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Course Description

Few things captivate the interest of the general public more than serial killers. These individuals are so compelling to us because they seem to be so very different from "the rest of us," yet they live among us – they are neighbors and family members to SOMEONE. We read about them, study them, and see movies about them, all in an effort to see what makes them tick.

There are many myths and truths about serial killers. Which of these do YOU know to be true?

*Serial killers are only motivated by sex.

*Serial killers are compulsive and cannot stop killing.

*All serial killers are insane.

*Serial killers have "red flags" early in life, so we are now able to identify them at a young age.

*Some people are just "born to kill."

*All serial killers can be categorized according to their motive.

In this course, you will be fascinated by twenty serial killers. Some of them are quite infamous – Jack the Ripper, Son of Sam, Ted Bundy – but some are less-known (like Harold Shipman and Aileen Wuornos), but no less compelling. You will learn about their early lives, how they killed their victims, how (and if!) they were caught, and what happened after law enforcement caught up with them. Most interestingly, you will consider psychological elements that shaped the behavior of these men and women, factors motivating them to abduct, assault, torture, mutilate, and kill – multiple times.  

A word of warning: The eerie, chilling feeling that you will get while you work on this course may have you securing windows, checking to see that doors are locked, and turning on extra lighting.

Course Requirements

This course will not require you to have previous experience in any particular area but you should have a high school reading level. No books will be required

Course Topics

What Makes a Serial Killer?

Jack the Ripper

Edward Gein

Albert Desalvo (The Boston Strangler)

Edmund Kemper

Waneta Hoyt

The Zodiac Killer

John Wayne Gacy

Ted Bundy

Donald Harry "Pee Wee" Gaskins

David Berkowitz: Son of Sam

Harold Shipman

Dennis Rader "BTK"

Richard Ramirez "The Night Stalker"

Gary Ridgway

Jeffrey Dahmer

Andrei Romanovich Chikatilo "The Butcher of Rostov"

Wayne Williams

Aileen Wuornos

Israel Keyes

Course Materials

All course material will be provided in the lessons and netlinks. There are no required materials to purchase before taking the class.

Grading Policy

Each lesson will include a lesson review quiz. Students will successfully complete this course by mastering all learning outcomes with 70% or higher overall grade.

Assessment Guide

Assessment Points
Introduction Assignment1
Lesson 1 Exam10
Jack the Ripper25
Lesson 2 Exam10
Edward Gein25
Lesson 3 Exam9
Albert Desalvo25
Lesson 4 Exam10
Edmund Kemper25
Lesson 5 Exam10
Wanet Hoyt25
Lesson 6 Exam10
Zodiac Killer25
Lesson 7 Exam10
John Wayne Gacy25
Lesson 8 Exam10
Ted Bundy25
Lesson 9 Exam10
Donald Harry 'Pee Wee' Gaskins25
Lesson 10 Exam10
Son of Sam25
Lesson 11 Exam10
Harold Shipman25
Lesson 12 Exam9
Using the Format from Lesson #1, Please tell us about Dennis Rader.25
Lesson 13 Exam10
Lesson 14 Exam10
Lesson 15 Exam10
Lesson 16 Exam11
Lesson 17 Exam10
Lesson 18 Exam10
Lesson 19 Exam10
Lesson 20 Exam10
Final Exam80
Total Points:580

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