Mass Murder and Serial Killing and Modern Day Society

Mass murder and serial killing have many affects on modern day society. These two forms of violence greatly influence how people feel about those around them as well as the sense of security and safety that the people feel. The first recorded serial killers were in 1888 and 1914 however there continue to be those who choose to mass murder today. One such serial killer was William Bonin, who was also known as the “freeway killer. ” There are some distinguishing factors to both serial killing and mass murder.

Criminologists consider someone a serial killer when the following criteria are met the commitment of multiple murders over a long period of time with some killings separated by a long period of time while a mass murder is when multiple people are killed at the same time or a relatively short period of time, think school shootings for example (“Serial…”). Some of the things that affect society in both serial killers and mass murderers are the fact that they prey on a people’s fear and insecurity and that they are typically those who want to be in control of something and feel very out of control with their own lives.

Typically serial killers are reacting and acting out on sadistic urges of some sort and this is also part of the fear that is so easily felt by some. While mass murderers are typically reacting to something that they are significantly unhappy about either in work or school or some other area that plays a prominent part in their lives. The public tends to have a fascination with both of these. Both of these impact the idea that society has about violence (“Serial…”).

Some of the things that impact society’s view of violence from serial killers are that these people are out there and reacting on these urges. This gives society an unrealistic picture that all of those who are prone to commit violent acts are prone to some sick urges and desires within themselves and that without acting out on these urges the violence would not occur. Where as mass murder lulls people into a sense of false security as long as there is not a bad environment that they are in.

For instance a student in a school would assume that since he/she has a positive experience therefore no one would want to come in and shoot mass numbers of people here (“Serial…”) In the case of William Bonin, also known as the “freeway killer” there was many clues that could have led one to know that this man was not safe and could have affected society’s view of violence. William Bonin was a repeat sex offender. William Bonin was suspected of torturing his victims through sexual abuse and then killing them.

He was suspected in the deaths of twenty one young men and boys. His childhood could be partly to blame for his later violent outburst on young men. He was born to a child molesting father and after being in trouble as a child he was sent to a boy’s home where he was sexually abused as well. Then later in life he was in Vietnam and served our country as a gunner. He then came home, got married and later divorced and finally ended up in California (Montaldo).