Examining the foundations that make the analysis and investigation of serial killers a relevant
topic of study
In a paper using MLA format, please identify and define in your own words “insanity” and “sanity”
in connection to our context. What constitutes sanity? what constitutes insanity? explain how
insanity and sanity can intermingle. your argument should stem from two assigned class readings
and one film to support your analysis.
Dexter 2006, Psycho 1960, copycat 1995
Sanity and Insanity
Sanity is the ability to think rationally or rather have sound mental health. In the context
of serial killers and legal terms, sanity refers to the ability of individuals to bear legal
responsibility for their actions. On the contrary, insanity involves mental instability or acting in
an unsound mind. For instance, serial killers are mostly considered to be insane since they are
unable to bear accountability for their actions. In fact, they are people who tend to lack some of
humane or kindness.
Sanity and insanity constitute totally different things. First, it is important to note that people’s
behavior can easily determine their sanity. In fact, it is always difficult to get into a common
footing with instance persons (Holoyda, McDermott and Newman 1). In the company of such
people, there is always an indefinite and intangible obstacle that hinders mutual comprehension.
Most often insane people tend to have the willingness to participate in what one wants them to
do. However, such actions take center stage when the perpetrator wants to achieve something
negative in the long run.
Since such persons tend to accept and appreciate a perpetrator, it is evident that all the
way there is a third party to that specific conversation. Consequently, as one communicates to
insane people, it is likely that a person is addressing the order side of the individual’s personality.
In which case, there is no doubt that such persons contain two personalities that can probably
change at any given time (Holoyda, McDermott and Newman 2).
Thus, it clear that a person can actually be insane but to some extent not particularly
noticeable. For instance, in the movie Psycho 1960, Norman Bates is able to start a conversation
with a stranger Marion (Hitchcock). At this juncture, Marion cannot figure out that the proprietor
has a mental health problem. Later on, it is clear from the psychiatrist that Norma had mental
issues and thus why he killed Mrs. Bate and her lover (Hitchcock). Hence, insane people tend to
do strange things out of jealous as in the case of Norman.
Sane people, on the other hand, tend to act with a sound mind. For instance, in the movie, after
Marion realizes her mistake, she decides to go back and return the money back to Phoenix
(Hitchcock). Unlike the insane people, sane persons have some sense of congeniality including
social and friendly behaviors. Also, they tend to have one personality, and their behavior will
always be consistent (Hitchcock). For example, a sane person seldom acts politely at one
instance and change drastically in the next minute.
Moreover, the ability to adapt oneself to others within society is a core trait of sane
people. To succeed in society, a sane person knows that he needs to have a definite aim which
where adapting to different requirements of a situation is key (Holoyda, McDermott and
Newman 2). As compared to serial killers’ sane people tend to dominate people while at the
same time directing their efforts towards positive objectives. A good example is when Sam and
Lila in the movie Psycho 1960 act rationally to help Marion (Hitchcock).
Intermingle between insanity and sanity
Insanity and sanity tend to intermingle due to the fact that they can act normal at some point in
time. According to Vito Zepinic, serial killers are said to be semi-successful psychopaths since
they act in a way that displays their insane behavior (Zepinic). The two terms intermingle as they
are able to act with sanity until they accomplish their plans. In that case, their behavior at a sane
state is a strategy to strike in the long run.
Hitchcock, Alfred. “Psycho.” IMDb, IMDb.com, 8 Sept. 1960,
Holoyda, Brian J., Barbara E. McDermott, and William J. Newman. “Insane sex offenders:
psychiatric and legal characteristics of sexual offenders found not guilty because of
insanity.” Journal of forensic sciences 63.4 (2018): 1207-1214.
Zepinic, Vito. “Psychopathy in Serial Killers and Political Crime.” Psychology 9.06 (2018):