By Jay Rogers
Published September 1, 1990
Are the Two Related?
GAINESVILLE, Florida (FR) – On any given day, in the numerous bookstores that surround the University of Florida, pornographic magazines may be purchased which range from the milder so-called “soft-core” to the more extreme forms depicting violent and sado-masochistic acts.
Recent acts of extreme violence surrounding the campus, which have involved at least 5 victims of murder within a 48 hour period, should cause people to wonder if the violence and pornography are related.
The first three of the five victims were young women in their teens. Police on August 28, identified the first two victims as college freshmen 17 and 18 years old. The third victim was a Santa Fe Community College student, age 18.
In three of the cases, gruesome mutilations occurred. Police have confirmed that several of the victims were found nude and covered with blood. According to Gainesville Chief of Police Wayland Clifton, every one of the victims is believed to be connected to one or two suspects.
An atmosphere of fear is prevalent among students walking along University Avenue in Gainesville. At every corner beefed-up security is responding at the request of the city and county. Police cars line every street around the campus.
University of Florida President John Lombardi called the murders “random and horrific” and said that the university’s first day of school was filled with sudden horror.
Campus Leaders Describe “A Spirit of Fear”
In a locally televised news conference, University President John Lombardi said that a “spirit of fear” has paralyzed the students and the community of Gainesville. Many students, afraid to sleep at night, have left the area. Local pawn shops have reportedly sold massive numbers of guns to students desiring to protect themselves. Tear gas or “mace” is readily available around campus.
Several pastors of local area churches called public prayer meetings in response to the wave of horror that has swept Gainesville. David Wead, of North Central Baptist Church, held a campus prayer vigil which was covered by the Cable News Network.
Father John Gillespie, of St. Augustine’s Church held a prayer vigil attended by almost 100 students. Father Gillespie wanted to sooth the feelings of fear and anger among the students, yet feared that the large number of guns and knives that has been proliferated on campus may cause additional problems.
“Obviously, the primary concern is to take the steps that people feel are necessary to protect themselves,” said Gillespie. “However, widespread in our society is the problem of violence, and a lot of it is traceable to the edginess with which people use weapons. I am afraid of what might happen months down the road with thousands more guns in our community now loaded. We are that more vulnerable to each other.”
Link to Pornography?
In recent cases involving serial homicide, an obsessive addiction to pornography has been associated with the aberrant personality of the killers. It is shocking, therefore, that pornographic magazines, movies and books are widely available in the area surrounding the campus.
Allen Wildmon, public relations director of the American Family Association, gave several examples of studies relating serial homicide to an addiction to pornography, including studies at the University of Utah, the University of Houston and the Surgeon General’s report on pornography.
Dr. Victor Kline of the University of Utah described several stages observed in the addiction process. Kline noted that pornography can be proven to be psychologically addictive with the subject craving harder and harder forms in order to gratify the obsession.
- The first stage usually involves the “soft-core” magazines such as Playboy and Penthouse.
- A second stage involves the addiction becoming more severe with the subject craving harder and more “bizarre” material.
- Third, a stage of addiction to “weird” porn evolves in which the addict views pictures of children, sexual acts involving animals and violent sex.
- A fourth stage of acting out the fantasies, including the extreme forms violent behavior, is the final result of the addiction.
A study conducted by Dolf Zillman the University of Indiana and Jennings Bryant of the University of Houston in 1984, found evidence that shows that exposure to non-violent porn can lead to an interest in violent pornography.
In the President’s Report on Pornography (1988), Attorney General Edwin Meese concluded that there is a causal relationship between hard core pornography and serial homicide. The personal testimonies of the convicted murderers Gary Bishop and Ted Bundy have also confirmed this association.
Utah State Prison inmate Gary Bishop, convicted of five known deaths of young boys, ages 5-13, gave this testimony: “I am a homosexual pedophile convicted of murder. Pornography was a determining factor in my downfall … For me, pornography was like lighting a fuse on a stick of dynamite. I became stimulated and had to gratify my urges or explode.”
In an interview with the nationally syndicated radio program, Focus on the Family, convicted serial killer Ted Bundy told Dr. James Dobson a similar story: “This is the message I want to get across – that as a young boy … certainly I encountered in the local grocery store, in the local drug store, the porn that people call ‘soft core.’”
As he grew older, Ted Bundy said his obsession drove him to mutilate and murder young women for sexual gratification. “In the beginning it fuels this kind of thought process. Then, at a certain time, it is instrumental, I would say crystalizing, making it into something that is almost like a separate entity inside, a building up of this destructive energy. You keep craving harder porn.”
With all of the evidence that suggests that the homicidal thoughts of the most notorious serial killers of our day were fueled by pornography, it is baffling why porn is still widely available in our nation. At the University of Florida, where magazine racks in the larger bookstores abound with pornography, a sadistic psychopath has terrorized the campus and the surrounding community.
Already news sources have compared the killer to Ted Bundy. A local newspaper with the headline “Lust Killer” emblazoned on the front page was available a few days after the murders. Only time will tell whether or not the murderer was motivated by the same sickness that plagued the minds of Bishop and Bundy, however, the availability of pornography in our society is an indictment against us.
How long will local communities refuse to raise a standard against an addiction that has been well proven to cause mental instability and violent tendencies?
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