McMurry University Professor Teaches Class on Serial Killers

  Gary Ellison
  Tuesday, September 16, 2014 11:04 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 in room 102 of the Old Main Building.

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 do a case study of one male and one female serial killer as well.   

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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