What Makes Serial Killers Tick, Part1

What Makes Serial Killers Tick?
"It was an urge. ... A strong urge, and the longer I let it go the stronger it got, to where I was taking risks to go out and kill peoplerisks that normally, according to my little rules of operation, I wouldn't take because they could lead to arrest." --Edmund Kemper

Where does this urge come from, and why is it so powerful? If we all experienced this urge, would we be able to resist?

Is it genetic, hormonal, biological, or cultural conditioning? Do serial killers have any control over their desires? We all experience rage and inappropriate sexual instincts, yet we have some sort of internal cage that keeps our inner monsters locked up. Call it morality or social programming, these internal blockades have long since been trampled down in the psychopathic killer. Not only have they let loose the monster within, they are virtual slaves to its beastly appetites. What sets them apart?

Michael Ross
Sixteen-year-old Paula Perrera was a bubbly, confident, carefree girl who performed well in school, enjoyed the company of her tight-knit group of friends as much as a good book and was active in the church youth group.

On many occasions she chose to bypass the school bus altogether and instead hitchhiked to classes. Paula's boyfriend begged her not to hitchhike because of the inherent dangers, she ignored his pleas claiming that, "only nice people pick me up."

Michael Ross was later quoted saying to police during an interview "as soon as I saw her (Paula), she was dead." Paula was not Michael's first victim, nor would she be his last. In fact, before his capture he would claim responsibility for the murders of 8 young women.

While at school, Michael was socially active and joined several organizations. Moreover, he became involved in several relationships with some beautiful young co-eds, one to which he became engaged. However, the relationships always ended in failure and Michael's "dream of the perfect family began to be crowded by other fantasies disturbing, violent, sexual fantasies."

It didn't take long for his fantasies to spiral out of control.

The Sunset Strip Murders
Carol found Doug to be suddenly quite controlling. He demanded that she do what he wanted and threatened to abandon her if she did not comply. He wanted a sex slave, someone who would see to all of his needs, mundane and bizarre. She gave in, expecting that in return he would be true to her. But he soon told her that he was tired of having sex with her and needed something new and more exciting. He brought prostitutes home, and to please him Carol went along with it.

It was a long hot summer for LAPD. Bodies of young women were found mutilated, even headless, and dumped along the embankments around the freeway ramps.

Soon a call came into the station from a woman who implicated her boyfriend in the killings but who refused to offer details that could help to locate him. She could have been just a crank caller, but she was correct about how the murders had been done. She knew details that had not been released to the media. But the switchboard cut her off and she did not call back. If she had, some lives could have been saved and she might not have taken the path she did.

It was no crank call.

Fritz Haarmann
Fritz Haarmann committed one of the most extraordinary series of crimes in modern times. Fritz problems began with his unusual family. His mother spoiled and pampered him as a child and encouraged him to play with dolls instead of more masculine games. While the family was well-to-do, neurosis, sexual problems and depression galloped through its members.

On 17th May 1924, some children playing at the edge of a river near Hanovers Herrenhausen Castle found a human skull and, on May 29th, another washed up on the riverbank. The town was sent in to frenzy on the 13th June when two more skulls were found included in the river's sediment. An autopsy proved the first two crania to be that of young people aged between 18 and 20 and the last skull found from a boy of approximately 12. The body count finally reached 27 and there were rumors that he had sold the flesh of his victims.

Known as the Butcher of Hannover, he seemed to enjoy his trial and turned it into a circus by serving as his own lawyer. German society was shocked as they learned the details of this thoroughly remorseless sexual psychopath.

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