Putting yourself in the mind of a serial killer

7 years ago | icycoolx (Member)

Okay so I was wondering if you're a serial killer, how would you kill? I mean where would it be at? How? who? Pretty much what would be your mindset?

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  1. MadHacktress (Member)

    Posted 7 years ago

    I don't reply to many threads around here and I sincerely hope that my decision to delurk to answer a question about serial murder won't be interpreted as anything other than a keen interest in the topic; and a urge to get more involved in the forum.

    Since serial murder is mostly a product of a psychology and serves to fulfil a psychological need (such as it is), I think it's most important to first ask the question: why? Serial murder occurs for a number of reasons. Fame, anger/vengeance, thrill, etc. and is often exemplified by the victims.

    For example, serial murders whose mothers held their hand to the side of the toaster when they were children may kill women who remind them of their mother out of anger. Or if they had a brother who didn't get the same treatment they might target men who remind them of their brother due to jealousy. The motive changes things significantly.

    About the killers themselves, they're often thought to be of higher IQ, were abused (as mentioned above), many have escalated from "lesser" crimes that no longer held the thrill for fulfilled the need that they were trying to fill, and many have a fetish or the like (which ties into the common taking of a souvenir). Also, there's often sadistic tendencies (cat torturing as a child), fire starting and there's a noted prevalence of bed wetting - although that has been disputed.

    If you figure out why your serial killer kills then it can go a long ways to telling you who they're killing. The nerd who was beaten up on the playground by the jocks is going to target men around his own age who are athletic, or maybe just those who hang out at a gym, or those who run through the park at night. Or maybe, to make it more interesting, he'll target men who remind him of the teacher who let it all happen. The boy whose father told him he'd never amount to anything may troll the food court of the local mall and look for parents who appear to be being hard on their children in public in order to "free" those children from the same oppression he went through.

    Motives abound. Take a quick look into your serial killer's brain and see what damage has befallen him.

    In this reply I've used all male examples mostly because the vast majority of serial killers are males. Women who commit serial murder generally have fewer motives (material gain or vengeance pretty much exclusively), fewer victims and are much less random. They almost always have an attachment to their victims or feel the need for an attachment. Also, their methods of murder tend to be less dramatic - poison being a staple. That doesn't mean that you can't create an epic female serial killer character, but you'll have to work hard to make sure that she's believable and her psychology works.

    Dramatic Webseries: Emerald Heights - http://www.emeraldheights.tk/
  2. Wildbow (Member)

    Posted 7 years ago

    Speaking for myself, if I were a serial killer, I think it'd be a kind of rage against the system, striking against institutions, individuals and organizations that are seemingly undefeatable in the face of conventional means/tactics. (Especially/even those means/tactics which were originally meant to stop said corruption/abuse in the first place).

    Scientology, far more dangerous and abusive than many realize.
    Organized religion.
    'Too large to fail' corporations/banks.
    News organizations that have been bought, no longer daring to ask the hard questions.

    Driven to my limit after seeing the system collapse (yet again) in the face of corruption, selfishness and greed, seeing the little people stomped on, or seeing someone I love ruined by any of the above, I'd set about a Saw-esque series of events (though far more political/public than personal) featuring key figures from the above groups, driving them to honesty and admission of guilt or destroying them so they couldn't destroy others. I'd probably butcher it, I'd fuck up somewhere along the line, and it wouldn't be perfect or even noble, but I'd try.

    And maybe, just maybe, I'd inspire others to follow suit.

  3. Edward G (Member)

    Posted 7 years ago

    Well, I'd tell you, but then I'd have to kill you. LOL.

    Seriously, I'm more the mass murderer-type, but if I were forced to serial kill, I think it would be 50-ish women who look like an abusive babysitter we were forced to stay with when we were kids (my sister and I). I'd look through their windows at night and when they were sitting their fat asses down with a quart of ice cream to watch something highbrow on TV (Sex and the City, Desperate Housewives, Dancing with the Stars, America's Got Talent, etc.), I'd jimmy open their door and release my highly trained and very destabilized chimpanzee who would run in and go to work immediately. Of course, I'd have to take photos for souvenirs.

    But that's me...

  4. Edward G (Member)

    Posted 7 years ago

    I'd set about a Saw-esque series of events (though far more political/public than personal) featuring key figures from the above groups, driving them to honesty and admission of guilt or destroying them so they couldn't destroy others. I'd probably butcher it, I'd fuck up somewhere along the line, and it wouldn't be perfect or even noble, but I'd try.

    And maybe, just maybe, I'd inspire others to follow suit.

    (hand raised with the desperation of a geek 5th-grader) Can I be your first follower, me, me, me!

  5. SgL (Member)

    Posted 7 years ago

    My viewpoint is that psychology is useful for deconstructing the serial killer whether they be sociopathic or otherwise.

    I'm not sure what th eOP is after , but it may be more productive for your line of research to look up a specific type of personality disorder --> more like antipersonality disordered or sociopathic.

    There are plenty of discussions out there about these types of behaviors and thought processes. A commonly heard phrase around many personality disorders that cause interpersonal conflict or are affiliated with criminal or dangerous behavior (some that are not homicidal in tendency) is a distinct "lack of empathy".

    Be careful about joining or posting to any online communities for persons who claim to have personality disorders or are recovering from their treatment by someone who has a disorder. The internet communities that are out there generally are intended to help people and writers/researchers should not engage in some of those forums to do research. (And yes, they do exist... you generally find them around medical/psych help pages.)

  6. Alexander.Hollins (Member)

    Posted 6 years ago

    as stated, most serial killers kill to a pattern. The pattern largely determined by WHO they are killing, as they are , at least in part, killing the same person over and over again.
    (tmi and trigger warning, the next section is going to discuss child abuse)

    If I were going to kill someone repeatedly, it would be my father. So I would be looking for abusive men, particularly those that are emotionally abusive as well as physically. blonde, but having a mustache of a certain kind would DEFINITELY fit my patter better, as would veteran soldiers. I don't know that that would be required, but it would help. I would kidnap them and their victim(s) and probably have a place set up for this. I would wear something that prevents anyone from identifying me, including voice changer. The victims of my target would be in a locked room with two way mirrors, and watch as i beat and psychologically torture the victim, a good 2 hours at least, until the guy is crying and broken. I would bind him into a chair, leave the room. The door would unlock, and the victims would be drawn along by me on a loudspeaker to what they think is the room. There will be a dark figure that looks like the target tied to the chair, and a pistol on the table. I would exhort them to free themselves, tell him what they think of how they were treated, and what kind of person he is. I would try to get them to fire on the figure themselves. If they do, or decide they cant, The lights come up, revealing that it was a dummy, not him. I don't want them living with murder on their consciousness, but I want them to know if they were capable. Lights would then come up in the other room, where I would stand with the target, and as the victim watched, I would put a large revolver to his head, and spread his brains on the floor. I would then bind and blindfold the victims, take them back to where I got them, release them in such a way that they will be safe, but not able to see me for a few minutes so I can get away. The body of the target? His head will be left somewhere it can be found, for the insurance, while the rest of the body would be disposed of in such a way that if it's ever found, it would take suspicion away from me.

    Hmm. Never really thought about it before. That was really cathartic to write. Feel free to use any part of it!

  7. Amy Kim Kibuishi (Member)

    Posted 6 years ago

    Wow what a question! O_O

    Gosh I'm such a sugary sweetheart (according to everyone I know) that I don't think I could ever kill anything except for the DAMN ANTS ALL OVER CALIFORNIA!

    For my characters, though hmm....

    I'd probably write my serial killer to be someone with a fetish of some sort, it doesn't even have to be sexual. I would make them obviously insane, but you wouldn't be able to tell unless you talked to them long enough because they'd be good at blending in. They would even be charming, the type of person no one would suspect, the life of the party.

    I would make their deeds of murder and possibly dismemberment akin to killing and deboning a chicken because they would see their victims as nothing but objects to their desires. They would go about the murder as if there was nothing wrong with it at all, and when they were caught they'd be sort of stunned and confused by the way rest of society sees them because in their eyes what they were doing was completely innocent.

    Basically I'd write someone out of touch, isolated, and deluded. I'd try to make it someone we could relate to, to emphasize the fragility of the human mind.


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