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Chapter 16 - A Focus on the Mother

Being Given Up for Adoption

from Part II - Biographical Sketches

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  26 May 2022

Frederick Toates
Affiliation:
The Open University, Milton Keynes
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Summary

A relatively large number of serial lust killers were adopted as young children. It appears that those who commit sexual violence against women feel a resentment against their mothers for their adoption. In turn, this fuels resentment against either women in general or those having characteristics in common with their mothers. This would be in addition to the general factor of the disturbance of bonding, which might be common in cases of adoption. The chapter looks at three cases of killers who held such resentment. David Berkowitz was sexually excited by shooting at courting couples, but did not have any sexual contact with his victims. He masturbated to associated imagery. Jack Unterweger was a celebrity in Viennese cultural circuits but killed sex workers in association with having sex with them. Steve Wright killed sex workers in association with having sex with them.

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Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2022

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