First Advisor

April Samaras

Second Advisor

Amy Balogh


Regis College

Degree Name

MS Criminology


School of Professional Advancement

Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Number of Pages

46 pages


The purpose of this research was to connect behaviors based on John Bowlby’s Attachment Theory to bodily disposal methods utilized by serial homicide offenders. In this thesis, insecure attachment styles were the primary focus due to their translation into criminal behavior. The attachment styles analyzed within this study were anxious-preoccupied, dismissive-avoidant, and fearful-avoidant. The bodily disposal methods that were analyzed were set forth by the National Center for the Analysis of Violent Crimes and are the primary disposal methods utilized by serial homicide offenders. The disposal methods analyzed were transport/concealment, transport/dumping, no-transport/concealment, and no-transport/as is. The approach utilized for this thesis was a grounded study approach, focusing on making conclusions from the already published data set. Results indicate that serial homicide offenders with an anxious-preoccupied attachment style are likely to utilize transport/concealment and no-transport/concealment bodily disposal methods, individuals with dismissive-avoidant attachment styles will utilize transport/dumping bodily disposal methods, and individuals with fearful-avoidant attachment styles will utilize no-transport/as is. Three offenders were utilized to exemplify the findings of this study, Jeffrey Dahmer represented the anxious-preoccupied attachment style, Donald Henry Gaskins represented the dismissive-avoidant attachment style, and Dennis Rader exemplified the fearful-avoidant attachment style.

Date of Award

Winter 2021

Location (Creation)

Colorado (state); Denver (county); Denver (inhabited place)

Rights Statement

All content in this Collection is owned by and subject to the exclusive control of Regis University and the authors of the materials. It is available only for research purposes and may not be used in violation of copyright laws or for unlawful purposes. The materials may not be downloaded in whole or in part without permission of the copyright holder or as otherwise authorized in the “fair use” standards of the U.S. copyright laws and regulations.