to Serial Killers 201.
(If you missed Serial Killers 101, where I discussed common background
traits of psychosis, please click HERE. This
section discusses the basic types of serial killers, based on the
These killers generally don’t kill for the gratification of the kill,
making the act itself their primary emphasis. They kill quickly and in
They usually directed by a vision or hearing voices (either God or the
Devil), telling them to kill both of which legitimate their violence.
They go on “missions” to eradicate a specific group of people,
such as prostitutes, white-collared bankers, etc.
The majority of serial killers are process focused. They get off (yes,
in that way) on the method of their kill. They kill for the enjoyment
of it and usually get a perverse sexual thrill out of it; therefore,
they take their time and go slowly. Hedonism at it’s worse. These
killers fall into four subtypes, based on their motives as well:
get some profit or personal gain from the kill. Most females fall into
this category, like Lavinia Fisher, who would murder her hotel guests
and keep her victims’ belongings. You can read up on the 10 most
killers HERE and almost every one of them
stood to gain personally.
pleasure is associated with murder. These sick folk will have sex
while in the process of killing, or engage in necrophilia after they
Killing someone gives these folk a rush or high. They especially like
watch the lights go out in their victims’ eyes. It’s the ultimate
adrenaline rush that makes them feel alive and euphoric. They typically
don’t engage in sex either before or after.
pleasure comes from manipulating and dominating, although the argument
could be made for this to fall in with any of the above. Usually sex is
involved, but it’s not as important as it is for the Lust killer. Some
research I found led me to think that this is considered the
“sociopath,” but every person talked about in this article would be one
The type of serial killer
featured in the media the most is the Lust killer, so I want to delve a
bit further into their psyche.
Lust killers’ main motivation is
sexual gratification. They almost always exhibit sadism (experiencing
pleasure while inflicting pain on others). They usually are not
opportunistic killers but rather highly organized, with vast amounts of
planning and forethought put into their kills.
They tend to go through four
They act out the crime over and over in their minds, maybe with use of
pornographic material. The desire to kill is manifested, and this time
period may last years before they progress to phase two.
The killer might focus on primarily on the “right” type of victim, or
he may focus on the “right” type of location. Once he finds the victim,
he may stalk him or her (hunting) for a long time, memorizing schedules
down to the minute. It could take many more years to go through this
phase, and cover hundreds of miles.
The victim is lured into the trap and then the killer makes real on his
fantasy. Depending on how elaborate the kill ritual is, this could take
a while . . . several days or longer. There will almost definitely be
“overkill,” in that there could be extreme torture, mutilation, or
dismemberment. The killer might have sex with the corpse, drink the
victim’s blood, eat body parts, whatever to
preserve their moment of ecstasy. The killer might take a token of his
kill or leave a calling card, but not always.
The killer will likely feel empty or depressed because their relief of
torment was only short-term. More lives will have to be taken to
experience temporary relief. It would be during this stage that a
killer would write a confession to the police or media. Unless caught,
it is inevitable that he will kill again.
How’s that for a happy ending to
our class? Hope that this helps you sadists out there with your serial