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Serial killers with normal childhoods?

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Serial killers with normal childhoods?

Postby slither » Wed Aug 10, 2011 11:29 pm

Without trauma or abuse, and a good upbringing, why do some people still become serial killers?

I asked this on another forum, and someone said that they may have chosen to densensitize themselves at a young age to violence. That still leaves the question of why.

Another explanation could just be genetics, but lacking a predisposition and bad environment, what other factors could influence the development of a potential serial killer?

I've considered hormonal imbalances in the womb, and head injuries during critical development stages too.

What other "x" factors might there be?
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Re: Serial killers with normal childhoods?

Postby EtherealStarlight » Wed Aug 10, 2011 11:39 pm

maybe emotional abuse? maybe they were neglected or given little love? maybe they were abused but didn't tell about it for some reason? maybe they were bullied? maybe they were exposed to a lot of violence at some point and liked what they saw? maybe they were abused somehow as an adult? maybe they did petty crimes as a kid, went to jail, and got corrupted?

something like that?
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Re: Serial killers with normal childhoods?

Postby slither » Wed Aug 10, 2011 11:56 pm

Viinasu wrote:maybe emotional abuse? maybe they were neglected or given little love? maybe they were abused but didn't tell about it for some reason? maybe they were bullied? maybe they were exposed to a lot of violence at some point and liked what they saw? maybe they were abused somehow as an adult? maybe they did petty crimes as a kid, went to jail, and got corrupted?

something like that?

No, you're missing the point. The question is why this behavior would manifest when they were NOT abused or neglected in childhood. That covers everything from physical to emotional abuse, neglect, or innapropriate exposure to violence or anything else that could profoundly effect them negatively.

I essentially want causes other than what would fit in the scope of "nature vs nurture".

Accidents or random occurences that are beyond control, or internal reasons why is what I'm asking for.
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Re: Serial killers with normal childhoods?

Postby Refudiate » Thu Aug 11, 2011 1:54 am

A normal childhood can be traumatizing to some kids. One child who is bullied by their older brother may find it unpleasant but typical behavior, and get over it as an adult. Another child who experience the exact same bullying by become emotionally impaired by the experience and hate his brother forever.

It works the other way around as well, traumatizing events may not traumatize some people. Not every child who is raped becomes emotionally damaged by the event. You're not supposed to say things like that because it makes you sound like a rape apologist, but people vary widely in how they respond to their environment.

As for serial killers in particular... some people are simply born without a conscience. It does not always have to do with their environment, they simply are not able to feel the pain of others. Thankfully, most people without conscience do not take any enormous amount of pleasure out of killing, but some do. If you find killing to be the ultimate joy in life, and you have no conscience, there's a decent chance of you developing into a serial killer.

There are also people who are born with a conscience, but who kill for other reasons. For example some people with normal childhoods become schizophrenic, and schizos can kill for some pretty insane reasons.
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Re: Serial killers with normal childhoods?

Postby ajr8 » Thu Aug 11, 2011 1:59 am

But even with a conscience, you can still be born with intense homicidal urges that you enjoy despite also having a conscience. So maybe if you become a serial killer you know it's wrong but you enjoy the feeling it gives you anyway. I'm sure some people can have innate destructive tendencies without a bad environment growing up.
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Re: Serial killers with normal childhoods?

Postby slither » Thu Aug 11, 2011 2:31 am

Refudiate wrote:people vary widely in how they respond to their environment.
This is a good one I hadn't really thought of. It's probably still of genetic influence, but significant nonetheless.

Refudiate wrote:There are also people who are born with a conscience, but who kill for other reasons. For example some people with normal childhoods become schizophrenic, and schizos can kill for some pretty insane reasons.
Unstable minds aren't too predicatble, and I don't think they need to be covered here.

ajrocker8 wrote:But even with a conscience, you can still be born with intense homicidal urges that you enjoy despite also having a conscience. So maybe if you become a serial killer you know it's wrong but you enjoy the feeling it gives you anyway. I'm sure some people can have innate destructive tendencies without a bad environment growing up.
Similar to how people develop fetishes and paraphillias randomly?

That reminds me of Mr. Brooks, a movie about an SK who kills because he's "addicted to it", and wants to stop.
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Re: Serial killers with normal childhoods?

Postby AlAtBar » Thu Aug 11, 2011 2:34 am

Guessing, but maybe some are just "born to kill".

Are there any serial killers on record with normal childhoods?
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Re: Serial killers with normal childhoods?

Postby ajr8 » Thu Aug 11, 2011 2:36 am

Yeah I saw that movie, they portrayed him as killing under the influence of an alter identity he had. But people do develop bizarre urges sometimes without anything in the environment causing it.
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Re: Serial killers with normal childhoods?

Postby AlAtBar » Thu Aug 11, 2011 2:39 am

Oh, I don't think the guy in that movie was a killer at (more than any soldier is). Just a "joker". :)
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Re: Serial killers with normal childhoods?

Postby slither » Thu Aug 11, 2011 2:40 am

AlAtBar wrote:Are there any serial killers on record with normal childhoods?

That's besides the point, but most definitely do have horrible childhoods. It's the rare ones that don't that interest me.

I'm sure there are some on record, and you have to keep in mind there's alot of them we don't know about.
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