It’s been a long time that people are seeking for gross content in books and films. Although you may think that as a fan of crime, thrillers and horror, there may be a psychopath within you, researches do not prove the correlation of psychopathy with the choice of literary or cinematic genre. It is shown that people who enjoy reading or watching crime and horror have high results on personality trait “sensation seeking”.
Serial murderers are among the most common crime and horror topics in books and films. But how realistic is their image, ie are they presented precisely as they are in reality?
Generally speaking, the research confirmed that perpetrators of the crimes achieved: lower scores on the honesty / modesty scale, higher scores on the scale of emotional stability (neuroticism), and lower scores on the scale of extraversion, conscientiousness and openness to experience. Offenders exhibit traits such as: dishonesty, greed, fear, anxiety, low social self-esteem, non-socializing, lack of diligence and conventionality.
Children exposed to alcohol and drugs during prenatal development are often born with birth defects. Growing up in a family with alcohol or drug addicts can have an even worse effect on the child. According to FBI statistics, over 70% of serial killers have lived in such families, but they are often not addicted themselves.
Half of the serial killers admitted they were mentally abused and neglected as children. They were often humiliated by their parents, and their upbringing was unjust, unpredictable, destructive and perverted. Emotional abuse impairs children’s confidence and ability to function properly in society, to achieve academic success, and to form healthy close relationships. It is for these reasons that serial killers are most often unable to hold on to work for long periods and rarely make successful relationships.
Some serial killers were victims or witnesses of violent sexual acts, which strongly influenced their development, for example, as an educational measure, they were forced to wear female clothes, viewed violent intimate relationships in the family, and were abused.
As many as 57% of serial killers urinated in bed by an unusually late age (eg adolescence). This information should be taken with a great deal of attention – we cannot just observe nighttime urination as a warning that a child will become a serial killer. This information tells us that something serious was happening in their lives at that time because bedwetting at that age can be viewed as a symptom of another problem. Parents of serial killers made fun of their children for urinating at night, and very often, children reacted with aggression towards animals. They diverted anger, pain, and anger from an emotionally abusive parent to someone or something weaker than themselves. Because of their resistance to absent, inaccessible, or abusive fathers, they feel resistance to male authority, but also feel a very strong hostility toward women because they are usually dominated by mothers.
The families that most often raised by children who later become serial killers are filled with hatred and conflict, their relationships are destructive, and children often end up in a shelter or safe house until they reach adulthood. These are children who do not have adequate care or normal primary relationships, so they can hardly create the capacity for normal social relationships. They end up isolated from society. Serial killers rarely have close friends during childhood or adulthood. They are also victims of peer abuse and antisocial preferences develop early in their childhood. Even then, it can be noticed in such children that they are full of hostility and aggression, use or collect knives, weapons and are keen for revenge, fantasizing of violent acts and murders. Growing up, they start fantasizing not only about the killings, but about ways of committing the perfect murder. Looking back, adult serial killers can’t remember any positive fantasies from their childhood. They can’t remember dreaming of success, travel, romantic love, career, and other positive content like other children and adolescents. They exclusively think about violence, even violence in which they were victims – but in their fantasies they are the perpetrators. In terms of sexual development, they do not have normal relationships. They are attracted to voyeurism, fetishism and various other paraphilias. With serial killers, such inclinations often end up breaking into someone’s home, rape and murder.
Remarkably, as many as 99% of serial killers have admitted that they first tested their violent fantasies on animals before moving on to humans. Given the kind of family they grow up in, this behaviour goes unnoticed or is seen as perfectly normal. Many are also prone to pyromania, and they display such behaviour already in childhood.
An important link between aggressive and violent behavior is head injuries (accidents, abuse, birth injuries). 70% of serial killers had significant head injuries while they were children or adolescents.
Judging by all the available information, we can conclude that the serial killer is not born but created. Shocked, appalled and stunned, and endlessly terrified of their vulnerability when we hear about serial killers, we react very negatively. We declare the worst possible things, that such people do not deserve to live, that they should be tortured, how they were tortured by their victims, that their mothers should have aborted them, and more – and the environment will support us in these attitudes, but how we see the environment is and created, so, first of all, we need to work on prevention. Yes, our job is when we hear neighbours throwing plates at us, threatening death, it is our business to see that someone has a laceration on their eyes, a broken tooth. Our problem is when a teacher or educator sees ominous, black children’s drawings that are naked or bullied when they talk about things they should not know about. It’s not childish nonsense when at 7 or 10 years old they send each other threatening anonymous letters or cattails. This is definitely our problem. If it is not today, it will be tomorrow. Don’t turn your head, we’re all responsible for this society! We have no other.