Critical Essay on Behaviour of Serial Killer Arthur Shawcross

This essay sample was donated by a student to help the academic community. Papers provided by EduBirdie writers usually outdo students' samples.

Cite this essay cite-image

Psychopathology is a personality disease, that can incorporate various attributes. This may include antisocial or disruptive behavior (PowerPoint). They are individuals who have the potential to harm or manipulate others to get through life guaranteeing their demands are fitted (Hare) Psychopaths lack conscience in compassion and tend to possess selfish tendencies and take their desires (Hare). They won’t alter their actions based on community expectations. They disrupt civilization's expectations without guilt (Hare).

In regards to Arthur, his case raised attention in regards to his intense disturbance and hostility. There were questions in regard to his morality and whether he was corrupt.

According to Hare, Psychopathy can strike everyone, and we're all exposed. Nearly all people face a psychopath and can be seen in the community and the criminal justice system. According to Hare, various psychopaths are criminals. However, some can embody charismatic qualities within our civilization. This has an impact on their chances to be sentenced to time in prison. That doesn’t necessarily mean that all psychopaths kill. Some personally impact everyone’s daily lives. As Hare had mentioned, we have an increased chance to lose everything to a 'regular' person, than a criminal.

In society, Arthur seemed like a regular male. He had a nice place, a stable job, and a wife. No one suspected him. At least not when he moved away from Watertown. Even during the undercover work, cops would “confide” in him in the local office shop and discuss the case he was associated with. He was amused that the police were so clueless as to who they were sharing case details.

According to Hare, there is a minimum of two million psychopaths in North America. In New York, psychopaths represent at least 100,000 citizens. In general, there are likely 2 percent of psychopaths.

Arthur Shawcross resembled an average guy. He had a wife, a stable job, and a decent home. However, he lived a double life. He had a mistress, slept with a prostitute, and was a serial killer.

In my opinion, psychopaths are bad and not mad. Their actions are an outcome of their incapability to sympathize or consider feelings other than their own. Their actions arise from a demented brain (Hare) Psychopaths don't experience hallucinations. They are lucid and entirely conscious of their actions. They are competent to manage their actions. Psychopaths' behaviors are based on their choices. (Hare) They are conscious of perceived civil morality. Within the judicial and psychiatric standards, they deem psychopaths as sane. If psychopaths are convicted, they are sent to prison rather than a psychic hospital.

Shawcross was fully aware of his crimes. He wasn’t considerate of the victim’s loss, or emotions. He had no remorse for his actions. When Shawcross was agitated, he became frightful. He transformed into another person and often made people feel scared. Shawcross would often visit the spots where he would dump his victims. In Watertown, he was seen eating ice cream and gazing at the bridge. Later on, he would park near another dumping spot of a prostitute. He admired his work and would stick around.

Psychopaths should be sent to Correctional facilities. They are fully knowledgeable of their actions and their outcomes. Psychopaths fit the standards of the psychiatric and legal standards for sanity (Hare) Psychopaths cannot be treated because they are unable to be emotional. However, they are manipulative. If they were placed in a treatment facility, they could potentially manipulate others (Hare)

Save your time!
We can take care of your essay
  • Proper editing and formatting
  • Free revision, title page, and bibliography
  • Flexible prices and money-back guarantee
Place Order

Shawcross attempted to plead for an insanity defense. However, the prosecutor believed that he was fully aware of his actions. First, Shawcross was sent to prison for the crimes of those two children for 25 years. However, based on his good behavior, he was given parole based on good behavior in prison. Rather than spending 25 years, he only served 15 years (video)

Psychopaths are usually clever and can express enthusiasm and narrate unrealistic stories. In these stories, they seem above others, and overall charismatic. Psychopaths are often perceived as narcissistic and only consider their worth. Psychopaths are driven by their self-esteem and don’t abide by any jurisdiction. They aren’t bothered by others' emotions and can perceive themselves as the true victims. They perceive others as targets for their amusement to inquire about pleasure. They will lie and manipulate and are often extremely sensitive to insults or slights (Hare) They are knowledgeable of their purposes and can be perceived as aggression as a valid response.

Arthur Shawcross would come up with stories about cannibalism, and his encounters in war. He would tell stories about the heinous acts against an enemy during the Vietnam War. He would go into detail about skinning and chopping their heads from the body. Shawcross wasn’t lying about his time in the war. However, his positions were nothing more than checking supplies. He was never in the war zone, nor does anyone who was with him remember that specific encounter. (Video) While Shawcross was under hypnosis, he would come up with characters that each played into his acts.

Hare uses the term “verbal” vomit, which I interpreted as a person who will continually talk, and not consider the words that are coming out. They want to get their point across and are so driven by their needs. Psychopaths cannot distinguish the meaning of words and how they can impact others. They are more concerned with their ego, and the ability to have their needs met. As Hare mentions in his book, the quote that he provided was focused on the “I” language. Rather than worrying about the other person’s needs, they are focused on their needs.

In regards to Hare using the term “strange flat eye”, he is describing an individual’s depiction of a person’s lack of emotions. My interpretation of this term is the ability to describe a person's inability to represent emotions through their eyes. Whether that be eye contact or the lack of luster in their pupils. They are strange because regular people display emotions in their eyes.

According to Hare, psychopaths follow their rules and don’t consider societal. A psychopath receives words without any emotional depth. They don’t have moral concerns that guide them. They are fully aware of the rules but follow their own set of rules. Psychopaths are willing to sacrifice anything to satisfy their wants and needs. Will ignore anything that does not spark their interest. They are unable to consider the consequences of their egoistic behavior.

Psychopathic tendencies are a result of nature and nurture. Neither side of the brain of a psychopath is unable to process emotions. Psychopaths are off the track from the very start. Their inadequate social setting has an impact on the development of a psychopath. However, that doesn’t necessarily mean that all adolescence that encounters poor social conditions will end up psychopathic. According to Hare, psychopath results from early brain damage or dysfunction. For example, if a child is abused, neglected, or deprived this could result in damage to the brain that can result in violent crimes. Psychopaths have hereditary circumstances that contribute to the functions of the brain. This can affect the basics of building personality. These influences can also impact responses, life experiences, and social conditions. Social circumstances and parenting can affect psychopath development and are exemplified through behavior.

Neurologists believed that brain damage can likely cause damage to a person’s perspective. They linked brain damage and extremely violent behaviors (video) According to the video, neurologists believed that Shawcross resembled the same patterns in his brain scan. Shawcross suffered a toxic combination of physical, mental, and brain damage.

At a young age, many psychopaths express behavioral problems. Some of these include lying, stealing, disruptiveness, destruction, and bullying. Some psychopaths are characterized by loss of sentimental, material, and likely abuse with a troubled past. However, most people who have troubled childhoods, don't become psychopaths. Other children come from healthy, nurturing family dynamics. You can distinguish a psychopath who comes from a good family when they begin to act out and begin sexual experiences at a young age (Hare) At a young age, many parents of psychopaths, recall their child’s off behaviors.

Shawcross had mentioned that both his mother and his father had molested him. She had been inappropriately touching him for years. It drew the line when his father raped him. That’s when he ran away from home. Both his mother and sister denied the allegations. It’s unclear if all the details are true. Psychopaths are typically good liars, and there was no clear indication that he had any medical records during that time frame.

Make sure you submit a unique essay

Our writers will provide you with an essay sample written from scratch: any topic, any deadline, any instructions.

Cite this paper

Critical Essay on Behaviour of Serial Killer Arthur Shawcross. (2023, November 15). Edubirdie. Retrieved May 18, 2024, from
“Critical Essay on Behaviour of Serial Killer Arthur Shawcross.” Edubirdie, 15 Nov. 2023,
Critical Essay on Behaviour of Serial Killer Arthur Shawcross. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 18 May 2024].
Critical Essay on Behaviour of Serial Killer Arthur Shawcross [Internet]. Edubirdie. 2023 Nov 15 [cited 2024 May 18]. Available from:

Join our 150k of happy users

  • Get original paper written according to your instructions
  • Save time for what matters most
Place an order

Fair Use Policy

EduBirdie considers academic integrity to be the essential part of the learning process and does not support any violation of the academic standards. Should you have any questions regarding our Fair Use Policy or become aware of any violations, please do not hesitate to contact us via

Check it out!
search Stuck on your essay?

We are here 24/7 to write your paper in as fast as 3 hours.