Criminology Case Study

Criminology Case Study. Each student will choose an audio visual presentation and complete a 2-3 page criminological study. A good example is to review the cases presented in your textbook, Jim Jones and the Peoples Temple”, John Wayne Gacy, “Wayne Williams – Atlanta Child Murders” Sam Little – Serial Murder” “Allene Wourmous – Monster”. Remember you are researching the character(s) from the presentation from a criminological standpoint. You should answer the following: Who What , When Why and How. Include facts about their family background, their criminal acts, their victim(s). How did they get arrested. What happened to them? Where are they today? You may wish to preview the different cases and information located in your text for understanding a knowledge to be included in the project submitted in Blackboard. 1. The Case of Ross Ulbrict – Page 17 2. The Case of Richard Speck Page 53 3. The Case of Jodi Arais Page 73 4. The Case of Dennis Rader Page 216.

Criminology Study

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Criminology Study

Jim Jones’s Family Background

            Jim Jones formally known as James Warren Jones was born in May 1931 in a town named Lynn in Indiana. Jones’s family was what was described as poor, with an alcoholic father and mother functioning as the sole breadwinner. There is a high probability that the reason why Jones was concerned for the marginalized groups was due to his upbringing, and willingness to help people lead better lives. Indiana was characterized by aggressive racism, and as Jones witnessed it, he developed a desire to become a preacher, with the hope of gaining the power to integrate a church (Stephenson, 2005). In the 1950s Jones founded his church, “the people’s Temple” in Indiana with which he mostly taught people about the existence of a higher purpose for each person. The church was in support of the racial congregation, a concept that was not welcome in Indiana; hence there was controversy regarding the people’s temple necessitating shifting location for a place where his followers would face less discrimination.

Jones’s Crimes

            The relocation of Jones to California also saw him become more politically oriented, helping politicians win in the elections (Fondakowski, 2013). Mostly due to his popularity and a large congregation of followers. Jones’ popularity, however did not last for long since soon after there were several cases filed complaining about his mistreatment of his followers.

There were several complaints of abuse from concerned relatives. Sexual harassment was reported where women would be required to engage with the reverend sexually in exchange for special favors such as secretarial positions in the church among others (Chidester, 1991). There were reports of sleep deprivation, where the reverend would play a recording addressing his followers the whole night (Scheeres and Julia 2011). The filed complaint led to an initiative by Leo Ryan, the state representative for California, accompanied by an entourage to visit Jones in 1978 to investigate the claims. On further inquiry from Jones, he kept his stand and said that the people could leave at their own will which they did immediately accompanied by Ryan’s staff. However, they did not make it a long way since Jones’ sent armed men after them and several people were shot dead

 On November 18, 1978, there was a mass killing involving staunch followers of Reverend Jones. The deaths were a result of drinks in which the followers were served laced with cyanide. Taped recordings were found with the reverend urging the followers to drink and die to escape from engaging in corrupt earthly ways (Kilduff, Marshall and Javers, 1978). The reported numbers of deaths were 900 people including children. The reverend was also found dead in the same room with a gun wound on the head. Some reports claim that he might have killed himself or had his secretary kill him before she shot herself.

Identification, Investigations and Jones’ death

The criminal activities of Jones were identified from filed reports from relatives of the victims. The relatives complained after the reverend restrained them from leaving Guyana among other forms of abuse (Kilduff, Marshall and Javers 1978). Investigations by Ryan and his staff however did not amount to any substantial evidence. Jones also sent his men to open fire at these followers who were leaving. Jones, however, did not serve justice for his actions since he died during the mass cyanide killings.


Chidester, D. (1991). Salvation and Suicide: Jim Jones, the Peoples Temple, and Jonestown. Indiana University Press

Fondakowski, L. (2013). Stories from Jonestown. University of Minnesota Press.

Kilduff, M., & Javers, R. (1978). The suicide cult: The inside story of the Peoples Temple sect and the massacre in Guyana. Bantam books.

Scheeres, J. (2011). A thousand lives: The untold story of hope, deception, and survival at Jonestown. Simon and Schuster.

 Stephenson, D. (2005). Dear people: remembering Jonestown; selections from the Peoples Temple Collection at the California Historical Society. Californiarnia Historical Society Press.

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