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  • John 2:30 pm on December 8, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: fbi profiler, killers, motives, rejection,   

    Humiliation, Rejection, Inadequacy 

    Humiliation, Rejection, Inadequacy
    Serial Killers Need to Be in Control
    by John Douglas, FBI Profiler

    Ask a woman what her greatest fear is, and she’ll tell you it’s finding herself in a situation where she’s alone and under attack. Ask a man the same question — his greatest fear is of being humiliated, especially in front of others.

    When a young boy feels disgraced, rejected or backed into a corner, you may see a fight break out in the playground. It might be over something silly, like a Twinkie or marbles, but it’s really more about trying to recoup after losing face. You’ll see the same kind of thing between leaders in warring countries. Strategy over an escalation to war or a return to peace may really be a face-saving scenario.

    Look at some of these school violence cases. You’ll find killers who felt rejected or humiliated. At Columbine High School, the two killers who gunned down their classmates were outcasts, shunned by the jocks and the in crowd.

    We’ve seen this at other schools — the crimes were committed by students who just didn’t fit in.

    Generally, there’s also a precipitating event, or what we call a triggering stressor, that pushes them over the line. Often, it’s the loss of a wife, girlfriend or job.

    Stressors ignite violence

    In the case of Ted Kaczynski, the Unabomber, there were stressors right before the bombing started. Kaczynski had been trying to date a woman who rejected his advances and then charged him with sexual harassment. He was working for his brother at the time and was humiliated even further when his brother fired him.

    David Berkowitz, the Son of Sam, didn’t find out until about the time he went into the Army that he’d been adopted. When he got out of the service, he came back to New York to look for his biological mother. He found her living on Long Island, not wanting anything to do with him. What really upset Berkowitz was that his mother had a daughter — his sister — who she kept, though she dumped him.

    This type of thing may happen to a lot of people, but they find a way to cope and move on with their lives. Others may turn to alcohol or drugs, or battle with depression. And some level their anger at either the person who actually caused their problems or some type of person or group that takes on a symbolic meaning.

    Berkowitz decided to get a .44-caliber gun and practice shooting seagulls in the dumps around New York City. Then he went out hunting for humans.

    He shot at couples sitting in parked cars, but always from the passenger side, directing his hatred at women. Berkowitz was angry about the way he’d been treated by his mother and other women in his life, and he felt inadequate around them.

    Calling the shots

    Inadequacy is a factor in most serial killers. These men feel insignificant and powerless. And now, they figure, they can get it all back. They can get power by controlling others. They can feel important, like they’ve accomplished something.

    They don’t identify with their victims or feel any sympathy toward them. As they see it, they’ve been victims all their lives, dominated and controlled by other people. This is their chance to call the shots — to decide who lives or dies and how someone should die.

    Forget rehabilitation when it comes to serial killers. They have a different kind of thinking pattern than other people. You can’t reprogram a brain like that with counseling. How could any treatment turn around that way of thinking? You basically just have to write them off.

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  • John 2:27 pm on December 8, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: fbi, killers, profiler,   

    Why Killers Pose Their Victims, by John Douglas – FBI Profiler 

    Why Killers Pose Their Victims
    Putting Bodies on Display

    Some killers simply dump the bodies of their victims on a road somewhere. Others pose or display them, as if they’re showcasing an accomplishment.
    Bodies that are displayed can be found easily by police. The killer isn’t trying to hide them. Some of the victims in the Atlanta child murders decades ago were displayed out in the open. The killer wanted them to be found that way. It was basically his way of saying: “I’m presenting my trophy here. Screw you, law enforcement. Try to catch me if you can.”

    Displays are usually directed at the authorities. Posing tends to be more personal. It’s about the victim.

    Convicted killer George Russell posed his victims in Seattle. He used what we call artifacts, or instruments, to pose the naked victims in sexually explicit ways. One woman was posed with a shotgun between her legs and another with a sex toy in her mouth. They were set up in a degrading manner, illustrating the killer’s way of thinking: “These women are nothing but a bunch of whores.”

    Anger and hostility

    This tells you something about the subject you’re dealing with — his anger and hostility. In the Atlanta case, it was more of a cat-and-mouse kind of game with police.

    Then you have killers like Steven Pennell in Wilmington, Del., who lured prostitutes to his van, tortured them, kept them for a while and then dumped them like trash — which is what he thought of them. No posing, no props.

    So the intent varies, depending on the subject. You have to look to see what the message is.

    Sometimes you’ll see a victim laid out nice and neat at a crime scene. The subject may go so far as to cover the corpse with a sheet or blanket.

    There are various reasons for doing this. The killer may go into an explosive rage and then ask himself afterward, “What did I do?” He doesn’t want to look at the crime he perpetrated, so he covers the victim.

    When a parent kills a child

    Or it could be that a close relationship existed between the killer and the victim. Let’s say a parent kills a child and then buries the body. You may find that the child was carefully wrapped or the face covered to keep dirt from getting in the mouth. In essence, someone is caring for the child after death.

    There’s a word we use: “undoing.” That’s when someone tries to somehow lessen the damage after committing the crime, maybe by cleansing and bandaging the wounds. The killer may try softening the appearance of the crime by making the body’s position restful and clasping the hands, almost like the victim is laid out. It’s a way of symbolically erasing or reversing the crime, and it suggests remorse. Doing this gives the subject away. It’s a personal crime — strangers wouldn’t likely do this.

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