Graduate Degree Type
Criminal Justice (M.S.)
School of Criminal Justice
The purpose of this study was to determine if there was an increased likelihood of the presence of Macdonald Triad symptoms (animal cruelty, bedwetting, and firesetting) based on different types of abuse (physical, sexual, or psychological) among serial killers. The sample of this study was of 149 serial killers, all of whom met the requirements of being male and having killed 3 or more victims. The results support the three hypotheses that serial killers who have faced physical, sexual, or psychological abuse were more likely to display Macdonald Triad symptoms compared to those who were not abused. In addition, the study determined whether lust serial killers were more likely to display Macdonald Triad symptoms compared to other types of serial killers and found that lust killers had a greater likelihood of displaying both acts of animal cruelty and bedwetting, but not firesetting.
Zuniga, Vivian A., "A Descriptive Study of Serial Killers and the Presence of Macdonald Triad Symptoms" (2021). Masters Theses. 1013.