The Mind of a Serial Killer
Updated on September 13, 2005, 10:59 PM - Written by Tim Buttner
Friday night, the body of a thirty-year-old woman has been found under a pedestrian walkway in the park. The body has been seriously mutilated and positioned in a disturbing pose. She, like the more recent of the former victims, has had her teeth pulled, her finger tips and toes cut off, and had any other identifying features removed to make it seemingly impossible to distinguish who she was when she was among living with absolute assuredness. This is the seventh victim in what seems to be the games of a serial killer. And the killer is getting smarter, more brutal, and more proficient in the work that they do. In order to understand this killer and create a better chance of catching the perpetrator of these heinous crimes, it is up to the investigators to create a psychological profile. This profile will be investigating the three methods of psychology to better understand the murderer.
The first method for studying a serial killer is by looking into that person's possible micro psychological profile. This is the biological profile; so this method can range from the murderers gender, age range, possible mental instabilities, or possible physical disabilities. Though the perpetrator is likely to be thoroughly careful at the scene of the crime or body drop sight, it could be possible to find a piece of physical evidence that can lead to the person responsible for the crimes. This can be a piece of hair left behind or a fingerprint that leaves a genetic make-up of the person. And because each person's genetic make-up, or DNA, is unique to that person it is possible to track and find this person. And once found the person can be psychologically checked out to find out what drove them to these crimes and if, indeed, they did have a mental instability it can be discovered if it came from micro, molar, or molecular sources.
Molecular study is the second method in psychological profiling. This is related to the personal features of the individual responsible. A serial killer, as with all murderers, are likely to leave something of themselves at the crime scene or drop site even if it isn't physical evidence that pinpoints them directly; they leave their personality with their victims. The way in which the killer positions the body, the care, the mutilation, the set-up of the environment and location selected, and the method of ending the life. These things are often put under the phrase "modus operandi" which is the killer's mode of function. This is personal; there is no possibility to make murder impersonal, even if the two people had never met before. It is personal because the killer is committing the murder one their own, with their body. Another molecular function of a killer is that often times they will return to the crime scene or drop site to relive the glory of that kill, much like a hunter will return to their old stomping ground to remember the satisfaction of a successful hunt. For the serial killer this is as much a game as hunting.
The final analysis of a serial killer comes in the molar study, or relationship study with other humans and the killer's environment. This looks into the possibilities of whether the killer is married, has a girlfriend, or a combination of the two. It looks at the possibility of what kind of friends the person has, if they have any. A history of the killer is thought up to better understand how this person came to do what they are doing. A job and social status is key to singling out the kind of person that the killer is. Molar study is the study of the world around the killer and the killer's reactions and interactions with the world around them.
All three areas of analysis are important to understanding the perpetrator and hopefully in catching them. Serial killer's are constantly learning and they become harder to catch the more time they are given to grow comfortable with their procedures. The law, accompanied with the methods of psychological profiling, has the difficult task of apprehending these cunning criminals, and the only hope is for them to be smarter and quicker than the killer is.
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