American Horror Story - For Real This Time

  • #1
russ_watters
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I live just outside of Philly. This story broke over the weekend and went national (albeit weakly) yesterday:

http://www.cnn.com/2011/10/19/justice/pennsylvania-disabled-chained/index.html?iref=allsearch

http://www.nbcphiladelphia.com/news/local/Police-Find-4-Chained-in-Basement-131920083.html
Police are investigating how four mentally disabled adults--three males and one female--came to be chained up and locked away in the basement of a house in Northeast Philadelphia Saturday.

“My grasp of the English language limits how I can describe the facts and evidence of the case,” [DA] Williams said. “‘Horrific’ doesn’t even begin to describe it.”
The basics:
-They were kidnapped apparently to steal their disability checks.
-Four is now twelve, including two children apparently fathered by one of the four first found and a niece of the ringleader, tortured nearly to death and missing for 11 years.
-The ringleader spent 8 years in jail for murdering an ex-boyfriend in 1981 -- by locking him in a closet, until he starved to death, for refusing to pay child support.
-An additional fifty IDs were found in the ringleader's possession. The media is being disturbingly quiet about speculating on their fate. I suppose as bad as it is, speculation that it could be far, far worse is tough to think about.
-The kidnappers apparently have moved around in order to evade inefficient social workers. A city official touted their capture as evidence of the superiority of Philly social services as compared to other cities/states. No doubt that care is much improved in the five years since subcontracted social workers rubber-stamped forms instead of checking on an at-risk girl, who subsequently starved to death at the hands of her parents.

I think what disturbs me most about this is the motive. Greed. In other cases, such as the one in Austria a couple of years ago, it is easy to write them off as simple deviants. Just plain crazy. But greed as a motive? Everyone has greed to one extent or another. It is a normal feeling that in this case was taken to an abnormal extreme.
 
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  • #2
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nothing surprises me anymore
 
  • #3
arildno
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A nasty case indeed.

It is Belle Gunness again, with a unique and grotesque twist.

However, it seems in general keeping with the "standard" female serial killer to kill out of the greed motive (in contrast to male serial killers), from the Wikipedia entry on serial killers:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Serial_killers

Female serial killers

Female serial killers are rare.[50][51][52][53] They tend to murder men for material gain, are usually emotionally close to their victims,[50][51][52][53] and generally need to have a relationship with a person before killing them.[51] "An analysis of 86 female serial killers from the U.S. found that the victims tended to be spouses, children or the elderly."[50][51] The methods they use for murder are covert or low-profile, such as murder by poison (the preferred choice for killing).[50][51][52][54][55] They commit killings in specific places, such as their home or a health-care facility, or at different locations within the same city or state.[56][57] Other methods used by female serial killers include shootings (used by 20%), suffocation (16%), stabbing (11%), and drowning (5%).[58] Though most female serial killers murder for money or other such material gain[50][51] others do it for attention.[58] While many female serial killers have been diagnosed with Münchausen syndrome,[55] "little research has been conducted focusing on the societal influences—particularly gender roles and expectations of women—which contribute to these women committing multiple murders". Each killer will have her own proclivities, needs and triggers, as specific reasons can only be obtained from the killer herself.[50][51][52] "In a review of published literature on female serial murder, sexual or sadistic motives are believed to be extremely rare in female serial murderers, and psychopathic traits and histories of childhood abuse have been consistently reported in these women."[50][51] On some occasions, women may be involved with a male serial killer as a part of a serial killing "team".[50][51][52]
 
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  • #4
Monique
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That sounds like an episode out of the X-files, unbelievable..
 
  • #5
arildno
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