits becoming more and more detached from both social and sexual encounters in his adolescence. [...]


[...] What had compelled Andrei Chikatilo to commit such heinous murders? At the time of his arrest, Chikatilo appeared to have been an ordinary family man with a loving wife and children, grandchildren, a modest job and a loyal communist party member for over twenty years; he was regarded as polite and well-spoken, a hard-worker who had obtained three university degrees with an above average intelligence (Krivich & Ol'gin 1993). In this respect, Chikatilo had maintained a ?normal' façade while harbouring deep issues which plagued him since childhood, this is what Cartwright (2002) terms the narcissistic exoskeleton. [...]

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