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Public Record Resources

Inside the Mind of a Serial Rapist
Inside the Mind
of a Serial Rapist

Dark Dreams: Sexual Violence, Homicide and the Criminal Mind
Dark Dreams: Sexual Violence, Homicide and the Criminal Mind

Predators: Pedophiles, Rapists, and Other Sex Offenders: Who They Are, How They Operate, and How We Can Protect Ourselves and Our Children
Predators: Pedophiles, Rapists, and Other Sex Offenders: Who They Are, How They Operate, and How We Can Protect Ourselves and Our Children


Most frequently, sex offenders are men who are emotionally unstable yet are able to deal with life on a day-to-day basis in a reasonably normal and competent manner. He is often an apparently normal individual, but one who has difficulty relating to others in a permanent or lasting fashion. According to reported cases of sexual assault, the assailant is often a friend, date, relative, co-worker, or casual acquaintence.

Women can and DO commit sexual crimes as well. Most often, these crimes fall into two catagories: having sex with underage/teen males constituting the crime of statutory rape, and those crimes where they are administering punishment to a male child and that punishment includes the sex organs. Lest we underestimate the effect that this type of sexual abuse has on a child, bear in mind that some of the most prolific serial killers with long lists of sadistic sexual assaults have in common a background that includes severe sexual-oriented punishments, dished out by a mother, grandmother, foster mother, etc. Finally, women can commit sexual offenses against other women; which may not be formally charged as rape depending on exact wording of a particular state's stautes, but can alternately be charged as sexual battery, aggrevated battery, or similar crimes.

It is important to remember that exhibitionists (or "Peeping Toms") should be considered potential assailants since their acts may be part of a fantasy which includes sexual assault. All rapists have the potential to be violent. This is the most important consideration when determining how to react to sexual assault.

Some offenders seek to vent their hostility, aggression, frustrations and insecurities on their victims. For these offenders, the act of humiliating and degrading their victims while gaining power and control over them is a major motivating factor. Offenders of this type are often sexual sadists, finding pleasure in physically and/or sexually torturing their victims, whether or not sexual intercourse actually occurs. Attacks under this catagory are "passionate" and more often than not are directed at a victim known to the perpetrator - especially toward a victim who has denied the advances of the perpetrator or whom the perpetrator wishes to punish (note how violent and gruesome many domestic violence murders are; and the staggering number of which INCLUDE some sort of sexual violence).

Other offenders can be seemingly emotionless. They may view their victims as objects, rather than people. Their complete lack of empathy makes them unable to care or understand that their actions are damaging to a victim - or, they are so consumed by their own needs that they are un-naturally able to discount their actions from the victims point of view in order to get that which they seek. (If you were a smoker and cigarettes had feelings, at some point would you smoke one anyway?)


As far as what "causes" sex offenders to become offenders, there are a myriad of theories. Some of the major ones include:

  • That offending is a learned behavior. Many sex offenders have been victimized at some point in their youth and thus they learned that it's better to be the one to HAVE the power than to be the one SUBJECTED to the power of others. Since they know what it's like to be the victim, they can appreciate being the power holder on the other side of the equation more keenly.

  • That offenders have arrested development especially in the areas of empathy. This prevents them from feeling and relating within contexts - from understanding what their actions cause others to feel - because they can't "relate" and so have not learned to inhibit their own actions.

  • That offenders act out in reaction to low self esteem. They use their violent actions to exercise control and power to enhance their own self image, to feel powerful, and to dominate others thus making them feel better about themselves.

  • That offenders have excessively high levels of self esteem. Opposite from the above, this theory suggests that people with high self-esteem are likely to respond aggressively when their inflated view of themselves is threatened by criticism or perceived insult or when someone obstructs their need for gratification. Gang members have high self-esteem. So do spouse abusers. On a narcissism scale, violent criminals, long thought to be “acting out” low self-esteem, obtained a higher mean score than people in any other category. In short: the higher one’s self-esteem, the lower one’s self-control or that the higher one thinks of oneself, the less regard one has for others.

Sexual Homicide: Patterns and Motives

Sexual Homicide: Patterns and Motives Who are the men committing the rising number of serial homicides in the U.S. -- and why do they kill? The increase in these violent crimes over the past decade has created an urgent need for more and better information about these men: their crime scene patterns, violent acts, and above all, their motivations for committing these shocking and repetitive murders. This authoritative book represents the data, findings, and implications of a long-term F.B.I.-sponsored study of serial sex killers. Specially trained F.B.I. agents examined thirty-six convicted, incarcerated sexual murderers to build a valuable new bank of information which reveals the world of the serial sexual killer in both quantitative and qualitative detail. Data was obtained from official psychiatric and criminal records, court transcripts, and prison reports, as well as from extensive interviews with the offenders themselves. Featured in this book is detailed information on the F.B.I.'s Violent Criminal Apprehension Program (VICAP) and a sample of an actual VICAP Crime Analysis Report Form. Kindle edition available.


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Obsession: The Fbi Probes Killers, Rapists and Stalkers and Tells How to Fight Back

Obsession: The Fbi Probes Killers, Rapists and Stalkers and Tells How to Fight Back This one is vital reading for anyone seeking to understand and prevent violent crime. In Obsession, Douglas takes us fascinatingly behind the scenes, focusing his expertise on predatory crimes, primarily against women. With a deep sense of compassion for the victims and an uncanny understanding of the perpetrators, Douglas looks at the obsessions that lead to rape, stalking, and sexual murder through such cases as Ronnie Shelton, the serial rapist who terrorized Cleveland; Joseph Thompson, New Zealand's South Auckland rapist; the stalking and killing of television star Rebecca Schaeffer; and New York's notorious "Preppie Murder." He plumbs the minds and motives of those who commit these terrifying and seemingly inexplicable offenses, using as examples his study of Ed Gein, Gary Heidnick, and Ted Bundy, the three obsessional killers who made up the composite character of "Buffalo Bill" in The Silence of the Lambs. (Douglas himself was the model for Special Agent Jack Crawford.)

Sexual Predator: How to Identify Registered and Unregistered Sex Offenders
Sexual Predator: How to Identify Registered and Unregistered Sex Offenders

The Creation of Dangerous Violent Criminals
The Creation of Dangerous Violent Criminals

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Last Updated: March 28, 2011