Do you agree that serial killers should be studied rather than executed?

@thea09 (18324)
Greece
July 20, 2009 4:40am CST
Serial killers are not unique in their thinking and often read about others of their ilk. Much can be learnt about what formed them, their habits, their thinking, and applied in the future. I believe they should be studied rather than executed, to attempt to understand their fundamental nature. Do you agree.
3 people like this
7 responses
• India
20 Jul 09
Hi, friend. Serial killers don`t have any specific rivalry with any person. They are psychologically provoked to kill people. So, I also agree to your view that they should be studied rather than executed. It will give a deeper insight into their psychological behavior and help in preventing such incidents in future. Happy Mylotting!!
@thea09 (18324)
• Greece
20 Jul 09
Hi friend, at last, agreement, I actually wasn't expecting any agreement and welcome diverse opinions. I am strongly of the opinion that so much could have been gained from studying the mind of Ted Bundy more fully if they had delayed the execution to allow more time to probe. I think he would have been so inflated by his own importance that he should definitely have been studied further to give clues to what he would have perceived as his success.
@vandana7 (61151)
• India
18 Aug 09
Yes. I do. By killing them we are not able to identify which particular gene combination results in this sort of aberration. And what social circumstances can trigger such combination. Serial killers are as much an important set of specimens as the poisonous snakes, and lions, and tigers that kill humans. If we have to progress we need to know how to correct such behavior either socially, or through medications.
@thea09 (18324)
• Greece
18 Aug 09
Hi vandana, here we are familiar with serial killers in the West, but are they also on the rise in India too? And if so in what way are they dealt with their, studied or executed, or both? I agree totally that serial killers should be studied as specimens but I am more interested in studying them as in how their minds worked when committing their crimes, and afterwards, so patterns can be learnt from that. However it is useful to study their personal upbringing as you say, but I don't believe that it is an issue which can be corrected before the event with medications. Often they were loners in their early years with only superficial friendships and work hard to build a false impression of their pasts.
@vandana7 (61151)
• India
19 Aug 09
Sure, we too have serial killers out here in India. Indians have less patience with such issues. It is unlikely that such prisoners get any sympathy either from courts, or the jail keepers, and may even be looked down by other inmates as it indicates disturbance of mind rather than crime committed due to circumstances or greed. U said it cannot be corrected through medications. I hope it is not true. I believe there is a possibility of temporarily disturbing the pathway of emotions that leads to such thoughts, just like we take anaesthetics. If we can identify the presence of which genes triggers such throught process and which external circumstances are also required to start the process, we might be able to disturb the chain. At least I think it is possible. After all, even high blood pressure, mental shock, epilepsy etc., can be brough under control with medications. Some of them can even be traced to brain activity. May be we all are capable of violence to certain extent. It is just that the right set of external circumstances were not there in our lives. I am not sure we should classify loners to be inclined to do such things. We had Howard Hughes, who was a recluse, and to certain extent so was Elizabeth I. Some people do like their own company, including me. It may be more dangerous to identify them as such, as generally, serial killers are very intelligent, and they can easily blend in the society pretending to be of very mixing nature. I for one think it is prolonged rage that makes them plan and execute such murders to perfection.
@thea09 (18324)
• Greece
19 Aug 09
Hi again vandana, lots of interesting points there. Firstly though I do not sympathise with serial killers at all and after the event I wouldn't see the point in trying to cure them as they've already done their damage and should never be released back into society. Also the loner trait, I didn't mean such a generalisation as loners become serial killers, I suppose I meant loner more in the way of lack of empathy towards others, they may have connections but never really connect with other people, if you know what I mean, there is something lacking, as in a socioptathic state. As you rightly point out though they are often intelligent people, they know exactly what they are doing, revel in it, and cover their tracks extremely well, and then go on to enjoy the notoriety after the event and relive their fantasies. They also like to be close to the investigation. I don't see how one could identify and cure before the event as they are plausible enough to maintain two personaes. I don't believe that there is a certain trait which could identify them first, unless someone came forward to offer themselves as an experiment by stating that they have urges which are getting out of control, perhaps a rapist who feels that he will HAVE to kill his next victim. I just don't see this scenario panning out though and really believe that the studying we concentrate on will have to be after the event as a way to understand what could possibly give them away in their actions and how often and in what circumstances they would return to the bodies.
@cream97 (29169)
• United States
14 Dec 09
Hi, thea09. Yes, I believe that they should be studied. But, it is not wise to just study them without trying to capture them at the same time. It is best to study them while planning to put them away... I would never try to study them just alone, this will allow them to commit more murders. And that is not what I would like to see happen. Studying them will help a person see their motivation. This is turn will give them the answer to catch them. Studying them can leave tracks that can lead up to their capture.
@thea09 (18324)
• Greece
15 Dec 09
Hi Cream, gosh this is an old one. I rather meant we should study them when they are captured rather than whilst they are out on the loose. But the ones which are incarcarated are excellent in spotting traits to help capture those still on the loose due to their similarity in so many traits. One is able to put themselves in the context of the other. It's really all a matter of ego if they can be used in this way but most do have enormous egos as believe that they are cleverer than the ones still uncaptured.
@erikmama (12934)
• United States
7 Aug 10
I've thought about writing to serial killers kjust to see what it is like inside of their minds. They are some pretty sick and twisted individuals out there. They all need to be locked in a mntal ward together.
• United States
10 Sep 09
On the whole I would say I don't know for sure in most cases serial killers are good at deceiving others including doctors or analysts. The only one who can really understand something is someone who has lived it so in turn the people studying them can never know if the answers would be true or what they are telling them. Not to mention the risk to others inside. Granted the others are criminals but even then should anyone be subject to these kind of people. They have made the choice more than once to take a human life in a cruel and savage manner why should we care about them at all I think not.
@thea09 (18324)
• Greece
10 Sep 09
Hi darkstormy I agree with you that serial killers are experts in deceiving but sometimes in interviews with those working on other crimes of a similar nature they can actually be quite incisive as share a similar type mentality to another killer. Their ego allows them to actually reveal things they haven't revealed as yet to prove they are both more cunning than the current killer and the people tracking him. If they are of use as a study, which I believe they are, it's not really in the what age did he get a knock on the head, but rather the unravelling of their ego which I think is the key. They can reveal ways in which a current or future killer is likely to act and it is for this reason mainly I say they should be studied. Most serial killers are kept in segregation whilse in prison but I do not advocate that we should care about them at all but that we use them. I particularly think that the execution of Bundy was too soon as he had more information about his own kills to give plus was useful in enquiries too.
• United States
20 Jul 09
I think we have more to study from than we need. I think an eye for an eye.
@thea09 (18324)
• Greece
21 Jul 09
Hi brigiette, I don't understand the first line of your response, do you mean there is too much to study generally or too many serial killers to study?
• India
20 Jul 09
well, i am not really sure that we should invest in studying them as it is waste of time for significant people,waste of prison facilities,etc. they should be eliminated quickly and mercilessly to discourage others even to think about such sinister things.
@thea09 (18324)
• Greece
20 Jul 09
Hi mkrishna, I understand your point of view but would disagree with it. I agree that quick elimination should be used in some cases for killers but with clever serial killers who have eluded capture whilst rampaging I believe we really should put resources into studying them. If something is gleamed which will help to understand their patterns it may help the police to capture the next one with more ease and thus the money spent on the prison facilities would be balanced by the money perhaps saved if the next manhunt is curtailed earlier because of useful information.
@babykeka80 (2003)
• United States
20 Jul 09
Keep in mind Ted Bundy escaped not once but TWICE! Think of that when you are considering keeping this individuals alive for the simple idea of trying to research them.
@thea09 (18324)
• Greece
20 Jul 09
Hi babykeka, but keep in mind the circumstances of those two escapes, the security wasn't exactly tight. He was unguarded when he jumped from the court house window and the prison where he escaped through the warden's house was a bit of a joke. At that point he was using his charm so much he wasn't really taken seriously as a killer, with devastating results of course.