why do serial killers do what they do

John George Haigh "Acid Bath Murderer" - Born in Yorkshire in 1909 to John Emily Haigh, two devout members of the deeply conservative Protestant sect known as the
Plymouth Brethren, young John George Haigh grew up with no friends, as his father (an engineer) had erected a 10 foot wall around their garden to lock out the "disgusting" influences of the outside world. As an only child, Haigh retreated into solitude, a crazing for attention and his own imagination, which in his teens manifested as theft, lies, fantasies and animal cruelty. Having hit upon a plan to extort money from wealthy individuals, Haigh robbed and killed six people, then dissolved their corpses in a vat of sulphuric acid, entirely believing that - based on the law of "habeas corpus", that you can only prove a murder has taken place if there if a body found - and with the body fully dissolved, even if he admitted to the murder (which he did) Haigh believed he couldn't be caught. Sadly, the law's definition of "body" didn't require a "full torso", just proof that a body existed.


Haigh was found guilty of murder as his final victim - - had three gallstones, that (unlike the rest of her) were so tough, they didn't dissolve. Motivations involved in serial killings are fears of rejection, power, and perfection. Serial killers tend to be insecure, and irrationally scared of rejection. He will try to avoid developing a painful relationship with his object of desire and is terrified of being abandoned, humiliated, or exposed. Many killers often have sex в the ultimate form of intimacy with their victims, and often with the corpse. That way, the possibility of rejection is null. Serial killers also enjoy prolonging the suffering of their victims as it gives them a sense of power over the victim. They get to decide whether, and how, the victim will live or die. They have a belief that the power to cause pain is the only power that matters, the power to kill and destroy, because if you can t kill you are always subject to those who can (Card).


Killing is usually the only way they can achieve those feelings of empowerment. Fears of rejection and power are major themes of most serial killings, but perfection plays a role in some cases. Some killers seek to improve something. They often see a category of people, such as women or prostitutes, as unclean, and see their removal of those beings as improving the world. Or, they think that killing the victim, usually in some sort of a ritualistic manner, redeems the victim their wrongdoings. In that case, the killer is a special being and the victim is chosen and should be grateful. They often find the victim s ingratitude infuriating, though unfortunately foreseeable (Lester). Serial killers must continuously kill simply because they are addicted to the feelings they get when they do. They also rationalize every aspect and detail of their behavior so there is no reason in their head as to why they should stop. They know what they re doing, the consequences of their actions, and how to avoid getting caught.


Most serial killers, and psychopaths in general, are consummate chameleons who are able to hide their rage and true intentions behind a charismatic, civilized faГade called the mask of sanity (Newton). Psychopaths are amoral and though they knowing the difference between right and wrong, they do not care and lack feelings of remorse or guilt. They tend to objectify other people and treat them as if they were objects. They don t know how to have sympathy for others because of their psychopathic nature, but they do know how to simulate it by observing others. Most serial killers are highly charming and persuasive, but it is only a manipulative act designed to lure victims into a trap. Their killings are material symptoms of the combination of their lifelong habits and personal motivations and fears. Though those factors are not excuses for hurting others, they are interesting explanations and provide fascinating insight on the killers minds.

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