Criminal Minds (2005): who are the serial killers?

Men: As you may guess, most of the serial killers are men. Women usually don’t act alone, but together with their partners. A good example is season 6, episode 13 and season 5, episode 20, where partners commit murders together.

Traumatizing past: All psychopaths have experienced traumatizing events in their past – usually abuse and neglect in childhood. It is the main trigger for committing the murders and a key factor when making the profiles. In season 7, episode 6 the murderer was beaten by his step father, drowned in a lake and buried, which lead to his clinical death. In season 5, episode 15 the murderer’s father was a psychopath kidnapping kids, torturing them and forcing his son to help him to bury them.

High IQ: Although there are cases, when murders are committed by mentally underdeveloped people such as in season 7, episode 2 or season 3, episode 14, most serial killers have high IQ, which makes them even more dangerous.

Big ego: Serial killers are usually people with a big ego, who are in love with themselves. They think that they are very powerful and that no one can stop them. Some of them even believe that they are gods (the so-called god complex).

Clear goal: Some serial killers act spontaneously like, for example, the boxer in season 7, episode 10, who’s trying to get money to save his son dying from leukemia and who expresses his anger and frustration on random people. Most of the killings are, however, well planned and quite selective.

It is quite common for serial killers to be angry on a particular person and, after killing a few surrogates, target him or her as the last victim. For example, before kidnapping his niece, a man in season 7, episode 2 abducts a few young blond girls, who remind him not only of his niece, but also of his sister-in-law, when she was young and when she told her friends how disgusting he was. A man in season 7, episode 11 kills couples, who remind him of his friend and his fiancé, who seems to have taken his childhood friend away. A teenager in season 6, episode 5 starts killing women, who have children, and finally attempts to murder his own mother, who abandoned him, when he was a child. In season 6, episode 20 a woman starts killing men and attempts to shoot her ex-husband on a birthday of her son, who died in a car accident, because she is angry that he did not come in time to help him and that he seems to have forgotten him. A man in the same season, episode 21 targets baby sitters, because it was a babysitter, who seduced his father and took him away from him. A man in season 1, episode 13 poisons numerous people and then targets his bosses, who reduced his salary and left him without an insurance.

Sometimes it’s not so much about anger and revenge, but about fame. For example, in season 6, episode 12 a professor starts killing people in order to increase the popularity of a religious cult and his book and thus to become better known than his father, who also wrote on the same topic. In season 5, episode 15 a psychopath starts killing people in public places in order to get more attention. In the same season, episode 22 a man installs cameras in the victims’ homes, films while killing them and life-streams the videos online.

Some murderers loved someone in their lives and after losing them, they start killing other people in order to keep their memories alive. For example, in season 7, episode 7 a man chases tornadoes, kills teenagers and cuts off parts of their bodies to recreate his brother, who also died in a tornado. In season 6, episode 14 a man tries to keep his memories alive by kidnapping women, soaking them into chemicals and making perfume from their skin.

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