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Author Topic: killer motivations  (Read 6576 times)

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jazzman

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killer motivations
« on: December 03, 2014, 08:53:44 AM »

Hi all, just wondering if anyone has any ideas for the motivations of a female serial killer? Any and all ideas welcome, even if they have been knocking around the darkest recesses of your imagination for a while :)
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Dave Freas

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Re: killer motivations
« Reply #1 on: December 03, 2014, 09:02:57 AM »

Research Aileen Wuornous (not sure of the spelling), a female serial killer in Florida.  I may be wrong but I seem to recall her motivation was abuse by men as a child and adult.

Hope this helps.

Dave
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John Connor

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Re: killer motivations
« Reply #2 on: December 03, 2014, 05:42:56 PM »

Of course you could work something like a good old Sociopath. Ma Baker, Bonny Parker - or create something like a Patty Hearst. With the likes of Natural Born Killers, it was done with a different motivational set - and these days there are also the serial killers/mass killers who do it for the notoriety and fame they perceive they will get in regard to the Internet Culture.

Basically, take your pick.
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B L McAllister

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Re: killer motivations
« Reply #3 on: December 03, 2014, 06:28:47 PM »

There are women around who hate all men. (One of them began to take a class from me once, but dropped it. I didn't know why she hated me, but friends revealed it.) Perhaps she had been abused somehow, but I decline to assume this, since I've also heard of men who hated all women, but who hadn't been abused by them. Hate's kind of funny, and can spring up with no history, so making the killer a simple man-hater with no justification is not an unbelievable thing. She could do in men because she hates them, and women because she imagined they liked men.
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Byron Leon McAllister.
Books by Byron and Kay McAllister can most easily be obtained as e-books or in print from the publisher at http://www.writewordsinc.com/ For "Undercover Nudist," the print version is an improved version of the ebook version. The others are the same in both formats.

Lane Maxfield

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Re: killer motivations
« Reply #4 on: December 02, 2022, 12:28:53 PM »

I know this is a bit of an old topic, but I happen to have just finished "Who Fights Monsters" by Robert Ressler and am reading "Mindhunter" by John Douglas. These two men made their career in the FBI interviewing serial killers to refine the process of criminal profiling. I highly recommend both books for anyone who wants to write an original villain. Here are some takeaways from the books that are relevant to your question.

- For men, the pattern behind development of a serial killer is a mixture of a genetic predisposition towards sadistic fantasies and an abusive upbringing that interferes with their ability to form genuinely satisfying relationships. Often they were made to feel defective and unlovable. At some point in their childhood, the ability to connect with others in anything but a superficial way switched off as a self-defense mechanism, and they either can't or don't want to turn it back on. Even for attractive, suave killers like Ted Bundy, there is an underlying belief that they are profoundly unlovable, that relationships are fake and that nobody could see the real them under the mask and connect with that person. They believe all relationships, on some level, are a con. The relationship of hunter/prey is the closest they can come to a real connection.
- When you understand that background, and you understand female socialization, it becomes obvious why female serial killers are rare. First, while girls are often abused, they usually aren't abused in a way that discourages the ability to form relationships. They are pressured to learn emotional and social skills, and to see themselves as the objects of affection to be pursued, rather than the hunter. Women can absolutely end up as villains, but they are rarely wounded in such a way that makes the serial killer pattern fill an emotional void in the way that it can for men.
- So, option one, have a woman who just happened to have a background that mirrors the masculine one. Probably this means being raised, not  only by someone highly abusive, but in an isolated environment. Male serial killers don't always need to have an isolated childhood, because when people see a misbehaving little boy in filthy clothes, they often go "boys will be boys" and don't think that maybe that little boys need to be taught how to come across in a pleasant, presentable way in order to feel good about themselves. This rarely happens with little girls. Some teacher or neighbor or church member will step in and teach her how to feel attractive, before she has decided to turn that "somebody might love me" switch off in her head. But if her abuser has her in a cabin out in the middle of nowhere, that person who tries to teach her to feel desirable might not come along until her late teens, when she has already dismissed the concept of love as a real thing. Any lessons in how to be attractive then become more like Ted Bundy learning to be superficially charming as a con, rather than reflecting a belief in love as a real, achievable thing. Bonus points if the abusive caregiver teaches her to hunt for food or is a crazy survivalist who teaches her to fight. This would instill that "hunter/prey" mentality that might be the closest she has ever come to a sense of emotional connection.
- Option two is to break out of the classic serial killer motif. Give her another motivation to kill multiple people. It looks like a serial killer to the investigator, because the connection between the victims is not obvious, but at the last minute, they can see the connection that exists between them and how all these murders benefit the woman who committed them. Maybe they all stood in the way of a promotion, or had each wronged her in a specific way and she is getting revenge, or maybe she has a motivation to kill one person, but kills two others with the same MO to throw investigators off and make them think it is a serial killer. You might be able to think of another motivation that fits your story better.

Happy writing!
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