Serial Killers: What Really Makes Them Tick
Are serial murderers born with an instinct to kill, or is it something that forms over time? Sometimes it is one or the other, but it can also be a combination of both, and in most cases it is. These people are always and will forever be considered dangerous and a threat to mankind because it is not always easy to spot them. In order to understand the mind of a serial killer, as it related to Sleeping Beauty, it is necessary to examine how the mind of a serial killer works and differs from the average civilian. For example, Dennis Radar, better known as BTK, was the head of his church. Ted Bundy worked alongside many normal and unsuspecting people at a rape hotline. There’s no distinctive item that makes them stand out, and that’s the scary thing. Some of the most notorious serial killers in history have been those people that are active in their community, stable in their jobs and highly intelligent. Jeffrey Dahmer who tortured, killed and ate some of his 17 victims has been quoted as saying, “These thoughts, they just come blasting into my head… These thoughts are very powerful, very destructive, and they do not leave. They're not the kind of thoughts that you can just shake your head and they're gone. They do not leave.” (“Early Signs Of Serial Killers 1”) This kind of statement begs the question, “can anything be done to stop these monsters before their killing sprees begin?”
What some people do not realize is that a normal human brain can be much, much different than the brain of a serial murderer. One part of the human brain that has an influence over whether or not a person is stable or not, is the prefrontal cortex, which is the front half of the brain. It is responsible for our focus, planning, impulse control, emotional control, empathy, judgment and insight. If the activity in the prefrontal cortex is healthy, it usually leads to conscientiousness, thoughtfulness and a goal-oriented personality. If the PFC is low in action, it can make a person disorganized, easily distracted and sometimes antisocial (Paramapoonya 1). Being antisocial is a very well known characteristic of a serial killer, although not all are.
Another part of the brain that could decipher whether or not a human is in a rational state is the temporal lobes. They are found beneath the temples and behind the eyes. They control memory, language learning, object recognition, and mood stability. Trouble in the temporal lobes, especially on the left side, usually leads to temper problems, aggression and severe depression. (Paramapoonya 1) Many serial killers are known to have serious temper problems that they do not know how to deal with, which usually leads them to their choice of murder.
There are also four other factors that contribute to unstableness of a serial killer which are: anatomical, neurochemical, genetics, and environmental. The anatomical factor is usually associated with aggressive behavior. Serial murderers tend to kill when the aggressiveness they feel becomes overwhelming. The murder is their release. (“Mind of a Killer…1) This factor also deals with the fact that the people who commit these terrible crimes, very rarely show any remorse.
The second factor, Neurochemical, explains that any brain activity can be considered the result of integration between excitatory and inhibitory components, and abnormal aggression in particular may depend on a defective balance between the brain's excitatory and inhibitory mechanisms. Genetic inclination and induced or acquired alterations of these mechanisms work to create strong aggression (“Mind of a Killer…2).
Genetics plays a very large role as to why serial killers may have the motives that they do. Researchers have conducted surveys investigating men with abnormal sex chromosomes and their criminal activity, with the majority of these surveys taking place in maximum security institutions. The results of many of the surveys were an...
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