What originally started his killing spree was that he had spent seven years in prison for molesting young boys and he wanted to make sure that he would never again be caught and sent to jail. He at this point, in his deranged mind, decided that killing the boys after molesting them was what would need to happen in order to prevent him from being caught again. William Bonin sent a fear through the state of California during his reign of terror as even schools were warned to be on the lookout for someone stalking young men and boys after several bodies had shown up being sexually molested and then strangled (Maloney and Montaldo).
For me personally the idea of fear as it was placed in society and the societal view of violence based on information about William Bonin is a likely conclusion. People began to fear for their sons and also for their friends who had young boys that were children. People had a view of a monster and someone who was feeding off of the young boys as this man undoubtedly was in a sense. I personally would have been in fear during this time. For the young boys and young men whom I knew as I would not have wanted anyone to end up a sorry victim of this man.
The awareness of William Bonin however and what he was as well as where he had come from and how he had been raised would have drastically changed the view of myself and could have indeed changed the view of society in general (Maloney). I feel that the knowledge that William Bonin was an abused child grown into a dysfunctional adult could have changed society’s view of violence through his serial killings. Bonin was reacting in the only way that he knew how to find love. The only love that had been shown to him was a forced sexual desire by his father and then the older boys in the boy’s home where he was sent.
The mental capability to distinguish between these feelings and the right and wrong of the situation would have been clouded as Bonin would not have known any different. The view of Bonin as a monster and a violent perpetrator could have been looked at instead as the idea of Bonin as a sick and deranged man who was expressing himself in the only way that he had ever been taught or the only way that he had ever known. Knowing about the psychological damage that was inflicted upon Bonin as a child would have given me a sense of knowledge for myself and my opinion on the idea of violence and serial killers.
I would have looked at him as a man with significant problems who should have gotten some major help long before rather than someone who was only offered help after he had reacted in a violent way. I feel that sometimes society looks at a violent criminal as a person who is a monster and someone who is faulted and not normal in some strong way however with the knowledge of childhood problems and issues within one this criminal could be looked at in a different manner and the overall view of violence could be changed.
In my mind, much violence is simply a reaction to a horrible experience or circumstance within oneself and by changing these things, one can simply change the way of life overall for the victim as well as the criminal. The idea of violence can be looked at in many ways and with more knowledge some of these things can change in a positive manner in a way that directs society more towards reforms and treatment for criminals rather than there being no chance of reform as some would have you believe.
The issues that needed to be dealt with for this man were many and severe and his lack of insight as to a crime and what he was doing as “wrong” also played a part in things. He did some serious correctional time and he needed to learn ways to control and suppress his urges through psychotherapy as well rather than just through the overall idea that being in prison would change him. There are many great programs available for serial rapists to learn ways to control their sexual urges and desires and through mandated psychotherapy and continuous psychological help (“Serial…,” Maloney and Montaldo).
Works Cited Maloney, JJ. “The Freeway Killer. ” Crime Magazine: An Encyclopedia of Crime. 1999. Crime Magazine. 6 March 2009. http://www. crimemagazine. com/freeway. htm Mantaldo, Charles. “Serial Killer William Bonin: The Freeway Killer. ” About. com Crime/Punishment. 2009. About. com. 6 March 2009. <http://crime. about. com/od/serial/a/william_bonin. htm> “Serial or mass Murder. ” Michigan State University Libraries Criminal Justice Resources. 2006. Michigan State University. 6 March 2009. <http://staff. lib. msu. edu/harris23/crimjust/serial. htm>