One subject that will be covered on Into the Fray is Serial Killers. Their impulses and actions are nothing most of us can relate to. But, why the strong curiosity towards them? Why is it so hard to read what they do to their victims, and even harder to stop? This coming week I will be speaking to Investigative Journalist and Author, Robert Sberna. He authored House of Horrors: The Shocking True Story of Anthony Sowell, The Cleveland Strangler. Don’t miss this episode when it goes live here, Thursday, October 15th at 7 pm PST.  Buy Robert’s book HERE

Here are some various thoughts on these terrifying people who often live among us without getting a second glance, even when strange behavior presents itself.


by Scott Bonn, Ph. D.

Dating back to “Jack the Ripper,” who terrorized London, England, and the world in the 1880s, serial killers have captured our collective imagination while sending chills down our spines. Although they account for only a small fraction (perhaps 2%) of the 17,000 or so murders each year in the U.S.A., sexual psychopaths captivate many of us, in part, because of the unimaginable savagery of their deeds.  There is currently an unidentified killer of ten people (including at least six female prostitutes) whose bodies, some dismembered, were found on the South Shore of Long Island, New York, between December, 2010, and April, 2011.

Those of us who have been properly socialized to respect life and possess the normal range of emotions, including kindness, empathy, pity and remorse, cannot comprehend the workings of a mind that would compel one to abduct, torture, rape, kill, and sometimes mutilate or even eat another human being.  Serial killers elicit a morbid fascination from us that we also have for terrible calamities such as train wrecks and natural disasters.  Simply put, we are compelled to understand why serial killers do such horrible things to (generally) complete strangers.

Many of us just can’t help watching the spectacle of serial killers, and we receive a rush of adrenaline from their deeds, although it is often difficult for us to admit, and we may feel a bit guilty about the inappropriate thrill that their horrible acts offer us.  Serial killers seem to appeal to our most basic and powerful instinct—that is, survival.  Serial killers have a visceral appeal that is fueled by our adrenaline, a hormone that has a powerful, euphoric and even addictive affect on our brains.  Just ask any child who will ride a roller coaster until he or she becomes physically ill…

Read the rest of Scott’s article HERE

And his book “Why We Love Serial Killers: The Curious Appeal of the World’s Most Savage Murderers” is available on AMAZON.

Here’s also an interesting list of what criminologists reveal as five key traits of the most notorious serial killers:

The first recorded serial killers date back to the Roman Empire when a group of matrons were said to have poisoned men using a deadly ring.

Today, thanks to modern technology, psychologists and criminologists have defined and identified what makes a person commit such cold-blooded murders again and again .

Working with Dr Elizabeth Yardley, Director of the Centre for Applied Criminology at Birmingham City University, Real Crime magazine has highlighted five key characteristics of serial killers…

1: A Power Junkie

‘Serial killers typically have a real affinity with power, even when they’ve been caught and know the game is up,’ explained the experts. Ian Brady, the Moors Murderer who was convicted of killing five children with accomplice Myra Hindley between 1963 and 1965, withheld the location of victim Keith Bennett’s body from police which many believe was to assert power and control. ‘Intent on exerting some kind of control over the people around them, they often hold back bits of crucial information in a bid to maintain power over the situation, gain attention and assert a warped sense of authority.’


‘Apparent vulnerability and the need to please have been used effectively time and time again by serial killers as a way of hiding a sinister personality,’ continued the experts.

‘Some of the world’s best known serial killers have a frightening ability to manipulate those around them, pressing the right buttons in order to present themselves in a false light.’

‘Serial killers are also often able to manipulate a situation in order to pass the blame for their actions, using hot-button issues of the day or medical psychological research to try to explain their actions.’

Doctor Harold Shipman, for example, used his position as a medical expert to manipulate his patients into treatments that ultimately killed them while posing as a caring member of society.


Elsewhere, Real Crime and Dr Yardley said: ‘Egoistical serial killers often can’t help but brag about the atrocities they’ve committed, whether it’s aimed at their accomplices, the next victim, law enforcement, or just themselves.

‘Take Brady and Hindley for example. They revisited the burial sites on Saddleworth Moor often, taking ghoulish trophy shots of the desolate landscape as a memento of their horrendous crimes.

‘Of course, these helped incriminate the pair and lead the police to the three bodies eventually found on the Moor.’

Convicted British serial killer Trevor Hardy, dubbed Beast of Manchester for his murders of teenage girls in the 1970s, bragged about one murder to his younger brother which led to his arrest.

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