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When studying serial killers, it is often that researchers try to connect cases to others from past events. This helps gains knowledge of how to understand killers because one may be able to know the next move or explain why they killed a victim a certain way. It also can detect copycat serial killers, which helps in finding victims that are missing, can help track down a killer if their on the loose, or even using it as a way to manipulate the serial killer and trying to get answers out of them.
What has been found is that serial killers are manipulative, but they’re also very good at making sure you don’t know you’re being manipulated. ” We all live under a sense of believing that evil is something that doesn’t exist. The person we just met or the person who lives next door to us isn’t evil, mostly because we like to believe that horror is something that happens in movies and to other people. Even those of us who are not emotionally invested in a relationship with a dangerous person can be manipulated”(Trasner). Generally speaking, if someone is being flattered or distracted with gifts, and if those actions appear designed to cover something up, like flaws in a story, an individual has to keep their guard up. “Psychopaths look for vulnerabilities and try to use them against people, so you need to know what your vulnerabilities are”(Trasner).
One of the FBI’s favorite techniques when interviewing serial killers is flattery. Psychopathic killers in particular tend to have a huge sense of their own self-worth, so investigators will use praise to get them talking. “In an FBI document about serial murder, behaviorists say psychopathic serial killers don’t respond to “altruistic interview themes,” in other words, trying to make them experience feelings of guilt and sympathy for their victims is a waste of time”(Smith). Instead, interviewers might admire them for their intelligence or for their skill at outsmarting investigators. Serial killers often feed off being applauded for their crimes, its an excitement factor that motivates them to keep pursuing their murders. It is exactly what they’re looking for as a result of their murder, being known and talked about among society for their crimes.
Another common trait that most serial killer share with one another is their intelligence. Serial killers in their earlier years were often very successful in the classroom, which is weird to think since one wouldn’t expect a good student to turn into a serial killer. The unfortunate result of having such great intelligence, is that serial killers use their smarts for the wrong reason. “They use it to premeditate their murders, investigate routines among their victims, reason within their head the possible outcomes if a certain situation doesn’t work out”(Woollaston). That is why they get away with murders so easily, because they plan it out so precisely that there is often no room for mistakes. The amount of intelligence they tend to have makes their crimes and success that much easier for themselves because they’re able to always be five steps ahead when being sought after.
Famous Serial Killers
In America, there have been multiple serial killers who have become famous for their mass murders throughout their careers. Their name became known nationally and some world wide for the actions that became some of the most gruesome acts in american society.
Jeffrey Dahmer was an American serial killer who took the lives of 17 males between 1978 and 1991. What was known about Dahmer was that at an early age, he was a very energetic outgoing individual, almost like any young child. While moving multiple times while growing up, making friends and fitting in at school did not come easy to him. It was noticed that when his family finally decided to settle their final home in Ohio, that he was no longer the energetic and outgoing boy that he was earlier, in fact he became very anti-social and began finding fascination in the abuse or infliction of pain on animals. This is an early sign in serial killers because it shows no remorse for life in animals, which eventually grows for showing no remorse for humans.
Over the course of more than 13 years, Dahmer looked for men, some African American, at gay bars, malls, or even bus stops, he would then lure them back home with a promise of money or sex, he then would give victims alcohol with drugs before strangling them to death. He would then participate in sex acts with the corpses before dismembering them and disposing of their bodies, often keeping their skulls as souveniors. He would also then take pictures of his victims at different parts of the muder process, so he could relive the experience.
Dahmer was known as the “cannibal killer” solely due to the fact that he would eat parts of the victims that he murdered. In documentaries of interviews with Dahmer, it is evident that while he had no remorse for the victims he killed, it was not the killing that was his goal, it was control. “No, the killing was not the objective. I just wanted to have the victim under my complete control, not having to consider their wishes, being able to keep them there as long as I wanted.”(Tron). Since Dahmer had not had control over his own actions and brain, the murdering gave him a sense of control that he had lacked his entire life. Showing that as a serial killer, he was not murdering people for the fun of it, it was for more than that, it was to fulfill an aspect in his life that had been missing for so long.


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