Here are some more notes from the LTUE symposium. The first is a quote I love from he keynote speaker, James A. Owen, whose presentation I only caught the end of:
“Never ever sacrifice what you want the most for what you want the most that moment.”
After that I attended the class on serial killers. It was fascinating and terrifying to get into their minds.
A serial killer named Kenneth Bianchi either lived in or guarded a house where he killed two women in a neighborhood where I grew up. He was known as the Hillside Strangler, because he'd kill women and leave their bodies on hillsides. We used to hang out in a friend's yard who lived across the street from him and run through his yard in the dark while playing night games. One day his house was all taped off by the police and we found out later who he was and what he'd done. Scary!
The Hillside Strangler
Anyway, the class was given by Dr. Al Carlisle. Here's what he had to say, if you dare to know:
Serial killers start out by wanting someone they can’t have. The First time they kill is usually an accident. The killer considers the woman a slut and thinks she’s no good, that she’s daring him. After the first time he kills, he feels horrible and like he’s falling apart. He goes back to the scene of the crime and checks the evidence to make sure didn’t leave anything incriminating. He typically takes a souvenir to remember and relive it.
One of the main problems is that it’s not enough. He can’t stop. He kills a third and fourth victim and starts getting sloppy. He becomes depressed and suicidal. Then he tells two or three people about the killings. The murders become more frequent. The killer might go to church in an effort to try to comfort himself.
Multiple Vs. Split Personalities
It’s not a multiple personality serial killers suffer from. One part of them argues with the other part and says, “You can’t do this.” But another part sees a girl and starts the cycle all over again.
Silence of the Lambs
Hannibal Lector, the serial killer in “Silence of the Lambs,” was a psychologist. The main character in the movie was warned not to tell him anything personal about herself or let him get inside her head. When the killer finds a worthy opponent, he exerts control. This is called social engineering.
The more isolated one becomes the more they need to exercise power over others. It’s more of a split personality, not a true multiple personality. A trigger fumes the feeling and it doesn’t go away until something happens and they act on it. One good example is: Red Dragon. With multiple personalities the person has time loss periods of very severe dissociation that they block in with walls.
Sociopaths have front lobe damage. They become a psychopath by shutting down guilt. They don’t hold down jobs very often. People become objects to them. That’s how they justify what they do. Bundy would never say he felt guilty about killing. There you have it. Now you know a little more about how a serial killer's mind works just in case you want to write about one or you discover one in your neighborhood!