What do you like to read? I love mysteries, anything paranormal, romance of course and…well…anything about serial killers. I don’t know what it is about them that fascinate me so much. There are movies, TV shows, books and even plays about serial killers. Online there are literally hundreds maybe even thousands of websites discussing them. Obviously I’m not alone with my curiosity. Thousands of others can’t seem to learn enough either. Maybe that’s because a normal person could never really understand that urge to kill.
My favorite TV show is “Criminal Minds” and from watching the show and reading all about serial killers on the Internet, I have learned there are many different kinds of serial killers, each with a different set of traits that distinguish them from other killers. There are copycat killers of course, but normally, no two are totally alike.
Research has led me to believe that serial killers kill because something inside them drives them to do it (It’s that urge I spoke of earlier). A true serial killer feels no remorse or sympathy for what, he, the killer has done to his victims. It’s usually agreed upon that it takes 3-5 kills before the killer is considered a serial killer. But I think most law enforcement officers, suspects almost from the first victim’s death, something isn’t quite right about this person’s demise, and isn’t completely surprised when a new body is found with startling similarities.
Most serial killers work alone. Ted Bundy, one of the most famous killers of all time, worked alone, singling out young women. His kills ranged in age from junior high girls to college. Unlike many serial killers, Bundy’s victims were high-risk kills and he often killed them in their beds. But he wasn’t afraid to find them in parking lots or walking on the streets alone. He would pretend to be injured in some way to gain their sympathy and then abduct them by overpowering them or knocking them out.
Other serial killers choose victims no one would miss, such as prostitutes. Usually he would take them somewhere the killer felt safe, so he could take his time and enjoy torturing before the kill. And still others target young children. (The worst kind in my humble opinion)
Many serial killers stalk their victims for weeks, months and even years, before killing them. The stalker learns the person’s routines so he’ll know the safest time to strike. That’s what Dennis Rader, BTK (Bind, Torture Kill), the notorious killer fromWichita,Kansasdid. He took great pride in all his endeavors. Some who knew BTK described him as a control freak and he described the people he killed as “his projects”. He also took personal items, such as panties for souvenirs. His victims were mostly women living alone, but his first kill was a family of four. The youngest victim, Joseph was only nine years old and his older sister, Josephine was eleven, she was the last to die after watching her parents and little brother die.
By now you’re probably wondering what all of this has to do with what I like to write. I don’t write about true crime. I write fiction. Serial killers are a treasure trove of scary. Nothing scares me more than a human, stalking another human as prey just for the pleasure of torturing and killing them.
I feature stalkers and serial killers in my stories, because they add a true element of fear, because they do exist and that knowledge is scarier than any made up monster could possibly be.
What about you? What scares you and sends your imagination into overdrive?
If you’re interested: Here’s a direct link to my children’s story “Pack Leader” at Knowonder Magazine. http://www.knowonder.com/2011/11/03/pack-leader-short-bedtime-stories/ I also have a children’s story, “The Golden Stallion” online at www.storiesthatlift.com. Once on the site click on the Story Library and then Children’s Stories. In June I’ll have my first adult short story, “Saving Katie” published at www.thepinkchameleon.com for you to check out.