Serial Killers vs Mass Murderers & the Rise of Mass Murder in Modern Times

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In his novel Hunting Humans, Elliott Leyton examines multiple murders in an attempt to explain their motives and origins, and to determine why America, in particular, has the highest rate of multiple murderers in the modern world. In general, these killers follow a common theme. They often come from the working or lower middle classes, and come to feel excluded from a class or social group that they fervently wish to join. As revenge, they act against innocent strangers, targeting members of the class or group that they feel excluded from. Though this theme persists through all multiple murderers, the term blankets both serial killers and mass murderers. The differences between the two are perhaps highlighted best by the contrast of serial killer Edmund Emil Kemper III - the “Co-ed Killer” - and mass murderer James Oliver Huberty, perpetrator of the “MacDonald’s Massacre”. The most obvious and notable difference between serial killers and mass murderers is the time it takes them to commit their crimes. While serial killers tend to enact their murders over an extended period of months or years, mass murderers kill in just minutes or days, and expect to be captured and killed. Kemper killed ten people through his career as a serial killer. First he took the lives of his two grandparents, resulting in years spent in a mental hospital. After he was released, from 1972-1973, he killed young women, decapitating them and sexually assaulting their bodies. Finally, he murdered his mother and her intimate friend. Huberty, on the other  hand, completed his murderous rampage in just 82 minutes. On July 18, 1984, Huberty entered a MacDonald’s in California. He fired 245 shots, leaving 21 dead and 19 wounded before he was shot and killed by police. A second difference is the method of killing. While serial killers generally avoid guns because they provide “such an impersonal

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