31 Jul 2022


The Psychology of Crime: Why Do People Commit Crimes?

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For a great period of time, many people have been asking themselves on what kind of individuals are more likely to become criminals and what exactly drives them to become criminals. The psychologists have been working on discovering the different explanations in answering the same question. In their workings, there are those who have concluded that there is a genetic description which relates in the manifestation of the criminal behavior while others have argued that the environment in which some individual’s lives in can impact their behaviors thus becoming criminals. These perceptions have become more influential not only on the psychologists but also on the other professionals. As for this reason nobody has been able to provide other arguments concerning questions of criminology. Although the psychology goes further in giving the theories that explain further the behaviors which criminal poses as portrayed in their behavior, personality, social factors just to name a few. In this assignment, we are going to discuss and design a crime that will help us discuss the type of murder that takes place in the events and the tactics the serial killers use and how they kill. And as we know the serial killers usually kill people in the interval of times either on a crowd or on different occasions. Below is an explanation; 

Duncan Smirnoff, born in a family of six, as the first-born was very vibrant and hardworking but his family had social-economic problems. These problems affected his studies and life in general (Bartol and Bartol, 2014). The family was less of self-maintenance and depended on hand to mouth survival. With this act, his father a stated is engaging in mere stealing and robbery to provide for the family. These were a survival tactic his father adopted and as a result, Duncan acquired the tactics too while at a younger age. This was very heart taking as he tried to learn from his father’s faults to make his ends also meet. This became a way of survival, which the family all depended on. The father also engaged in the criminal activities and sooner he was shot dead in an ambush with the police when he robbed a bank. This was painful according to Duncan and he termed it as an injustice as he explained his father was only trying to make things work while trying to meet their needs. In growing up, Duncan developed a plan and so he became a mastermind criminal that had revenge for his father. The death of his father affected his mind and thinking in a very serious way. So, he had a plan to finish what his father had started, which was robbing a bank. This act was indeed what he had planned in his mission when he was growing up and had spilling of blood everywhere he went to steal that is he killed (Bartol and Bartol, 2014). He assembled a group of other five gangs and trained them on how they would rob a bank taking all the money. He was alleged of killing people which were a normal encounter that seemed like an easy job and he was able to coup with the habits of killing and pretending to remain normal. 

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The first victim Duncan killed was a woman. After he demanded to be given the money she tried to resist, Duncan did not extensively negotiate with her so instead she was shot to death and robed all her belongings. These wouldn’t have happened if at all she had complied. The essence of that stealing was motivated by money and not other things (Bartol and Bartol, 2014). The other victim was a supermarket owner, as Duncan had planned his ambush on the market after the owner counted his daily income after the sales. Duncan struck demanding all the money the storekeeper had. In that incidence where he was running trying to call the police for help, he shot him dead taking all the money he had. Without living some other edible things from the store, it seemed fine killing this individual. When coming out of the store there was a young man, he seemed to have noticed all that was going on in the store, that was very scary because Duncan thought that if he let the young man survive then he would be the witness and as his tradition he cleared the evidence that is killing him instantly with a bullet on the head. The victim suffered their fate from the criminal who showed no mercy but blinded by his family needs and the quest to avenge his father’s death. He also caused other killings in the bank where they committed a crime; although, if the victims would have corresponded to his orders they would not have faced the effect that befell them. As the criminal mind was to have money and other valuable belongings and so did not want the resistance that proved they were rebelling. And so, such serial killers always have no time for negotiations instead they only take what they want and go either peacefully or violently. The major crime was planned to robe on a bank and he was the ringleader of the group of the gang that was to conduct the robbery. Other incidents of killings were rampant too during this occasion as children; he murdered male and female instantly. At this point what was important was the money and everything the audience had or else they lose their lives. This was anonymous as it was reported to have high killings. 

On 5th January another crime elevated. The serial killers managed to enter a bank and took a hundred hostages and sixty who were staff members. The bank was busy just like any other day and work was taking progress as normal, suddenly the criminal group of terror approached. Everybody who was in there was terrified and stressed. This was the perfect situation they needed to get everybody in before robbing them (Andrews and Bonta, 2014). For fear of life, everybody was driven by the terrifying voices of the thugs. Then suddenly a mistake happened the door guard who at first obeyed them tried to notify the police of the incident, on being noticed he was shot dead instantly. Everybody in the room was trembling in fear for their lives due to that incident one of the robbers tried to psychologically console a woman who seemed to be pregnant from the crowd. His words were very encouraging and at some point, the woman forgot the robbery was going on. These affected them positively to correspond and obey the orders given by the robbers. Unfortunately, the robber knew how to talk to people and expressing the robbery situation into a normal activity, which helped them in conducting the robbery in a peaceful way with no tension from the crowd on the death that occurred on the guard officer. To define it potentially, the robbers did not have masks to cover their faces in any way meaning their identity was not important than what they were after (Andrews and Bonta, 2014). They were soft on the hostages gathering them at one point seated on the floor, this was a terrifying moment for the hostages who were fearful not knowing what to do. 

Psychologically, criminals are referred to as psycho. Meaning they can do things which we as other human beings cannot do (Andrews and Bonta, 2014). And so, in this case, the criminals took the advantage of what they were good at making people becoming afraid first. As a result of panicking, this reduces the capability of one doing normal things in the body and so that why when attacked by the robbers they tend to make you Punic by showing you any weapon which makes it a lot worse, then stealing becomes very easy (Andrews and Bonta, 2014). The hostages corresponded on the heist because they saw a murder happening, this was the main reason that made them not thinking of anything like collaborating and obeying what they are told by the robbers. In many situations, the robbers tend to capture the attention of those who are involved so that they can have an easy way of getting what they want. In the bank the situation was tensed, indeed these were qualified serial killers; the manager was pointed out of the group to give the loggings to the safe, which was their target. Getting the money was the priority; as a result, taking peoples life wasn’t a big deal. They promised to spare their lives if they cooperated and indeed this was not a point where one cannot. The manager feared to lose his position. The job involved forgetting about the promise of life they were told if they concentrated and followed orders. The thugs were very angry that they did not kill him but tortured him by shooting him in the leg just to make him correspond and give them the information. At that point, the manager knew that if he relayed the information he would be killed and so he thought by saving his life he should keep the secret word. 

The criminals were not reluctant as they were not there for negotiations and so to end the crap he was shot in the head and died instantly. Everybody in the room was not sure that their life was at greater risk with three bodies down in a pool of blood flowing. While these happen, the criminals were laughing sarcastically with no fear but rejoicing. All over sudden the crime victims were crying for the fear of losing their lives in that siege. At this point, the robbers were sure that they would now get what they needed (Spalek, 2016). A woman was pulled out of the crowd who was said to be the secretary to the manager. This sounded a lot easier because the secretary knew at least most things about his employer. But before all these continued, the police federal bureau of investigation (FBI) intervened. The robbers now were attached in the middle and their point of protection was through the hostages who they captured. When the police were trying to break into the doors one of the hostages was shot dead so that the police could back up. This worked because the police could not risk any more hostages’ lives in pursuing the criminals (Spalek, 2016). While that happened, the hostages were truly terrified and had no option but to cooperate with the robbers even when the police were outside. But indeed, there were no escape points and so after all the murder, they had to surrender because they were overpowered by the police. But they had killed most people to surrender because they negotiated with the police about their freedom with the life of the hostages but it did not work. So, surrendering was the main option they had after killing almost a half the people. 

On treating the serial killer's self-psychological therapy can be applied. And here there are three main aims in undertaking self-psychological therapy. Firstly, understanding of self and the development of a coherent sense of self, these help in the understanding of the content of the personality. Then developing their empathy and the ability to make their relation, here is the making empathy as being the most important aspect on the curetting, this becomes most important in the self-psychology. Another cause is not to introduce the primary defects these are said to be useful when the primary effects have been uncovered. Thus, making it so clear when it comes to curing them. Also, self-objects in transferences in therapy are advisable as it helps in exploring the things they were not induced when they were young. Although the crime victims don’t suffer severe trauma on regarding the crime they suffer much from mild stress from victimization that will not give them peace of mind after what they’ve seen happening during the crime. And so, there is specific treatment that can be offered to them. These treatments include cognitive treatment, these involve the examining on what the victim went through and the causes of the trauma and how it is related to fear and by doing so this helps in identifying the point of realization on memory recharge and emotions meanings of the given events thus making it successful (Figley, 2013). Then behavioral skills can follow which involves teaching a person on the relaxations skills, pain management skills and making the victim forget the trauma clues. Sometimes the fear of relaxation can be combined and make the patient face the real-life feared situations. All these treatments depend on the time of the acquired trauma but at least can last a year treating. 


In conclusion, psychology widely explains the accounts on which the serial killers behave and what they are mainly behaving while execution their killings. Although it seems psychological problems this affects other people as these killers do things based on what they feel it is right. Sometimes killing is not always their target but if by any chance they are not given what they want the execution follows. This paper helps us understand these concepts by helping us to initialize a plot revolving this incidence then know what is primarily important. Serial killers do undergo psychological problems in all that they undertake. Thus, that what leads them to do what they do thinking that it is normal. 


Andrews, D. A., & Bonta, J. (2014). The psychology of criminal conduct . Routledge. 

Bartol, A. M., & Bartol, C. R. (2014). Criminal behavior: A psychological approach . Boston: Pearson, c2014. xxiii, 644 pages: illustrations; 24 cm.. 

.Figley, C. R. (Ed.). (2013). Trauma and its wake (Vol. 1). Routledge. 

Raine, A. (2013). The psychopathology of crime: Criminal behavior as a clinical disorder . Elsevier. 

Spalek, B. (2016). Crime victims: Theory, policy and practice . Palgrave Macmillan 

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StudyBounty. (2023, September 15). The Psychology of Crime: Why Do People Commit Crimes?.


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