Serial Killers and Why

Serial killers and why they do it

What is a serial killer?

A person who murders three or more people over a period of more than thirty days, with a "cooling off" period between each murder,

Their motivation for killing is largely based on psychological gratification.

The murders may have been attempted or completed in a similar fashion and the victims may have had something in common; for example:

Occupations, race, appearance, sex, or age group.

Every now and again the world is shocked by some brutal killings. The killings may be due to serial killers or due to mass murderers.

There are differences between mass murderers and serial killers:

Mass murderers kill a number of people at one time and in one place. Mass murderers usually attack schools, universities and restaurants believing it to be a place for a maximum kill effect. They often die at the scene of the multiple slayings, either through suicide or police action. Only occasionally do they turn themselves into the police after the killings.

Serial killers on the other hand, murder one at a time and go to great lengths to avoid detection and apprehension.

The US is believed to have the highest number of serial killers.

Why do people become serial killers or mass murderers?

Any problem can have causes either in one or more of the 3 dimensions, namely the physical, the psychological and the spiritual. Spiritual research has shown that the main root cause for a person to commit serial killing and mass murder lies in the spiritual realm. The following chart shows a breakdown of the reasons a person commits serial killing and mass murder.

With regards to the spiritual factors it is primarily demonic possession by medium level ghosts from the 2nd region of Hell. Refer to the section on types of ghosts. In some cases these people have been possessed for many births by the same higher level ghosts.

It is for this reason that it is very difficult to predict when a mass murderer may go on a killing spree as the ghost possessing him can do it at any time without any warning signs.

What are their motives?

Their motives are more commonly these four categories:
"visionary", "mission-oriented","thrill" "power or control"

However, the motives of any given killer may display considerable overlap among these categories.


Visionary serial killers suffer from psychotic breaks with reality, sometimes believing they are another person or are compelled to murder by entities such as the devil or God.

The two most common subgroups are "demon mandated" and "God mandated."


"God mandated."

Herbert Mullin committed 13 murders in California in the early 1970s.
He believed that the American casualties in the Vietnam War were preventing California from experiencing an earthquake. As the war wound down, Mullin claimed his father instructed him via telepathy to raise the amount of "human sacrifices to nature" in order to delay a catastrophic earthquake that would plunge California into the ocean.

“Demon mandated”

David Berkowitz ("Son of Sam") is an American serial killer and arsonist whose crimes terrorized New York City from July 1976 until his arrest in August 1977. He had killed six people and wounded seven others in the course of eight shootings in New York between 1976 and 1977. He claimed a demon had possessed his neighbor’s dog and commanded him to kill.

Berkowitz claims that he joined a cult in the spring of 1975. Initially, he said, the group was involved in harmless activities, such as séances and fortune telling. Gradually, however, Berkowitz claimed that the group introduced him to drug use, sadistic pornography and violent crime. They began, he claims, by killing dogs, mostly German Shepherds. Over a dozen mutilated dog corpses were discovered in Yonkers, especially near Untermeyer Park, which Berkowitz claimed was a frequent meeting place for the cult.


Mission-oriented killers typically justify their acts as "ridding the world" of a certain type of person they perceive as undesirable, such as homosexuals, prostitutes, people of different ethnicity or religion; however, they are generally not psychotic.
Some see themselves as attempting to change the nature of human society, often to cure a societal ill.


Dr. Theodore John "Ted" Kaczynski born May 22, 1942 also known as the Unabomber (University and Airline Bomber), is an American mathematician and social critic, who engaged on a mail bombing spree that spanned nearly 20 years, killing three people and injuring 23 others.

He decided to start a bombing campaign after watching the wilderness around his home being destroyed by development.

He wrote a manifesto that he distributed to the media, in which he claimed he wanted society to return to a time when technology was not a threat to its future, asserting that "the Industrial Revolution and its consequences have been a disaster for the human race."


The primary motive of a thrill killer is to induce pain or create terror in their victims, which provides stimulation and excitement for the killer.

They seek the adrenaline rush provided by hunting and killing victims.
Thrill killers murder only for the kill; usually the attack is not prolonged, and there is no sexual aspect.
Usually the victims are strangers, although the killer may have followed them for a period of time.

Thrill killers can abstain from killing for long periods of time and become more successful at killing as they refine their murder methods. Many attempt to commit the perfect crime and believe they will not be caught.


Robert Hansen, and American serial killer, murdered between 17 and 21 people near Anchorage, Alaska. He took his victims to a secluded area, where he would let them loose and then hunt and kill them.

The Zodiac Killer was a serial killer who operated in Northern California in the late 1960s. The Zodiac killer's identity remains unknown.
The Zodiac murdered victims in Benicia, Vallejo, Lake Berryessa, and San Francisco between December 1968 and October 1969. Four men and three women, between the ages of 16 and 29, were targeted. Numerous suspects have been named by law enforcement and amateur investigators, but no conclusive evidence has surfaced.

In one of his letters to San Francisco Bay Area newspapers, the Zodiac Killer wrote "[killing] gives me the most thrilling experience it is even better than getting your rocks off with a girl".

Carl Eugene Watts also known by his nickname Coral was an American serial killer dubbed "The Sunday Morning Slasher".

He obtained immunity for a dozen murders as a result of a plea bargain with prosecutors in 1982; at one point it appeared that he could be released in 2006 despite possibly having committed as many as 80 murders.

He died of prostate cancer while serving two sentences of life without parole in a Michigan prison for the murders of Helen Dutcher and Gloria Steele.

Coral Watts was described by a surviving victim as "excited and hyper and clappin’ and just making noises like he was excited, that this was gonna be fun" during the 1982 attack.

Slashing, stabbing, hanging, drowning, asphyxiating, and strangling were among the ways Watts killed.


Their main objective for killing is to gain and exert power over their victim. Such killers are sometimes abused as children, leaving them with feelings of powerlessness and inadequacy as adults.

Many power or control-motivated killers sexually abuse their victims, but they differ from hedonistic killers in that rape is not motivated by lust but as simply another form of dominating the victim.


Theodore Robert "Ted" Bundy, was an American serial killer active between 1973 and 1978.

He traveled around the United States seeking women to control.
After more than a decade of vigorous denials, he eventually confessed to over 30 murders, although the actual total of victims remains unknown. Estimates range from 26 to over 100, the general estimate being 35.

Typically, Bundy would bludgeon his victims, then strangle them to death. He also engaged in rape and necrophilia. Bundy was executed by electric chair for his last murder by the state of Florida in 1989.

Their past life

In order to understand what really makes a serial killer ticks, one needs to flashback to their past life, especially their teenage life.
Almost all serial killers come from a background of physical abuse, sexual abuse, and addiction to drugs or alcohol. The mindset of a serial killer is borne out of sexual frustration and lack of social acceptance or ridicule. Sometimes a negative experience like jilted love can dwell in the mind of a person to such an extent that he can become mad with fury. He will vent out his feelings by going all out to kill the lover who spurned him.

After that he will have a contorted view of the opposite sex and start on a killing spree, seeking 'vengeance' from the opposite sex. This gives rise to incidents of rape and homicide. For a 'sick mind' that rapes and sodomizes an individual before killing, the killer does not derive any sexual pleasure; just sadistic thrill.

It is just an action of one-upmanship to punish the victim rather than derive sexual pleasure. Some serial killers can even become one after continuously reading stories and witnessing pictures of rape, torment and murder.

Another thing which ticks the mind of a serial killer is an addiction to kill. Killing someone gives such a person an orgasmic thrill.

A serial killer who was recently nabbed in Mumbai, India, also known as the 'beer man' admitted that he was attracted to the flow of blood which spurted and gushed out of the victim's body. One will be flabbergasted to know that some serial killers look so innocent and gullible that it is hard to believe that a maniac killer dwells in the psyche of such an individual.

By Nur Khadijah Kamarulzaman 10S01

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