The Psychology of serial killers
There are many different levels of criminal psychology. There are some criminal,
or forensic, psychologist that focus mainly their research on serial killers. A serial
killer is an individual who has murdered three or more people over a period of
more than a month, usually with significant time (a cooling-off period)  between
the murders. This time between the murders often makes the killings not seem
connected. Depending of course, on the method used to murder the victim. In
most cases the serial killer's victim don't personally know the killer. This implies
that a serial killer's motive is more psychological than material.
Studying the Brain of Serial Killers:

As research continues in the field, it is more commonly believed that the symptoms manifested by serial killers - regardless of their classification - are the result of brain
abnormalities. For instance, using medical imaging techniques, neuroscientists have discovered that the brains of psychopaths have noticeably thinner tissue in key subcortical

These regions span what doctors call the limbic system. It also spans other structures, such as the orbitofrontal cortex and the temporal pole, that are adjacent to the limbic
system. These regions of the brain are collectively known as the paralimbic system, and believe it may hold the key to understanding psychopaths. This is because the paralimbic
system controls basic emotions such as fear, pleasure, anger — and handles decision making, reasoning and impulse control. If this tissue is damaged or underdeveloped, then
that person may have a decreased ability to register feelings or assign emotional value to experiences. It explains a great deal about the behavior of psychopaths, who have
great difficulty feeling emotions.

Freud, a more classic form of psychoanalytic theory, described the id as the part of the mind that regulates instinctive impulses and primary processes. The ego, Freud said,
mediates between the conscious and the unconscious and is responsible for a sense of someones personal identity. And the superego acts as a self-critical conscience, reflecting
the social norms learned from parents, teachers and other authority figures. In psychopaths, an abnormal paralimbic system could weaken the ego, which would allow the id to
direct behavior, leading to the need for immediate gratification. Other abnormal brain functions could also compromise the superego, allowing an individual to harm others in their
pursuit of self gratification without experiencing feelings of guilt or remorse.

The Serial Killer Environment:

Everything we need to know about serial killers can't simply be explained by biology. Data shows that information hardwired in DNA only accounts for 50 percent of the variability
among people who exhibit adult antisocial traits. Basically, genetics can only account for so much. A persons environment has equal importance in shaping how a person

Many, but not all, serial killers suffered some kind of trauma in their childhood. Childhood trauma played a key role in the lives of numerous serial killers.
John Wayne Gacy, who
murdered 33 young boys, suffered greatly at the hands of his abusive father. Gacy was brutally beaten and saw his beloved dog shot while he watched. Aside from physical
abuse, he withstood verbal assaults, listening as his father called him "sissy" and "worthless."

Albert DeSalvo, who was implicated in the strangulation deaths of 11 Boston women, also survived a horrible childhood. His father was cruel to the entire family, beating him with
a pipe and breaking his mother's fingers as the boy watched. Some accounts say his father sold the children to a farmer in Maine. Although they were rescued by their mother,
the trama they shared from the incident must have been significant.

Sometimes, the abuse isn't so obvious.
Jeffrey Dahmer, murdered 17 people in the late 1980s and early 1990s, seemed to have a normal childhood. He was described as happy
and bubbly, although court records state that Dahmer was a withdrawn child who was fascinated with dead animals. Something happened to turn Dahmer into a sadistic killer.
Reports say he may have been sexually molested by a neighbor boy in 1968. He also may have also been traumatized, at age 4, by an operation for a hernia.

Most children can endure such abuses without suffering long-term psychological damage, others can't. Those who can't, often fail to develop an appropriate "attachment" to
their caregiver. Without that connection, children may never learn to trust the people around them. Instead, they turn inward, creating a fantasy world that becomes their
source of gratification. Usually when challenged, they react violently and never feel sympathy or remorse for the harm they cause.
The FBI conducted a three-year study of 36 sexually motivated killers, including 29 serial killers, the following statistics were reported:

69 percent of killers studied reported family histories with alcohol abuse.
53 percent listed relatives with psychiatric problems.
46 percent admitted family sexual problems.
33 percent described histories of familial drug abuse.

These numbers don't explain everything. But if you combine severe childhood abuse and isolation with certain neurobiological defects, it becomes much more clear how a
child could grow up to become a vicious and heartless killer.
Organized vs. Disorganized Killers

The FBI, in 1974, formed the Behavioral Science Unit (BSU). One of the first
tasks of the BSU, was to interview 36 serial murderers in an effort to
understand their motivation and psychology. After these interviews it was
determined that serial killers could be classified into three groups:

1. Organized: Organized killers plan their attacks methodically, where the
planning process itself becomes part of a consuming mental fantasy. They
choose their victims carefully and may stalk them for extended periods of
time. They carry, weapons and restraints with them and very rarely kill at the
scene where they encounter the victim. Instead, they transport their victims
to another location, commit the murder, and then dispose of the body in a
third location. This makes it difficult for investigators to collect evidence. After
a killing, they often follow the investigation in the media.

2. Disorganized: Disorganized serial killers  plan nothing and often attack
suddenly, without notice. Their victims hold no symbolic value and have the
misfortune of being in the "wrong place at the wrong time." They don't bring
a weapon to the crime scene, instead use a weapon they find. i.e.: rock,
rope, metal pipe. They don't dispose of bodies, although they often take
"souvenirs." Their disorganized behavior makes it easier for law enforcement
to track and find them.

3. Mixed: Some serial killers defy classification. Perhaps they kill occasionally
while intoxicated or on drugs. Or, perhaps they fall in with other criminals
who are quick to kill. Whatever the circumstances, the FBI created a third
catch-all category for serial killers who can't be classified neatly as either
organized or disorganized.

Using this system, the psychology of serial killers becomes a bit more
muddled. Organized killers, for example, are classic psychopaths and
meticulously plan their crime and usually kill in a cold-blooded fashion.
Disorganized and mixed-category killers can be psychopathic, but can also be
psychotic. People who are psychotic lose contact with reality and may have
hallucinations or delusions.
serial killer Ted Bundy during interview
Experts consider Ted Bundy as the perfect
example of an organized killer. His method
of killing worked so well he may have
murdered up to 100 women. The technique
would approach a young woman and ask for
car. The woman would then follow Bundy to
the car, and when he had the door open, he
would attack and restrai her, then drive to
another location to play out the final
fantasies. Bundy was very charming,
charismatic, and  had good looks. Which
usually put his victims at ease, although a
few sensed the evil that was below the less
organized. Florida police captured him in
February 1978 after a sloppy killing spree
that left three more people dead.
January 24, 1989 at 7:06 a.m. local time,
Ted Bundy was executed in the electric chair
at Florida State Prison in Starke, Florida.
Ted Bundy's full Bio
The Holmes and Holmes Serial Murder Typology

A lot of professionals in the field of criminal psychology argue that the BSU's
three tiered scheme has many limitations. Ronald M. and T. Holmes, authors
on numerous serial killer and violent crime books, proposed a new serial
murder typology, which organizes killers into 4 main categories:

1. Visionary killers:  feel the need to murder because of visions or messages
they receive from angels, demons, Satan or God. Their victims are not related
and have no connection.

2. Missionary killers: murder strictly a particular group, class, or race of
people in an effort to eliminate them.

3. Hedonistic killers: get intense sexual gratification from their acts. These
hedonistic killers can be further divided into two categories: lust killers, who
derive pleasure before and after the victim is dead, and thrill killers, whose
excitement fades as soon as the victim is dead.

4. Power or Control killers: who desire to master and control their victims
completely, including when and how they die.

Several researcher professionals have analyzed the Holmes and Holmes Serial
Murder Typology and questioned whether it is valid or not. For example,
British scientists at the University of Liverpool did an empirical study of the
typology and found that the attributes of power/control killers actually
applied to all of the other listed types of killers. According to these
researchers, in other words, the power/control category should be removed
completely. Still, the Holmes typology remains a very useful tool in helping to
understand the motivations and psychological processes of serial killers.
Sun of Sam Serial Killer, David Berowitz
When psychologists interviewed David
Berkowitz after a year long shooting
rampage that left six people dead and
several more wounded, they diagnosed him
as a paranoid schizophrenic. Based on the
style of his slayings, he seemed like a
classic visionary killer. He claimed he was
driven by demons, saying his neighbors dog
told him to do the killings. He eventually
gave a full confession, but a few questions
remain. Some investigators theorize that
Berkowitz belonged to a satanic cult and
may not have acted alone. Maury Terry, a
newsman who worked the Son of Sam case,
believes the attacks were carried out by five
gunmen, including Berkowitz.
David Berkowitz's full bio
Definitions often associated with
serial killers and the mentally ill.
a person, with a psychopathic personality,
whose behavior is antisocial and who lacks
a sense of moral responsibility or social
conscience. A trait often seen in serial killers.

A person suffering from chronic mental
disorder with abnormal or violent social

Anti Social Personality disorder
usually beginning in childhood and often
accompanied by a lack of remorse and a
disregard of punishment. Also referred to as
sociopathic personality and psychopathic

a false belief or opinion: delusions of
2. Psychiatry. a fixed false belief that is
actual fact: a paranoid delusion.

Psychiatry. Also called  dementia
praecox.  a severe mental disorder
characterized by some of the following
features: emotional blunting, intellectual
deterioration, social isolation, disorganized
speech and behavior, delusions, and
2. a state characterized by the coexistence
of contradictory or incompatible elements.

Psychology. of or pertaining to a
personality disorder marked by dissociation,
passivity, withdrawal, inability to form warm
social relationships, and indifference to
praise or criticism.
2. of or pertaining to schizophrenia or to
multiple personality.

extreme fascination with oneself;
excessive self-love; vanity.
2. Psychoanalysis. erotic gratification
derived from admiration of one's own
physical or mental attributes, being a
normal condition at the infantile level of
personality development. (Often called "the
God Complex" when in reference to rapist
and serial killers.

a sensory experience of something that
does not exist outside the mind, caused by
various physical and mental disorders, and
usually manifested as visual or auditory
2. a false notion, belief, or impression;
illusion; delusion.
Video of serial killer confessions, interviews
and documentaries.
Copyright 2014 More Than Horror. All rights reserved
Horror Shopping
Free Movies
Short Stories
Disturbing Nature
Serial killers
Gothic Cloth
Buy Oddities
Free horror movies
Scary Short Stories
Monsters and Myths
Weird Animal Facts
Serial Killer bios
Killer Psychology
The Bone Emporium
Horror Cloth
Free t.v. shows
Real Ghost Videos
Crime Scene Photos
Weird and creepy Stuff
Halloween Costumes
Haunted locations
Scary Home Decor
Aliens and Legends
Horror Jewelry
Haunted Places, Find serial killers, monsters and haunted places
Spookadar - Explore the spooky!
Search your city for serial killers, haunted
places, and monsters.
Serial Killers
Disturbing Nature
Short Stories
haunted places near me, monsters, modesto escape room
Psychopathy vs. Antisocial Personality

Mental health professionals refer to the (DSM)
Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental
Disorders, to help guide in the treatment of their
patients. It describe antisocial personality
disorder, or ASPD. This condition describes
many serial killers.

The most obvious indicator of the disorder is a
total disregard for laws and the social norm.
People with ASPD usually have a long history of
arrests and are often involved in physical fights.
Some are capable of lying  so skillfully it's hard
to know when they are telling the truth. They will
also act impulsively, with little care to the safety
of themselves or others. Symptoms sometimes
begin to appear in their early teens. Adults with
ASPD struggle to stay employed according to
the DSM. The manual also mentions that the
disorder is more common with men than

Experts describe psychopathy as a severe form
of ASPD. The difference is, psychopaths have
the antisocial behaviors mentioned, but also
have additional traits such as lack of remorse or
guilt for their actions. They also tend to be
highly paranoid, and suspicious.
Dennis Rader: aka BTK, or
"bind, torture, kill"  is the
epitome of a psychopath.
Between 1974 and 2005,
Rader killed 10 people in
Wichita, Kan. On the surface,
he seemed completely
normal. He was married, had
two kids, served in the U.S.
Air Force and held several
good jobs. All of that was a
facade for the true monster
he was. When he confessed
to the horrific murders in
court, he had no remorse,
which stunned observers in
the courtroom. Rader is
currently serving 10 life
sentences in a Kansas prison.
Dennis Radar's Full Bio

There is a diagnostic tool for psychopathy. The tool is a check list of sorts, of 20
criteria that measure a person's antisocial behavior, and other factors. The
highest score is 40, but even at 30 point someone is considered a psychopath.
The average score is 4. That means psychopathy is a continuum, the way many
disorders are. It also means most psychopaths are not violent or destined to
commit murder. A few, however, are at the far end of the scale and are violent.
This group may include serial killers.