The Other Side of Serial Killing

Part of the popular culture and practical discussion regarding the motivations of serial killers suggest that the victim of the crime is a substitute for the person that the killer truly wishes dead but for some reason is unable or unwilling to eliminate.

The abusive parental figure, the controlling domestic partner, other miscellaneous condescending authority figure.

Neurological, psychological, and temperamental ingredients gather inside the individual that chooses to destroy the surrogates over and over again.


What would be at the other end of this sort of personality and behavior?  Would it be a serial confessor?  A serial worshipper?  A filmmaker, painter, or writer who, for whatever reason, is unable or unwilling to forgive, apologize to, reconcile with, or confess love to the true recipient of such communications? Instead the artist opts to create and recreate characters that must relay a heartfelt message by the end of the film, the edges of a canvas, or end of a book.

Pride, shame, guilt, or death prevents this artist from telling the real person.  The only option is to have fictional messengers deliver a non-fictional sentiment over and over again.  It certainly gives proponents of Auteur Theory one more layer to lick.

Detour:  Happy July 4th to all Americans who may be reading this entry.

I saw Seeking a Friend for the End of the World (Lorene Scafaria , 2012) today.  Branding and product placement:  Lucent Technologies office phone, Dunkin Donuts t-shirt, Toyota hybrid Prius, blue Smart Car.  I will be buying it on DVD upon release.

6 thoughts on “The Other Side of Serial Killing

  1. Christopher

    “…….the victim of the crime is a substitute for the person that the killer truly wishes dead but for some reason is unable or unwilling to eliminate…….”

    Since nearly all serial-killers are men, serial killing seems a guy thing. Why might this be?

    In any case, serial-killing, as with any other pathological behaviour, may simply be a consequence of the relatively recent evolution of the human brain, which still has flaws that are inherent in anything in a developmental stage. One doesn’t hear of animals becoming serial killers for no good reason.

    Sebastian Faulks deals with all this in his novel, “Human Traces”.

    1. sittingpugs Post author

      I beg to differ. Women kill serially and have for centuries–they just don’t always make the headlines in quite the same way as the men.

      No other animal does anything “for no good reason.” Depending how high or low you want to go in the Kingdom, Phylum, Class, Order, Family, Genus, Species breakdown, they all act for a reason–whether or not they are consciously aware of any alternative.

      1. Christopher

        I was careful to say that nearly all serial killers are men.

        This *piece here* says, among many other things, that “…..serial murder is primarily a male enterprise…….”.

        1. sittingpugs Post author

          Perhaps less “nearly” and more….. “male serial killers tend to be more widely known than female serial killers.” ^_~

          Ask anyone off the street to name one and they’ll most likely go with Ted Bundy, Jack the Ripper, John Wayne Gacy, Jeffrey Dahmer, Ed Gaines, Son of Sam, or Richard Ramirez. Lizzie Borden and Eileen Wuornos may be uttered less than 50% of the time.

          It’s such a twisted thought, but gender equality has yet to infiltrate the realm of (violent) criminal behavior. Their motives may be the same, they may carry the same inner turmoil, yet the style and execution of murderous plans continue to differ among male and female perpetrators.

          – possibly with the exception of harming children.

  2. Christopher

    Given that women constitute only 10% of prisoners, it’ll be a long time, if ever, until there’s gender equality in the inmate population, in terms of numbers.

    However, this imbalance may simply be because women are superior to men.

    Think of the fact that now in the US, 57% of graduates from college and university are women, against 43% for men. Hence the average woman earns more than the average man among the under 30s. So any under-30 woman lawyer, or doctor, wanting to enter a relationship with a man, may have to settle for a bartender.

    Since women outlive men, and that unattached women do far better in life in all the criteria measuring success, than do unattached men, you’ll perhaps see that the notion of gender equality is just stupid.

    1. sittingpugs Post author

      However, this imbalance may simply be because women are superior to men.
      Mhm…either because they abstain from breaking consistently enforced laws or their crimes have yet to be discovered, they’ve never been considered to be suspects, they were acquitted, they’ve been sent to mental institutions instead…

      Would the gap between the number of incarcerated men vs. women in North America be bigger compared to the number of men vs. women charged with having committed a crime? My misanthropic, cynical voice surfaces.

      The notion of gender equality is silly.


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