We all have heard of the stereotypical serial killer, however, exactly how truthful is that persona? In order to find out, we decided to do a bit of research and this is what we found.
Now, before you get started, please understand that there will always be exceptions from the list below. However, according to criminologists, these are the traits that most serial killers share.
Many serial killers experience what many would consider to be outside of the box fantasies including voyeurism, sado-masochism, and fetishism. Ted Bundy claimed that during his young-adulthood, he would get drunk and stalk around his neighborhood looking for women to peek st through their windows.
According to various criminologists, serial killers typically are smart, with IQ’s in the “bright normal” range.
3. Despite Their Intelligence, They Don’t Do Well In School
Or in any social structure, for that matter. Many find it difficult to hold down jobs, and because of that, they often work as unskilled laborers.
4. They Are Obsessed with Fire
We all know that one person that is obsessed with fires and loves to start them anytime and anywhere. However, according to psychological research, many serial killers start off as arsonists because setting things on fire gives control in a similar way to serial killing. Because of this, the two often go hand-in-hand.
5. They Struggle With Substance Abuse
Craig Traube, a criminologist, demonstrated in a study that serial killers have overlapping behaviors with substance abusers. Serial killers typically feel a need to kill that which they can’t control. They will experiment with various methods until they find the one that fits them best.
According to an article done by The Fix, which endeavored to find the similarities between serial killers and addicts,
“Addiction is defined as the repetition of a behavior despite the harmful consequences. Traube used Ted Bundy as an example to highlight the similarities between serial killers and drug addicts. Bundy killed at least 30 women, following several women at a time, should he need an “emergency hit,” as Traube called it. He preferred killing brunettes between the age of 15 and 25, but “experimented” with women of different ages. Traube compared this to how addicts evolve. “They start out experimenting with different things and then they find the substance they like,” he said. ”
With that being said, with such similarities between a substance abuser and serial killer, there’s no wonder that many killers also struggled with addiction. Jeffrey Dahmer was an alcoholic, Ted Bundy changed addictions from killing to drugs, alcohol, and porn after he was arrested, and other killers reportedly struggled with addiction.
6. They Are Your ‘Average Joe’
Possibly the scariest trait among killers, according to Real Crime, is the fact that many killers appear to be pillars of their community at first sight. For example, Fred and Rose West seemed to be your normal, loving family. Underneath that facade, the two of them raped and tortured many young women and girls, killing at least 12 including family.
7. They Are Superficially Charming
While not all stereotypical views on serial killers are true, this one is. Most killers are superficially charming and can lull just about anyone into believing their lies and manipulations. Despite this being a common stereotype, people are duped by killers each and every day. John Wayne Gacy was a politician and business owner, as well as a performance clown at children’s birthday parties.