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Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Psyche of a Serial Killer

In the last few years, I have taken an interest in serial killers and what makes them tick. Because of this strange fascination, I turned to writing thrillers, mostly about serial killers. The following is information on the psyche of a serial killer. Thanks to my assistant, Adam, for researching and sending this information to me. This post was authored by him.


Most serial killers are psychopaths, which means they are impulsive, narcissistic, with a tendency to blame others so they come out looking like the victim. They fail to completely comprehend the emotional content of situations, such as concern, empathy, and gravitate towards arousal and stimulation. Their offenses are more aggressive and diverse than other criminals. Serial killers are resistant to therapy and don't handle frustration effectively. It's not about whom they hurt; serial killers are all about getting what they want, whether it's fame, money, thrill, or gratification. They find victims easily because they are charming while their prey are trusting and naive. Serial killers are good at disregarding consequences.

Externally and experientially, however, serial killers don't fit into neat categories. Serial killers with above-average intelligence, sexual motivations, and abusive fathers are not representative of serial killers as a whole. There is no profile of a serial killer, no set of characterizes or causes that provides us with a way to set them apart. For every "truth" about the psychology of a serial killer, one can find counterexamples that refute it. Some serial killers were abused as children, but many were not.

The wide range of attributes serial killers can have makes it possible to befriend a killer and have no hint about his/her darker deeds. It doesn't help that they are skilled at hiding their brutal fantasies and behavior. Serial killers like this can be compared to Jekyll and Hyde with an ability to adapt and deflect suspicion. For example, John Wayne Gacy threw fundraisers for politicians and Ted Bundy worked a crisis hotline while murdering people on the side.  Serial killers are good at manipulating others because they fail to think of other people as human. The best defense is to realize they're among us and understand their ability to deceive and deny.

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