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What makes serial killers do what they do?

Posted in Misc Crime April 30th, 2008 @ 11:27 am

Lately, I’m sure you have heard about the Smiley Face serial killer or killers murdering dozens of male college students in the Midwest and making all the deaths look like accidents. This peaked my curiosity to find out what makes a serial killer do what they do.

In an article “The Real Serial Killer” by Pat Brown for Crime Library writes, “Everything we would like to know about how serial killers commit their crimes and how the cops catch these predators is detailed by profilers, ex-FBI men, true crime writers, and psychologists; we learn everything but the truth.”

Why is this?

Pat Brown further explains, “Because serial killers know they can get away with murder and most of the time we don’t even know they are out there. Even when some of them do get caught, we may not recognize what they are because they don’t match the distorted image we have of serial killers.”

Do serial killers do what they do because they don’t have control over their desires or is it because of genetic, hormonal, biological or cultural conditions? I don’t think anyone knows for sure until after a serial killer is caught and interviewed extensively. And then, who knows what goes on in their twisted mind at the time of their killings.

In her article “What makes serial killers tick” written by Shirley Lynn Scott for Crime Library she explains some of the excuses that serial killers come up with. Take for instance Henry Lee Lucas blamed his upbringing. Jeffrey Dahmer said that he was born with a “part” missing. Ted Bundy claimed pornography and Herbert Mullin blamed voices in his head told him to do it. One serial killer blamed a car accident and another said that the victims just deserved to die. As bizarre as this may be, most serial killers are rational and calculating.

Dealing with the human mind and emotions and explaining their actions is not a precise science. However, can this insight of what makes serial killers do what they do help law enforcement find the killer or killers of the Smiley Face murders? And is this true serial killings? For the sake of all the victims and their families, I hope they do find out the truth behind these killings.

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