As children, we're told that monsters don't exist; that we have nothing to fear as nothing lurks beneath our bed or within our closets. While such a fact may be true, the statement that “monsters don't exist” is something that I'll argue isn't true.
Sure, monsters may not reside in our bedrooms, but they exist. It's just that they walk among us.
Hollywood has done a great job of portraying killers of all types as something of an outcast. A twitchy eyed, freakish looking, disheveled mess that screams “evil” from a mile away. The kind of person you'd take one look at and avoid, if not immediately call the cops on. Now, while there are instances where a maniac may in fact fit this description, they are an exception to the rule.
The truth of the matter is that a killer—be they a serial killer or otherwise—isn't normally someone who's an outwardly evil looking individual. Rather, that evil is more often than not something that's deeply rooted within their mind. Many are often normal looking people who live ordinary lives. If you zero in on their psychology however, everything changes. Suddenly, that normal demeanor changes and you’re staring into the eyes of a beast.
This is sociopathy, a highly common trait among serial killers. However, not every sociopath is a serial killer. Some are merely cold, abusive individuals who are isolated from the world due to their anti-social behavior and traits. Either way however, sociopaths are generally very persuasive and charismatic. They tend to have two faces to them, a public and private look if you will. In public, they can be a charming man or woman who can woo even the hardiest of people into going home with them or investing in whatever project they have planned. Behind closed doors however, they may brandish a knife and slaughter their victim like a pig, or defraud them of every cent they have to their name.
Sociopaths have no moral compass. Instead, they only care about themselves. They care not for who they hurt. Their endgame is them and only them. They aren’t the twitchy-eyed maniacs one would see in a mainstream film or television show. They can be patient and appear levelheaded. That isn’t to say they’re all like that. As you’ll see in some of the individuals we will talk about, some truly are the maniacs you see on the big screen. In fact, the very first person we’ll be discussing fits this very bill!
That said however, most of this isn’t something that the average John or Jane would typically care about. After all, the vast majority of people will never have to deal with someone like this. As it stands, we live in the safest time in history. Violent crime, while not a thing of the past, is much less common than one would think from watching or reading the news. Sure, society as is isn’t a utopia, but you’re much less likely to leave your home and be kidnapped, shot, and/or stabbed by a serial killer than you were back in the 1980s. This is largely thanks to the fact that law enforcement has many tools to stop crimes before they happen and serial killers are nowhere near as common as they were.
So, why should you or anyone else care? If we truly do live in the safest time in our history. Then why bother writing about them; why think to resurrect their memories and give them the time of day and not just let their names die as they themselves did? Well, the answer is simple. I want to give insight into the psychosis of these people and give a realistic insight into the world of these people. It's my firm belief that if we can learn about who these people are, why they do what they did, and what set them off down this path, we can stop future people who exhibit similar behaviors before they become the next serial killer.
The next reason is that I want you to realize something: there is no sympathetic aspect to these people. There are those that will try to spin the reason that someone committed murder or murders because of something related to their childhood or the influence of some violent/perverted form of media. While it is true that childhood trauma can have a very serious effect on the mind of someone, none of this excuses what these people did. These should never be presented in a sympathetic manner because none of these people warrant sympathy. Nor do they deserve anything less than to be seen as monsters.
A good example of this comes in the form of Ted Bundy, a man who confessed to murdering 30 women, but is believed to have killed 100 or more. This should on its own be enough to turn the stomachs of anyone, but Bundy has become something of a sex icon among a group of people due to his good looks and charismatic personality (both of which he ironically used to seduce women into accompanying him before he murdered them). The irony is evidently lost upon these people given that Bundy wouldn't have hesitated to slaughter them the second he got the chance. The man shouldn't be seen as anything less than a cruel, soulless monster who relished in what he did.
This is my ultimate goal. Not to sensationalize these people or to spin their lives as “tragic” or “unfortunate”. None of that is an excuse. None of that should serve as a “reason” for what they did. We should understand that evil exists in spite of the safety of the time we live in. That isn't to say I'm trying to make you paranoid. Rather, I'd like to remind some that there are still those that will stop at nothing to cause harm to others.
It’s generally hard for many people to quite understand why one would be “fascinated” by these people. In my life, I’ve had people look at me like I’m crazy; that my fascination with these people is an indication that I’m sick or crazy. This has honestly been the hardest reason for me to update this blog. Sure, I’ve been working on other things and I have plans to keep updating this. However, when you have people who you think would support your aspirations to write, the idea that they can’t really “get behind” this idea because of the topic is one of the most heartbreaking things imaginable.
In my eyes, if you’re going to capitalize off the hurt and torment that a serial killer brought upon a community and their family’s victims, then yes: that’s sick and cruel. However, to try and repress the entire memory of a serial killer is one of the worst things you can do. To erase them is to erase something that can prove to be extremely useful to those who wish to pursue a career in protecting those who pretend that these people don’t exist. My desire is to present to you something that can perhaps inspire someone to pursue a career in this line of work or to educate you on why these people did what they did and what law enforcement has learned from them in order to profile and capture these people quick enough before their number of victims reaches the double or even triple digits.
|It's worth noting that this quote wasn't given by the man in the photo, Ian Brady, but rather his girlfriend, Myra Hindley.|
I want you to imagine for a second. Let’s say that you’re a parent. You live in a nice, tranquil neighborhood. Everyone knows everyone. You live a happy life. A loving spouse and three kids. Now one day, you hear about a child having gone missing. Then a few weeks later, a second one. Then a third mere days after that. Then the body of two are found. You may look at me and say that’s a terrible thing to imagine and that I’m awful for asking you to do so. However, I want you to understand something: that’s reality. The world we live in has these kinds of people that live among us. Someone has to take up the job of making sure that those people don’t harm you, me, or anyone else. I’m not physically capable to join any sort of police force, but I hope that I can, by some chance, be capable of still conveying the people that live among us to those who are willing to learn about them and understand that their actions stem from problems far more complicated than simply “being crazy.”
These people are the ones that you believe could only exist in the worst nightmares you have or within scary stories that you hear as a teenager when hanging out with your friends. They care not for who they hurt and if they set their sights on you, they will stop at nothing to make sure that they hurt you, even if they hurt themselves in the process. They’re more animalistic than they are human and they’re driven by the primal urge to kill.
They can live anywhere. They aren’t “confined” to any one area; any city, town, or village can be home to a monster. This is why small town police forces are normally unable to capture these people. They aren’t trained to handle a situation like this.
They can look and act like anyone; they can be as normal as you and your friends. They can even be your friend.
But, they can be used to inspire some to rise to the challenge to make sure that another person ends up doing something like them or worse. The man above (who we’ll cover sometime in the 2020s) has had an everlasting impact on the FBI thanks to an audio tape he made during his reign of terror. It’s now used to desensitize new recruits, though it also had an impact on one of the most famous films of all-time: Silence of the Lambs. Per IMDb’s trivia page for that film (with a few minor corrections and an addition at the very end):
After working with John Douglas for some time, Scott Glenn thanked him and said how fascinating it was to have been allowed into his world. Douglas laughed and told Glenn that if he really wanted to get into his world, he should listen to an audio tape of serial killers Lawrence Bittaker and Roy Norris torturing, raping, and murdering Shirley Ledford. Glenn listened to less than one minute of the tape, and has since said that he feels he lost a sense of innocence in doing so, and that he has never been able to forget what he heard. He also became a staunch advocate for the death penalty.
This brings us to the conclusion of this prologue. As I’ve said throughout this blog, in order to understand everything about these people, we must enter the minds of people we pretend don’t exist and learn about what makes them tick; what set them off and understand why they are the way they are and what we have and can learn from their actions to prevent the next serial killer. So in the coming months, we shall go back in time to explore one of the most widely known serial killers. A man whose name lives on with an unbelievably large legend and cult status rather than the pure infamy he should rightfully bear.
Jack the Ripper.