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Is A Serial Killer Born Or Created?

1329 words - 5 pages

Serial killers have many frightening facets. The most frightening thing about them is that experts still do not know what makes a human become a serial killer. Many experts believe serial killers become what they are because they have a genetic disposition or brain abnormality while other experts believe that a serial killer is created by childhood abuse; and some other experts believe that it is a combination of both brain abnormalities and abusive childhood experiences that creates a serial killer. A murderer is considered a serial killer when they “murder three or more persons in at least three separate events with a “cooling off period” between kills” (Mitchell and Aamodt 40). When defining a serial killer, their background, genes, and brain are not mentioned; perhaps one day those aspects of the serial killer can be included.
Many studies suggest that there are significant differences in the brain between individuals who possess antisocial personality disorder (psychopathy). While not all people who possess an antisocial personality disorder will become serial killers, every serial killer studied has an antisocial personality disorder; “Neuropsychological testing revealed abnormalities in all subjects tested” (Blake, Pincus, and Buckner 1642). Brain injury, brain abnormalities, or mental illness affects all the serial killers tested. Even if all serial killers had some type of abnormality in the brain, would that mean that they were doomed to become a serial killer? According to the experimental findings discussed in Neurologic Abnormalities in Murderers; 64.5% of serial killers have a frontal lobe dysfunction and 29% have temporal lobe abnormalities. The frontal lobes of the brain “control the essence of our humanity” (Dr. Donald Stuss) because it controls our emotions and the ability to feel sympathy for others. The temporal lobes are responsible for emotions as well and memory, language and learning (Culter, Dombrowski, Doughtery, Henderson, and Nicholas). Damage to the frontal and temporal lobes prevents someone from having sympathy and relating emotions with others which may make it like a hunter killing an animal. Without being able to relate to others, it may cause that individual to feel ostracized and like they belong to another species; making it less monumental to take the life of another human being. Serial killers tend to murder during times of stress; (Mitchell and Aamodt 40); since murdering causes them to feel like stress is relieved perhaps killing is a compulsion driven by their brain’s mutated needs that only they can understand.
However, it is undeniable that most serial killers had endured serious abuse as children. A lot of people want to blame the parents of the offenders, asking “what did you turn your child into?” 36% of serial killers were physically abused, 26% were sexually abused, and 50% were psychologically abused (Mitchell and Aamodt 45). Many people have logically come to the conclusion...

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