Brain Injury in Serial Killers
Is it possible that everyone has a serial killer gene lurking in their DNA that is held in check by the frontal lobe? Studies show there may be a possible link between frontal lobe injuries and those who become serial killers.
According to an article by Annabelle Rutigliano entitled "Predestined Serial Killers" every human may have the propensity to become a serial killer. Luckily, however, in most cases, a person's frontal lobe keeps this propensity in check.
How the Frontal Lobe Works
In humans, the frontal lobe of the brain is responsible for much of the behavior that allows humans to live together in stable social relationships. It is what stops most human beings from acting on their inherent violent tendencies.
The frontal lobe is responsible for self-control, judgment, planning, and the balancing act that humans must learn to do which determines the importance of an individual's needs over the needs of society as a whole.
Evolution of the Human Frontal Lobe
Biologists have come to realize that the frontal lobe in humans has evolved side-by-side with humans' evolution from a beast to a social animal. In fact, human beings have the largest frontal lobe of all social primates.
Brain Injury Among Serial Killers
46% of known serial killers have not sustained injuries to their frontal lobes. In most cases, these killers readily admit that they realize the killing they have done is wrong, although they seemingly were unable to stop themselves from continuing to kill.
But what of those who have injured the frontal lobe? Approximatly 70% of those having sustained severe head trauma develop aggressive tendencies and hair-trigger violent reactions to situations that other's would deal with in a more passive way. Even this, however, does not mean that everyone with a head injury will become a serial killer.
Many who have grown up to be serial killers were abused, either physically, mentally, or both, by their parents, especially their own mothers. While abuse alone may be enough to turn certain individuals into murderers, it can also be the cause of the frontal lobe injuries sustained by many of these killers.
Unlike human beings, reptiles are not equipped with the part of the brain that is responsible for memories, socializing, emotions and even parental instinct. Therefore, saying a serial killer is "cold-blooded" is a reference to the fact that the part of their brain regulating emotion and socialization is not working properly. Rather, it is performing in a way similar to a real reptilian brain which allows its owner to kill without remorse.
Development of a Serial Killer
Of course, while studies of serial killers' brains are ongoing, there are many different schools of thought on what causes a person to become a serial killer. While brain damage seems to be a major factor in their development, traumatic circumstances during childhood are also believed to contribute greatly to the making of a serial killer.
To learn more about serial killers, read What is a Serial Killer?