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Bloodthirsty — Inside the Mind of a Serial Killer

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Bloodthirsty — Inside the Mind of a Serial Killer

Serial killers are as fascinating as they are horrifying. As much as we fear them, we can’t help but be captivated and perplexed by their nature. Let’s take a look at some of the most infamous — and chilling — serial killers in history, along with a closer look inside their minds.

Serial Killers Through History

Here’s a brief list of some of the deadliest serial killers in history. (1)

1940s

John George Haigh

Also known as: The Acid Bath Murderer

Where: England

Active: 1940-1949

Crimes: Convicted of killing and dissolving in acid the bodies of 6 people.

Sentence: Hanged in 1949.

1950s

Peter Manuel

Where: Southern Scotland

Active: 1956-1958

Crimes: Convicted for killing 9 people, but thought to have killed as many as 18.

Sentence: Hanged in July 1958.

1960s

Names: Ian Brady and Myra Hindley

Where: Greater Manchester, England

Active: 1963-1965

Crimes: Sexually assaulted and murdered 5 victims ages 10-17.

Sentence: Both received life in prison.

Donald Henry “Pee Wee” Gaskins Jr.

Where: American South

Active: 1969-1975

Crimes: While he claimed that he killed more than 100 people, it’s not clear whether that’s true or if he simply wanted to be a famous serial killer.

Sentence: Executed in South Carolina’s electric chair Sept. 6, 1991.

1970s

David Berkowitz

Also known as: Son of Sam, .44 Caliber Killer

Where: New York City

Active: 1976

Crimes: Shot and killed 6 people, wounded 7 others.

Sentence: 25 years to life for each murder, served consecutively.

Ted Bundy

Where: U.S.

Active: 1970s

Crimes: Kidnapped, raped and murdered many women, 12 of whom he decapitated.

Sentence: Death by electric chair in 1989.

Edmund Kemper

Also known as: The Co-Ed Killer

Where: California

Active: 1970-1973

Crimes: Killed and dismembered 6 women, then murdered his mother and her friend.

Sentence: Though Kemper asked for the death penalty, he was given life in prison.

Larry Bittaker and Roy Norris

Also known as: The Tool Box Killers

Where: California

Active: 1979

Crimes: Raped, tortured and murdered 5 women.

Sentence: Bittaker was sentenced to death, but Norris was given 45 years for testifying against Bittaker.

Pedro Alonso Lopez

Where: Colombia

Active: 1970s

Crimes: Raped and killed more than 300 girls around South America, mainly in Colombia and Peru.

Sentence: Life in prison after a mass grave was found with 53 of his victims’ bodies.

1980s

Dennis Rader

Also known as: The BTK Killer

Where: Wichita, Kansas

Active: 1974-1991

Crimes: Stalked, tortured and murdered 10 people.

Sentence: 10 consecutive life sentences.

Richard Ramirez

Also known as: The Night Stalker

Where: Los Angeles, CA

Active: 1984-1985

Crimes: Robbed, raped, mutilated and murdered many people, from a 9-year-old to a couple in their 60s. He was known for being a Satanist and smearing pentagrams on the walls of his victims’ homes with their blood.

Sentence: Sentenced to death, but died in prison in June 2013.

Jeffrey Dahmer

Also known as: The Milwaukee Cannibal

Where: Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Active: 1978-1991

Crimes: Raped, murdered, dismembered and cannibalized 17 men and boys.

Sentence: 15 consecutive life sentences, but killed by a fellow inmate after just two years.

Andrei Chikatilo

Also known as: The Butcher of Rostov

Where: Russia

Active: 1980s

Crimes: Raped, murdered and mutilated at least 52 women and children.

Sentence: Executed by firing squad in 1994.

The Psychology of Serial Killers

“I don’t feel guilty for anything. I feel sorry for people who feel guilt.”
Ted Bundy (2)

The nature of psychopathy is still somewhat a mystery to the medical and scientific community: Is it upbringing or nature or a mixture of both that drives these people to do what they do? And are they “fixable”?

Psychopathy and Psychosis: A Closer Look

Psychopaths understand right from wrong. They are unlikely to become psychotic unless they suffer from additional mental illnesses or take powerful drugs.

Traits of psychopaths (3)

  • Superficial charm
  • Pathological lying
  • Lack of remorse or guilt
  • Impulsivity
  • Unrealistic goals
  • Early behavioral problems
  • A feeling of being above the law

Traits of psychotic patients (4)

  • Delusions and hallucinations
  • Loss of interest in regular activity
  • Lack of personal hygiene
  • Illogical beliefs
  • Paranoia
  • Confused or bizarre behavior
  • Violence toward self and others

3%+
Lifetime prevalence of a psychotic disorder (5)

30 to 40 years
Ages at which adults are at a higher risk of brief psychotic disorder (6)
Brief psychotic disorder is more likely to affect those of a low socioeconomic class, those with other personality disorders and immigrants. (6)

serial-killer-mind

Sources:

1. http://list25.com
2. http://www.psychologytoday.com
3. http://www.fbi.gov
4. http://www.wisegeek.com
5. http://www.schizophrenia.com
6. http://www.ietherapy.com

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