Motives of Murder

“There is a feeling that if you commit murder, you can get away with it.” (Filkins 2) There are several thoughts about murder, mainly discussed is the question why? “Rather than rehabilitating juveniles who have gone astray, the system often seems to release hardened criminals.” (Glazer 1) One consideration on headlines worldwide was discussed by Sarah Glazer is Children killing Children.
To me a child’s reasoning makes sense, if I can get away with a crime once why not try it again or better yet, something of a higher extent. Kids are arrested for assault or robbery and are let go after a slap on the hand. This I believe makes them think they can solve their problems by illegal and cruel acts. Looking into this deeper there is still no explanation for what caused this way of life to begin with. Most say what people say every time we are talking about youth: How were they raised? As Barry Siegel calls it, “A long history of Anti-social behavior,” causes dysfunction in youth. (Siegel 1) Was there lack of attention due to a parent working two jobs, or maybe staying out all night at the bar? Is this what causes these latchkey children which turn into criminals? This might be one answer, but it certainly does not apply to all youngsters who are in trouble. Take, for example, gang members. In a gang, killing is something each member must do in order save their own life. “Now, the murders are related to drugs and gangs, and young people are carrying them out.” Says Joesph McNamara, former chief of the San Jose Police Department. (Filkins 4)
In The seventies there was much peace among people within the United States. They were too focused on the war with other countries to be concerned about each other. Today our teenagers have lost that, due to the fact we can’t see the big picture. It seems youngsters now have nowhere to place their anger so they place it on others. A prime example is Hate Crimes: killing one another over race, religion or beliefs. As Kenneth Jost calls them, “bias-motivated crimes” are on the rise. (Jost 1) “Many believe that the death of Fred Martinez Jr., a gay, trans-gendered student was a reaction to his sexual preference. (Duggan 1) A kid dying because he was sexually interested in males rather than females, to most this sounds ridiculous, yet it happens each day within the U.S.
One of the largest motives brought up however is greed. An extreme example of such greed took place in San Francisco California. “Twenty-two year old Herbert Monterroza was arrested not too long ago for the murder of his parents. Police believe Monterroza hired a man to kill his own parents so he and his new bride could live in their home.” (Housing 1) This is one of many extreme murder cases that takes place within the United States each year, all with the same common thread: money or property.
Probably the most mysterious type would be that of a serial killer or terrorist. Christopher Hitchens sums it all up by saying “The motive for such an action was to kill as many innocent people as seemed feasible.” (Hitchens 1) There is no real explanation for murder like this. In a loss of words Doctors and Psychologists offer excuses such as a chemical imbalance or a traumatizing childhood. Yet this is as far as we’ve gotten.
Many People have many opinions when it comes to murder, just as many criminals have many excuses. Unfortunately this is all we have opinions and excuses nothing concrete. This being a procedure so complex, we will probably never be able to pinpoint an exact explanation.


Works Cited

Duggan, Paul. “Gay Youth’s Death Shakes Colo. City.” Washington Post 1 Sep. 2001, F Edition: A, A3.

Filkins, Dexter. “Half of O.C. Killings Are Going Unsolved.” Los Angeles Times 16 Dec. 1996, Orange County Edition: Main News, A-1.

Glazer, Sarah. “Juvenile Justice.” The CQ Researcher 25 Feb. 1994

Hitchens, Christopher. “Murder Was Their Only Motive.” 26 Sep. 2001 Guardian. 7 Nov. 2001

“Housing May be Motive For Double Murder in SF.” PIX. 7 Nov. 2001

Jost, Kenneth. “Hate Crimes.” The CQ Researcher. 8 Jan. 1993