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Are Evil Serial Killers Just Mentally Ill, And Not Actually "Evil" ?? Video Included

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posted on May, 31 2008 @ 05:46 AM
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Watched this interesting documentary about serial killers last night, il post link at end, but it raises some serious questions.
Various doctors that have studied these type of people believe there are 3 types of ingredients that either all or some of these factors, turn a person, into what we call "Evil Killer".

Brain damage, tests carried out, either through brain scans or autopsy's, seem to show that 99% of these types of killers have some sort of underlying brain damage, tumor etc.
This brain damage seems to have an effect of not being able to inhibit his impulses, if they think of doing something, there is a big chance they will end up doing it, like wise, once doing something, they are unable to stop doing that.

Abuse, in one form or another, an interesting side note is, Charles Mansons mother, sold him for a bottle of beer, thats gotta screw you up.

Mental Illness, which covers a massive field, take psychosis for instance, they will suffer delusions, hallucinations, and paranoia who cant distinguish from the real world to the world of imagine.
Lots of people suffer with mental illness, only a very small percentage will actually go out and kill someone, but taking the three factors shown, science believes there is a connection.

One interesting experiment, was to shuffle a set of cartoon cards that depict a story, when put in the right order, basically showing an action, which leads to an outcome, example used in video, is that of a boy who is given matches, the outcome of him playing with them is obviously a dangerous fire, that could kill.

Subjects who have psychosis, struggle to place these in the right order, and find it hard to accept cause of affect in a social arrangement.

Much more information on the video, but raises some interesting thoughts, if "evil" is just a state of mind, an illness, made up of several factors, and not evil in the way most people perceive it to be, the idea of good/evil playing a part in our world is kind of shattered, its very easy to label someone evil for the despicable things they have done, but is it really demonic evil? or just mental illness?

Video.

[edit on 31-5-2008 by Denied]




posted on May, 31 2008 @ 06:18 AM
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Good or evil are religious beliefs, nothing more. The world is a whole lot more complicated than that. The church likes to explain behavior by labels, but any thinking man knows the world is grey - not black or white.


[edit on 31-5-2008 by Copernicus]



posted on May, 31 2008 @ 06:52 AM
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Originally posted by Copernicus

Good or evil are religious beliefs, nothing more.



I dont follow a religion, but do believe there is negative energy, and positive energy, call it good and evil if you like.


Originally posted by Copernicus
The world is a whole lot more complicated than that. The church likes to explain behavior by labels, but any thinking man knows the world is grey - not black or white.


Doesnt science do the same, apply labels?

If it was black and white i wouldnt be discussing it now.

Getting enjoyment from torture of any kind is a brain dysfunction then?
Not an evil person?

[edit on 31-5-2008 by Denied]



posted on May, 31 2008 @ 07:11 AM
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Originally posted by Denied
This brain damage seems to have an effect of not being able to inhibit his impulses, if they think of doing something, there is a big chance they will end up doing it, like wise, once doing something, they are unable to stop doing that.

Mental Illness, which covers a massive field, take psychosis for instance, they will suffer delusions, hallucinations, and paranoia who cant distinguish from the real world to the world of imagine.


I agree with a lot that you have said, however I don't buy into the fact that most serial killers wig out on hallucinations or have no impulse control in the usual sense. Spree killers or mass murders yes, but the more infamous serial killers not so much. To go "serial" you have to be pretty good at it. Of course some commit their crimes while hallucinating or otherwise zoning out, but I believe that is rare and it involves a fair amount of luck.

Most of the big names that took a lot of victims were smart and often quite good at manipulating those around them as well as planning/selecting their victims; they were/are top notch predators.

Now of course I am talking about the ones that took a lot of victims. No doubt there have been many wannabe serial killers, or those that only got away with a very few killings before they were caught, and those people could easily have more problems with impulse control or hallucinations.

Regarding evil. I can't even comment on that.



posted on May, 31 2008 @ 07:24 AM
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Originally posted by Sonya610
Most of the big names that took a lot of victims were smart and often quite good at manipulating those around them as well as planning/selecting their victims; they were/are top notch predators.


i agree, they come across as charming and are very intelligent.
In the video they show you brain scans they have done by using some sort of tracking system through the brain using isotopes, the experiment did clearly show a differences in areas of the brain between an average joe and known killers, they also did a scan of the type you are talking about, again their brain scans was different to the other two, so we have three different brain patterns.
What was alarming and interesting was the fact that this was not full proof, the actually doctor that carried these out, scanned his own brain, which matched up most to the "multiple killer with high intelligence and charm" type.
Obviously this doctor wasn't like that, but showed how the test couldn't be used as full proof, but the majority fitted into their retrospective catogrys.



posted on May, 31 2008 @ 07:40 AM
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Originally posted by Denied
the actually doctor that carried these out, scanned his own brain, which matched up most to the "multiple killer with high intelligence and charm" type. Obviously this doctor wasn't like that, but showed how the test couldn't be used as full proof, but the majority fitted into their retrospective catogrys.


That does not surprise me at all. There are a LOT of sociopaths in this world, the stupid ones end up in prison early on. The smart ones function well in society, they often do extremely well in business.

Only a rare few really have a kink for sadism and murder. In general intelligent sociopaths have very good survival instincts and would not take the risks involved with such an endeavor (thrill killing) unless they had a strong desire for it. Plus physical abuse often does play into it, they develop a fetish for pain and death.

I think a lot of people probably would have similar brain scan patterns.

BTW good thread!



posted on May, 31 2008 @ 07:48 AM
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Well described, i couldn't exactly explain the type as well as you did there.

For thought.


Profile of the Sociopath

# Glibness and Superficial Charm

# Manipulative and Conning
They never recognize the rights of others and see their self-serving behaviors as permissible. They appear to be charming, yet are covertly hostile and domineering, seeing their victim as merely an instrument to be used. They may dominate and humiliate their victims.

# Grandiose Sense of Self
Feels entitled to certain things as "their right."

# Pathological Lying
Has no problem lying coolly and easily and it is almost impossible for them to be truthful on a consistent basis. Can create, and get caught up in, a complex belief about their own powers and abilities. Extremely convincing and even able to pass lie detector tests.

# Lack of Remorse, Shame or Guilt
A deep seated rage, which is split off and repressed, is at their core. Does not see others around them as people, but only as targets and opportunities. Instead of friends, they have victims and accomplices who end up as victims. The end always justifies the means and they let nothing stand in their way.

# Shallow Emotions
When they show what seems to be warmth, joy, love and compassion it is more feigned than experienced and serves an ulterior motive. Outraged by insignificant matters, yet remaining unmoved and cold by what would upset a normal person. Since they are not genuine, neither are their promises.

# Incapacity for Love

# Need for Stimulation
Living on the edge. Verbal outbursts and physical punishments are normal. Promiscuity and gambling are common.

# Callousness/Lack of Empathy
Unable to empathize with the pain of their victims, having only contempt for others' feelings of distress and readily taking advantage of them.

# Poor Behavioral Controls/Impulsive Nature
Rage and abuse, alternating with small expressions of love and approval produce an addictive cycle for abuser and abused, as well as creating hopelessness in the victim. Believe they are all-powerful, all-knowing, entitled to every wish, no sense of personal boundaries, no concern for their impact on others.

# Early Behavior Problems/Juvenile Delinquency
Usually has a history of behavioral and academic difficulties, yet "gets by" by conning others. Problems in making and keeping friends; aberrant behaviors such as cruelty to people or animals, stealing, etc.

# Irresponsibility/Unreliability
Not concerned about wrecking others' lives and dreams. Oblivious or indifferent to the devastation they cause. Does not accept blame themselves, but blames others, even for acts they obviously committed.

# Promiscuous Sexual Behavior/Infidelity
Promiscuity, child sexual abuse, rape and sexual acting out of all sorts.

# Lack of Realistic Life Plan/Parasitic Lifestyle
Tends to move around a lot or makes all encompassing promises for the future, poor work ethic but exploits others effectively.

# Criminal or Entrepreneurial Versatility
Changes their image as needed to avoid prosecution. Changes life story readily.



Other Related Qualities:

1. Contemptuous of those who seek to understand them
2. Does not perceive that anything is wrong with them
3. Authoritarian
4. Secretive
5. Paranoid
6. Only rarely in difficulty with the law, but seeks out situations where their tyrannical behavior will be tolerated, condoned, or admired
7. Conventional appearance
8. Goal of enslavement of their victim(s)
9. Exercises despotic control over every aspect of the victim's life
10. Has an emotional need to justify their crimes and therefore needs their victim's affirmation (respect, gratitude and love)
11. Ultimate goal is the creation of a willing victim
12. Incapable of real human attachment to another
13. Unable to feel remorse or guilt
14. Extreme narcissism and grandiose
15. May state readily that their goal is to rule the world


Now i wonder how many "normal" people can associate themselves with any of the above?

Source.



posted on May, 31 2008 @ 08:18 AM
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Your Profile of the Sociopath is quite good, though it profiles the most extreme type. I believe it is a sliding scale, some studies say up to 1/3 of the general male population have sociopathic traits.

The main element is lack of empathy for others (seeing others as objects to be manipulated etc..) and when one views it in terms of a serial killer it seems quite extreme. But in fact that is a very ingrained human trait.

In some cases society requires that type of mindset. When one goes to war and has to fight, they are required to take on those traits, they need to turn off their feelings and see the enemy as objects in the heat of battle so they can do what is necessary to survive and win. I am not saying they are sociopaths, I am saying they must be able to take on that mindset to kill others efficiently. I believe it is hard wired to some extent in the human brain, but in some individuals it goes to an extreme. (I am not making a political statement, or in anyway trying to demean our soldiers.)

It is not black or white, and even serial killers are sometimes capable of empathy and love for individuals in their inner circle. For instance John Wayne Gacy was very devoted to his mother yet he had the bodies of 20+ young men buried under his house.



posted on May, 31 2008 @ 08:56 AM
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Now i wonder how many "normal" people can associate themselves with any of the above?


Sounds like my mother...

But anyways, biopsychology teaches us that our behavior can affect our brain neuron formation. A person's actions can cause the brain to form differently. Some people claim that homosexual brains are different than heterosexual brains and, therefore, homosexuals aren't responsible for their sexual preferences and behaviors. However, others say that the homosexual behavior is what causes the brain to appear different than a heterosexual one. I believe that the same argument could be made for serial killers. Behavior can affect the appearance of the brain. The argument can be made that homosexuals and serial killers are just as responsible for their choices as everyone else.



posted on May, 31 2008 @ 09:07 AM
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Does it matter at all whether they are evil or sick? Not to me. I don't care what their problem is. They should be hanging by their necks.

It doesn't matter what category you put them in, too young, too mental, too blah, blah, blah - when somebody decides murder is fun or they have to do it they should be put down immediately.



posted on May, 31 2008 @ 09:22 AM
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Originally posted by Gatordone
Does it matter at all whether they are evil or sick? Not to me. I don't care what their problem is. They should be hanging by their necks.


But doesn't the criminal justice system decide just that, whether a person is sane to stand trial, and possibly executed, and those judged unfit to stand trial.
As a whole we are put in catogrys, are the sane ones evil, and the sick just mentality ill?

If there is so such thing as evil, and its all just a mental dysfunction why dont the sane ones get rehabilitated, maybe because they cant be changed, if these people are not evil, what are they?

I hear what your saying about it makes no difference, but thats not how the judiciary system sees it, and probably a large part of the general population.



posted on May, 31 2008 @ 09:48 AM
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The subject of evil is very tricky. Okay lets move beyond serial killers for a moment (they are the exception when it comes to evil).

Most evil, I mean large scale evil (wars, genocide, etc...) is done in the name of love on some level. Historically that is almost always the case. The worst atrocities are committed as an act of defense, or as a means to preserve/protect that which one loves from a perceived threat.

Evil comes down to intention, not just acts. If the perpetrator sees his act as necessary and for a good cause, is he evil? If he does not recognize that which he kills or tortures as sentient, if he sees it as necessary for whatever reason and does not think they have real feelings anyways, is he evil?

As an example...a while back i watched a documentary about some slow witted farm boys and a murder charge (long story, they were quite simple and innocent). Anyway in the documentary it had this scene, a pig they had raised was to be slaughtered for meat. They had a butcher come over, the animal had obviously never been treated cruely and had no fear of humans.

The butcher shot the pig with a .22 in the head and it started squeeling and getting upset. The butcher then got angry, and pulled out a knife and cut its throat (the pig stood there and took it, because he had no fear of humans). While the butcher killed him he said "damn you to hell" because the pig did not die due to the headshot. Was the butcher evil? Or did he simply have absolutely NO empathy for the animal he was killing?

Personally I thought the butcher was quite evil and cruel, and if the camera men had put a .22 slug in the butchers head i would have been fine with that. But did the butcher see his own actions as evil? I doubt if he did, he saw his actions as a job.

Edit -- I see evil as more about intention than actions. I rarely use that term for that reason.

[edit on 31-5-2008 by Sonya610]



posted on Jun, 3 2008 @ 02:23 AM
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I think the environment in which a person grows up has alot to do with the choices they make. But I also think that certain behavior can be inherited also.

Whether this kind of behavior is brought on genetically or through the environment its still a difficult topic to discuss. I sometimes feel compelled to take my own life when reading about this topic.




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