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Infamy or Obscurity: The Mind of a Serial Killer

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posted on Jul, 18 2008 @ 12:21 PM
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reply to post by Sleuth
 

Same here
I'm still interested in some more in debt observations you have, please share with us as we attempt to understand the mind set of these type of people.




posted on Jul, 18 2008 @ 12:24 PM
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reply to post by Sleuth
 


No, I am talking about the impulse killings from serial killers such as Ottis Toole and Henry Lee Lucas.

en.wikipedia.org... and en.wikipedia.org...



posted on Jul, 18 2008 @ 12:40 PM
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Originally posted by LDragonFire
reply to post by Sleuth
 

Same here
I'm still interested in some more in debt observations you have, please share with us as we attempt to understand the mind set of these type of people.

I'm no expert. I only know what I've seen in Jeff and his environs. It is easier to answer specific questions. That way I don't trip over security/confidentiality issues.

I can give you a broad perspective right off the bat. He came off as religious, but he wasn't. It was an angle he was playing. Most convicts have an angle they play, so it's not unusual. It got him a lot of attention and mail, which he liked. People sent him books and other items all the time.

As I posted earlier, he was very quiet and very much the predator - constantly observing. He was also stealthy. He scared the poop out of me more than once by suddenly appearing rather close to other staff or me when a moment before he was somewhere else in the dayroom.

His sense of humor was peculiar. I can't be specific. Let's just say that even in the prison environment, he gave some experienced staff the creeps. I found his jokes amusing, but I've got barnacles the size of Rhode Island.

The effect his "reputation" had on people amused him. He liked to play it with new "victims" and this was a source of amusement to staff as well. We enjoyed watching him as one would enjoy watching a child with a new toy.

Edit to Clarify: When I state that he played his reputation I mean that he liked to stand close to someone who knew what he was and was obviously intimidated by him just to see what kind of reaction he would get.

Some may misinterpret my statement as meaning he was allowed to engage in negative behavior while incarcerated, which is absolutely incorrect. He was held to the same behavioral standards as every other inmate.

[edit on 7/18/08 by Sleuth]



posted on Jul, 18 2008 @ 12:59 PM
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reply to post by Sleuth
 


Okay initially i was more than a bit skeptical about your claims of having met Dahmer, but after having looked at the other threads you posted to, and having weighed your responses, wow.

I think ones behavior in prison would be quite different than ones normal behavior in every day life. It is a dangerous environment, it is also probably a bit boring. Capitalizing on the "strange" factor and making others uneasy would seem to be a good strategy, not only to combat boredom but also to keep minor pests away.



posted on Jul, 18 2008 @ 08:22 PM
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Originally posted by Dulcimer
It is hard to say if he simply did it on impulse or how long he planned it, but I am guessing the man is pretty smart.


It was thoroughly planned out, Chapman just lacked the ability to follow through on his desires. He traveled to New York prior to the actual assassination to strike down Lennon, but could not bring himself to do it. So he flew back home and ultimately decided a few weeks or months later that he would finally go through with it.



posted on Jul, 18 2008 @ 08:37 PM
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reply to post by chissler
 


It seems as if you have two main subjects here and I don't see how they are really related.

One is why do serial killers do what they do. The other seems to be people that kill to be famous, or those that claim to have killed for infamy.

Are you also asking if serial killers do it primarily for the publicity? I would say no, but I am confused by the questions.



posted on Jul, 18 2008 @ 08:40 PM
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reply to post by Sonya610
 


I'm merely responding to questions and comments that arise. The subject matter at hand is endless, and I don't really see the need to restrict anything to keep us going in one direction. Several murderers who were not serial killers have been mentioned, but the "Infamy or Obscurity" aspect is still relevant.

We'll all dictate where this thread goes with our responses as members, and I for one hope that the next day or two go as great as the last one. This has been a tremendous discussion thus far.



posted on Jul, 18 2008 @ 08:57 PM
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Hiyah Chissler.

Thanks for making a thread about serial killers. I have a different opinion though on the ones you chose in your thread.

DeSalvo, from what I have read, was a patsy for the police, if not, he was the luckiest idiot known to man. He was too stupid, low IQ from what I have read to do the Boston Strangler Murders.

Chapman had a simple definition of psychological profile...he heard voices, he was a stalker, most likely Schizophrenic, Paranoid Schizophrenic to be exact...he had one main target, he shot that target, he was done, not a serial killer IMO.

Jeffrey Dahmer, Ted Bundy, The Nighstalker - Richard Ramirez, the BTK Killer, the Green River Killer...are what I call serial killers....

Most serial killers are sado-masochists....sometime in early adolescent / sexual development they learned that pain, equaled sex....Suffering of inequals turned them on.

Completely different then the ones you named as serial killers...yours were "opportunistic killers."

Chapman was a one shot assassin not a "serial killer".

IMO, for what it's worth.



posted on Jul, 18 2008 @ 09:02 PM
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reply to post by LateApexer313
 


I wasn't referring to Chapman as a serial killer, merely referencing the attack on Lennon as a blatant example of an individual choosing infamy over obscurity. So you and I are on the same page on what is and is not a serial killer.

It is concerning to think how many serial killers existed a few decades ago and the success rate they had with escaping any sort of prosecution for their actions, for so long.

DeSalvo ultimately turned himself in.. or confessed to crimes that he was not guilty of. BTK I believe resurrected himself years later which resulted in his demise. Ridgeway wasn't caught for years and it was only due to technological advances with DNA testing. Zodiac was never captured, DeSalvo was never prosecuted for the crimes he allegedly committed.

Talk about a step ahead.



posted on Jul, 18 2008 @ 09:41 PM
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I would be very interested to hear more Dahmer stories. Fascinating stuff.

I was not interested in the subject until I toured a maximum security prison a few years ago. They showed us all kinds of stuff, but only one thing stuck in my mind.

They showed us around Clifford Olson's old prison cell. It was chilling at the time. Something you don't forget.

He was also stabbed 7 times in the same prison.

After that I became interested in the subject.

Someone like Clifford Olson is truly messed up. Just read some material on him.



posted on Jul, 18 2008 @ 09:42 PM
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Originally posted by chissler
It is concerning to think how many serial killers existed a few decades ago and the success rate they had with escaping any sort of prosecution for their actions, for so long.


Very true. A hundred years ago it was so much easier to get away with a lot. One of my favorite serial killers is Carl Panzram, a crazy german american that roamed around the country around 1920. Law enforcement was not centralized, so it was easy to jump from town to town and take a new name.

Carl's life was very interesting, while he suffered severe abuse as a child he also traveled around the world and at one point went "crocodile" hunting in the congo, he hired a few guides and a boat and when they got out into the wild he killed all the guides and fed them to the crocodiles. He was quite the eccentric.

Extremely sadistic, but also had a wicked sense of humor. He didn't limit himself to just killing either, he raped, killed, stole, maimed, pretty much did whatever struck him as fun at the moment. His story is here:
www.crimelibrary.com...

Sadly crimelibrary.com (my favorite site on serial killers) was taken over by trutv and now the main site is impossible to navigate and utterly ruined. But apparently google still brings up the old stories.


[edit on 18-7-2008 by Sonya610]



posted on Jul, 18 2008 @ 09:43 PM
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One interesting thing to bring up for discussion would be the amount of killings that the serial killers claim to have committed.

Can their numbers be trusted? Are numbers the ultimate goal?

Example. Clifford Olson has claimed anywhere from 80 to 200 murders, but the actual number found has been far less.



posted on Jul, 20 2008 @ 06:35 PM
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Originally posted by Dulcimer
One interesting thing to bring up for discussion would be the amount of killings that the serial killers claim to have committed.

Can their numbers be trusted? Are numbers the ultimate goal?


I wanted to respond to this the other night, but I didn't have the time. So I'll take it head on right now.


I feel there are different types of people who are serial killers, and I think some can be trusted and some can not. Differentiating the two can be quite simple, but I think it can be very trying at times as well. I believe that when people exaggerate the true number of any given statistic, it stems from an insecurity or desire to over impress. Given how meticulous serial killers can be, and how arrogant some are, I think that if they were to lie about what they have accomplished.. it would leave them feeling insecure and minimize their "accomplishments".

I believe that they feel what they've done has never been done before and would see no need to pad their numbers. Each one would be it's own story, it's own sense of glory.. in some sick and twisted manner. And to lie about that would minimize everything they've done.

And even if nobody else knew, they would know. Given the typical behaviours for most serial killers, I don't think they could allow this to happen.

If Bundy says he murdered a specific number of women, I believe it. Gary Ridgeway I believe was quoted as saying that he can not even fathom a guess of how many women. He could parade around saying hundreds and hundreds, but from the interviews I've read.. he often states that he can not remember.

The irony in the fact that I feel that these individuals can be trusted in any sense of the word.



posted on Jul, 20 2008 @ 07:03 PM
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The serial killers that have remained uncaptured, the ones we generally never here about are the ones that I find most intriguing and most disturbing.

To think that there are serial killers out there who blend so well into society that no one would ever suspect them, and so efficient at killing that they never get caught.

Some serial killers have been known to live a totally normal life, good job, nice home, family, children, are involved in religious and community activities... No one would ever know that person as a serial killer except the victims.

Most of these kind of cases we will never know much about because the cases may still remain open.

The unknown, uncaught serial killers, coming to a town near you?

You must know that outside of the famous cases, there are many still unsolved... Some may never be solved, nor will the serial killer be brought to justice.

I believe for this type of serial killer the thrill of staying ahead of investigators and avoiding being caught is a part of the motive, as for the rest I wonder if God himself could actually explain what is in the mind of a serial killer.



posted on Jul, 20 2008 @ 07:38 PM
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Originally posted by chissler
I feel there are different types of people who are serial killers, and I think some can be trusted and some can not. Differentiating the two can be quite simple, but I think it can be very trying at times as well. I believe that when people exaggerate the true number of any given statistic, it stems from an insecurity or desire to over impress. Given how meticulous serial killers can be, and how arrogant some are, I think that if they were to lie about what they have accomplished.. it would leave them feeling insecure and minimize their "accomplishments".


I think that you are missing a very important point about what 'capture' represents to the serial killer. Firstly, they can nolonger do what they do: they may have spent their whole lives planning and fantasising about killing, once captured they enter into a different level of fantasy, whereby they know that they can never act out and only relive. This may lead them to control that information (Ted Bundy is a prime example of this) and its 'release' in order to enhance that 'reliving' experience. Secondly, much exaggeration is motivated by the 'honour amongst theives' prison system and for the inherent fear that these, effectively weak individuals have of being harmed themselves. As long as they have 'information' (whether they do or not) they can expect special treatment, this is why many killers will retain the location of bodies, drawing out the interrogation process for decades in some cases (see Ian Brady, UK Moors Murderer). Plus, in this instance, the secret enhances the fantasy - only they know what and where and how. To the weak and ineffectual this can be incredibly stimulating and provide a false sense of power.



I believe that they feel what they've done has never been done before and would see no need to pad their numbers. Each one would be it's own story, it's own sense of glory.. in some sick and twisted manner. And to lie about that would minimize everything they've done.


This would entirely depend upon the particular personality disorder that the individual killer was suffering from. There can be no generalisation. It is also dependent on the type of institution that the killer in incarcarated in and the heirarchial structure, and that individuals need for attention.



If Bundy says he murdered a specific number of women, I believe it. Gary Ridgeway I believe was quoted as saying that he can not even fathom a guess of how many women. He could parade around saying hundreds and hundreds, but from the interviews I've read.. he often states that he can not remember.


Despite the case cross-overs, there is very little similarity between Bundy and Ridgeway. The reason Ridgeway was able to continue to kill for as long as he did is because of his choice of victim. Very few people care or notice the absence of street prostitutes, this is why killers who operate in this victimology tend to have the longest careers, avoiding detection. The victims in some cases can take months to be reported missing, and because they are generally drug users as well, they often have a history of erratic habits.

Bundy on the other hand, chose nice white middle class girls as his victims. They're absence was often noticed within hours, had Bundy been operating now, he would not have lasted as long as he did. Although he was aided by the division of jurisdiction in the US, systems have since been put in place to alleiviate that 'loophole'. Bundy was not enormously clever, he panicked frequently and had the police authoritied known then what they know now, Bundy would not have accrued the victim tally that he did. He was very careless.

What is particularly unique about Bundy though in the context of this thread is that he was 'ashamed' of his crimes, though not in the classical way you and I might be ashamed. But Bundy was desperate to maintain the facade of the All-American, both before and after capture. In order to lead the double life that he did, he constructed a compartmentalised memory, which permitted him to shut off that part of him and those acts that he committed that he felt were most telling of his 'true abhorrent self' or the 'hunchback' as he dubbed it. Bundy's refusal to talk in detail about his crimes and his unwillingness to reveal locations and details was not so much a power play (although that element existed) it was a protector. He could not bear for those around him to know the depths to which he had sunk. Bundy was completely dependent on the perception of others for his own self worth. This is sometimes a feature with necrophagous murderers.

There is no hard or fast rule. Depends on the individual, the crime, the attitude of the captures...any number of factors. Some talk others to feel the power, others need secrecy.



posted on Jul, 21 2008 @ 12:38 AM
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Don't think I've seen anyone here mention Charles Manson yet. Now, Charlie never killed anyone himself, but I find it fascinating that someone as vile as he would also be so charismatic that he could convince others to do his bidding.

From what I know about him, he was a runt of a kid, who got bumped from one foster home to another, and generally never had anyone who cared about him. Got himself into juvie pretty quickly and never really had much chance or interest in taking the straight & narrow path. There's even good reason to believe that he intentionally self-sabotages the few parole hearings he's had because he knows he's better off staying in prison than trying to survive in the outside world.



posted on Jul, 21 2008 @ 01:00 AM
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Originally posted by KilgoreTrout
Bundy on the other hand, chose nice white middle class girls as his victims. They're absence was often noticed within hours, had Bundy been operating now, he would not have lasted as long as he did. Although he was aided by the division of jurisdiction in the US, systems have since been put in place to alleiviate that 'loophole'. Bundy was not enormously clever, he panicked frequently and had the police authoritied known then what they know now, Bundy would not have accrued the victim tally that he did. He was very careless.


Not sure that is a fair statement. He may not have been a genius but he was a bright guy. He operated well in the system at that time. The cops weren't that swift then either.

If he were alive and killing today one could assume he would educate himself on the different forensic techniques and possibly adapt. The investigators know a lot more now than they did then, Bundy would have access to a lot more information as well.



posted on Jul, 21 2008 @ 01:06 AM
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Originally posted by JoshNorton
Don't think I've seen anyone here mention Charles Manson yet. Now, Charlie never killed anyone himself, but I find it fascinating that someone as vile as he would also be so charismatic that he could convince others to do his bidding.


Yeah, he is/was very charasmatic. Sheesh he was a penniless bumb that managed to recruit a whole group of willing young women as his followers.

Charlie is truly nuts, but like many victims of abuse he had learned how to read people well. He kept his group entertained, he kept them high and happy, they say he may have had them use '___' (while he abstained) so he could rile them into religious type frenzies that glorified his image. He apparently had a real talent for picking followers, seeing what they needed, and providing it.



posted on Jul, 21 2008 @ 01:33 AM
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Originally posted by Sonya610
Not sure that is a fair statement. He may not have been a genius but he was a bright guy. He operated well in the system at that time. The cops weren't that swift then either.

If he were alive and killing today one could assume he would educate himself on the different forensic techniques and possibly adapt. The investigators know a lot more now than they did then, Bundy would have access to a lot more information as well.


Bundy was a first, he operated across state boundaries, transported his victims huge distances (sometimes when they were dead, sometimes alive), he re-visited the bodies repeatedly. This is high risk behaviour, even Bundy knew it. The systems in place at that time were highly primitive, no computers for cross referencing, no inter-agency co-operation...I could go on...but in short Bundy was fortunate. His name was given to police repeatedly and when he was caught (for the first time) he was about third on the list. Now with improved investigation techniques, and assuming the same pathology he would not have been able to get away with it for so long. He was not that adaptive.

He would have had access to greater information too that is true, but he was also operating under a 'compulsion' and looking to fulfill a particular fantasy. The only way he would have been able to 'survive' longer would have been to change his victimology. When comparing Ridgeway and Bundy this is the clear difference. Bundy didn't choose throwaway victims, he chose people who were loved and missed, and it is this pathological need that would have been his undoing, not his intelligence and techniques.



posted on Jul, 21 2008 @ 01:44 AM
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Originally posted by JoshNorton
From what I know about him, he was a runt of a kid, who got bumped from one foster home to another, and generally never had anyone who cared about him. Got himself into juvie pretty quickly and never really had much chance or interest in taking the straight & narrow path. There's even good reason to believe that he intentionally self-sabotages the few parole hearings he's had because he knows he's better off staying in prison than trying to survive in the outside world.


I believe he actually requested not to be released on the very last time before he formed the Family. He had spent so many years inside, in one form or another, that he was completely institutionalised. It is quite sad really, he was completely brutalised by the system, as a child he was raped in Young Offenders institutes and that continued throughout his prison career - until he was released that last time. In order for Manson to have survived that 'lifestyle' he had learnt to be manipulative and it is this skill that served him best.

The Manson familiy, the women in particular, were poor little rich girls looking for a rebellion and Charlie was it. Add '___' and Charlie's prophetic lectures and they were basically in his thrall, to do with as he wished. There is obviously an element of choice, these men and women chose to believe in Manson, but as we know it is not that difficult to get young people to believe that violence is okay and the only fair means of expression in an unfair world. That above all else is Manson's 'secret'.

It is worth watching and reading what the Manson girls have to say for themselves now. There is a combination of shame, guilt, but most of all an embarassment at how easily they were led. This is supported in their own minds by Manson himself, if you've seen footage of his parole hearings, it must be amazing for those otherwise intelligent women to realise that the great charasmatic leader that they followed to murder was nothing more than a delusional whack job. Squeaky Fromme is an exception and has her own quite delusional pathology.





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