What appears on the following pages is the culmination of three years work into the study of violent criminals currently incarcerated on death row in the United States. The study was conducted between the years 1999-2001 and is based on letters, interviews and surveys that the thirty participants completed along with me. These thirty violent offenders willingly chose to participate in the study at my invitation. They were selected on the basis of the following criteria:
1)They had to be at least twenty-one years of age.
2)They had to have committed at least one murder.
3)They had to have been sentenced to death for their crime.
4)They had to be accessible.
5)They had to commit to completing all parts of the study.
6)They had to complete an initial autobiographical statement.
I originally contacted fifty death row inmates about their willingness to participate in the study. I received two responses of "no." Twelve of the inmates I contacted did not respond either way. Another three were eliminated from participation because statements in their autobiography contradicted the facts of their case that were verifiable. One inmate responded that he would likely be executed before the completion of the study. Two were eliminated because they did not reply with an autobiography. That left me with the thirty participants that I have studied. All of the participants had exhausted all of their appeals prior to participating. Therefore, all the cases and documents were available for public review. Just as in the Ressler, et al study, the participants have come from several geographic areas, and are, by no means, a random sample of death row inmates.
The youngest participant is twenty-three. The oldest participant is fifty-six years old. The average age of all the participants is 31.03 years. The participants killed a total of 59 victims, or 1.97 a piece. There were 18 multiples and 7 serial killers studied.