Friday, March 9, 2012

Bobby Joe Long

Bobby Joe Long

            Bobby Joe Long was a serial killer and a serial rapists that was mentally disturpted from past truama in his life.He was born with an extra x chromosome, because of which he grew breasts during puberty, for which he was teased.  He also suffered multiple head injuries as a child.  He had a dysfunctional relationship with his mother; he slept in her bed until he was a teenager, and resented her multiple short-term boyfriends.

            Some people claim that this could possibly be a gentic problem which is in some way likely but the envorinoment they grow up in and the events that occur in ones life to be the main point of impact.One study of twins who were raised apart, done by Yoon-Mi Hur and Thomas Bouchard in 1997, revealed a strong link between impulsivity and sensation-seeking behavior, "attributed almost entirely to genetic factors." Both sensation-seeking traits and impulsivity have been "found to be higher in drug abusers, delinquents, and psychopaths."Environment alone cannot explain deranged behavior — too many abused and neglected children grow up to be law-abiding citizens. (Arnold, 1988)

            Others belive that it was due to Klinefelter's syndrome. Klinefelter's syndrome is a genetic disorder that is only found in males. Klinefelter's syndrome is caused by an extra X chromosome, which is caused by an error in meiosis, to make a combination of XXY, also known as a trisomal karyotype. Although the extra X chromosome is inactive, also known as a Barr body, it still interferes with the development of some male characteristics. Other causes of this disease are excessive alcohol intake, hormone disturbance, and urinary tract infections.Klinefelter's syndrome is a very common disease even though it goes undetected in many males. Not many people know about this and many other genetic diseases which could be affecting someone in their family. I dont belive this to be the cause directly but it could be possibly have been a affect indirectly.  The syndrome made him develop female breasts which in turn lead to teasing in school which could have been part of the problem.(Epsicokhan,2004)

            Bobby Joe Long had a few brain damaging injuries when he was younger which there is a small chance that there was a personality disorder that was developed but again it can not soley be placed on this alone.  There are people all over the world that suffer from brain damge and that doesnt mean that they will group up to be a serial killer. A sign of this not having much of a impact is the fact that during the trials he was observed by doctors and they deemed the possbility of a brain damage to be not likely the cause of his actions.Researcher Dominique LaPierre believes that the "prefrontal cortex, an area of the brain involved in long-term planning and judgment, does not function properly in psychopathic subjects." Paleopsychologists also believe that there is some sort of malfunction in the brain of serial killers, that somehow their primitive brain overrides the "higher" brain: reason and compassion take a backseat to lust, aggression, and appetite. A study by Pavlos Hatzitaskos and colleagues reports that a large portion of death-row inmates have had severe head injuries, and that approximately 70% of brain-injured patients develop aggressive tendencies.(Arnold, 1988)

            In my opinion i do belive he was indeed psychopatic because of the simple fact that he didnt seem to have much remorse for his actiosn by continausly repeating his beahavior. This literal translation gives the impression of insanity, or psychoticism, however most psychopaths are not thought to be mentally ill. They do not suffer from delusions, hallucinations nor the severe psychological symptoms characteristic of most other mental ailments.  Rather, they are fully functioning, very much in touch with reality and aware of their actions. Their choices are made rationally and their behaviour exercised as a result of their own free will (Hare, 1993)

            These physiological characteristics, however, do not guarantee a serial killer. Many, who are not violent, have brain injuries and biological abnormalities. A lump on the head is no singular forecast for a serial killer. Can evil be reduced to a chemical equation? Perhaps it is a combination of environment and chemical predispositions. What we do know is that no singular pattern emerges for serial killers. Many of these biological studies are new, so perhaps in the future the chemical profile of serial killers will be revealed.(Arnold, 1988) A combination of these things is the most apportpriate  explanation to the mindset of Bobby Joe Long. 


1.Arnold S. (1988, August 12). What Makes Serial Killers Tick.

     Retrieved October 12, 2009, from .doc stoc website:

2.Epsicokhan, J. (2004, July 23). KLINEFELTER'S SYNDROME.

     Retrieved April 21, 2010, from Jammer's Reviews website:

3.John Hare (1993, February 20). A Look at the Psychopath.

     Retrieved April 21, 2010, from A Look at the Psychopath website:

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