Why do you think serial killers go unnoticed for so long?
It is so strange to me that serial killers in most cases go so long without being noticed, why do you think that seems to be the case?
Good Morning Faith Reaper;
Have you ever seen that movie, ' Copy Cat ' that came out quite a few years' ago , starring Sigourney Weaver? It was quite a popular film. She goes into great rapture about the very question upon which you are asking. It's usually the ' wouldn't say boo to a goose', or ' he seemed such a quiet boy/girl ' - the average guy/girl who was academic, intelligent, and blended into the backdrop of life without so much as raising an eyebrow.But I think you are spot on that something so serious as murder would go so long without being noticed by the authorities, or neighbours.
Hi Romeos Q, my goodness, just got in from work, and look at all of these answers! Yes, I have seen "Copy Cat" ... I thought of this question due to the recent serial killer here in the US discovered. Yes, just think of Ted Bundy! Appreciate you.
As you say Romeos there is the quiet boy or girl. They have no way of relieving stress so it builds up until...well you get the picture.
Interesting question. Hopefully this won't veer off into another subject, but traditionally the serial killer profile is a white middle aged male who tends to blend into society. They are usually not reclusive and living in a basement. They also tend to target victims who pass under the radar and don't usually use killing methods that are easily traced.
I read the wiki page on John Wayne Gacy a few days ago. I tell you, it's the system to blame for serial killers going unnoticed for so long. The system is built to protect its own. JWG was convicted of sodomy and somehow was released early from jail on good behavior. He then opens a construction company, targeting young males. Parents repeatedly tipped off police on the disappearance of their sons after a stint with JWG's company and they did not follow the leads for years. The system's refusal to believe an "upstanding" citizen was a serial killer caused the deaths of at least 33 young men. The saddest case, the Secret Service even overlooked his past record and cleared JWG to meet and take a picture with the first lady!!!
Hi Oswalda Purcell, thanks for the interesting answer here as to the system. I am so glad they have a suspect in the serial killings 2 days ago where three women were found in garbage bags in East Cleveland! He is a sex offender, the suspect.
Gacy also used to dress up as a clown and visit hospitals to entertain children.
It is just like in the movies...they are the least likely appearing person in the script. Ted Bundy was a charmer and a lady's man...the thought of any criminal component in his personality never crossed most of their minds. ~WB
Hi Wayne, yes, indeed, you are so right ... the least likely, and that is what is so very frightening! Ted was the ultimate charmer no doubt, and who would even think anything at the time, but now... Thanks for answering!
Bundy was also a lawyer being groomed to someday become a judge. What gets me is that he had a girlfriend while he was killing these other women. Not a loner. Apparently he was illegitimate which was his motivation.
In a large nutshell; a confused, angry, confused unbelievably huge and nomadic population.
Let us just say we have 300 million people in the US and then let us say we have 30 victims of serial killers every year average. And in each major city we have 100 random murders every year. I think we could easily conclude that we are talking about a needle in a haystack scenario.
Then add in what has been said about the profile. But add this factor, a serial killer wants badly to kill again.
I think in general we can say that government is aware of about 10% of all crimes committed (probably very high)
So why would authorities ever suspect that two separate murders were connected?
Citizens finding out because behavior of a neighbor would require that half of our neighbors should have their homes searched thoroughly every month or so. I wonder if my neighbor smokes pot all the time?
But here is the fun answer to your great question: Because if they did not go unnoticed they could not be serial killers.
Modern profiling is fairly new. It only dates back to the 1950s. What's more, it is as much intelligent guess work as it is science.
Bundy was a lawyer being groomed to someday be a judge. He knew the law. He also understood the boundaries between various law enforcement areas of the time he was doing his killing. He understood that cops wanted to solve the crimes that took place on their own turf and were reluctant to compare notes with cops from other areas. Thus it might be ages before anyone realized there was a serial killer around hoping from area to area. All that of course has changed with all areas of law enforcement in the USA expected to cooperate with each other as well as the FBI.
In Australia the softness of sentences to serial sex offenders has recently resulted in one sex offender turned murderer.
Yes it is true that the serial killer is often the person you least expect. Also the public have at times aided the serial killer. In one case in England the police put too much time and effort in what turned out to be a crank telephone call. This slowed up the investigation but the killer was eventually caught.
The Boston strangler was someone you would expect to enter and leave numerous buildings without being thought about or looked at twice. He'd pose as a deliver man or maintenance man.
Not all serial killers are highly intelligent. There are those who don't plan and are simply opportunistic. They see their chance and go for it. Hence they don't have a pattern to their crimes. They may not even have a type they go for. They may be ignored as tramps and, for most of the time, be harmless.
Wow, Rod Marsden, thanks for the thorough answer here and the interesting facts in Australia. I agree, they are not all highly intelligent, but they seemed to be those types that blend in well and no one gives them a second glance. Thanks!
There was an American serial killer that got it into his head he was a vampire. He was erratic in his behavior which made him hard to catch. He acted on whims, invaded homes at random.
Wow, Rod, now that is very strange . . . thinking he was a vampire on top of being a serial killer . . . evil lurks everywhere and sickness no doubt.
The point is that this so-called vampire killer was erratic in his behavior and he himself didn't know what he'd do from one day to the next apart from obtaining blood for his fantasies.
Wow, yes, very erratic behavior indeed! Sounds like a terrible obsession with blood there.
Sure but no pattern for investigators. We all tend to create patterns of behavior even when we try very hard to do the exact opposite. True erratic behavior is rare.
wow..many answers here Faith.. I am with one other commenter that the U.S. is so vast that many crimes go un-noticed, the statistics show that at least one person in the U.S. disappears everyday in the country, most are called runaways , and forgotten until they find their bodies somewhere else.... a sad situation .
Great question. about evil actually .. it shows that evil is out there in the world ..disguised as everyman, and in some cases woman.
Lets pray for the strength god gives us to face this evil down and eradicate as we find it .
Hi Michael, yes, wow, I arrived home and thought that very thing! Oh, that is a very good point there, for in my very county there are many young girls that just disappeared, and no one knows what has happened to them! Yes, indeed, evil abounds!
The type of personality disorders that serial killers tend to have includes skill in being good at fooling others, including professionals sometimes, into believing the individual is perfectly normal and harmless and "like anyone else".
His Lisa HW, thanks for answering. Yes, you are so right, which shows just how evil can hide itself inside the mind and hearts of men (women)!!! Great answer.
Skill at fooling others is classic sociopath behavior but not all serial killers are sociopaths and not all sociopaths are serial killers.
There are so many reasons that there is no one answer. I will tell you that the majority of serial killers have some form of run in with the law that goes ignored or barely punished. Much of the problem lies in the parents who either ignore the symptoms, are ignorant to them, or cause them. Were you aware that the majority of known serial killers either came from broken homes (drunk/prostitute/spouse beater parents) or were abused? This leads to a level of manipulation that is needed in order to survive an thrive in these types of conditions. Long run it leads to them being manipulative adults with the same need to inflict pain that they had when they were little. That manipulative behavior is often why they are able to hide among normal people for so long. Take BTK, he was an average family man who was very active in his church. No one suspected him and he would have gotten away with it if it wasn't for his attention seeking behaviors. He blended right in.
On top of all this quite often cities, states, and even entire countries will deny a connection for fear of alarming the public. So even if they know there is a connection it is not mentioned to the public. This keeps people from even considering a need to be on the look out.
All in all there are many social factors that go into why they often can go so long unnoticed (or ignored).
Hi peeples, wow, what a great answer here! Yes, many reasons indeed! You have pointed out those very factors that can corrupt the mind and heart no doubt about it. BTK, yes, good example here as to your examples. Pornography at an early age too.
Because they often hide their identity like what superheroes do. They are also the last persons anyone would think of being a murderer.
We don't want to recognize that it's happening. There are some signs yes, but not the signs we are all told about. One professor at Sam Houston knows what to look for and has noticed similar pathologies of serial killers in three of her grandchildren. Yes, they will probably grow out of it, but the point is she knows what to look for. By having a system that does not mainly look for serial murders and having a non-educated system/society, we are going to miss quite a bit.
Im not really sure, but I think its because other than bodies, they don't leave much do go on. Serial killers plan their killings in advanced and even the first was probably thought about for months or even years on how they would do it. They typically kill people they dont know or even kidnap from other neighborhoods. A lot of them also just seem to be easy going regular people. Ever see the interview with jeffery Dhamer? its easy to see how he got people to just want to back to his place for a few drinks. seems likable. also i think it was ted bundy that was well like in his community and was even know for doing charity work. dont quote me on that one though. when other murders are committed (non-serial killers i guess) they are typically done during a moment of passion. not thought out, done messy and hastily and are usually connected to the victim some how. you know, husband, lover, brother, parent. easy to find suspects when they are close to the victim.
Hi christiananrkist, that is a good point about the crimes of passion and those that are planned out like the serial killer. Thanks for answering!
Sometimes there is passion such as misdirected anger. Bundy, in killing the women he killed, was in a sense punishing or killing his mother because he was illegitimate.
My guess is that a lot of detective dramas these days are giving people tips on not what to do (be careful of how you choose to dispose your murder weapon, dirt from your shoes can be downfall etc).
Although, most of the stuff there are pretty dramatized (there's no way a dirt sample can be traced back to one site in only one part of the United States just by mass spec), jus a few pointers here and there when committing a crime would make it much harder for the police to track you. The best of the best serial murderers would know a bit of knowledge in forensics and police investigation I would imagine.
Well, that's my guess. If they didn't know their stuff and go busted on their first try, then they wouldn't be serial murderers.
I wrote a hub where I explored the similarities between the BAU on the television show, "Criminal Minds" and the actual FBI-BAU. Below is an excerpt:
The TV BAU solves their cases by analyzing the unknown subject’s motivation and stressors and in the process explores the myths that exist regarding serial killers: topics also covered at the 2005 Symposium.
Myth: Serial killers are all dysfunctional loners.
Myth: Serial killers are all white males.
Myth: Serial killers are only motivated by sex.
Myth: All serial murderers travel and operate interstate.
Myth: Serial killers cannot stop killing.
Myth: All Serial killers are insane or are evil geniuses
Myth: Serial killers want to get caught.
http://www.fbi.gov/stats-services/publi … ial-murder
I do not know if any of this information answers your question, but maybe sheds some light.
PS--I loved the interview I read about you. You are truly an inspiration for others.
Some good points here. Obviously Jack the Ripper could stop killing. One theory is that his last killing to him was the perfect murder he wanted to commit from the very beginning of his run.
Wow, Kim!!! What a lot of insight here you have shared. Very interesting indeed as to all of the myths. Yes, makes a great topic for a hub no doubt.
Aw, thank you so much for the kind comments on the interview. You're the best. Appreciate you!
Faith this is a very profound question and I am probably the least able to answer it.
I saw a TV movie years ago profiling Ted Bundy, played by Mark Harman, now so famous on the show NCIS. However, today I STILL see him as Ted Bundy!
I am not a scientist, profiler, or psychological expert. I live on God's intuition with people.
I've heard that many serial killers are sociopaths. What's creepy to me, is their extreme charm and magnetic personality - in many cases. I only know this from newspapers and television biographies.
I guess my gut feeling would be, in answer to your question is what I stated above. These serial killers appear to live normal lives...they are well liked, admired and trusted by numerous people who would never suspect he/she murdered someone the day before. Ted Bundy was very successful.
I think this is why they go so long without being noticed. They are the LEAST person ANYONE would ever suspect...and their killings could go on for years!
Until they screw up. And screw up, they will. We should pray every single day for God to expose these people. Like the sun can expose dust on my dining room table, the SON OF GOD can expose these killers...
That being said, there are many, many GOOD people on this earth. We need to ask God to guide us INTUITIVELY moment by moment. I totally avoid bad karma in a building or area. If we listen to our subconscious minds, be totally vigilant wherever we go...especially parking lots/ramps, and stay off the streets at night, I KNOW God will protect us.
But I also believe God will expose these awful people...because evil eventually loses out. Blessings Sparklea
Hi Sparklea! Yes, I remember that movie. That's what gets to me too, their extreme charm . . .chills! You're so right about praying and just how powerful it is to do so. I love your ... "I live on God's intuition with people", the best profiler!
Because they look just like you or me or anyone else. They don't wear signs that say "serial killer".
They also generally kill strangers to whom they have no connection so there are no motives and few if any clues.
Actually despite what they put in crime shows stranger on stranger murders aren't solved all that often.
There are probably far more of them out there than we imagine.
Hi Borsia, thanks for answering! So true. If only they could solve them as fast as on television. No doubt there are so many out there still yet to be known. As long as there is evil in the hearts of men/women, there will be such in this world.
There are barely any serial killers anymore. TV shows make it appear that they are on the rise, but it is the interest of serial killers that they do use them in plot lines. Serial killers usually murder people they do not know in the same style or escalating. Murders today are most commonly crimes of passion, not serial. They go unnoticed because of the fact that they are not connected to their victims aside from the murder. With limited amount of evidence, it is very difficult to find them. They also are very intelligent.
Hi HLKeeley says, thanks for answering here with such a great answer! This came to my mind with the recent serial killings in East Cleveland, but there may be many out there we just do not know about yet. A lot of people just disappear and who know
Disappearances are difficult because a lot of people can choose to disappear. Serial killers like the attention of killing someone. Those that disappear are hidden bodies of people who do not want to get caught.
Actually many sources state there are between 30 and 50 active serial killers in USA at any given time. Not as many as Criminal Minds makes it out to be but certainly a high number.
According to my criminal justice classes, many cases that are determined serial are done through the detectives working the case. Many do not compare to the popular cases, but it has significantly decreased.
No, most do not compare to the popular cases by far, just by definition alone.
Not all serial killers are intelligent. Yes, it is hard to connect a serial killer to victims when motive is unknown. Some serial killers like attention, others avoid it.
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