As most students go off on their adventures to different parts of the U.S. and some nearby islands of the Caribbean, I sit in one of the most interesting classes I have had so far in my career here at Florida Tech: the last of four installments of a special topics class known as Serial Killers 1.
The class is taught by Florida Tech’s very own Marshall Jones. With an extensive background in law enforcement as well as academia, he is one of the most adept instructors to teach this course.
Most students would be frustrated at the thought of spending five hours on a Friday night just before fall break. Though few of us (if any) are excited at the thought of it, we quickly pass over the initial hesitation and the true feeling of the class comes forth.
Though it is a dark topic to some, we look on in interest. Not in some abominable fascination, but in a manner of seeking better understanding. Identifying factors that may lead to future abnormalities in the behavior of individuals. We study the dark acts committed by the monsters of society that we have dubbed serial killers. We study these men not as heroes, but as tragic events that, by better understanding, we can attempt to deter future events of such nature from occurring again.
Professor Jones teaches our class by combining humor and fact. Using the textbook combined with supplementary material, he introduces a multitude of topics that extend beyond the topic, but teaching us about life lessons as well.
Our class filled with laughter as we joke and poke fun at each other in between the more serious aspects of the class as we present our summaries regarding the serial killer we chose to study through out the semester. We spent the last part of our class watching a documentary studying a California Killer.
This class has taught me a few things. That there is no set formula for what will generate a serial killer, similar to many things in life it depends on the interaction between nurture and nature. Killers do not fall into one set mold; they are present at all ages, sex, gender, sexual orientation, ethnicity. Lastly, I learned that to successfully study the individuals that we call monsters, those that leave blood stains on the fabric of society we must not go at it alone. I also learned that these investigations and studies should be conducted in teams; a team to remind us that life is not all evil and monsters, but good friends and laughter — that serial killers are the anomalies and not the norm.
If you are interested in reading more on the myths about serial killers follow the link posted below to the FBI website.