Are you spending hours binging on TV shows and documentaries about serial killers these days?
Fascinated by serial killers?
One might say Covid-19 is to blame. But many of you were fascinated by serial killers as a child. There was something about them. Many of them appeared quite charming, intelligent, attractive, and engaging.
As an illustration, let’s look at a relatively unknown serial killer, Rodney Alcala, who embodies many of these traits.
With his hip hair style and dazzling smile,Rodney Alcala appeared to be the perfect bachelor when he appeared on a matchmaking TV show called The Dating Game.
But little did the female contestant – or the studio audience – know that he was one of America’s most dangerous serial killers.
The handsome young Alcala was later nicknamed the ‘Dating Game Killer.’ He would go on to be linked to over 130 women and children’s deaths – including a 12-year-old girl.
He became known for biting his dead victims’ naked bodies before photographing them in sexually-explicit poses.
Serial killers are responsible for less than 1 percent of murders in the U.S. each year according to the FBI, and no more than two dozen are “active” at any given time.
However, our fascination with them and the crimes they commit far exceeds the concern we should have more pressing dangers.
Serial killers seem normal — even charismatic.
The crimes of serial killers are frequently monstrous. Yet, they are not “monsters” and may not appear strange.
Often, serial killers are able to blend in with everyone else. Some of them can be so charismatic that we secretly desire to be just like them — before we realize they are serial killers.
Serial murderers often have families, friends, homes, are gainfully employed, and appear to be normal members of the community.
Most serial killers are convincing, skilled at roleplaying, and experts at appearing normal. They have the ability to make others want to get to know them, want to be like them, or be liked by them.
Unfortunately, this is part of their appeal and it’s also what makes them terrifying to onlookers. …
Dahmer, Gacy, and Bundy.
Jeffrey Dahmer was considered by local police to be so non-threatening that they returned one of his victims to his home after encountering the handcuffed male on the street.
Police didn’t detain Dahmer until photos of dismembered men were observed in a drawer that he had left open.
Gacy regularly performed at children’s hospitals and charitable events as “Pogo the Clown” or “Patches the Clown,” personas he had devised. He used the image of clowns to gain the trust of others via laughter, silly antics, and magic.
Gacy, in addition to being welcomed as a clown at children’s parties, won recognition for his fundraising work. Behaving as a clown is particularly jarring as he portrayed a character of innocence while he committed both rape and murder.
Ted Bundy, another serial killer that fascinated the public, was characterized by many as very good-looking, successful, and appealing to women.
And because of his charm and good looks, he was able to get 36 women into his car willingly before holding them against their will and killing them.
Interestingly, male serial killers tend to hunt and kill strangers, while female serial killers are more likely to kill someone that they know.
The public fascination with serial killers is not new.
Most people love to be outraged together, discovering a wolf in sheep’s clothing, and observing a battle between good and evil. We question ourselves about why we didn’t see the evil in person before they committed multiple crimes.
The public is typically stumped by the notion that serial killers look like everyday people. They act like everyday people — like you and me.
Many of them are nice, regular people who don’t draw negative attention to themselves. We want to know all about them in hopes of identifying what created the monsters that would take the lives of others.
By learning about them, their history, and their childhood, we often think that we can pinpoint what led to their deviancies.
We want to find out ‘what made them who they are,’ so we can somehow prevent others from becoming serial killers. The truth is, becoming a serial killer is more complicated than that…”
What do you think?
Do you buy the assertion I’ve boldfaced immediately above? I’m not so sure I do, for the simple reason I don’t agree with many of the writer’s assertions.
Try searching for fascination with serial killers. You’ll see there are many theories