Infamy or Obscurity: The Mind of a Serial Killer

page: 1
10
<<   2  3  4 >>

log in

join

posted on Jul, 17 2008 @ 12:44 PM
link   
I have always been fascinated with the psychological aspects of crime and criminal behaviour. Over the last week, I've watched several biographies on renowned serial killers that I am sure all of us are familiar with. The Bundy's, Gacy's, DeSalvo's, or Ridgeway's of the world have left us with more to consider than even conceivable.

Was DeSalvo the Boston Strangler? Or did he make a decision to live forever in infamy than obscurity? Years later did he try to right his wrongs and ultimately lead to his murder while incarcerated? While Chapman was no serial killer, did he shoot John Lennon to live in infamy rather than obscurity?

Why do serial killers do what they do?

I'm asking a lot of questions here, but I'm merely looking to initiate a positive discussion on a subject matter that I find most interesting.

Like many others before and after him, I believe Al DeSalvo confessed to crimes that he did not commit in order to make a name for himself. His family has been burdened with the shame of having been related to him and his children grow up knowing what their father was; meanwhile the real killer walks free and the general public is refreshed with their unshaken security.

Does it interest you that an individual would confess to a crime that he or she did not commit, just to be recognized as the culprit?

Do you wonder why Mark David Chapman sat on the front steps of the Dakota on the night of December 8th, 1980, excited to be arrested and forever known as the man who killed John Lennon?

Something that may offer an insight is the simple fact that kids who are bullied daily throughout their school lives are envied by those who people do not even acknowledge. While it is terrible to be picked on, it is even worse to not even be recognized in existence.

Sometimes a negative is better than a nothing.

Thoughts on the subject matter?




posted on Jul, 17 2008 @ 12:49 PM
link   
My experience with the mentally ill has shown me they have a tendency to be very narcissistic and a Very everything is all about me mind set.

I'm not sure why they do what they do concerning murder but it must fulfill some twisted desire or urge.

But being that they are mental, they very much need to be known for the work they do, they view themselves almost like they are gods, and desire the credit.

I agree with you this is a fascinating subject.



posted on Jul, 17 2008 @ 12:57 PM
link   
But that right there is a week of discussion alone; are they truly mentally ill?

DeSalvo confessed to the crimes and did everything he could to land himself in a mental institution. I think this was due to the fact that he knew he didn't do it, wanted to live forever in infamy, but didn't want to spend his time in prison. When his efforts failed, after enough time I believe he was going to come clean and ultimately murdered for it. The night he was murdered, he had a meeting scheduled to talk to an old psychologist about the "real story" surrounding the Boston Strangler in the morning. Rather odd timing, no?

Mark David Chapman was beat down his whole life and lived in social obscurity due to the maltreatment he received by his mother. Chapman watched his mother have sexual relations with men younger than he was, and was forced to support her. Combined with other factors, I think he was pushed too far and ultimately made the decision that infamy was a far greater future than obscurity.

But mentally ill?

Too often people who go against the norm are labeled as mentally unstable, merely because they chose to swim up river. Are they really though? Is it a coin toss when you go against the grain for how you are remembered?

If Christopher Columbus had of been lost at sea, would he be remembered as some nut job who thought the world was round?

I oppose offering them the title of mentally ill. Narcissistic would be spot on.




posted on Jul, 17 2008 @ 01:02 PM
link   

Originally posted by chissler

Something that may offer an insight is the simple fact that kids who are bullied daily throughout their school lives are envied by those who people do not even acknowledge. While it is terrible to be picked on, it is even worse to not even be recognized in existence.

Sometimes a negative is better than a nothing.



I totally agree with this. All of us need attention in order to feel human, I believe. Of course positive attention is best, but even negative attention is better than being ignored. This is why small kids act out to their parents: if they think their parents aren't giving them enough attention they misbehave so that they are the center of attention once again.

I don't really think the desire for attention changes so much as we grow older. In fact, I think that for some people it only becomes more intense and potentially all consuming to the point that they will do desperate things, like committing murder. I think it's the same sort of complex that drives people to become porn stars. They're still misbehaving to get our attention.



posted on Jul, 17 2008 @ 01:05 PM
link   
The only serial killers I truly understand are those who do not fear death. They do not fear dying or dying and meeting their maker (if they even believe in a maker). Yet they do not wish to die. Therefore their psychotic nature mixed with that lack of fear helps to disregard the way they treat other human beings, giving into their sick nature because it is hard to resist and with out fear of death fear of punishment for their crimes is hardly something that would detour them.

I understand the same reasoning works for some Islamic suicide bombers, convinced that they are apart of a holly war in which they will be rewarded for their death, so they fear death minimally (which is why so many blow themselves to pieces) while those defeated by them are still consumed by that fear.



posted on Jul, 17 2008 @ 02:12 PM
link   
I'm a hunter, I have entered the woods to wait patiently for game to come by and I have stalked game, when you first catch sight of the animal, your heart rate increases, you mind races you wonder if it's in range can I get off a shot, is it looking at me or in my direction, the adrenaline starts to pump and sweat beads on your brow, your breathing quickens, you see your prey its a beautiful sight and a beautiful creature graceful and very weary, you draw your weapon as the beasts eats you take aim then the beast looks up right at you, your heart is in your throat, you head starts to spin but you then exhale pausing halfway and you squeeze the trigger.

You just killed a living breathing creature and you couldn't be more happy, you rush to the site and in my case I have completely had a deer gutted within 15 to 20 minutes of the shot.

The feeling you are experiencing are completely natural, and I bet all hunters/predators feel this rush.

When does it become unnatural or perverse?


Originally posted by chissler
But that right there is a week of discussion alone; are they truly mentally ill?


In my own mind they must be ill, I can't fathom a rational human killing another human for sport or the shear pleasure, or the perverse thrill of it.


DeSalvo confessed to the crimes and did everything he could to land himself in a mental institution. I think this was due to the fact that he knew he didn't do it, wanted to live forever in infamy, but didn't want to spend his time in prison. When his efforts failed, after enough time I believe he was going to come clean and ultimately murdered for it. The night he was murdered, he had a meeting scheduled to talk to an old psychologist about the "real story" surrounding the Boston Strangler in the morning. Rather odd timing, no?


I smell a conspiracy!!


Mark David Chapman was beat down his whole life and lived in social obscurity due to the maltreatment he received by his mother. Chapman watched his mother have sexual relations with men younger than he was, and was forced to support her. Combined with other factors, I think he was pushed too far and ultimately made the decision that infamy was a far greater future than obscurity.

But mentally ill?


Knowing what he endured and how he reacted how could he be anything but mentally ill, the human psyche can only endure so much, why he focused on Lennon will most likely never be known.

Like John Warnock Hinckley, Jr. he thought if he killed the president that Jodie Foster would love him.

There has to be some mental issue with these people brought on by physical or emotional or even environmental causes.


Too often people who go against the norm are labeled as mentally unstable, merely because they chose to swim up river. Are they really though? Is it a coin toss when you go against the grain for how you are remembered?


Is it natural to kill? Yes it is but only if there is reason like hunting for food, lets face it if we wish to eat we must kill as the beasts in the wild do.

Many say that humans are the only animals that kill for sport. There is also a primeval need to feel the rush of a successful hunt for some people mostly males.

However I have watched both cats and dogs kill, without the intent on eating there victims, but then there come the whole question, do they know what they are doing?


If Christopher Columbus had of been lost at sea, would he be remembered as some nut job who thought the world was round?

I oppose offering them the title of mentally ill. Narcissistic would be spot on.



Well we completely agree with the Narcissistic part, but to me there must be more.

[edit on 17-7-2008 by LDragonFire]



posted on Jul, 17 2008 @ 02:42 PM
link   

Originally posted by LDragonFire
There has to be some mental issue with these people brought on by physical or emotional or even environmental causes.


And there we have it.

More often than not, the serial killers we study were the victim of a very poor upbringing and look at the norms of our society with extreme envy. DeSalvo's father brought prostitutes home and had intercourse with them in front of his children. Ted Bundy was brought up to think that his real mother was his sister and that his grandparents were in actuality his parents. So his grandfather, or as he thought, his father, was an extremely abusive man who had a major problem with alcohol. The way he treated his wife and children was horrendous, but Ted looked upon him as his hero. Is it a possibility that these events in his child look directly influenced the outcome of a man that we remember in our history books?

So while each of these individuals were the victim of a poor upbringing and had to experience hardships that the worst criminals shouldn't have to endure, they are not mentally ill. They are certainly placed at a handicap in life, but it is more of a case of skewered norms than it is a physical disability.

Why else do I feel they are not disabled?

Even the worst criminals that we can study knew right from wrong. Men who murdered countless people with no regard for anything or anyone, knew right from wrong.. even if their behaviours indicate otherwise. Gary Ridgeway, the Green River Killer, stood stone cold in court as the names of his victims were read aloud. When people stepped up and scolded him and hurled insults at him, it was as if he enjoyed it. Then a man stepped up and said he forgave him for taking his little girl and wished him well in the future. This act alone broke Ridgeway's facade and left him sobbing like a little school girl.

He presented a front in the courtroom, for the media, the family, etc. We can say this and that contributed to the outcome and that he didn't understand right from wrong. But I don't really believe it is the case more often than not.

Being disabled doesn't imply that you can not tell the difference between right and wrong, but it certainly plays a role. And in these instances, I believe it's worth acknowledging.



posted on Jul, 17 2008 @ 03:05 PM
link   

Originally posted by chissler

Originally posted by LDragonFire
There has to be some mental issue with these people brought on by physical or emotional or even environmental causes.

So while each of these individuals were the victim of a poor upbringing and had to experience hardships that the worst criminals shouldn't have to endure, they are not mentally ill. They are certainly placed at a handicap in life, but it is more of a case of skewered norms than it is a physical disability.


To me it's there actions that confirm that they have a mental disability. To me it's no surprise that these people turned out the way they did, if your raised in Sparta you will be Spartan, if your Raised in Athens you would most definitely not be Spartan. We are all products of our environment, but I am seeing your point, perhaps some are just born bad, no mental condition just brutal and savage, with very bizarre desires or lusts.

However:
Jeffery Dalmer is a enigma, he had a fairly normal upbringing his father was strict and very religious, and later Jeffery had a drinking problem but other than him killing same animals as a child there was really no warning signs for his behavior later in life. But his crimes included rape, necrophilia and cannibalism. I personally believe he was a coward, but was he mental?


Being disabled doesn't imply that you can not tell the difference between right and wrong, but it certainly plays a role. And in these instances, I believe it's worth acknowledging.


Most of the people I have experience with that have mental conditions have severe bi-polar and paranoid schizophrenia PLUS other undiagnosed illnesses, but every single one have lashed out, have been abusive and every single one have come back latter and said they were sorry. They absolutely knew what they were doing, they knew it was wrong, but they claim they couldn't help it. So I believe that the mentally ill not knowing what is right or wrong is a myth. People with physical disability's like down syndrome are another story.

Awesome topic!!!



posted on Jul, 17 2008 @ 03:07 PM
link   
There´s a movie out there called "Natural Born Killers" which, imo, is misunderstood as a "blood and guts" movie that promotes violence. Misunderstood because it actually teaches where violence really comes from and how criminals feed off the media-frenzy as it gives them strength.

There´s this opinion I stopped voicing a few years ago because I always got odd looks from it (thats what drives one to ATS - getting odd looks about certain taboo viewpoints). This opinion goes: If you reduce media reporting on crimes, you can reduce the crime rate significantly.

Criminals feed off the indignation, public outrage and fascination the public has with outcasts. It makes them feel truly alive. "I exist" says the schoolyard bully and also the kid being picked on. "Im part of the action!".

An interesting social experiment would be to journalistically underreport crimes in a certain region (the police would be the only ones handling a case, not the bloodthirsty public) and see if crime rate drops. I doubt anything like this is going to happen anytime soon though.



posted on Jul, 17 2008 @ 03:21 PM
link   
...so yes, that is to say I agree to an extent with the proposal that "mentally ill" is only a convinient label applied by society to something they dont understand.



posted on Jul, 17 2008 @ 03:22 PM
link   
reply to post by Skyfloating
 


Wow we have the same view of this movie.

I saw a report a few years ago that in the 70's violent crime was dropping but the media coverage of violent crime skyrocketed, sensationalism sells, and that is what Natural Born Killers tried to show us, but it went over most peoples heads.



posted on Jul, 17 2008 @ 03:55 PM
link   
It would seem that the most common theme is some type of high. I recall that line that Clint Eastwood had said in one of his movies: "You're a legend in your own mind."

www.movieparrot.com...



Many movies seem to be centered on these good or bad personality types as some type of alter ego power trip. These 'scripted' dramas and actions is most likely replayed vividly in these serial killers minds as if OCD addiction and any other personalities they might aquire.

Some documentaries suggest trying to get into their minds as to how these are formed. Comic books?

Another movie theme related to these is Suspect Zero. Which is a fascinating account from the psychic perspective and how this can also affect* those who study these behaviors or even become them psychically.

Sadly, most here seem to see remote viewing as a scam. This might be all too true in ways we have yet to fully understand.

One really sick bird (vulture?) was Albert Fish. I think they were making a movie about him recently.


Remote Viewing Albert Fish was his apparent ability to see the ghosts of his victims around him while they tried in vain to warn his new ones to run away.

Many in the past seemed to believe that these people were possessed by demons. But wouldn't a demon only find a new host when these people die? So much of this seems to be strongly connected to the paranormal.

The criminal justice system still refuses to publically accept the supernatural is somehow related.

Even so, I think the best term for many like this is: "Criminally Insane." Many states seem to be lumping all of these together in prison anyway to save money. I think that's a bad idea unless they're segregated. But, how do we always know? If you weren't before, you probably will be?
These demonic attributes will most likely attach themselves to someone else leaving prison as if continuing some type of rebellious mission.

Did Keith Ledger become mentally ill from playing the part of the Joker? Why did Jack Nicholson say: "I warned him!"? Tabloid journalism or half truth?

I think we could sum up much of our culture as being on the edge of mentally ill or criminally insane.

How many potential serial killers never get caught? maybe not even for the same type of crimes? Even drug dealers could be classified as serial killers.



posted on Jul, 17 2008 @ 04:20 PM
link   
Didn't Ted Bundy escape from prison, and represent himself in court, all while having throngs of female supporters?

That sounds like someone that is smarter than the average person.

Or BTK, he gave up after years of boredom because no one figured it was him.

They are not mentaly ill, it's just a ruse because people are stupid enough to fall for it.



posted on Jul, 17 2008 @ 04:39 PM
link   

Originally posted by LordBaskettIV
Or BTK, he gave up after years of boredom because no one figured it was him.

They are not mentaly ill, it's just a ruse because people are stupid enough to fall for it.



By 2004, the trail of the BTK killer had gone cold. Then, Rader sent a letter to the police, claiming responsibility for a killing that had previously not been attributed to him. DNA collected from under the fingernails of that victim provided police with previously unknown evidence. They then began DNA testing hundreds of men in an effort to find the serial killer. Altogether, some 1100 DNA samples would be taken.[8]

The police corresponded with Rader in an effort to gain his confidence. Then, in one of his communications with police, Rader asked them if it were possible to trace information from floppy disks. The police department replied that there was no way of knowing what computer such a disk had been used on, when in fact there was. Rader then sent his message and floppy to the police department, which quickly checked the metadata of the Microsoft Word document. In the metadata, they found that the document had been made by a man who called himself Dennis. They also found a link to the Lutheran Church. When the police searched on the internet for 'Lutheran Church Wichita Dennis', they found his family name, and were able to identify a suspect: Dennis Rader, a Lutheran Deacon.
Dennis Rader



posted on Jul, 17 2008 @ 04:45 PM
link   

Jeffery Dalmer is a enigma, he had a fairly normal upbringing his father was strict and very religious, and later Jeffery had a drinking problem but other than him killing same animals as a child there was really no warning signs for his behavior later in life. But his crimes included rape, necrophilia and cannibalism. I personally believe he was a coward, but was he mental?

Dahmer wasn't crazy. His sense of what was normal was certainly screwed up, but he wasn't nuts. He was very much a predator - quiet, always watching - and intelligent.

On television, he didn't appear to be a big man, but in real life he was very muscular for his size. His physical presence could be intimidating to some people because he didn't say much.

Was he a coward? I don't think so. A murderer? Yes.



posted on Jul, 17 2008 @ 06:20 PM
link   
reply to post by chissler
 


So you're saying that it's better to picked on, then not to recognize at all?



posted on Jul, 17 2008 @ 06:25 PM
link   

Originally posted by LDragonFire
I'm a hunter, I have entered the woods to wait patiently for game to come by and I have stalked game, when you first catch sight of the animal, your heart rate increases, you mind races you wonder if it's in range can I get off a shot, is it looking at me or in my direction, the adrenaline starts to pump and sweat beads on your brow, your breathing quickens, you see your prey its a beautiful sight and a beautiful creature graceful and very weary, you draw your weapon as the beasts eats you take aim then the beast looks up right at you, your heart is in your throat, you head starts to spin but you then exhale pausing halfway and you squeeze the trigger.

You just killed a living breathing creature and you couldn't be more happy, you rush to the site and in my case I have completely had a deer gutted within 15 to 20 minutes of the shot.





.

[edit on 17-7-2008 by LDragonFire]

-hey, Easy on the details buddy


[edit on 17-7-2008 by The-Tyrant]



posted on Jul, 17 2008 @ 08:01 PM
link   

Originally posted by The-Tyrant
So you're saying that it's better to picked on, then not to recognize at all?


Yes.

Would you rather be talked about or not even known to exist? I guess it is a matter of opinion, but I'm willing to bet that those who walk through life without any degree of social acknowledgment, envy those who receive negative attention.


Originally posted by LDragonFire
Most of the people I have experience with that have mental conditions have severe bi-polar and paranoid schizophrenia PLUS other undiagnosed illnesses, but every single one have lashed out, have been abusive and every single one have come back latter and said they were sorry. They absolutely knew what they were doing, they knew it was wrong, but they claim they couldn't help it. So I believe that the mentally ill not knowing what is right or wrong is a myth. People with physical disability's like down syndrome are another story.


I agree that rarely is someone hit with one diagnosis. More often than not a few come hand in hand and play off of one another, which makes things interesting to say the least.

I provide residential care for individuals with disabilities. From Down's syndrome, Autism, Praeder-Willi, developmental delays and a bit of depression on the side to boot, I have yet to run into a situation where they did not know right from wrong. However, it's not a case of right and wrong. It's a case of culpability. It's a matter of whether or not they are properly equipped to be able to effectively manage their behaviour and emotions to apply the appropriate behaviour. Which can be said applies to serial killers, but I think it is a bit of a cop out for these guys.

I genuinely believe that these guys can help it and could have stopped what they were guilty of. They chose to do what they did because they wanted to.

There is much at play here. It is no accident than almost every serial killer is a typical white male.



posted on Jul, 17 2008 @ 08:02 PM
link   

Originally posted by chissler
Do you wonder why Mark David Chapman sat on the front steps of the Dakota on the night of December 8th, 1980, excited to be arrested and forever known as the man who killed John Lennon?


I believe he killed so that he would be forever tied to John Lennon.

Great thread, I too have often wondered what motivated people to commit serial murder, or admit to a crime they did not commit.

I have always been most fascinated by Jack the Ripper, possibly because his identity will never be truly found.

Alot of people today still speculate and research about possible JTRs... I read "A Portrait of a Killer" by Patricia Cornwell, and I couldn't put it down, although alot of people think it's a bit of a cock and bull story.

Edited for further clarification

[edit on 17-7-2008 by Vilyariel]



posted on Jul, 17 2008 @ 08:17 PM
link   

Originally posted by chissler

I agree that rarely is someone hit with one diagnosis. More often than not a few come hand in hand and play off of one another, which makes things interesting to say the least.


This is very interesting in itself because everyone I know with these issues all have more than one problem diagnosed or not. Another interesting this is that the only treatments available only treat the symptoms because science still haven't completely figured out why or what causes these illnesses. I have also noticed if the doctors do find a effective treatment it only works for up to two years then a new drug regiment is required.


I provide residential care for individuals with disabilities. From Down's syndrome, Autism, Praeder-Willi, developmental delays and a bit of depression on the side to boot, I have yet to run into a situation where they did not know right from wrong. However, it's not a case of right and wrong. It's a case of culpability. It's a matter of whether or not they are properly equipped to be able to effectively manage their behaviour and emotions to apply the appropriate behaviour. Which can be said applies to serial killers, but I think it is a bit of a cop out for these guys.


My experience is my wife has severe bi-polar disorder plus a host of other emotional disorders one of my sons has high functioning autism {recently diagnosed} before they thought he also had bi polar and I have two life long friends with paranoid schizophrenia {one was born with it, one developed it during military service along with PTSS}. They can't help what they do even when they see it as being wrong, it is most difficult to live with and to completely understand.


I genuinely believe that these guys can help it and could have stopped what they were guilty of. They chose to do what they did because they wanted to.


What I can't get my head around is how they start, do they get up one day and think well today I'm gonna ........... then do it? They must spend a massive amount of time thinking this out perhaps years or even decades, but to have these thoughts and to be around family or friends just creeps me out.


There is much at play here. It is no accident than almost every serial killer is a typical white male.


I would love to hear your theroy on why this is, because I'm clueless unless it's some sort of affluent weird race orientated thing.





new topics
top topics
 
10
<<   2  3  4 >>

log in

join