Serial Killers: A Psychological Analysis

1211 Words5 Pages
“You feel the last bit of breath leaving their body. You’re looking into their eyes. A person in that situation is God. You possess them and they shall forever be a part of you.” This terrifying comment came from Ted Bundy, one of the most infamous serial killers. People like Ted Bundy, John Wayne Gacy and Jeffrey Dahmer are all people who instill fear in us, and we’re forced to ask ourselves, what makes these people kill? What makes them so different from the rest of us and why do they commit these crimes? Serial killers are a lot different from regular murderers. “Most people who commit murder do so out of passion and anger… Serial killers are much different… they kill many people, almost all of whom are usually strangers, over a period of…show more content…
Genetics is a big explanation for why they commit these crimes, and it helps to find out who else can become a serial killer. In nature vs. nurture, the nature deals with genetics – the characteristics that we are born with, personality traits, genetic make-up, etc. A serial killer that shows a good example of this is David “Son of Sam” Berkowitz. Berkowitz had a normal childhood and his adoptive parents were very loving and supportive. This shows that his killing compulsions most likely came from his inner self, his biological factors, rather than how he was raised. One argument that comes with the gene/nature explanation is how can one child grow up to become a killer while their siblings don’t. Sometimes, even children who are subjected to the same abuse and violence take different psychological routes. One might be more easily targeted or vulnerable while the other might be better at using coping skills for example. “One may develop a multiple personality and another, although experiencing problems, may not”…show more content…
However, just because a person is abused as a child doesn’t mean they’ll become a serial killer, there are many other things that could contribute to a child growing up to be a grotesque killer. During childhood, the big three signs of sociopathic/psychopathic behavior are pyromania, prolonged bed-wetting, and animal torture (13). In the case of Jeffery Dahmer for example, his father admitted to having pyromaniac tendencies even as a kid which seemed to have passed down to his son, and by the age of ten Dahmer was already showing signs of becoming a future serial killer by killing and mutilating the bodies of animals (85). In a vast majority of the cases, however, serial killers will kill until they are caught (39). A majority of the serial killers studied have admitted they knew that the things they were doing were wrong and some even admitted that after their first kill they debated ‘giving up’. Caroll Edward Cole commented that after his first kill “I thought my life was going to improve, I was sadly mistaken.” The urge they get to kill seems to settle once they do it, but that high they get from a kill eventually fades and the feeling, the need, eventually comes back with the urge to do it

More about Serial Killers: A Psychological Analysis

Open Document