Serial Killers: Nature VS Nurture

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Nature vs. Nurture, the most common question evolved around serial killers. Who could possibly be nurtured into being a serial killer. It obviously has to be someone who is born that way, just born evil. As much as I would like to agree this is a highly false statement. Serial killers are shaped through childhood events which trauma majority of the time. Statistically 65% of the time. Even the other 35% of serial killers that weren’t affected through childhood still has something that led them to killing. Genetically the human brain cannot be wired to go out and kill people as its natural state. There’s no link in any DNA that says somebody will be a killer. Although there is a gene that creates a social distance in a person's brain when they are born that makes them socially awkward. With that being said being socially awkward doesn’t make you a killer. Therefore to this day no one can prove that a gene is what makes a killer. Strongest correlation right now with serial killers and what makes them act this way is their past life. With no gene being given, there is a predisposition that still lives within a person. This predisposition is what people look at to see if a person will be socially intact or not. Serial killers are typically people who don’t really get along with anyone they mostly stay to themselves, don’t really talk, and have some sort of fascination world. Parents can’t spot if their kid will be a killer, But they can’t see if their child will be socially talkative. Growing up, parents are the closest people who can see all the differences in the child. All the mood changes, all the talking habits, all the living habits, and everything else about it. The most linked trait between all serial killers, is that they do not fit in with society. Most stand out in an awkward way. 73% of serial killers are known to be disorganized killers. Disorganized killers, are highly impulsive and have few friends. If the serial killer is an organized killer, they are usually known to be socially adequate, may have a wife or children, and they sit and plan out their crimes. These are the people who don’t grow up with bad childhoods and just become a serial killer.

Differences on this topic usually come from the police and forensic scientists, due to the programmed mind they have of justice. They believe killers and other criminals who are doing injustice are born that way. Infact, naysayers will also just be biased people who aren’t able to see how a past life/ childhood can ruin someone's life and cause them to harm others as a way of relief. Now this isn’t right at all, to do harm to people but they aren’t born to do it that way. It’s the years of trauma, physical abuse, sexual abuse, verbal abuse all of that and more. Within a certain time frame serial killers explode like a bomb. overtime they just tick and tick and something could soon set them off. Some people do harm to themselves, some do harm to others, and some take it as far as serial killers. In L.R Allen’s article “Child Development and Early Learing” he says “Most serial killers suffered child abuse. Neglect and child abuse not only impaired child self-esteem, they also interfere with his or her ability to function in society, succeed academically, and form healthy relationships with people” (Allen 4) when a typical American looks at a serial killer, the first thought is, well this person is evil and should go to jail. They may also think he will never fit in with the world, this is due to the isolation away from everybody else. As Allen said, they cannot form healthy relationships or be able to normally function in society. They just don’t fit in, usually. They love to isolate them self and ponder on their own dogs. They don’t really leave the house they are usually one to themselves this is due to the idea that their family isn’t even with them so nobody else would be. The abuse growing up as well plays a big role as well. Serial killers either abuse things growing up to take out anger usually starting with small animals. From killing, to doing dissections on them. This is the most known first sign of a mentally distraught mind. A lot of serial killers kill their own pet or animal for a sense of relief from pain. Almost like a drug. J. Anderson writer of the article “ge isis of a serial killer, he touches on the topic of serial killers, killing animals, saying, “Almost all serial killers admit that they started by acting out their fantasies on small animals before they moved to humans and that animal torture brought them a great source of pleasure. Given that most serial killers are from dysfunctional families, such pathological and abnormal behavior may be ignored. For example, Jeffrey Dahmer‘s father had no qualms that his son performed animal dissections on a daily basis.” (Anderson 5) Serial killers just come from a screwed up childhood. They are not made not by a creator, or anyone, but they made up by events.

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Arguing that these people are made and not born, is not me saying, all serial killers come from a horrible childhood. There a some in fact that didn’t have any bad events at all. “America's first serial killer is considered to be Dr. H.H. holmes who confessed to 27 murders in the late 1890s. He claimed that he cannot help the fact that he was “a murderer, no more than a poet who couldn’t help just wanting to sing.” (56 serial killer statements)? These serial killers have no explanation as to why they did what they did. They just started doing it. They still weren’t born, there is always a cause to an effect. These people aren’t to be looked over. Most of these killers who are unexplained, come from very good childhood and family but still have complications with mom. This is typically the male side but females usually complicate problems with dad. “Jeffrey Dahmer has an apparently normal upbringing, yet became one of the most horrible sex murdered in popular culture. His father wrote a book which searches for explanations.” (Anderson 3) Although we sit here and look at the background, trauma still plays affect. Head trauma, physical pain, fights, being punched in the head, can still screw with a person's mind, turning them evil. Shirly Lynn Scott in her serial killer article, “Nearly 70% of serial killers received extensive head injuries as children or adolescents which, for many researchers, suggests a link between such injuries and serial murder. Some researchers believe that the prefrontal cortex (the area involved in planning and judgment) does not function properly in psychopaths.” (Scott 5) The purpose of this quote is to fill in the unanswered questions of killers who had no bad background history. There were simply people who just turned into killers.

Stepping away from plain serial killers, serial rapists are typically charming people, they are seen as people pleasers, and this makes them highly persuasive. Their charm and making women feel secure is what lowers the men for their plan to carry out, these are the types of serial killers they usually grow up with no bad childhood. They typically just grow up with sexual fantasies. These people are psychopathy. They block out the filming of remorse and do not feel emotions like a “normal” person. This is a mental illness. The symptoms of a psychopath usually our lack of empathy which they are unable to connect with other people. They like interest in connecting with other people if they are bad at it they block out the feeling of remorse and do not feel emotions like a “normal“ person. This is a mental illness. The symptoms of a psychopath usually are lack of empathy, which they are able to connect with other people. They lack interest in connecting with other people, if they are bad at it. They lack remorse and This is big because this is what makes killing easy for these kind of people. They honestly don’t know what they are doing is wrong, well they don’t feel bad about it. They just keep doing it because it doesn’t affect them in anyway but, make them feel better. Almost like a drug. These are the people with the unanswered questions, about what made them start. Another major symptom of psychopathy is deception and manipulation, which are apparent in the case of John Wayne Gacy. Gacy used different methods of luring in his young male victims. One of the ways he would attract his victims was by going around the northern Chicago suburbs, posing as a cop. Gacy purchased a black 1978 Delta, with a searchlight on the side, and would tell the victims walking the streets that they needed to get in the car with him. He then handcuffed his prey and would take them back to his house. Another tactic Gacy used was the handcuff trick. He would tell his victims that they were toy handcuffs, but in actuality were not, and would challenge the victims to try and take them off. Inevitably they couldn’t, and when that happened Gacy would take them back to his house, where he proceeded to rape and murder them. Gacy mastered the art of deception to get what he wanted and to commit various acts of murder. Killers use tactics that help them Kill. They are people who are born this way, they are triggered from society and set off. The mind and it’s ways, are a power that many look right over their heads.

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Serial Killers: Nature VS Nurture. (2022, Jun 16). Edubirdie. Retrieved July 16, 2024, from
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