ISU Sociology Professor DJ Williams Publishes Serial Homicide and Leisure Research

POCATELLO ­– Forensic investigators, academics and hobbyists have long studied the motivations behind serial homicide. Now, research from Idaho State University Department of Sociology, Social Work and Criminology Associate Professor DJ Williams suggests that serial homicide may function as an enjoyable leisure experience for offenders.

Williams recently published two studies exploring leisure and serial homicide.

Analyzing the planning required of and enjoyment derived from serial killings, Williams asserts in the study, contributes to understanding the psychological process of serial homicide.

“An Empirical Exploration of Leisure-Related Themes and Potential Constraints across Descriptions of Serial Homicide Cases,”published last November in the journal “Leisure Sciences,”frames serial homicide as a deviant leisure activity. The study, authored with ISU Associate Professor of sociology Jeremy Thomas and Western University, Canada, Professor Michael Arntfield, considers various themes of serial homicide as leisure.

Another paper, published this April in “Deviant Behavior,”furthers Williams’ serial homicide and leisure theory. “Application of the Serious Leisure Perspective to Intrinsically Motivated Serial Homicide,”uses case studies to situate serial homicide in various categories of leisure. Jolene Vincent, professor at Central Florida University, was coauthor on this paper.

Williams has previously studied sexuality, non-monogamy, tattoos and self-identified vampires in the context of social work. He is the director of Research at the Center for Positive Sexuality in Los Angeles and the co-founding editor of “Journal of Positive Sexuality.”

Williams recently returned from presenting some of this research at the Homicide Working Group Annual Meeting in Florida.

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