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
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
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.