Edwin R. Hall Charged With 1st Degree Murder and Aggavated Kidnapping in Murder of Kelsey Smith


Edwin-Hall-Kelsey-SmithEdiwn Hall has been formally charged with the 1st degree murder and aggravated kidnapping of Kelsey Smith by the Overland Park District Attorney today. Edwin R. Hall was also given the opportunity to post a 5 million dollar bond for his release.

Other information in the case is that his truck was impounded and was found in his possession.

Prosecutors charged Edwin R. Hall, 26 from Olathe, on Thursday with first degree murder and aggravated kidnapping for the murder of Kelsey Smith, 18 from Overland Park. He was given a $5 million bond. He’s expected to make a court appearance Thursday afternoon. More charges could still be added at a later date.

Police arrested Hall on Wednesday evening. Chief John Douglass with Overland Park Police said that Hall was believed to be the person of interest that followed Smith into the Target on 96th and Quivira on Saturday. Douglass also said that the truck of interest was found in Hall’s possession.The murder charge Hall faces has a minimum sentence of 25 years to life. via MyFox Kansas City

Previous Posts

UPDATE I: (2015) ‘See No Evil’ … Investigation Discovery Channel Premieres Tonight with Episode on the 2007 Abduction & Murder of Overland Park Teenager Kelsey Smith (VIDEO)

If you liked this post, you may also like these:

  • Video Tape of Edwin R. Hall Arraignment … Charged with Murder of Kelsey Smith
  • ‘See No Evil’ … Investigation Discovery Channel Premieres Tonight with Episode on the 2007 Abduction & Murder of Overland Park Teenager Kelsey Smith (VIDEO)
  • Edwin R. Hall Charged with Capital Murder of Kansas Teen Kelsey Smith … Death Penalty?
  • Sad Ending … Kelsey Smith Found Deceased, Police have Suspect in Mind with Criminal Record (Update: Arrest Made, Edwin R. Hall Pictured Below)
  • Edwin R. Hall had Record at Age 15, Suspect in Kelsey Smith Murder threatening his sister at knifepoint

  • Comments

    71 Responses to “Edwin R. Hall Charged With 1st Degree Murder and Aggavated Kidnapping in Murder of Kelsey Smith”

    1. Richard on June 7th, 2007 12:33 pm

      The guy certainly looks like a creep … where’s the goatee that was mentioned? Was it part of a phony disguise?

    2. Mike on June 7th, 2007 12:37 pm


      I’m sure he lost the Goatee the same day the video was released

    3. Mike on June 7th, 2007 12:42 pm

      I bet before this is all over he will be the one how also killed Kara Kopetsky that lived just 6 miles from where Kelsey was found.

      I’m sure Overland and Kansas authorities are going over all their missing person cases right now…I think they may have caught a serial killer.

    4. Carpe Noctem on June 7th, 2007 12:43 pm

      With that Typhoon Load of media coverage

      He was probably dribbling…

      and he shaved it off.


    5. mayan_moons on June 7th, 2007 12:46 pm

      He shaved that goatee off in hopes he’d not be recognized from the security video. Its called Conciousness of Guilt, like Jurine exhibited conciousness of guilt when he lied repeatedly about where he left Natalee.

    6. Katy on June 7th, 2007 1:00 pm

      Earlier on this site you guys reported #139495895 as his friend ID on Myspace. However, the news today said Edwin lived with his wife Aletha and 4 year old son in Olathe, KS. So I did a Myspace search for Aletha Hall in that city and found her friend ID #47634353. Notice the earlier mentioned Edwin is NOT in her friends list, but she does confirm to be the mom of a 4 year old boy and states being happily married. Her resume of places she lived is also consistant. The man in her #1 spot on her friends list is called “Jack” and looks exactly like the mugshot of Edwin R. Hall. His profile is CREEPY. If you scroll through his comments, there is one left by Aletha about getting naked together (leading me to believe this man is her husband). So are Edwin and Jack the same person?

    7. Mike on June 7th, 2007 1:00 pm

      It’s pretty easy to prove to, mayan…..If his friends or family seen him with the goatee in the days before and now its gone, thats just more proof of his guilt.

      My guess is they have his fingerprints and DNA in Kelsey’s car and on her body….might even have a confession but I doubt that considering this is a career criminal with a long record it appears.

    8. Mike on June 7th, 2007 1:01 pm

      If you compare the mugshot above with the video capture…it sure looks like the same person to me.

    9. katablog.com on June 7th, 2007 1:09 pm

      Good work KC and MO police. Thanks for the assistance from Texas Equusearch. This is how real criminal investigations go. Notice also the hundreds of volunteers that showed up for not 4 hours but 4 days because of their concern for one missing girl.

      And yes,unfortunately, it probably answers the question about what happened to Kara.

    10. mayan_moons on June 7th, 2007 1:11 pm

      Could you link his profile page here Katy?


    11. mayan_moons on June 7th, 2007 1:15 pm

      Yeah Mike….it makes sense to us, i was just saying that there’s not much he could do to change his appearence except shave the goatee, which he did.

    12. mayan_moons on June 7th, 2007 1:19 pm

      It works the other too….that men have grown their facial hair…….mustache and or beard hoping to conceal their facial features in hopes of not being recognized in case they were seen in an area where a crime was committed.

    13. Mike on June 7th, 2007 1:31 pm

      I would like to see the police take him back to Targets and have him stand in the same position as in the video tape…they could then show that to the jury.

    14. Richard on June 7th, 2007 1:39 pm

      Interesting that the specific charge mentioned is murder, not accidental death or something of that ilk.

      I guess they take law enforcement seriously in Kansas … unlike some Caribbean countries I could name, but won’t.

      Doubt that my willingness to volunteer for the firing squad will be tapped … I’m sure they have more than enough locals ready, willing and eager to take care of the trash.

    15. mayan_moons on June 7th, 2007 1:56 pm

      This guy looks soo creepy in the mugshot.

    16. Ashi on June 7th, 2007 2:00 pm

      I looked into the theory of JACK being EDWIN. and it seems to me he is. If you look at the myspace blog.. There’s a comment from someone else asking how he could commit that crime, plus ALL this pictures look JUST LIKE the mugshot.. >

    17. Katy on June 7th, 2007 2:07 pm
    18. Carpe Noctem on June 7th, 2007 2:47 pm

      The Coueys of the world…

      …and that little, highwater pants wearin’ mouse titty, John Mark Karr!!!

      If he pulled up his drawers

      any higher, we’d have to call

      the thing a friggin’ neck tie. LOL

      …SCUZZLE BUCKETS… all of ‘em

      They need a speed lane

      to meet their almighty


      DONE – no more

      You are the



    19. driving miss daisy on June 7th, 2007 2:50 pm

      I am pretty sure soon you will see a different looking person emerge. The ACLU will polish this monster up to look like Brad Pitt before it is over and the long line of leftists will be howling for his freedom and looking for ways to assure that will be the case. Same way with John Couey. Always some evil lawyer looking for the evil in good and making it that way. Not to be a pesimist, but a realist — hopefully he will find a new friend in prison before that happens, one who will make him dance on a table, stand on his head, bend over and reap the dividends of a real girlfriend.

    20. mayan_moons on June 7th, 2007 2:53 pm

      Thank You Katy!

    21. mayan_moons on June 7th, 2007 3:23 pm

      Hey Carpe!

      Yeah Captain Highpants was on Greta’s show the other night…..can you believe it? What a bizarre interview!

    22. matt on June 7th, 2007 3:28 pm

      Apparently he was turned in by his mother. He also had done some time previously for rape. Way to go justice system.

    23. sparrow on June 7th, 2007 3:28 pm

      Murders, rapist, kidnappers the scourge of the earth need to be dealt with period. Not housed for 20 years or the rest of their lives which ever comes first. Maybe they need to be shipped off to an ISLAND and left to entertain each other or kill each other. I’ve had enough, and it’s time we all did something to stop this hell.

    24. Brie on June 7th, 2007 3:55 pm

      Death penalty…and nothing less….what’s prison going to do…rehabilitate, not a chance, who wants to take the risk of this lower than live piece of s##t being parolled. Who would want to pay tax dollars to keep him alive. I rather spend my money on the elderly, the less fortunate, the hungry and the homeless.

    25. mojo on June 7th, 2007 4:25 pm

      katy, per your reference to Jack. he went by that name. it’s him!

    26. Maggie on June 7th, 2007 4:42 pm

      I can’t imagine being married to someone with a 4 year old child and find them being charged with a homicide and aggravated kidnapping. They said on the news cops are outside her house for protection. One of her fears listed on her space is rape.

      The picture of him here is so creepy, but when they showed him appearing in court by videophone , he looked so normal. Court papers filed said they have 106 witnesses against him.

      This is so sad that this young girl Kelsey was robbed of everything.

    27. maryd on June 7th, 2007 4:42 pm

      First I want to say, his mug shot looks like a dead body that’s propped up. Second, if he is married and that is his wifes profile on myspace I really feel sorry for her. She seems like a nice girl. A lot of nice girls don’t see the evil in others, and psycho’s take advantage of their niavety. If this is the way she finds out that is pathetic. Another Dr Jekyl.

    28. DHILLS on June 7th, 2007 4:53 pm

      Edwin and Jack are the same person. His MySpace site quotes him as saying he is a sweet troubled soul. Pastimes listed are eating small children and harming small animals. Go figure.

    29. Allan K on June 7th, 2007 4:58 pm

      After Trial Hang Em !

    30. Ashi on June 7th, 2007 5:03 pm

      Oh, I know theyre the same person. Theres another Crimeblog sit which made me think about it further. There’s another girl missing from Mo. She was in Belton, and her parents think there might be a connection, as does the writer of the site http://truecrimeblog.blogspot.com/?p=455 That’t True Crime blog. The Girl in MO that disappeared was Kara Kopetsky . Now, I figured, at first glance, they weren’t connected. However, did anyone notice where it SAYS that edwin is from? “Kansas City, MO.” -.- Im not sure yet, but i think that’s a killer coincidence.

    31. R.I.P. Kelsey on June 7th, 2007 5:19 pm

      What I wonder is if this was random act or if he found her on myspace or in traffic on the roads etc. It almost appears not to be random the way he just about cut that car off in the parking lot trying to hurry into the same lot she went in to. Also, with the time line with him being back in a hour and 45 minute or whatever it was I wonder what the motive for this was. It just saddens me to death that a girl with her whole life ahead of us has had that taken away but I find some comfort in knowing that the scumbag responsible has been brought to justice and I just pray in my heart that the wacko leftist and the ACLU do not find away to spring this guy free and take away Kelseys justice.

    32. Katy on June 7th, 2007 5:26 pm

      Overland Park, Olathe, Belton, Grandview, Kansas City – they’re all the same metro area. Belton (where Kara is from) is about 5 miles from where Kelsey’s body was found. Edwin/Jack had lived in the area where Kelsey’s body was found earlier this year. You’ll notice on his wife’s Myspace that they moved around a lot. Lots of places in Kansas, once in Missouri, Nebraska and I think Iowa.

    33. Carpe Noctem on June 7th, 2007 5:54 pm

      “Sweet Troubled Soul”

      26 years old
      United States

      Jack’s Interests

      General eating small children and harming small animals, or maby ua reaing and ua painting photography is cool, want to own my own company someday
      Music Lacuna Coil, H.I.M, And a lot of trendy EMO bands, (No not really)
      Movies anything that pushes the envalope, A clockwork Orange, Srangeland and lets not forget horror movies!!!! yea scary (or cheesy)like both
      Television Lost Dead like me and eureka is cool
      Books House of leaves- daniel Z. The Dark Tower Series- Kingand also Koontz , Lovecraft all the greats. o yea also the telaphone book, (its a page turner!!!)
      Heroes Batman, and my dad (The bastard)

      Jack’s Blurbs

      About me:
      Its never what it seems untill you look inside the book, and those people you look up to are not as cool as they think. I love reading and to paint though I dont have enough time for either. fast cars are nice and hope to own one someday( a fast one Im not a looser I have a car)

      Who I’d like to meet:
      Gandi why, well to seem interesting and “with it” cause we all know its all aboutwhat others think right?

      Last Login: 6/6/2007

      Jack’s Details
      Status: Married
      Here for: Networking, Friends
      Orientation: Straight
      Hometown: Emporia
      Body type: 5′ 9″ / Athletic
      Ethnicity: White / Caucasian
      Zodiac Sign: Libra
      Smoke / Drink: No / No
      Children: Proud parent
      Education: High school
      Occupation: Millwork Specialist



    34. olliegizmo on June 7th, 2007 6:06 pm

      I am greatly saddened that another young life has been snuffed out by a creep. My heart and prayers go out to Kelsey’s family. No one deserves this kind of trauma and grief. I too am wondering if he knew her, or of her, followed her; or was this a random act? I would bet this was not his first time. Bravo to all who diligently and methodically put all the pieces of the puzzle together to find and arrest such a worthless excuse of a human being.

    35. Carpe Noctem on June 7th, 2007 6:33 pm

      5p edt Kelsey update

      wwith John Gibson


    36. Bad Name on June 7th, 2007 7:16 pm

      Ah, if indeed he is guilty (which in this case he looks an awful lot like the guy in the video, truck matches, etc.) he should fry immediately. Don’t waste my hard earned tax dollars supporting (both physically and legally) this cold blooded killer. Our justice system is failing us…we keep letting guys like this go…is it true he had a prior? Did his mom really turn him in?

    37. Richard on June 7th, 2007 7:30 pm

      Is there anything to suggest that he knew Kelsey previously? That he was stalking her? Certainly his going into the store and coming out just like that seems to point to stalking, but has anyone placed the two of them together at any time?

    38. Roger on June 7th, 2007 8:15 pm

      I hope SOmeone pull a Dahmer on this Bassturd.

    39. Maggie on June 7th, 2007 8:22 pm

      Nancy Grace is covering this story again tonight, with Kelsey’s parents and bf on it.

    40. Carpe Noctem on June 7th, 2007 8:55 pm

      Everytime I see his expressionless
      ugly face my blood just flash boils!


      Kelsey had so much ahead of her!

      I have this
      eery feeling Bill O will be talking about
      some bozo judge next week that let this
      stinky pan of cat dirt WALK FREE.


      Rear of the car ambush

      Target Sec Vid

      looped / 10 repeats



    41. Skyboxx on June 7th, 2007 9:13 pm

      Father? Married? What is the connection here with Smith?

      Something is amiss here. Bizzarre. If found guilty, recommend the death penalty.

    42. ScottK on June 8th, 2007 7:46 am

      I’m wondering why he did it? A lot of questions still unanswered. How long did he stalk her? Did he just chose her that day or did he see her around before?

      I feel bad for his 4 year old son too. He’s a victim as well. POS father!

    43. Andria on June 8th, 2007 10:32 am

      Looks like both his and his wife’s myspace page have been deleted. I liked to hers and 1 second later it was gone.

    44. disgustedmom on June 8th, 2007 11:13 am

      Ususally with early morning abductions, the jerk does not know his victim. They are selected that morning and they move fast.

      On the news they mentioned that Kelsey called her mother from inside Target to ask her where this item was that she wanted to get. She told her mom she didn’t want to search around for it so to direct her to it over the phone. Now, she could have just been in a big hurry, or she could have at that point noticed she was being followed by some lunatic with crazed eyes and wanted to hurry and get out of there. If the staple above -that early morning abductions are impromptu- holds true in this case, then Edwin would have become vindictive if Kelsey had acted like she was annoyed of him or was afraid of him. She would have become at that point the person he needed to ‘get/hurt’.

      He then follows a good distance behind her out to the parking lot, then takes off running when he sees which car she is getting into so he won’t miss his chance to push her into it. To me, this means he didn’t know her until he saw her walking across the parking lot going into Target. If he had known who she was and what car she’d gotten out of he would have just waited hiding by her car, IMO.

      It’s hard for eventual victims of abductions to know what danger they are in or what dangers they unknowningly encourage by their reaction to suspected dangers. But there are books out there that all women of all ages should read to educate themselves on the best way to handle weirdos after they know you have seen them. Number ONE…you simply do not want to p**s them off. They are already p**sed off when they go looking for someone to blame their anger on.

      I had a pact with my niece when she was young because she was too often alone. She would call me if she even might be feeling like some oddball was watching her and give me a description of him, or if he was in a car, she’d give me the license number. If anything had happened to her, at least there would be a place to start, you know? I got this idea sort of off my own dad who used to sneak outside and take down the license number of the car my date was driving while I was always a bit late so he could do so. Of course, I thought my dad was being silly! Thank God for parents who don’t mind if their older kids think they are being silly/overprotective/hand-holding etc. Thank God for parents and other adults who don’t get pressured into emulating the mindset of kids.

      So I got off track a bit, but it rings back to the Natalee Case where ALE projected the mindset of youth instead of behaving like responsible adults in the first moments they knew Natalee was missing. The Kansas investigators behaved like adults and so they got the job done. Further, ALE and Joran supporters degrade Beth and Jug for ‘not acting properly’ when they were in a hurry to get some answers….this shows a continued support of this mindset of youth because Beth et als were acting like adults and the ‘children’ didn’t like it. They cried foul because the adults were not playing the kid game of ‘don’t make a scene because might look stupid if nothing ends up wrong’.

      I applaud Beth for her efforts to educate people about dangers and as I haven’t looked into all she is discussing, I hope she might include talk of educating people about how to react to potential/suspected weirdnesses because HOW you react could make all the difference. Still, it’s a crap game, but the odds are better.

    45. stella on June 8th, 2007 11:13 am

      Thank goodness a budding serial killer has been caught. How sad it is that so many woman are killed in this country. I was stalked twice in the 1980′s. One of my stalkers came up to me and told me he had followed me in his van from one store to the other. I had no idea.

      Woman need to be more aware by looking around them and listen to their gut feelings. If they are grabbed they need to scream as loud as they can, and fight. Once they are in a car, it’s over for them.

    46. patriot on June 8th, 2007 11:30 am

      he hasn’t been convicted of the crime

      so your constitution says he’s innocent

      or don’t americunts place any value on their constitutional rights anymore? Oh yeah, I forgot, it’s “just a goddam piece of paper,” according to GW Bush

    47. julie on June 8th, 2007 11:50 am

      I find this post very offensive:
      “The ACLU will polish this monster up to look like Brad Pitt and the long line of leftists will be howling for his freedom.” When that happens I will pay you a million dollars. And screw you.


      SM:   This post of yours is offensive to me.   Are you a friend of Edwin Hall?   (klaasend)

    48. whatever on June 8th, 2007 12:02 pm

      Hey “patriot”…….better forums for you over on Dem. Underground……or any other left wing whack job website.
      God be with Kelsey’s family.

    49. julie on June 8th, 2007 12:16 pm

      Sorry – the comment just set me off. I’m still upset – but the point is that that is not what this blog is about. This blog is about the tragic loss of an innocent life. Let’s keep the focus there.

    50. Lynn on June 8th, 2007 12:25 pm

      Looks like they deleted both Edwin and his wife’s profiles off MySpace.

    51. sad mom in kc on June 8th, 2007 12:27 pm

      This guy looks like a total creep. It seems like as soon as you start hearing a suspect’s neighbors, friends, and family say how they are “such a great guy, couldn’t have been him, he’s not capable…..” then you find out that THEY DID DO IT! Come on people, he obviously is guilty and I’m sure that the police have some very dammding evidence that we’ll never know about so I really wish that people will stop trying to paint him out to be an angel. He’s not. Usually these “normal/average guy types” are the weirdest, most psychotic, dangerous people behind closed doors. I hate to say it but I think his wife knew about his sick plans too. I don’t know if it was before or after but she HAD to know something. I’m sure she saw the surveillance and recognized him and it HAD to send off all kinds of alarms when he shaved the goattee off. Did she question where he was for 3-4 hours Sat. evening? And then she sitting up lovey dovey with him riding on his bike with him the other day after she HAD to know he was the guilty culprit?!

    52. Leslie on June 8th, 2007 12:56 pm

      Just an update for everyone: Edwin’s wife deleted her myspace page.

    53. jhett on June 8th, 2007 1:02 pm

      Evaluating a psychological profile of a serial killer (Updated)

      * Editors Note *
      Many thanks are extended to Robert Beattie (Attorney and counselor at Friends University Wichita, Kansas) for contributing oppinions which have lead to corrections within this document (Blue Text).

      Murder has been illustrated as “the unlawful killing of a human being by another” (Oxford dictionary, 1997, p.742). The definition of Serial killings on the other hand, is not so simple to define, for it takes on many different forms, and is brought on by many different states of mind. Holmes and De Burger (1988) have attempted to define serial murder as consisting of repetitive killings which are one-on-one with rare exceptions, where the relationship between the victim and the offender is that of a stranger or slight acquaintance, and the motivation to kill and apparent motives are lacking (p.138). As we will see, this is not an extremely accurate description, because the motivation and motives are not lacking at all, but are just shrouded. Rarely do any of these killers act for money, instead they do it for the thrill, sexual satisfaction and/or dominance they achieve in their own world.

      A more specific profile of a serial killer has been presented by Apsche (1993) stating that most are white males in their twenties or thirties, who target strangers near their homes or places of work. “According to criminologist Eric Hickey, who has assembled the most extensive database on demography of serial murder states that, 88% of serial killers are male, 85% are Caucasian, and the average age when they claim their first victim is usually around 28.5. In terms of victim selection, 62% of the killers target strangers exclusively, and another 22% kill at least one stranger. Finally, 71% of the killers operate in a specific location or area, rather than traveling wide distances to commit their crimes”(Apsche, 1993, p.16). Also, the F.B.I claims that to be classified as a serial killer, the person must first complete 3 separate murders, that are spaced by a duration they call “the cooling off period” which can vary from a few days to years. But one thing that very few definitions include is that for a killer to be known as a “serial Killer”, they must have a particular method to their killings. For instance, Wayne Gacy, had the trade mark of gagging victims with their own underwear so that they would die in their own vomit.

      To discover what makes a serial killer function, it is necessary to look back into their past, particularly their adolescent life. By looking at many and varied cases, it is evident that virtually all serial killers come from dysfunctional backgrounds involving sexual or physical abuse, drugs or alcoholism and their related problems. Many traits that seem to be universal in all these serial killers, though in varied amounts, include disorganised thinking, bipolar mode disorders, a feeling of resentment towards society brought on by their own failings, sexual frustrations, an inability to be social or socially accepted, over bearing parents and a wild imagination that tends to drag them into a fantasy world. In a chart of serial killer – childhood development characteristics – created by Ressler, Burgers and Douglas (1990), the three most frequently reported behaviors included day dreaming, compulsive masturbation, and isolation.

      The daydreaming, which is brought on by an over productive imagination, tends to lead the way into the general fantasy world that the serial killer begins to live in to protect himself from any isolation he is faced with. At an early age, if a child is left alone, or forced to live in isolation whereby little attention is given to them for long periods of time, their minds become the object of their company, and thus begin the daydreams and the fantasy world (Ressler, Douglas and Burgess, 1990).This kind of isolation tends to breed feelings of inadequacy in some way or other in all serial killers. These feelings maybe masked by numerous artificial successes, but these feelings run deeper than the normal neurotic feelings of not being good enough. Essentially, these early life attachments which are known as ‘bonding’, set up a map by which the child will in later life react to others. In such cases, the children do not learn how to interact properly within their society, and at best, turn into mirror images of their isolators. A prime example of this can be seen in the case of Ed Kemper, whose mother condemned him to the basement of their home at the tender age of ten in fear that he would molest his younger sister (though he had not given his mother any reason to think this). Confused and angry as to why he was suffering this punishment, he turned to his fantasies, which may have started out as ‘normal’, but with the continued isolation they quickly became his dominant world.

      At this point, it is important to acknowledge that the majority of all daydreamers will not find themselves turning into murderers in later years; and so too, not all fantasy life is pathological. In fact, ordinary, healthy human beings often dream about their hopes and pleasures, even those that are beyond their reach. “Some of these fantasies may include such deviant and bizarre sexual practices as fetishes, pedophilia, bondage, and rape…Because of their strong sense of conscience or concern over their public image, most will resist translating their desires into action” (Ressler, Douglas and Burgess, 1990). Detailed, ongoing research by the F.B.I shows that many convicted serial killers enact their crimes because of the incredibly rich, detailed and elaborate violent fantasies (including the act of murder) that have developed in their minds as early as the age of seven and eight. What distinguishes killers from ‘normal’ civilians is that the aggressive day dreams that have been developed as children, continue to develop and expand through their adolescence right into manhood, where they are finally released into the real world (Wilson & Seamen, 1992). Through the use of murder and mayhem, the serial killer literally chases his dream. With each successive victim, he attempts to fine tune the act, striving to make his real life experiences as perfect as his fantasy (Apsche, 1993).

      David Berkowitz, known as “The son of Sam”, is a typical example of an average serial killer, and quiet normal in comparison to his other counterparts who have been known to eat their victims. From the years of 1976 through to 1977, he set out his reign of terror in New York City, by shooting over ten lovers who were parked in secluded areas. Upon being interviewed by John Douglas (a member of the F.B.I) at Attica State Prison, it was discovered that Berkowitz came from an adopted home, and upon discovering his real mother, was told by her that he wasn’t wanted. Originally being shy, insecure, and angry, he blossomed into a potential killer. He procured a large and powerful weapon, which in turn made him feel bigger and more powerful, and set about unknowingly to obtain revenge for what his mother had done to him.

      In most cases, there is an event known as the “Pre-crime stresser”, as discussed by Ressler, Burgess, and Douglas (1990). The pre-crime stresser can be looked at as the reason for why the person turns to killing as a form of release, even if the criminal does not realise the full extent of his motivations or fails to see the reasons behind the stress he feels. A clear example of this can be seen upon the questioning of Berkowitz who denied he had anything against women, nor did he have reason as to why he killed so many. In actually fact, his mother’s rejection was the stresser that ultimately turned him violent. He did not attack his mother directly (few serial killers ever attack the source of their resentment), but the majority of his killings where based on women who had a likeness to his mother.

      Serial killers come in many different varieties. One which is driven by the desire to be acknowledged and feared is the “copy cat”. As described by John Douglas (1996), they basically set out copying the actions of previously ‘famous’ serial killers who struck terror into people’s hearts. For example, in Wichita Kansas, the BTK strangler (Bind, Torture, Kill), has been said to have attempted following in the footsteps of Berkowitz. This particular issue has been much debated, with some people arguing that the BTK incidences took place prior to any of Berkowitz’s. As to the accuracy of this concept, it is debatable, particular when evidence suggests that the BTK activities continued up until 1979, though the murders where said to have ended during 1977. It is not so much the celebrity statues that they so enjoy, but instead the ability to control the lives of thousands of area residents, who are held in their grip of terror. “Psychologically the thrill-motivated killer tends to be a sociopath, someone with a disorder of character rather than the mind. He lacks a conscience, feels no remorse, and cares exclusively for his own pleasures in life…It has been estimated that 3% of all males in our society could be considered sociopathic” (Fox & Levin, 1994, p.18).

      Society generally is quick to place tags on serial killers. Many believe that they are psychotics who hear voices or see visual hallucinations, but this is a misconception as explained by John Douglas (1996). Most are not at all psychotics who have lost touch with reality, but instead psychopaths who are suffering from chronic mental disorders with violent or abnormal social behaviors. Only a small hand full, like Richard Trenton who believed he needed to drink other people’s blood to stay alive, are actually psychotics. And this group is so disorganised in its crimes that it is generally apprehended quite quickly.

      One of the most hideous serial killers would undoubtedly have to be the sexual killer. Many specialists, including Douglas (1996) have agreed that the most crucial factor in the development of the serial rapist or killer is the role of fantasy. It has been suggested that the escalation from fantasy to reality in these instances, can be attributed to pornography. In response I would tend to agree, for pornography tends to build on the natural inner desires that exist within us all. The desire to have sexual intercourse is dominant in all males. The action of penetration brings on a sense of triumph and conquest . The only difference here is that these killers have not had the opportunity to learn intimacy due to childhood restraints, and they substitute intimacy with control (which they obtain by inflicting bodily harm to the other(the equivalent to the penetrating conquest) to counteract their inner desires for a mate. As Dr. Richard G. Rappart, a forensic psychiatrist, writes that the mode of death is one where factors indicate that the victim has meaning to the killer and that the intimacy of the murderous act is part of a close bond between himself and the victim formed in the killers fantasy and delusions. A study by Samuel Yochelson and Stanton Samenow (1988) pointed out that a high proportion of serial killers are ‘highly sexed’ in childhood, and have been known to look into bathrooms through keyholes on females undressing, or initiated sexual games – sometimes amounting to rape – with girls at school.

      As Jack Apsche (1993) makes clear, serial murderers see themselves as dominant, controlling and powerful figures. They hold the power of life and death, and in their own eyes, they perceive themselves as God. In their fantasies and their enactment of the murder, they become God. This is actually probably the only power they have ever had, and for this reason they savor and continue to persist. As B.F Skinner proved in ‘Science and Human Behavior’, once a killer has tasted the success of a kill, and is not apprehended, it will ultimately mean he will strike again. He put it simply, that once something good has happened, something that made the killer feel good, and powerful, then they will not hesitate to try it again. The first attempt may leave them with a feeling of fear, revulsion and remorse, as stated by Ted Bundy to psychologists on the eve of his execution in 1989; but at the same time, it is like an addictive drug. Some killers revisit the crime scene or take trophies, such as jewelry or body parts, or video tape the scenario so as to be able to re-live the actual feeling of power at a latter date. Many have been reported as saying that they had fallen into the power of the devil after several kills, which is contradictory to their initial beliefs that they were God. It is almost as though initially they believed that they would be powerful in that they had the choice in taking or sparing life, but as time progresses, and the kills mount up, they find they are driven to kill as though they have no choice. Apsche (1993) has noted that many killers have attempted to get help when they discovered they had little control. They appear to want to stop their actions, but regain control to avoid their discovery. This is possibly an example of a bipolar personality clash.

      Ultimately, it is virtually impossible to detect a serial killer. Many seem to be quiet normal in their everyday lives, only some actually tend to act differently to the general population. Many have stated that it is easy to fool society, especially psychiatrists, by simply stating what they want to hear. Nor is there any way of detecting for certain who might become a homicidal maniac. But by comparing many past cases it is possible to put together a list of general personality traits that are common in serial killers, and that may prove useful in determining future killers. The F.B.I has its own list, but due to its unavailability I have prepared my own. Traits that should be looked at when trying to decide if a person is a potential killer include: Social withdrawal, abnormal dependence’s on ones mother or ulcerated relations with ones parents, hypochondria or other attention seeking behavior including forms of clothing, delusional mind as to grandeur, severe depression, a general feeling of emptiness as to the future, inability to take criticisms, a general feeling of being mistreated, inability to assert ones self, parental taunts as to ones inability to be sufficient (or as I prefer to call it – the Hitchcock ‘Psycho’ syndrome), mood disorders, and a general failing in attempts to succeed. Of course these are very general points, and even if someone had the majority of these (as I do), it would not necessarily mean that they would become serial killers, it is only meant as a point of reference.

      As Freud once commented, a child would destroy the world if it had the power. In a sense the serial killer’s mind can be contrasted to that of a child’s for it has not had the opportunity to develop to that of a ‘normal’ adult. Instead, fantasy takes the place of reality, and it is almost always solely based on acquiring power. A majority of serial killings might have been avoided if the killers had been better treated in their youth. But then again, there is no concrete evidence that suggests this to be true. In all actual fact, most of the conclusions that have been made on serial killers are only speculations based on observations and interrogations of the subjects. But to be realistic, can we really trust anything that may come from the equivalent of a child’s mind filled with falsities created through fantasy?


      Apsche, J. (1993). Probing the mind of a serial killer. International information Associates.
      Douglas, J., (1996). MindHunter. Mandarine Publishing
      Fox, J.A., & Levin, J., (1994). OverKill – Mass Murder and Serial Killing Exposed. Plenum Press
      Hughes, J.M. (Ed.).(1997). Oxford Concise Australian Dictionary (2nd ed.). Melbourne: Oxford University Press
      Ressler, R.K., Burgess, A.W. & Douglas, J.E., (1990). Sexual Homicide patterns and Motives. Lexington Books
      Wilson, C., & Seamen, D., (1992). The Serial Killer. Carol Publishing’s
      Yochelsen, S. & Samenow, S. (1988). The criminal personality. New York Press

      Written By Evan Sycamnias

    54. Moishe Tapirman on June 8th, 2007 3:14 pm

      I wish that the mainstream media would spend as much time covering the Channon Christian/Christopher Newsom murders. These two kids were kidnapped, raped (yes, the male was raped as well), tortured, and dismembered by members of a militant prison gang. Nancy Grace hasn’t mentioned this case at all. It has received almost NO national coverage. Why?


    55. Jeff on June 8th, 2007 5:45 pm

      “The ACLU will polish this monster up to look like Brad Pitt and the long line of leftists will be howling for his freedom.”

      Huh??? What does that have to do with anything? I’m a leftist liberal and I’m just as pissed at this murderer as everybody else. I’m also for the death penalty and want to see this guy go to the electric chair. And the ACLU won’t have anything to do with this.

    56. john on June 8th, 2007 5:45 pm

      Did they delete “jack” myspace account???? I cant seem to find it.


    57. Nadia on June 8th, 2007 6:32 pm

      Both of their pages have been deleted by Myspace!!!!

      I never got to see them!

      Anyone have screen shots? One site claimed to but I couldnt see them.

    58. Carpe Noctem on June 8th, 2007 6:37 pm

      Hi John

      yes, they zapped ‘em.

      I copied a lot of the text

      off of it last night, because

      I figured they might do something

      like that. Check up at #33.

    59. barbara on June 8th, 2007 7:23 pm

      I am beginning to understand why it is so difficult to seat impartial juries in America. Hell, I am surprised they ever seat any!

    60. jonathan on June 8th, 2007 8:38 pm

      This is one far left liberal who would like one hour alone with this guy…with a chainsaw.

    61. Carpe Noctem on June 8th, 2007 8:56 pm


      How did he get “Jack” out of
      Edwin, or the middle
      initial R? All of his
      neighbors only knew
      him as Jack!?!

      Hi Mike,

      This is, Dave. Call Peter soon!

      Sincerely Your Pal,



      This was not likely his first time. I’d
      like to shoot that FREAK-O-SAURUS
      dillweed in his friggin’ eye socket
      with a Nerf Dart.

      He hurt Kelsey, and that makes me mad. (grumble mumble)

    62. J on June 9th, 2007 12:17 am

      What is this about leftists? You brainwashed idiots – no one wants a guilty man unpunished. Leave politics out of this and don’t use a poor young girl who has had her life taken from her to advance your paranoid fantasies.

    63. just moma on June 9th, 2007 3:17 am

      Comment by disgustedmom
      “If the staple above -that early morning abductions are impromptu- holds true in this case, then Edwin would have become vindictive if Kelsey had acted like she was annoyed of him or was afraid of him. She would have become at that point the person he needed to ‘get/hurt’.”

      Dear Disgustedmom:
      I got annoyed at my soon to be attacker after he asked directions to me in two different areas..as walking to my car and when I was inside of it. When he asked the second time I said “I really have to go” I thought he’d left.. he pulled open the car door. I ended up dragging him in reverse and in forward down the parking lane.. don’t know what happened to him after than. Now, I hope the lot was being watched by the FBI (fed. property) and they got him.

      I do wonder if when I raised my voice a tad that this was bad.. but I am not sure. It bothers still me that I did something to set him off. Found out minutes later a man of the same description had killed a lady in the same parking lot the night before.

      In what section of the bookstore do we find out about these types of survival tactic books you mention? Do you have some title names… Thank you and God Bless from just moma

    64. b.dub on June 9th, 2007 4:21 am

      I think the kidnapping of Kelsey and Kara are totally related. Has anyone noticed that both of the girls were the same height and weight? Coincidence??? I don’t think so.

    65. Garrett on June 9th, 2007 1:42 pm

      People like Sister Prejean and Mike Farrell will want him live.

    66. Carpe Noctem on June 11th, 2007 10:07 pm

      He looks a little green to me.

      To the person who said he already looks

      like a dead body.

      You were right!

    67. sweetness on June 12th, 2007 9:15 am

      Why do people care so much what he looks like. Looks can be decieving people. I dont care if he was green, white, black, or blue all of you need to syop jumping to these conclusions like this. I am just glad that you will not be in that jury box…..

    68. Darby on June 14th, 2007 6:51 pm

      I think that we care about what he looks like because we had to wait with baited breath for news about Kelsey. When we finally saw who this person of interest was, well, it was easy to see that there was nothing but a black hole behind those vacant, vapid, zombieish, dead eyes. I am not jumping to conclusions, as the evidence will be crystal clear once it all comes out. He was not some poor look-a-like that was hauled in because somebody thought that he looked like somebody. He is it. It is black and white. I would love to be on that jury.

    69. Amy Lee on June 14th, 2007 8:16 pm

      Hi I have 4 young children all under 10 and i hate it that weirdos are out there But i do not think death is what this man deserves (I do not believe in the death penalty it is way to easy a way out for these guys) I think the man should be tortured have everything he did to that girl done to him besides killing him and have it done as much as possible and then throw him in regular prison so he can become some one girlfriend I would rather my tax money go to hurt this man then to go for a stupid war that kills millions of people. And yes if someone did this to my children I would not want death but i would want to make sure he was in pain for what he did I would cut of his arm arms and legs so i would know he would not beable to hurt someone again .

    70. Amy Lee on June 14th, 2007 8:21 pm

      I meant to say I would cut off his arms and legs . and only if he was truely giuly of doing what they said he did.

    71. ‘See No Evil’ … Investigation Discovery Channel Primieres Tonight with Episode on the 2007 Abduction & Murder of Overland Park Teenager Kelsey Smith (VIDEO) | Scared Monkeys on February 18th, 2015 12:01 am

      [...] that we covered in 2007, the disappearance and death of  Overland Park, Kansas teen Kelsey Smith. Edwin R. Hall was later charged with the 1st degree murder and aggravated kidnapping in the murder of 18 year old Kelsey Smith. [...]

    Leave a Reply

    Support Scared Monkeys! make a donation.

    • NEWS (breaking news alerts or news tips)
    • Red (comments)
    • Dugga (technical issues)
    • Dana (radio show comments)
    • Klaasend (blog and forum issues)
    E-mail It