The Female Homicide Offender: Serial Murder and the Case of Aileen Wuornos

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9780131141612: The Female Homicide Offender: Serial Murder and the Case of Aileen Wuornos

For Criminal Justice courses in Homicide Studies, Women & Crime, Criminal Behavior, Criminal Offender, Victimology (Violence & Victims), and Psychology & Crime.

This text explains in clear, accessible, and scholarly prose who the female homicide offender is, examining the criminological literature on female criminality (including murder). It also investigates the research on attachment disorder and psychopathy, using the case study of Aileen Wuornos, one of America's most controversial serial murderers. Detailed, systematic, and comprehensive, the text details how such behaviors emerge in childhood, and what can be done to predict and prevent them. It offers a fresh and provocative assessment that presents several treatment, administration, and policy recommendations regarding the mental health and court justice systems.

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From the Back Cover:

Why do some female homicide offenders commit serial murder? The answer to this question has eluded criminal profilers and police officers for decades. Although researchers have offered some tentative explanations based on the limited cases documented, no systematic treatment of this phenomenon has occurred in the popular and academic literature—at least not until now.

In this engaging, accessible, and detailed book, authors Stacey L. Shipley, Psy.D. and Bruce A. Amigo, Ph.D. put many of the missing pieces together, shedding new and provocative light on this fascinating though deadly crime. Relying on insights from psychology and criminology, they argue that unresolved trauma following poor or severed childhood attachments to parents can result in disorderly conduct in adolescents who act delinquently and psychopathic adults who behave criminally.

In order to test this theory, Shipley and Arrigo turn to the high profile case of Aileen Wuornos, a woman executed in 2002 for the cold blooded and calculated murders of seven men. Challenging conventional wisdom that female killers are victims of abuse, the authors provide a cogent and penetrating analysis, raising many disturbing questions about the nature of predatory and serial murders committed by women. Going well beyond the confines of the Aileen Wuornos case, Shipley and Arrigo also examine the ethical dilemmas inherent in a culture of violence where the systems of criminal justice and mental health seemingly fail to assist persons in profound distress. At issue here is the manner in which society helps to create the female homicide offender, including those women who kill repeatedly.

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