The Fascination with Serial Killers

What is the fascination with serial killers? I am not talking about groupies. No! That is something else entirely. Why are true crime series so popular? Why do we spend our time watching these shows? We sit and hang onto every word and detail.

I will admit that I have a fascination with serial killers. Especially Jack the Ripper and Ted Bundy. I think my fascination with Jack the Ripper is that it remains a mystery. Unsolved. I want to know who. Ted Bundy is a bit different for me. Here is a man that was brilliant. He could have done anything that he wanted in life. He even represented himself during his trial. I want to know the why?

And there it is. We want to know why they are the way that they are. Because if we can find the reason, then maybe we can prevent such horrific crimes from happening. Nothing is that simple. And this is no different.

I used to think that extreme abuse coupled with neglect as young children is what created these monsters. But it has been proven that many never suffered any abuse but in fact had loving parents. From all appearances, a stable loving home life. Well scratch that.

What about brain injury? That would make sense. If injury has occurred to the Prefrontal Cortex, this would be the perfect explanation. The Prefrontal Cortex controls executive functions, judgment, impulse control, management of aggression, emotional regulation, self-regulation, planning, reasoning and social skills. Perfect! There’s just one problem. Not every serial killer has suffered a brain injury.

Okay what about a chemical imbalance? We could speculate all night. The truth is we cannot lump all of them into any one category. What might be the cause for creating one monster may not be what led to another’s spiral into madness.

One thing that has been proven are specific behavioral patterns seen in serial killers as young children. These patterns of behavior are good indicators of things to come. If these patterns are spotted, can anything be done to “save” this child from growing into a monster? Or is their conscience already dead?

So many questions. So many. And that’s the reason for the fascination. It isn’t about idolizing these monsters. Its about trying to dissect the madness and finding its roots. We want to know why.

https://www.history.com/news/why-americans-are-so-fascinated-by-serial-killers

https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/blame-the-amygdala/201304/what-would-we-find-wrong-in-the-brain-serial-killer

20 thoughts on “The Fascination with Serial Killers”

  1. Normal curiosity I can understand. As Laura pointed out, it’s a whole series of fascinating questions on psychology and the nature of good and evil.

    It’s getting a bit off tangent, but it’s the groupies and the way that the media glamorizes these sickos (and the groupies) that bother me. At best they’re made out to be killing machines like Jason and Freddie, at worse, they’re suave, sophisticated and get away with so much. How many times have we heard a mass shooter say they wanted to be famous like another killer?

    1. Oh I agree there! The murders are remembered and talked about more than the victims. As for groupies, they need psychological help. There is nothing glamorous about these sadistic assholes. Nothing. That’s a big shame on the media for how such publicity is handled.

    1. Movies with vampires, werewolves do not scare me as much as documentaries about real life “monsters”. Humans are real. What makes it even scarier is you never know with someone. These individuals are good at fooling people. And that is absolutely frightening!

  2. brilliant. I have fascination as to why people kill? what makes them tick. Interesting read, I see the point with both jack the ripper and ted bundy. Two completely different type of killers yet we still ask the same questions for both people.

  3. It’s an amazement of how evil and just how insane a human being can truly be. It’s one thing to watch a fictional movie but another thing to hear of these things really happening.

    1. Oh so true! I worked at my local Prosecutor’s office when I was in my early 20s. I always read the file pertaining to the perp’s childhood. I was convinced it had the answers. Many did suffer abuse but not all. I had the task of photocopying autopsy and crime scene photos. This gave me nightmares. These were real people that woke up that morning never realizing what awaited them. It was horrific. Not that many of these cases were serials but I’m sure some would have been had they not been caught. Either way it always left me wanting to know why?!?

      1. I think the bad childhood thing is an excuse. Not for all but a lot. Some people make a profession of evil.

      2. I don’t feel like it lol!!!! Age is a number huh?? Tell that to my feet, knees, back and motivation.