(CLICK TO ENLARGE)
Throughout history, psychologists, sociologists, and other experts have been trying to find the answer to one simple question: what makes a normal person become a serial killer? Over time, many theories have been expounded upon: serial killers are born, not made; serial killers are made, not born; serial killers are left-handed; or serial killers simply evil by nature? Perhaps one of the most provocative questions regarding the social background of serial killers has to do with education. Are serial killers generally the result of a poor educational background? Or are the majority of serial killers well-educated?
Is Education to Blame for Society’s Monsters?
While history has had its share of uneducated serial killers – Henry Lee Lucas comes to mind – it has also seen its share of highly educated murderers. Some of these killers even used their knowledge as a way to lure unsuspecting victims. While the question of education doesn’t really answer the whole question of what creates a monster, environment or nature, it does add an interesting piece to the puzzle.
The Top 8 Well-educated Killers
So, which serial killers in history have the most education? Following are the top 8 of all time:
Also known as Dr. Henry Howard Holmes, Mudgett was educated at the University of Michigan Medical School, graduating in 1884. Mudgett built a hotel for the Chicago Exposition of 1893, which later became known as “The Murder Castle.” His confirmed number of victims was 27.
Also known as the Unabomber, Kaczynski was a child prodigy who entered Harvard University at the age of 16. He became an assistant professor at Berkeley at the age of 25. His 20-year mail bombing spree killed three people and injured twenty-three others.
Ted Bundy graduated from the University of Washington in 1972, with a degree in psychology. He attended graduate school at Puget Sound and dropped out of law school at the University of Utah. He confessed to killing thirtywomen, though estimates put his victims at 400.
Tinning did not receive a formal education past high school, but used the on-the-job-training she received as a nurse’s aide to kill her children and pass off their deaths as different medical syndromes. She confessed to onemurder, but is suspected of eight.
Harold Shipman, known as “Fred,” received his doctorate in medicine from Leeds School of Medicine in 1970. One of the most prolific killers in recent history, he was convicted of 15murders, although 218have been ascribed to him.
Kraft received his BA in Economics from Claremont McKenna College in 1968. He was convicted of sixteenmurders, but is suspected in fifty-onemore.
Also known as the “Dating Game Killer” for his appearance on the popular television show in the midst of his killing spree, Alcala received his BA in Fine Arts from UCLA. He is convicted of fivemurders, but a recent discovery of a photo album belonging to Alcala with pictures of young women may indicate he had many more victims.
Also known as the Rostov Ripper, Chykatlyo received his degree in Russian Literature from Rostov University in 1970. He was convicted of murdering fifty-threewomen and children, but is suspected of many more.
So what do you think? Is education to blame or not? For a deeper look into the matter, check out the graphic and see if you can make an educated opinion on the matter.