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Chapter 13 - Similarities and Differences

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

The chapter looks at two heterosexual killers who made extensive confessions of their crimes: Gerald Stano and Gary Ridgway. It looks at their similarities and differences. Both had unhappy childhoods with sibling rivalry and the experience of bullying and taunting, and both felt inferior and failures in life. Each killer revealed a fusion of sex and violence, and showed evidence of stress exacerbating their toxic behaviour, both chronically and acutely (e.g. mocking remarks by a sex worker). As a difference, Stano but not Ridgway was adopted. Stano’s physical condition was very poor at the time of adoption, which might have been associated with brain damage. Ridgeway but not Stano was married and had secure employment. Stano displayed considerable sexual envy towards courting couples. The two killers either exclusively (Ridgway) or commonly (Stano) targeted sex workers. Each showed non-lethal choking of a regular partner.

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Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2022

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