"Alcatraz North" - The Penitentiary Museum


This DURGANA.COM documentary features significant insight into Canada's most notorious correctional institute; the Kingston Penitentiary! Hear the cruel and unusual facts! This is a must see attraction in Kingston, Ontario. 

DURGANA.COM would like to thank the staff at the Penitentiary Museum for their assistance. This DVD is not intended for commercial purposes and is strictly intended for informational and academic use.

Visit: http://www.penitentiarymuseum.ca/ 

PART 1: Hangings - in the 1800's
The most original form of execution was via hangings. In the early 1800's, the gallows were dreaded by the condemned yet quite revered by spectators - hundreds, and even, thousands would attend public hangings.
Although hangings were intended to end the life of a prisoner within an instant, several hangings went astray - and the condemned died a slow and extremely painful death while being hanged from the neck

Enter the "Upward Jerker"
This was an early innovation which was engineered to better modify hangings. It was developed in the 1830's, and featured a prisoner being strung from the neck while standing on solid ground. The rope was then connected to pulleys which were anchored by heavy weights - usually stones or boulders.

When the weight dropped, the prisoner's head would suddenly be 'jerked' from his body - thus, instantly executing him/her by severing the spinal cord.
By 1845, this became the standard form of the gallows in New York City!

Degrees of the Death Penalty
In the 17th & 18th centuries, the death penalty didn't always lead to an execution. Generally, there were four stages of the death penalty:

1) Mercy upon the condemned: this would entail the guilty party receiving a pardon after the hearing has concluded
2) Execution through symbolism: the condemned would be 'treated' to a full-scale execution only to be pardoned at the very last moment. This ensured 
the guilty party would learn from their mistake(s) and the state would look "merciful" in the eyes of the audience (who turned up for live executions!) 
3) Execution: the condemned is executed usually through a hanging
4) Worse than death: These penalties were considered medieval tortures 
which were worse then death, itself. This included burning at the stake, dismemberment of the body, and physical dissection while the condemned 
was still alive.

The Auburn Penal System

The Kingston Penitentiary implemented the Auburn penal system. This philosophy was created in the 19th century and focused on severing the channel of communication between prisoners. The inmates would do hard labour during the day...and were placed in solitary confinement in the evening. The Auburn system also enforced a policy of silence. Prisoners were not allowed to speak to one another at any time.

The Auburn System was instituted in much of North America and was also referred to as the "New York System" as it originated in Ossining, NY at the local penitentiary - that penitentiary was known as "Sing Sing".  



The Mind of a Serial Killer
Serial killers are a rare phenomena. One of the greatest criminological questions is based on understanding the criminal psyche that turns a person into a killer. The next level of that understanding is the psyche of a serial killer. Although there have been several defining aspects, the following are 3 specific categories that define the serial killer:

1) Mission killers: serial killers who find motivation in ridding the World of undesirable individuals - or sinners. These serial killers feel they are doing a good thing, or a favor to the World

2) Psychotic killers: serial killers who commit murders in response to an inner voice - or vision - that demands the murders of specific individuals.

3) Hedonistic killers: serial killers who find a thrill in the murder of another individual, and obtain excitement/pleasure from these acts. These killers generally enjoy the power of control over their victims. 

Mens Rea vs. Actus Reus
In order for a conviction, an individual must be guilty of several elements. Two of the most important of these are 'mens rea' and 'actus reus'. These elements are quite different but are intertwined through crime and punishment.

Mens Rea (A guilty mind): Becoming involved in an act of crime through a concept. This means the individual can be involved in a criminal act resulting from a guilty mind, or the mental proportion of crime.
Actus Reus (An illegal act): This directly relates to s.219 of the criminal code. This is generally known as the guilty act in a crime. It involves the physical element of a criminal act that has been carried out.

When both mens rea and actus reus are proven, the accused is easily convicted, depending upon the crime. The difference between mens rea and actus reus heavily depends upon the fact that an individual can be charged with a crime for the actus reus alone (i.e. manslaughter). If an individual is guilty of mens rea alone, there is little chance of conviction in a criminal case.

Why does a serial killer utilize an M.O.?
From the Zodiac's ciphers to Jack the Ripper's letters from Hell - Could it be fame...or infamy?
- One specific theory is the desire for notoriety in the public sphere
* If a serial killer desires notoriety for their murders, WHY would they hide their true identity?
        - A possible answer to this question is the reality that serial killers would not only want to become 'famous'...but legendary.
Thus, the creation of names and signatures to further establish their 'growing legend' (i.e. BTK Killer, Son of Sam, Zodiac and their respective letters)

1) Theory of Anomie - Personal goals cannot be achieved through available means
        - If a serial killer desires fame and notoriety, however lacks the legitimate means to achieve this...they choose illegitimate means
        - Therefore, they become famous through killing...and now obtain the 'available' means to become notorious, or legendary  

2) Social Strain - In attempting to achieve seemingly unattainable goals, individuals feel a strain to follow illegitimate routes to achieve success. 
        - Al Capone falls under a similar category in the business world
- By using memorable names and adopting heinous signatures, serial killers can attain their desired notoriety.
Has this attempt to reach legendary status worked?
  - The names of Dennis Radar, Arthur L. Allen and David Berkowitz are unfamiliar...B.T.K, The Zodiac, Son of Sam (respectively) are notorious!


Wayne Boden - "The Vampire Rapist"
Plead Guilty to the rape & murders of 4 victims
Serial Killer - [His M.O.] Biting His Victims - leaving them bloody
A premier case to use forensic odontological evidence [forensic dentistry] 
Convicted 1972 - 4 Consecutive Life Sentences [He died in 2006]

- Wayne Boden murdered women, after raping them, and finished by biting their lifeless bodies - these actions cause Boden to fall under 3 categories:
1) Serial Killer - He murdered more than one victim, on different dates. He was elusive, and had his own M.O. [bite-marks]
2) Thrill Killer - He enjoyed to thrill of the murder - seemingly an act of impulsive recklessness and daring
3) Hedonistic Killer - He illustrated a motivation to involve violence during the murder - obtained excitement and pleasure from his acts


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