What Makes a Serial Killer do what they Do?

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What pushes a serial killer to do what they do? In order to answer this question, I looked at two sources. The first article I looked into was written by scholar, Dr. J.S. Dalal, Professor and Head, Department of Forensic Medicine & Toxicology, Government Medical College Patiala, et al. The second source I found was written by Nicola Malizia, University of Enna, Enna, Italy. The first source is telling the reader about the different types of serial killers, and the second source is going to help the reader get into the mind of the criminal to help us figure out what goes on in a serial killers mind to make them want to take one’s life.

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The first source, written by Dr. J.S. Dalal, et al., explains the different types of serial killers that are out there and what makes them want to take the lives of others. The four basic types of serial killers is, visionary, mission-oriented, hedonistic, and control-oriented. A visionary serial killer sees visions in their minds or voices in their heads telling them to kill. Mission-oriented is where the killer sees it to be their mission to get rid of all the sinners or people with wrong morals to make the world a better place to live in. A hedonistic killer find pleasure in torturing and killing their victims, and lastly a control-oriented serial killer is one who likes to have power over the victim and enjoys that they’re the one in control. Several methods that determine whether one is a serial killer or not. One being a lie detector and this measures changes to one’s answers when being interrogated due to sympathy. Another way to tell a serial killer is the narco test which is where the one being interrogated is given thiopental sodium, and they’re quizzed with the dose in them. The final method used is brain mapping where they scan the brain. So, what exactly makes a serial killer just that? As Dalal, et al. explains, they all have goals to achieve in this heinous act. They could have a goal to rid this world of sinners. A goal to do what the voices in their heads are telling them to do. Maybe a goal to see multiple people suffer. Or possibly a goal to even have total control over their victim. By informing me of the four types of serial killers I was able to answer the research question of What makes them do what they do?, because it told me of their motives behind the killing and what they’re trying to accomplish. Overall, what I have learned from this source is that not everybody is in it for the same reasons.

My second source was one written by Nicola Malizia and it explains the serial killers fantasy and what they want to see when they’re in the process of killing. Malizia stated The more time spent fantasizing, the faster he will become dependent on the fantasies that feed the sense of self. Malizia also talked a bit about the killer’s thought patterns and what was going through their brain to think what they were doing was okay. So when you ask, What makes a serial killer do what they do?, you have to remind yourself of the fantasy that they have and the thought patterns and actions. As Malizia states, The serial killer’s imagination plays a major role as he begins to fantasize about acts to be performed in order to express dominance over another human being. In conclusion, Fantasy plays an important role in a serial killer’s actions because, it puts them into an imaginary world. One that they’re more attracted to than in the real world. This source was able to help me answer my question of why do they do what they do?, by telling me about the many fantasies that they may desire to see carried out, which then makes them kill.

Both sources help me greatly to answer the one question I have which is why? Why do serial killers do what they do? Why do they do it to innocent people, and why do they think they’ll get away with it? Most are full of pride and don’t think they will be caught. Some confess because they’re proud of what they did. Regardless, I want to find out whether it’s the nature of a serial killer or the nurture. Whether they have something actually mentally wrong, or if they were just raised in a bad living situation.

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What Makes a Serial Killer Do What They Do?. (2019, Jun 26). Retrieved February 6, 2023 , from

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