Those who have known me for a while are probably aware of my interest in murder, with particular attention paid to serial killers. I’ve read all the cases I can get my hands on, meticulously reading every detail I can find. A gruesome and disgusting hobby, you might claim, and I would not argue with you. However, despite my interest in the matter at hand, there are some things I simply cannot wrap my head around.
Before I begin, I’d just like to clarify that my darkest days are long behind me in that I’ve joined adulthood. I think about killing people, sure, but in the same way you do: “man I hate that guy, I wish he was dead” or whatever. This entry in no way is meant to express any desire I may have to commit such acts.
Having said that, let’s get started.
1.) I can’t ever possibly imagine how a person could strangle someone to death, no matter what the circumstance. I understand that not all people are emotional or even have emotions, but to watch someone struggle to breathe mere inches from your face and knowing it’s your fault and you can stop at any time…it gives me chills. Clearly this is why strangulation, especially with one’s bare hands, is considered the most “personal” method of killing someone. It is an act driven completely by a passionate hatred, all-consuming and terrifying, the likes of which I cannot begin (or even want) to comprehend. Hell, I was watching The X Files the other day and Mulder began choking someone out of fear and anger, and the look on the other guy’s face was horrifying. And that was just an actor. I couldn’t possibly see how someone could want to do that to another person.
2.) How in the world do people kill pregnant women? It’s astounding how often a mass murderer’s victim tally says n+1, the n being however many were killed and the +1 being an unborn child. Why? What possible justification could your mind come up with for killing a woman’s unborn baby? I mean, I can even understand the desperation (“understand” isn’t the best word, but it’s almost 5 am, so deal with it) that can cause women to attempt to carve a baby out of a mother’s body and keep the child for herself, but to simply kill them and be done with it is…unfathomable to me. It’s just pointless. There is no possible reason it should ever be done, but it is. Rather frequently.
3.) Depression is often a driving force behind spree killings: misplaced anger due to rejection, some sort of perceived unfair treatment, etc. But why would you want to take the lives of dozens of strangers with you? I wrote an entry some time ago about my old suicidal thoughts, but never in my life have I said to myself “I really wish I was dead…guess I better go on a killing rampage before I kill myself.” Seriously, why? To punish strangers for those you feel mistreated you? To make sure you don’t die alone? I’m fairly certain it’s the former, the justification for which lies in the blaming of society as a whole instead of individuals, but then why not just punish the people you feel had personally wronged you? It doesn’t make sense.
Again, I’d like to take a moment to reiterate that I do not condone any acts of violence such as these. I’m just striving to make sense of it.
4.) How do serial killers forget so many details of their crimes? I’m pretty sure if I did kill someone, I would remember every single second I spent with them. I wouldn’t forget what day it was or where I buried the body. I used to think along the lines of “well, it was just part of their routine, like eating or breathing,” but I’ve come to see that’s far from the truth. If that were the case, there would be no attempt at concealing the murderous acts. If killing is such a necessary compulsion that you have to act on it and avoid being caught, how could you go about your life without remembering the murder and clean-up in detail? I get why they lie and say they killed more than they have – everyone wants to be at the top of the leaderboards. But there is no reason to lie after agreeing to assist in the retrieval of lost victims. They have truly forgotten their own crimes to an extent. It’s almost beyond belief.
That concludes this exercise in morbidity for today. Maybe later I’ll write a bit about the ridiculousness of serial killers getting fan mail, or discuss why Charlie Manson is far from the “greatest” serial killer of all time. That guy does deserve a retrial, though. Certainly hope he never gets out, but still. His trial was pretty screwed up. Til then, sleep well.