I didnt want to hurt them, I only wanted to kill them. This is a quote from DavidBerkowitz, A.K.A., the Son of Sam.
David Berkowitz and all of the other serial killers tend tothink in unique ways. This paper will talk to you about characteristics, motives, different phases,and the correlation between behavior and aggression. Serial killers like everyone else have certain characteristics that set them apart. To beconsidered a bonafied serial killer you must murder at least three to four people with a cooling offperiod between each murder. These killings are usually one on one and are repetitive, occurringwith greater or lesser frequency over time (Characteristics of Serial Murder). Serial killersusually dont have a connection with the victim and they very rarely if ever have a rational motive.
The serial killer likes to murder people in the same pattern, usually with a high degree of overkill. This degree of overkill sets them a part from different serial killers. Serial murderers also have different motives for their murders.
One of the most obviousis that they turn to murdering for a sense of power (Forwood). For this sense of power theyusually attack societies weakest members and those weaker than themselves (Forwood). Thisincludes the homeless, impaired, and usually the young of both sexes. When they kill thehomeless and impaired they are usually acting on the Missionary Motive. This is when they feelthat it is their responsibility to rid society of its unwanted inhabitants. There are also Visionarykillers which are usually instructed to kill by the voices that are in their head (schizophrenia). Thelast type of these motives is the Hedonist. They kill because it brings them the pleasure to do so.
Thisgroup is separated into three sub-categories which are lust killers, thrill killers and gainkillers. Lust killers kill for sexual pleasure. They are usually sexually underdeveloped and theykill for sexual gratification. Thrill killers kill people because it brings them a rush.
These types ofhedonists usually kill a lot more because they are addicted to this rush. Gain killers always killpeople for some type of gain. This is usually money but it can also be something like a jobAnother point of a Serial Killer is that their mind is constantly going through one of theirseven phases. The first of these phases is the Aura Phase. This is the part where the killerdaydreams about death and destruction. After awhile these demented fantasies usually have theurge to be acted upon.
This leads into the second stage which is the Trolling Phase. In theTrolling Phase the serial killer tries to find the perfect victim for their needs. They usually tend tolook in school yards or lovers lanes or even red light districts. This might go on for hours daysand sometimes even months, until the perfect victim will be found . This will begin the WooingPhase. Serial killers usually act very debonair to get their victims to trust them. After the WooingStage comes the Capture Stage. This is where the killer reveals what he is.
He may draw youinto his car where theres no door handle for you to get out. This is disturbingly fun for them andis included in their sick sadistic game. Then comes the climax, the Murder Stage. They may justdecide to kill you, but sometimes, they will decide to torture you to death, try to revive you on thebrink of death to torture you more (Scott). The sixth stage is the Totem Stage. This phase iswhere the killer will take a memoir of you. It might include your jewelry or clothes or even apiece of your body. After this, comes the seventh and final phase which is Depression.
There isgreat emotional let down for the killer. They may even become so depressed as to attemptsuicide. But sooner or later they will start day dreaming more and this whole cycle will keeprepeating itself until the killer is either caught or dies (Characteristics of Serial Murder).
There is also some correlation between behavior and aggression in serial killers. Thismeans that as a child, serial killers experience the same childhood difficulties. Nearly all serialkillers have gone through one of the Terrible Triad. The Terrible Triad includes bedwetting,sadistic abuse of animals and pyromania.
Many serial killers as children have been known to killand abuse animals. The most popular choice of these animals is cats. They have been known tobe thrown out of windows and sliced open, just to see how long they would live. Also cats havehad a bad rap of being set on fire. Pyromania is another trait of young serial killers. They usuallykeep themselves occupied with this until boredom sets in and then move on to bigger and betterthings.
Bedwetting is the last of the Terrible Triad. Sixty percent of all serial killers have wetthe bed past the age of twelve. This causes great emotional pain. Alton Coleman was one ofthese bed wetters. He recalls being called Pissy by all of his neighborhood friends. He went onto kill eight people as he tried to commit a new act of violence each and every day. HoweverMany of the mental problems that occur with serial killers is related to bad parenting. Askids, most of the killers suffered from sexual and or physical abuse and also child neglect.
HenryLee Lucas was beaten and starved quite frequently as a child (Forwood). He was sometimesmade to wear his mothers dresses, and even forced to watch his prostitute mother with hercustomers. Other mental issues have also come forth through serial killers. Usually neglectedchildren find ways to be noticed. This is shown in the serial killers case because they are killingpeople for the attention that it brings to them. They see themselves on television and in thenewspapers and sometimes even the magazines.
This makes them think, wow somebody outthere does know that I exist, and these thoughts are what keeps them going. Sometimes serialkillers even find out that they are the product of an unwanted pregnancy. This tends to lowertheir self esteem and it seems to make them want to gain power. To gain back these feelings ofpower and self worth serial killers take it out on the community, torturing and killing manyIn conclusion there are many factors that affect the way that serial killers think. Serialkillers are mentally confused but most of them have good reason too be. It is said that serialkillers do not go through the individuation stage as a child (Characteristics of Serial Murder).
This means that they are not able to tell that what they are hurting is a living, breathing, feelinghuman being. Serial killers are not something to be scoffed at. They are a serious problem tosociety. Remember the most chilling fact about serial killers is that its not just a random act ofviolence, its planned at first sight.Bibliography:WORKS CITEDCharacteristics of Serial Murder n.pag.
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1999. Available http://www.sas.upenn.edu/bakerkm/killers.
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com/CapeCanaveral/1682/Physio.htmScott, Shirley. What Makes Serial Killers Tick? n.pag. Online. Internet.
22 April. 1999.Available: http://www.crimelibrary.com /serials/what/whatmain.htm