Traces Of A Serial Killer Essay, Research Paper
“It was an urge……A strong urge, and the longer I let it go the stronger it got, to where I was taking risks to go out and kill people–risks that normally, according to my little rules of operation, I wouldn’t take……..” —Edmund Kemper
There are many theories that psychologists and FBI agents have proposed to explain what initiated these killers fantasies and predominately how they turned them into a reality. Is this urge ultimately beyond their control, an urge which forces them to kill, with no feeling of sympathy, empathy, or remorse? We all are interested in serial killers because most of us can’t understand or comprehend why and how they do what they do. It is inevitable for people to become fixated on the unimaginable. The main questions when asked about or thinking about this subject is “Were they born with some predisposition to kill or are they just products of their environment and upbringing?” Many including myself feel that on top of this predisposition, many are also raised in dysfunctional households, which consequently forms the serial killer. The scary thing is that their not insane, at least by definition, and have yet to be treated.
Most would probably envision a serial killer as a scary, perverted looking men who one would see lurking around the woods like an animal waiting for their prey. In actuality they look like the guy next store and live the disguised and impersonated image of them as well. Many are married with children, have girlfriends, and are productive members of society. Take Ted Bundy for example. He was a law student who graduated with a degree in psychology and was very good looking and well dressed. He even worked at a crisis center and wrote a pamphlet on rape for the King County crime commission. Go figure A crisis counselor by day and a serial killer by night.
It is true that almost all serial killers were brought up in dysfunctional homes, but so have thousands of other Americans and they don’t go around killing people for the sheer pleasure of it all. Are these criminals “natural born killers?” The only direct correlation found between all serial killers is their low serotonin level which keeps one’s tension from building, but can cause frustration which often leads to aggression, according to a study by Paul Bernhardt. Crime Times reports on findings that psychopaths are almost fearless and are not as affected by fear-inducing stimuli compared to most people. Therefore they need more to excite themselves. Also if a person is not nurtured and handled as a child, studies have shown that they become withdrawn from others and are later aggressive. But no concrete connection in biological studies of serial killers and their actions have yet to be found.
Most studies have been concentrated on the killers childhood abuse and the effect it had upon them. After reading some of these stories, I wondered myself how someone could cope with such abuse and not turn into a cold, heartless, machine like, killer. They wore the hand that held the weapon, but who did the actual killing? One must wonder if they were not born into such an abusive family, would they have turned out the way they did. I don’t believe so. I won’t argue the fact that if they were born with a predisposition, they would not have problems, but I don’t believe that if they were raised in a normal household they would become the savage killers that they have become. I don’t believe though that a serial killer can form without the combination of the two. Take Kemper for example. His mother was a mean, abusive lady that locked him in their basement for long periods at a time, but, beheading her, ripping and throwing out her tonsils in a garbage disposal, and then raping her headless body, doesn’t exactly give punishment that fits the crime. The cliche an eye for an eye was interpreted as an eye, a heart, maybe a lung, what the hell throw in the whole body for an eye- in Kemper’s eyes. And he quotes, “I certainly wanted for my mother a nice, quiet death like everyone else wants.” Well way to take it easy on her Kemper. Many serial killers mother’s would bring various men home every night and even have sex with them in the same bed where they were sleeping or at least trying to sleep. Henry lee Lucas’s mom not only did that, but she would send him to school dressed like a girl. That can really damage a kid. Not enough alone in my opinion to go on a killing spree, but enough. Many of their father’s were extremely abusive beating them and their mothers. Albert DeSalvo watched his mother’s fingers get broken one by one as a small child. Hi father then sold him off to a farmer. He quotes “He smashed me once across the back with a pipe. I didn’t move fast enough.” John Gacy’s dad shot his dog, of course to only teach him a good lesson. Many other childhood events are said to contribute to a serial killer’s motivation such as adoption, witnessing violence, juvenile detention and peer rejection. With adoption, a kid is born with rejection, and lives with that feeling throughout his life. If his own mother doesn’t want him, why should anyone else? There are many instances were adoption is in the child’s best interest, but try explaining that to the child given up. When people feel rejected, be it by their peers or parents, they start resenting and hating everyone. They develop this defensive attitude, naturally, like I didn’t like you people anyway so why would I want to fit in and have you accept me. When in actuality , they want nothing more than to be fit in and be accepted. They want to be noticed and looked up to as others are. Like many girls for example with low self-esteem. They will do anything for attention, without realizes there receiving a negative form of it, which is not the kind of attention there looking for unknown to them at the time.. For them it might give them a false sense of immediate gratification, but before they now it they are left with the same empty void as before. On a lower scale, of course, I would relate this transition with that of a serial killer. Some serial killers even kept scrap books of newspaper articles written about their murders.
Psychopaths are people without a conscience and a gift to manipulate, which is probably why most of them become successful business. Their natural “smooth talkers.” Many even trick their own doctors into thinking their normal or that their disease is less harmful than it is. The psychopaths get these vivid fantasies of killing, rape, or just the power control over another human being . Then they act them out, using the victim as their supporting actor or actress. Bundy quoted,” The girl in front of him represented not a person, but again the image, or something desirable, the last thing we would expect him to want to do would be to personalize this person. If you know anything too personal about the victim, it ruins the illusion.” That’s a comforting thought. Now I know to start screaming out every personal detail about myself down to what color underwear im wearing, if I was being attacked of course. Kemper, the one I spoke of before whom beheaded his mother and then proceeded to rape her headless body, was found to be “safe”, after an evaluation of two psychologists. He even had a women’s head in the trunk, his date, waiting for him during this interview. Now that is smooth talking. Kemper says, “I had a very strong sexual drive, that started early, a lot earlier than normal. Yet I fantasized about dead women, not living ones. ” I killed them, you know, they couldn’t reject me as a man. It was more like making a doll out of a human being…..and carrying out my fantasies with a doll, a living human doll.” He goes on to say, “I remember there was actually a sexual thrill….you hear that little pop and pull of their heads off and hold their heads up by their hair. Whipping their heads off, their body sitting there. That’d get me off.” Well, I guess that supports the fact that it takes a lot more to thrill them(serial killers). The serial killer, Ed Gein’s would use his victims skulls as household items, such as cups and bowls. Well that’s a nice souvenir to keep on the old bookshelf. Many people say that the killers mimic gruesome characters in early horror movies such as Vampires, Wolfmen, and Frankenstein. An example of a vampire killer would be Peter Kurten, who quoted, “The chief satisfaction in killing was to catch the blood spurting from the victim’s wounds in his mouth and swallow it.” Umm…… Tasty. Many are known as Frankenstein killers, because they like to create a man, a companion, but unlike the movie they worked with dead people. The wolfmen term is used due to the myth that all the crazy people come out on a full moon. It is true though that Ed Gein and Albert Fish would dance naked under the full moon. The disturbing fact is that there is no rehabilitation or cure for them, or at least one has yet to be found. We need to put more emphasis on the biological make-up of these individuals, because once they have ben abused, no counseling in the world can stop the inevitable, which is a savage killer. Even if their childhood experiences is what turns them into the killers they are, the damage is inrehensable. Many say that they have been repented, but who wants to take the risk of letting them prove that out in society. From most of their testimonies, they can’t stop killing. They feel it is uncontrollable, so I believe that having them as far away from society would be the most logical decision. However, we need to perform extensive studies on their brain activity and chemical engineering. If we can’t find a cure for them or a way of rehabilitating them, we at least need to find a way to stop them. Many see the power and fame they received and are killing, no pun intended, to have that same notification for themselves. Kid’s are going into school these days, armed to fight a war, and are gunning down their own classmates. It starts with one random kid that starts an epidemic trend. Now it seems that you hear the same familiar story each week. What do we do with these kid’s? Are they our next serial killer’s? Many serial killers killed animals during their childhood and eventually move on to people. Are these kid’s just saying to hell with animals, and getting an early start on the human population? Maybe their just transfixed on the attention one receives as we are on a serial killers bloody murders? There have probably been more books and writings on Jeffrey Dahmer than on any single heroic leader of the world. We give them the attention, not as if we have much chose. It’s hard to ignore that there is a serial killer out on the loose, and even harder to wonder about the dark cage in which they broke loose from. Many have used the argument that they are just barbaric and that one day we all lived like this. Wake up, the stone age ended how many thousands of years ago. We are civilized now and have many nice grocery stores to go purchase food from. We don’t need to eat each other.
Since I began with a quote, what other better way would it be to end with a quote.
“You don’t understand me. You are not expected to. You are not capable of it. I am beyond good and evil. I am beyond your experience. I don’t believe in the hypocritical, moralistic, dogma of this so-called society. I don’t need to hear all of society’s rationalizations. I’ve heard them all before and the fact remains that what is ,is….”