Mass Murders Programs and Coping

In the U.S., there have been numerous programs created by the government and members of victims’ families to combat serial murder. For example, after Ted Bundy’s multi-state killing spree, the Federal Bureau of Investigation established the Violent Criminal Apprehension Program (ViCAP) to help create a profile of a serial murderer. Victim’s information is fed into a computerized program in the hopes of finding matches with other victims and a similar modus operandi. The Polly Klaus Foundation and the Amber Alert system are just a few of the programs created to help in the detection of serial killers.

Do you think these programs can help the surviving family members of a victim? Why or why not?

Suppose a person is missing for a while and his/her body is found and identified (by dental records) six months after a serial killer trial in the area. Members of the deceased person’s family find that the body recovered is in a similar state as those of the victims of the serial killer. What should the surviving family members of a victim do? Should they just consider it a coincidence or inform the authorities of these similarities?

Some victims turn their pain inward, while some turn it outward. Explain what might happen to a person and what the outcome might be when using these two coping methods.

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