– multi-episode criminal acts (at least three) that a subject does for unobvious motives with strangers with a certain interval, sufficient to cause the emotional cooldown of the offender.
Serial killers should be separated from mass killers (for a short time killing many people without periods of emotional cooling) and from chain killers (for a long time killing many people without periods of emotional cooling).
The term “serial killer” itself appeared in 1976 to describe the identity of Ted Bundy. The most famous serial killer is Jack the Ripper. Any mention of these people causes a shiver in the man in the street, and the name Chikatilo has become almost a common name in our country.
They say that they are mentally abnormal people who in childhood were subjected to violence and humiliation. However, in fact, serial killers have several myths, which we will consider.
All the serial killers lead the life of the hermits.
If you think that these people lead a way of life, divorced from the whole society, then it’s time to change the point of view. The main reason that killers are not found so quickly is that they hide well, live as good citizens, cute neighbors, go to parents’ meetings of children. For example, Dennis Raider from Kansas, killed 10 people, in history he is known as “VTK” (from the words “bind, torture, kill”, meaning to bind, torment and kill). During the trial, Dennis calmly described in detail the last moments of the life of his victims, without worrying at all. In ordinary life, the murderer brought up two children, having a higher education worked as an official, and as a hobby he directed the choir in the church. Robert Picton had killed almost fifty women in twenty years, owned a pig farm, supplying meat to the whole district. In his testimony, he admitted that he added meat to his pork to the pork. Robert was also married, at home reading the Bible and regularly visited the church.
Bad education and bad families are to blame.
This statement does not suit all murderers of this type, not all of them were mocked in childhood, although such a myth about them is widespread. For example, the serial killer Ted Bundy, who confessed to the rape of thirty women, being an adopted child, grew up in a respectable religious family, at school he studied well. In a conversation with a psychologist, the maniac confessed that his family was exemplary, he himself very much loves his parents, who for him were an example. The whole family regularly visited the church, alcohol and smoking were not welcomed, the children never witnessed quarrels between them. However, such an ideal situation did not protect society from a serial killer.
If the serial killer started his activity, then he can not stop.
This myth was born from a Hollywood cliche, thanks to which it seems to us that the maniac continues to kill without stopping until the inquisitive detectives catch him. In real life everything is not so. Police psychologist Pet Brown in his book on serial killers says that in the life of a maniac something can change, this is what will stop him in bloody activities, before the police catch him. Such an event can be a change in the marital status – the death of a relative, the beginning of a family life and so on. The already mentioned Dennis Reider committed his murders from 1974 to 1991, and was caught only in 2005. For 14 years before the capture, the criminal did not commit a single murder. The reason for this was the fact that Dennis found that he received similar feelings when he was engaged in masturbation, so this activity distracted the killer from his bloody occupation.
The motive for crime is only sex.
Indeed, this is the motive for some of the criminals, but by no means the main one. In 2002, the case of the Washington sniper rattled, which killed ten random people in the US capital.According to one version, the serial killer planned to shoot his wife, the rest of the murders were to be a cover for the crime, according to another version, the motive could be money – in one place the police found a note demanding $ 10 million for stopping the series of murders. For murderers who were subjected to violence in childhood, an important factor in crimes is a sense of their own power and control over their victims. Other motives may be hallucinations, for example, schizophrenic Herbert Mullin, who killed 13 people in the US, said that he was ordered by certain “voices” to prevent an earthquake. Often, murderers are prone to missionary work – they believe that by their actions they cleanse humanity of dirt – Jews, prostitutes, gays. Usually, the killers are of several types, having more than one motive for their actions.
All serial killers are insane geniuses.
Many people think that along with the upset mentality of such criminals, they also have an increased intelligence, which helps them to hide carefully and lawfully from the law. Psychologist Pet Brown considers such an assertion to be groundless. As evidence, the FBI cases and the proceedings of the convicted serial killers are cited. Virtually all of them had IQ at the lower threshold of the average level or slightly above the average. And mental illnesses were found in the minimum number of convicts. Therefore, this myth is untenable.
Serial killers kill indiscriminately who got.
The lie is that the serial killers kill literally those who fall under the arm. In fact, most of the criminals choose their prey carefully, usually the injured people connect something in common. Usually the murderer chooses those. who seem to him the easiest victim, often they are people of excellent sexual orientation, sometimes the victims can remind the murderer of someone from his past.
Serial killers are constantly moving long distances, which is why the police can not catch them.
According to this myth, the killers are literally crossed continents, remaining thus elusive. It is often believed that criminals know the methods of investigating the police, so they can successfully mask their tracks. However, Pet Brown argues that few maniacs travel long distances, choosing victims in large areas, usually the killer acts on “his” territory with very vague ideas about the methods of investigation. For example, a serial killer, Jeffrey Dahmer from 1978 to 1991 committed at least fifteen murders of young guys, while having sexual motivations. The police still believe that not all the victims were found. The killer found all his victims in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. In gay bars, he looked out for young people acting in the role of a gigolo, which obviously no one would later look for. Later, the murderer lured future victims to his apartment or inherited from his grandmother’s house, where they soldered them or stupefied drugs, then killed them. Body maniac cut into parts, some parts also eaten.
Women do not become serial killers.
A typical portrait of a criminal is a white man, but in this series there are also women, interest in their stories is naturally raised. However, finding a criminal is more difficult. The FBI believes that 15% of violent crimes in the US are committed precisely by representatives of the weaker sex, of the total number of serial killers in the US, their 8%. It is believed that these killers are as dangerous as men, but not so noticeable that it allows them to work for a long time. A typology of such criminals has been developed. So, “black widows” kill their husbands, lovers and people with whom she had a trusting relationship. Usually the crime occurs with the help of poison, for 10-15 years at the hands of such a woman usually dies 6-8 people. The second category is the “angels of death.”Typically, such women work in hospitals or nursing homes, trying on the role of God, choosing whom to die before the deadline. On average, there are 8 murders in 1-2 years. The next category is “sexual predators”. These are ladies over 30 who move a lot and have a passion for carnal pleasures, their favorite weapon is a pistol, on average their criminal history lasts 3 years, for which they manage to kill 6 people. Much less common are avengers who choose to be the victims of family members or someone who has a symbolic meaning for them. Murders for money remained in the 18-19 centuries. Often the causes of women’s crimes can not be determined. It is worth mentioning that a third of the serial killings of women are committed in groups – the classic examples are Bonnie and Clyde, who killed 16 people in the 1930s.
Serial killers in real life are not capable of anything.
Noteworthy is the story of Jack Unterweger, who served a 14-year sentence for the murder of a prostitute, wrote a book, “Purgatory, or a journey to a detention house”, which became a bestseller in Austria and Germany, and later published another book, “Prison.” Two more of his plays were staged in Vienna. After his release in 1990, Unterweger became the leading talk show on television, but soon continued the series of murders, which was not immediately revealed. It is interesting that while at large, the criminal even participated in police raids as a journalist. Another serial killer, whose name remained unknown, while behind the bars, got a chance to watch the birds. Soon, in prison, he became a major expert in ornithology, his colleagues even interceded for his release!