Psychology Behind a Serial Killer

January 24, 2022

Someone that’s on True Crime TikTok or someone that’s intrigued with serial killings will probably know a couple of famous serial killers like Ted Bundy or Jack the Ripper, but what causes these people to cross paths to the dark side?

A number of reasons cause serial killers to become the way they are. Most develop from horrible childhood abuse and trauma, but some are genetic. Many serial killers are said to have antisocial personality disorder which could give a person homicidal impulses. This disorder makes them extremely misanthropic and lacking in empathy. In other words, they seem as if they have no remorse and show no consideration for laws and social norms.  

Many serial killers target random civilians they encounter, but sometimes serial killers will target a specific group. What drives them to do this? It is believed that it has to do with their brain development but many believe it is also influenced by society. 

We, as a society, determine if someone is marginalized. Serial killers pry on this marginalization.

— Rija Saleem

This ties in with specific groups of people due to the fact society marginalizes groups based on race, gender, sexuality, etc. which creates targets for serial killers. Grade 11 Anthropology, Psychology, and Sociology teacher, Rija Saleem agrees with this marginalization theory by stating, “This pattern of targeting the marginalized reflects something about the psychology of serial killers – their thinking about targets is guided by society. We, as a society, determine if someone is marginalized. Serial killers pry on this marginalization.”

With that being said, should it be upon society to be responsible for such acts? Not necessarily, but society itself should remember that each and every word and action can change one’s life, for the better or the worse.

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