Becoming the Devil: Abnormal Psychology of Serial Killers
I have been studying human behavior for a while now, specially abnormal psychology and the different topics that surround the human mind. Carl Jung, Sigmund Freud and others that
Dedicated their lives to discover and decode the mind and its many ramifications, describe various models of human behavior and the place were all originates.
There are theories and studies in which is established how environment and genes take a significant role in the birth of a psychopath.
Pop Culture and Media
As a modern society, we are bombarded with images and concepts about serial killers and the criminally insane. Whether is about movies, television series, and worst of all the six o'clock news. It’s amazing how “ normal “ has become to hear about a person that went into a killing spree over debt, divorce or even stress. Every year, there are thousands of cases of violent erratic behavior in the United States. I sometimes can't believe that in this day and age anyone can be a possible killer.
The more I read, the more confused I became. I was trying to understand how can a person could consider taking a life. Then again... I had to put those questions aside and concentrate on the facts, and treat each case as what it was, unique to the profile of the killer.
Modules are used to identify behavioral patterns, triggers and causes for said behavior. I learned about the brain chemistry, the effects of hormones, and diseases that affect behavior. Biology, pathology and environmental issues are also integrated into the equation. It’s a mess.
The real Hannibals
After all the medical and psychological aspects of any given case are laid out, the question remains. Why now? Which is the trigger that makes a killer choose that particular moment to act out those inclinations. Most serial killers have a history of passive- aggressive behavior and many are productive members of society.
I was aghast to find out how many of the criminally insane have a very high IQ. Any of us can have a conversation with these people and become enchanted by their charm and seduced by their general knowledge.
Many examples come to mind, but for the purpose of imagery I will use a fictional character, Hannibal “ the Cannibal” Lector. Silence of the Lambs, directed by Jonathan Demme. Starring Jodie Foster and Anthony Hopkins. It was released in 1991. I was only 12 years old and to be sincere, I was terrified when I saw it.
Even though, this portrait of a serial killer is not accurate, is part of the mystic of pop culture regarding serial killers. I naively thought that this was only possible in a movie. Bad people kill, crazy violent people do harm. As I got older, and studied the different aspects of abnormal psychology, I am even more aware of how a mind can be so fragmented, that reality is just a commodity that a small part of the population enjoy.
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It was the summer of 1968 in Scotswood, a community north of London in England. Martin Brown's lifeless body was discovered lying on the floor inside a boarded-up, condemned house, with blood and saliva trickling down his cheek. With no obvious...
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Mary Bell is known as the youngest serial killer still alive today. She had a hard life from the start. During the beginning years of her life, her mother (Betty) tried to kill her on multiple ocassions, allegedly trying to make it look like an...
- Dirty Dozen: America's 12 Worst Serial Killers
This article provides a list of some of the most notorious serial killers in the history of the United States. Body counts weren't emphasized in this story, instead the infamous nature of these dastardly criminals.
One the questions that revolves around psychotic behavior is : What in the world make this people snap? I was , to say the least, ignorant to what makes a serial killer. What many call the criminally insane, start to act out and translate their inner puzzle into society.
In one documentary called;” Real Life Lectors” I was immersed into this population of individuals and the causes for their behaviors. Examples on how they grew up, the circumstances of their childhoods and most of all, how it all starts.
Many of serial killers crave power over others, so they do what they do. In many cases, when authorities caught up with a serial killer case, is already on it's way to a considerable body count. One of the things that left my blood cold was that the United States is the leading country in the world that this type of murderers are breed. Seventy percent of serial killers are in the United States, next to Europe with a 17 %. California leads the list in serial killer related crimes. Over 60%, women are primary targets.
The scary thing about serial killers is their body count. It’s not the same a random murder or a person that kills in the heat of the moment, that a person single handily amass 10, 30 or even more victims. Also is the way this crimes are committed, adding insult to injury.
We as a society,have a very small understanding about these individuals. We don't want to know. But there is a terrifying truth, they are out there and in some cases, someone is saying to themselves I AM HERE....'
© 2012 Anan Celeste