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McNair Scholar 2010Jessica Verse Gabrielle

Jessica Verse Gabrielle is a senior at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, majoring in sociology (law, crime, and deviance). Her research interests revolve around the intersectionality of race, class, and gender along with white privilege, sociology of deviance, and crimes committed against women and children. Ms. Gabrielle plans on getting her Ph.D. in sociology.

Jessica Verse Gabrielle photo
'I want to be the best at being the best.'

If a man is called to be a street sweeper, he should sweep streets even as Michelangelo painted, or Beethoven composed music, or Shakespeare wrote poetry. He should sweep streets so well that all the hosts of heaven and earth will pause to say, here lived a great street sweeper who did his job well.

—Martin Luther King Jr.

Research project

Graduation: From Child Abuse Victim to Serial Killer

Abstract: I argue that the most influential type of child abuse experienced by a power/control serial killer is sexual abuse and their kill/torture methods are a result of the abuse suffered. There are three main motive categories for serial killers: a. thrill seeker—enjoys media attention and outsmarting law enforcement, b. mission oriented—believes they are doing justice to society by eliminating certain people (e.g. prostitutes) and c. power/control—enjoys the victim’s torture, suffering, and screaming (Newton 2000). There are four major types of child abuse: physical, sexual, emotional/psychological, and neglect (Mitchell & Aarmodt 2005). I examine and discuss all four types of child abuse in relation to the power/control serial killer to better understand if a serial killer that was abused is related to their choice of methods when killing their victims. Thus far with the research gathered, sexual abuse does play a significant role in the serial killer, and this is exemplified in the three serial killers used for this study; Cole, Long, and Wuornos who were all sexually abused as children. Download poster. [PDF]

Faculty profile

Dr. Carolyn Liebler is currently an associate professor in the Department of Sociology at the University of Minnesota. She received her Ph.D. in 2001 from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Dr. Liebler is fascinated by the translation of individuals’ racial identities into their answers to standardized questions about race, as well as the ways in which these answers are grouped to form the statistics used by social scientists and policy makers. Professor Liebler is also a social demographer and an active affiliate of the Minnesota Population Center. Her teaching efforts focus on large required classes such as Introduction to Sociology and Sociological Methods—classes with which she feels she can reach a wide variety of students.