Skip to main content

Serial Killers Walk Among Us


 Whenever you hear about a serial killer there is always the remark or the excuse from them that they had an “uncontrollable” urge to kill or torture. Where does this urge come from and what makes a person lose such total control that they give in to their deepest, darkest desires? What exactly makes a serial killer, and are they born this way or is it the way that they were nurtured? Of course there are terrible things that happen to children but does it really turn someone into a cold blooded murderer?

Jeffrey Dahmer

Jeffrey Dahmer

 Psychology will tell you that looking at the behavior of the serial killer when they were children is very telling. What type of children were they and did they have unusual habits? There are many serial killers such as Jeffrey Dahmer that started torturing small animals when he was a child. It makes me wonder what goes on in the mind of a child that would make him want to do that. To find pleasure in the pain in a small animal. It really is quite frightening but extraordinary.

Ted Bundy

Ted Bundy

John Wayne Gacey How creepy is this?

John Wayne Gacey How creepy is this?


There is no evidence of a killer gene in people, although some people will differ that some mental anomalies can be passed on to children. Maybe some people are just born without a conscious and are not programmed to feel empathy for anyone. There is also evidence that many of the serial killers in history have had frontal lobe damage, and this damages the part of the brain that feels empathy and caring for others.

Most serial killers are sadistic and get sexually excited from torturing others, but many of them will tell you that something caused them to do what they did. Ted Bundy blames pornography on his behaviors, Jeffery Dahmer said that there was a “part” of him missing. John Wayne Gacy would blame his victims and thought that they deserved to die. He was a psychopath that played a clown at children’s parties and then lure young boys to his house and sexually molest them and brutally torture and murder them, he would then bury them in his back yard. Surely these people must be insane to want to slaughter people in this manner, however it is a fact that even though these serial killers are criminally insane, the fact remains that they are very intelligent, calculating and rational people and that is how they are so good at getting people to trust them

Signs to look for


A serial killer is classified by the F.B.I as such because of several reasons.

  • A person who kills more than 3 people at a time and follows a pattern, such as stopping for a while in between killings.
  • Usually white middle age man. Although there have been several women serial killers but women are a little harder to catch up to because they are naturally not as violent as men so it takes longer to find out a female killer.
  • The victim is usually a stranger to the killer and most of the time the killer picks people at random.
  • The motive is a power thing and not done for material gain, it is totally psychological.
  • A serial killer usually picks on very vulnerable people such as runaways and prostitutes.

 There usually is a pattern seen in the background of most serial killers, such as bed wetting, hurting animals is a big red flag, most of the serial killers have been abused as children, however there are many who have had normal caring parents. Ted Bundy had an average background and parents who appeared to care about him very much, so there is always the exception to that rule.

Serial killers also tend to be very narcissistic people and I use Ted Bundy again as an example because he is like the epitome of the serial killer. He was very intelligent, narcissistic, charismatic, he was a professional person and would charm the pants off the ladies. He would even play the victim in several situations in order to gain sympathy from his victims before he attacked them. He also had this great desire to be more powerful than he was and he would pretend to be a person of authority such as a policeman; this makes the victim more intimidated from the get go.

A serial killer can strike at anytime and a person should always be on their guard. The F.B.I have so many cases of serial killer activity more than anytime in history. When you think about someone who is crazy a person thinks they know what that looks like. Maybe the guy on the corner who carries a sign that wants money. Maybe the person who goes off on someone at the McDonalds because they didn’t get their order right. But the reality is that they walk beside us as we walk through the mall because they are carousing looking for vulnerable people, maybe teenagers. The fact is they maybe the nice looking guy wearing that nice suit carrying that briefcase and looking very professional could in fact be criminally insane. So actually your best bet to avoid a serial killer is to avoid the charming, impeccably dressed strangers because they blend in so well and they know how to target and stalk their victims by gaining trust from them. Serial killers do not carry a sign that says what they are but instead they camouflage themselves into the normalcy of our lives

  • The "Lipstick Killer" Guilty or Innocent?
    William Heirens William Heirens also known as the Lipstick killer, has been in prison since 1946. He is believed to be the longest serving inmate in the U.S. This November Heirens will be 82 years old....


stars439 from Louisiana, The Magnolia and Pelican State. on April 06, 2011:

I wore a badge and gun precious heart. May the sweet souls, and victims they took , be forever blessed in Heaven, for what they endured. GBY.

ladyjane1 (author) from Texas on August 26, 2010:

hubpageswriter good to see you on my page and I agree with you. Killing children especially for the gratification of a serial killer is just so senseless and scary. I think that if we can help troubled youngsters or at least see the signs and maybe help them with some kind of treatment it will maybe make a difference. Most of the serial killers were not helped as children and went unoticed so maybe that would be a start to reducing the serial killers of the future. Thanks for reading, Cheers.

Scroll to Continue

hubpageswriter on August 26, 2010:

Very good hub. It's so scary to know that there are serial killers out there, still looming and waiting to pounce on their next victims. Especially when the victims they have in mind are kids and ladies. I hope that the number of serial killers will be reduced with time. A tall order, but one can only hope.

ladyjane1 (author) from Texas on August 16, 2010:

epigramman no need to apologize I was only teasing. And I stand corrected on the Grace Kelly death, you were correct it was in Monte Carlo. Cheers.

epigramman on August 16, 2010:

then LadyJane it is .....and I'm sorry I put Grace Kelly at the scene of her fatal car accident in Monte Carlo and not Monaco!

ladyjane1 (author) from Texas on August 15, 2010:

hello epigramman and its ladyjane not Grace. And that guy next door to you could very well be, so be careful. Cheers.

epigramman on August 15, 2010:

Hello Grace - and he's cutting the grass - next door - beside me!!!!!

ladyjane1 (author) from Texas on August 07, 2010:

Scot thanks for reading and for your insightful comments. I agree with you I don't believe that brain damage is the overall answer to why these men and women kill. It was in a study however in my criminology class how there have been so many serial killers who have had their brains examined after death and have been found to have frontal lobe damage and this is the area that controls empathy, sympathy, and a conscious so there has to be something to the theory. I also believe however that it doesn't give anyone an excuse because surely they still know what is right and wrong and they still decide to kill. Thanks for reading. Cheers.

Scot Manaher on August 06, 2010:

Although I understand some serial killers may have a malformed part of the brain, I don't think it is something we will ever understand fully till we know exactly how the brain functions completely. It is still a choice they make.

If they had brain damage to the extent of a child with autism or cerebral palsy. Which interferes with their normal day to day functioning then and only then should it be classified as a brain damaged.

But serial killers are just like you said we can not distinguish them apart from us. They act and breathe just like us.

I just think we have to be careful on what we consider a brain damage.

ladyjane1 (author) from Texas on August 01, 2010:

whidbeywriter thanks for reading and you're right its always good to be aware of your surroundings and to be leary of certain people sometimess especially when you are not comfortable. Its good to be careful. Cheers.

Mary Gaines from Oak Harbor on Whidbey Island, Washington on August 01, 2010:

Very chilling but great info to know. I will never understand how a person can do some of the things those serial killers did, nor do I want to. But I agree with the fact you must always be careful, not in a paranoid way but just always be aware of your surroundings like zzron stated. Great hub sis - cheers!

ladyjane1 (author) from Texas on August 01, 2010:

geegee77 thanks for reading and I agree we never really know what's going on next door but people really need to keep their eyes open without being overly paranoid. Cheers.

GPAGE wow what a crazy thing for that boy to do,very creepy and I feel the same way about shopping malls there is just something very dangerous about them especially if one lets their guard down. Thanks for reading Cheers.

GPAGE from California on August 01, 2010:

LJ...I remember the time I saw a documentary on Jeffrey Dahmer a long time ago. I never got over it. The fact that he tortured animals always stayed with me. When I was a child, a boy in my very nice neighborhood had a crush on me and when I told him that I did not like boys, he left 5 dead mice on my door step. I never forgot that either. Makes you wonder "when" it all goes bad.......after the mice, did he do worse? A dog maybe? Now, kids on drugs hurt animals to get back at others, but what makes them hurt humans?

This is the "scary part." I always try to stay away from malls. Period. I don't even want my kids hanging out at them. Too many problems happen there. I have heard way too many stories to ever rest easy. Anyway, good article. Sad about all the psychos in this world and all of the children that get hurt. Makes me extra paranoid......G

geegee77 from The Lone Star State!! on August 01, 2010:

Ive read quite a few books about serial killers, and seen many documentaries also. And what ive found is that it is true the majority of them are white males who have had some or a lot of abuse in their childhood as well. Not to excuse them of course, but there is definitely a pattern to some of these people. And yes it is scary because we never really know what goes on in our neighbors homes, because they can hide it so well, scary. Great hub btw love :)ge

ladyjane1 (author) from Texas on July 31, 2010:

Hello Wayne good to see you and I agree with you that there has to be something that drives the serial killer to need to kill again and again. Their brains have been dissected time and again to find out what makes them tick I don't think we will ever pinpoint it exactly. I don't know if you remember Richard Speck the guy who killed all those nurses in the 60's and he was found to have a double chromosome more than the average man which made him have double the testosterone so it made him very violent. All of em have something quirky upstairs and it only seems to be getting worse. You be careful too WB Cheers.

ladyjane1 (author) from Texas on July 31, 2010:

tom thanks for stopping by again I appreciate the support. Cheers

@sandyspider always good to see you thanks for reading.Cheers

@mickeydee I couldn't agree with you more thanks for reading. Cheers

Wayne Brown from Texas on July 31, 2010:

On some of the darker stuff that I write, I try to insert myself into the mind of people like this and put their thoughts on paper. I find it very exhausting to attempt to think in such a mindset. I believe the serial killer is to the common murder as the addict is to the drug user. Some people become immediately fanatical about a single experience and long for that feeling again and again. It's a release just like a dose of heroin running through the veins for an addict. It becomes an addiction they cannot manage and all of them have a rational side that recognizes that fact. That is why some of them leave messages begging for someone to catch them before they can kill again. It is as if two people are occupying the same body and mind. You cautions are well taken...they live among us especially in the dense populations of the cities. They are akin to those movie types who are in some type of hypnotic state just awaiting to final signal to act. Be careful out there! Good write! WB

Micky Dee on July 31, 2010:

By the way Americans "identify" and "do not identify" good people and bad, everyone of these serial killers above would be hired for a job before me. What really gets me is the way Americans keep electing the reptilian aliens from outer space as public "servants". Thank you Ma'am!

Sandy Mertens from Wisconsin, USA on July 31, 2010:

Interesting hub on serial killers.

tom hellert from home on July 31, 2010:


I hope they don't walk amung me- i haven't been out of my yard in weeks-

Fascinating look into the wack-o's out there and how they could be anyone anywhere and what is the difference between the average criminal and the serial nut job. great job well done kudos.


ladyjane1 (author) from Texas on July 31, 2010:

mightymom great comment and I think that its good that in our society we are interested in this because people need to be aware that's why I decided to get my degree in this field. It has always fascinated me how the killer mind works. And those killers you mentioned were very scary glad you bypassed them. Cheers

ladyjane1 (author) from Texas on July 31, 2010:

hey Mike thanks for reading. I remember reading about the BTK guy and he was very creepy. I think they found him because he used the computer at the university that he worked in or something. It was an interesting case. Cheers.

breakfastpop good to see you and I know what you mean. Society does this to criminals all the time especially when they make a movie out of their life, they always make them out to be the victim instead and maybe to some point they are the victim of somekind but certainly not as much as the innocent victim that gets killed because of them. Thanks for reading cheers.

Hey Degreek good to see you and thanks for reading. You would be surprised how little pain is needed because really it is the combination of a lot of things such as neglect, verbal and mental abuses....but honestly I think it has to do with weird quircks in a persons brain that get trggered when the abuse happens. Creepy stuff. Cheers.

Pamela99 good to see you. I know what you mean about making people into heroes and they also do this with bank robbers from the old days like John Dillinger and Bonnie and Clyde if you have seen these movies they come out looking like heroes and in reality they were cold blooded killers.

greenlotus thanks for stopping by and you are right reality is scarier than fiction always. Sorry I didn't mean to scare you. Cheers.

Hillary from Atlanta, GA on July 31, 2010:

This is the scariest read I've had in a long time. I do love to read mysteries, even scary ones like Dean Koontz, but wow, the truth is scariest of all. Brrrr. !! I think I'll watch an old Disney movie tonight.

Pamela Oglesby from Sunny Florida on July 31, 2010:

This is an interesting hub and I don't think they know why many of them are killers. Sure some are from horribly abusive homes, but not all. I know that being aware of your surroundings always is the safest thing to do and lock your car doors as soon as you get it. I don't understand how anyone can look at them as herors but I know it happens.

breakfastpop on July 31, 2010:

Interesting hub. What drives me crazy is the fact that many people look upon these killers as heroes!

De Greek from UK on July 31, 2010:

Such frightening stuff and so sad. How much pain is needed to turn someone from a child into a killer?

Susan Reid from Where Left is Right, CA on July 30, 2010:

What does it say about us that we are fascinated by serial killers? I know I am. I just love watching shows like Criminal Minds!!!

I was in NY for the "Summer of Sam." I now live in California,home of Charles Manson, The Zodiac Killer and others. Dorothea Fuente is our local serial killer celeb. She ran a boarding house and killed her elderly male tenants and buried them in her back yard!

As Mike said, this is a chilling hub.

Mike Lickteig from Lawrence KS USA on July 30, 2010:

My beloved home state of Kansas had a notorious serial killer who avoided capture for decades. He was the BTK killer (BTK stood for "blind, torture, kill." He sent letters to the police and newspapers describing the murders he committed between 1974 and 1991. Nothing was heard from him again until he resumed his activities in 2004. He was captured a year later and is currently in prison.

It took 30 years to catch this man, and he might never have been caught if he hadn't resurfaced after almost 15 years in hiding. This man had never left the town he committed the murders in--he just blended in until he was ready to strike again. You really are correct in stating that their could be a killer in the crowd, wherever you go.

This was a particularly chilling hub, but very informative.


ladyjane1 (author) from Texas on July 30, 2010:

zzron thanks for reading and you are right not everyone is going to be a serial killer just because he is dressed in a suite I was really being facetious comparing how people often percieve people who are not as nicely dressed and often we think the worst of them and my point was that we do need to be careful around "strangers" even if they are wearing a suite. Thanks so much for your comments.

zzron from Houston, TX. on July 30, 2010:

Very nice hub but I wouldn't go as far as to say avoid all nice looking well groomed people, That sounds a little paranoid. Common sense says pay attention to your surroundings, know how to protect and defend yourself and use good judgement when dealing with anyone but I do agree that there are a lot of wackos out there everywhere and we should all be aware and our personnel safety should always take first priority.

Related Articles