McMurry University Professor Teaches Class on Serial Killers

  Gary Ellison
  Wednesday, September 21, 2016 10:03 AM
  Archives 2014 - 2015

Abilene, TX

Shades of Criminal Minds! McMurry University students are studying some of the most infamous serial killers in American history in Dr. Jerry Hollingsworth’s sociology class this fall. The class meets from 8-9 a.m. on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.

Case studies are the basis of the course, and several individuals are studied including John Wayne Gacy, Richard Ramirez, Ted Bundy, Jeffrey Dahmer and others. Students are required to create their own serial murderer, using all the knowledge gained in the class, including the subsequent investigation, the profile, and the techniques the killer uses.

The class examines the various theories and explanations of serial murders in U.S. society with an emphasis on history, myths, public fascination, as well characteristics, motivations, and typologies of serial murderers. There also is an emphasis on criminal profiling through the use of case studies, film, television, popular books and other popular media.  

Students learn about profiling techniques, as well as the importance of family background, history, psychological trauma, and other influences on the life of serial murderers. Above all, students learn the terminology used by the FBI, such as categorizing types of murderers, such as organized and disorganized types.

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