There is a fundamental difference between serial killers and other types of murderer.
Many serial killers are naturally ‘dominant’, members of what the zoologists call ‘the dominant 5%’ – but find themselves in a situation in which they feel passive and impotent.
Psychologically such persons can differ as radically as the American Henry Lee Lucas, who confessed to 360 murders that were mainly motivated by sex, and the British nurse Beverley Allitt, who killed children in hospital out of some strange sense of inadequacy.
The same inadequacy can be seen in the case of Jeffrey Dahmer, who drugged and murdered males he lured back to his Milwaukee apartment, and the Russian Andrei Chikalito, whose sexual impotence vanished only when he was inflicting multiple stab wounds on his victims.
The desire to inflict pain is an element that links many serial killers. This sadism may or may not be present early in their lives but could have developed as a result of sexual obsession.
It’s wrong to say that serial killers are bereft of any emotions for example when the moors murderer Myra Hindley , who participated with Ian Brady in murdering children heard that her dog had died in police custody she remarked “they’re just a lot of bloody murderers”.
Many serial killers have committed their murders when drunk – a few notable ones being Jeffrey Dahmer, Dennis Nilsen and Steve Wilson.
Steve Wilson killed 2 prostitutes in a motel in Los Angeles in 1944, cutting them up in the manner of the original Ripper. He told the psychiatrist that he had strong sadistic tendencies which only emerged when he was drunk.
This Jekyll and Hyde syndrome is very common among serial killers. When with their family and friends they tend to be affectionate and caring, the ones who can be rarely suspected of killing someone. Its not uncommon for girlfriends or wives of serial killers to not suspect their husbands or boyfriends since they are normally sexually impotent with them and can perform coitus only after extensive use of their imagination, but this impotence vanishes when they are inflicting pain on others as they tend to believe that they are the ones in POWER and CONTROL.
All three Wilson, Nilsen and Dahmer have one thing in common: a traumatic childhood.
The seeds of serial murder are planted in childhood, in a sense of neglect and downright abuse. Fred West’s father repeatedly had sex with his daughters exclaiming “I made you so I can do anything with you”.
Ted Bundy was a bastard, and for years he thought his grandparents where his parents and, his mother was his sister.
Since this rarely happens in higher income families, the majority of serial killers are working class and the few who are not (Jeffrey Dahmer’s father was an electrical engineer) are neglected and emotionally deprived.
It’s a common notion that serial killers are
failures with low intelligence, it’s absolutely
not true. There are several high IQ killers like Carl Panzram , Earle Nelson, and Kenneth Bianchi .
One-third of all murderers commit suicide, but this is because most Murders are committed either within the family, in a state of jealousy or Rage and the killer is overwhelmed with remorse or despair. Unfortunately, few serial killers commit suicide – although it has been argued that the carelessness that often leads to their capture is a kind of psychological suicide.
Can a head injury turn a man into a serial killer?
Many serial killers have sustained serious and damaging head injuries early in life including Fred West, Albert Fish, and Earle Nelson.
Although reports of mass murderers include Vlad the impaler (the original Dracula), countess Elizabeth Bathory but sex murder in the sense of murder committed purely for sexual satisfaction is a fairly recent phenomenon.
Sometimes the world seems a horrible place, life seems miserable and every second is unbearable, we should not let such times weigh on us and we should always count our blessings. If winter comes can spring be far behind?
I would like to conclude by quoting Voltaire – “life is a shipwreck but we must not forget to sing in the lifeboats.”