Posts Tagged ‘Dennis Rader’

Source: Science of Murder – Discovery Channel

It’s a sobering concept and not for the faint of heart, but Dr. Jonathan Pincus, a veteran doctor, has developed a recipe for creating a violent criminal. These traits, in combination, drastically increase violent behavior. Serial killers and sociopaths often exhibit these traits in combinations. The traits are:

  • Brain Damage,
  • Mental Illness, and
  • Childhood Abuse


  • Arthur Shawcross
  • Serial killer Gary Heidnik fell from a tree when he was 6. This caused neurological damage. He suffered from Schizophrenia, Paranoia, and Delusions. His father disciplined him by hanging him by his feet from a third story window.

Counter Examples:

  • Serial killer Ted Bundy had no reported cases of mental illness and no clinical diagnosis of brain damage.  He was known to have had an unusual childhood, but it did not include abuse.
  • Dennis Rader, the BTK killer
  • Ian Brady

Explanations for exceptions to this rule can be found in the psychology of personality disorders like the Psychopath. Common traits include:

  • Charm
  • Wordsmiths
  • Manipulative
  • Ego-centric
  • Grandiose
  • Callous

Psychopaths don’t process emotional information like other humans. Their emotions are subdued or detached. For example, research shows that psychopaths don’t sweat when in a stressful, apprehensious situation. As a group, they seem to lack the fear emotion and thus the sweating response.

From Romans 1:28-32 (NIV) …

(28) Furthermore, since they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, he gave them over to a depraved mind, to do what ought not to be done. (29) They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. They are gossips, (30) slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil; they disobey their parents; (31) they are senseless, faithless, heartless, ruthless. (32) Although they know God’s righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them.


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