Date of Conferral







Susan Marcus


The number of Black serial killers (BSKs) has increased, but empirical studies have not focused on this unique population, including their expressions of sexual deviance. The purpose of this case study was to understand the common socialization experiences and the expressions of sexual deviance in BSKs. Two conceptual frameworks were used to identify the concepts to explore: Bandura’s social learning theory of aggression and Agnew’s general strain theory. Data collected came from archival court and police records in Texas. A content-analysis approach was used to analyze the archival data, organized by criminal background, sexual deviance, familial data, and social development. The results identified rape and sadism as the primary expressions of sexual deviance in BSKs. The level of aggression and trauma experienced during childhood was consistent across all cases. The results, while limited by the lack of interviews with family and law enforcement, indicated that BSKs present a social problem and have an adaptive skill not hindered by mental impairments or limited education. The results suggested empirical research needs to explore aggression and strain on African American children, the possible connection to the lack of paternal involvement, and expressions of sexual deviance in BSKs. Future research on BSKs can help create an accurate profile to assist law enforcement agencies identify predators.

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