A Hannibal inspired question, harkening back to BtVS:
… I long maintained that Angel did not really love Buffy; Angel loved the opportunity for redemption that Buffy represented. He idolized her as the embodiment of both purity and vengeance. But he did not love her for herself, in the…
Okay. In a conversation I had with you, regarding the 8 out of 10 in the Milgram experiment, you referred to the two who did not follow as the alpha pair. I think you are somewhat right. I believe that in 10 people asked to do a cruel act by an authority, seven will do it because they are told, two will not, and one will do it, not because they have been told to do, but simply because they have had the opportunity presented to them. They may have wanted to commit a cruel act, but never been able to, due to fear, or any other reason.
What makes a killer in my mind? Two things. One, the mind must be able to let it happen. Lack of concience, ability to dehumanize the victim, justification provided by personal belief, they all result in the same thing.
Why do we have these people? Who knows. Maybe we need people with this ability to perform the dirty jobs of society. The executioners, the assassins, the gladiators, the ones who do the nasty acts that might save a tribe or culture.
The second thing that makes the killer is the reason. For some, it is simply material gain. They use their ability to kill to provide them with a living. This can be anyone from a hitman for hire to a mercenary to a person who shoots people in the back of the head and takes their purses because it is easier than subduing them.
For some, it is the power. They kill for ability to impose themself on another utterly, that they have decided that this person will no longer exist, and everything they have done, everything they love, everyone that loves them, will end simply because they will it. It is even sometimes more complicated than that. Dennis Nilsen killed young men so they would stay with him, and then played house with the corpse until decomposition made it impossible to continue. One of Dahmer’s goals was to turn a young man into a zombie by injecting bleach into their frontal lobes, thus making the young man into, in his mind, the perfect companion.
Some kill for revenge. John Wayne Gacy slept with young men and then killed them for being gay. Ted Bundy killed young women who looked like a woman who had rejected him because of his social status.
But the truth is, the only reason some people who could kill don’t kill is that they have never had the reason to. So, and this is just my idea, you have to have some kind of underlying psychosis (paranoia, uncontrollable avarice, hallucinations, obsessions) and then add to it the ability to kill without remorse, and you have a killer.
“I’ll never forget the day Marilyn and I were walking around New York City, just having a stroll on a nice day. She loved New York because no one bothered her there like they did in Hollywood, she could put on her plain-jane clothes and no one would notice her. She loved that. So as we we’re walking down Broadway, she turns to me and says ‘Do you want to see me become her?’ I didn’t know what she meant but I just said ‘Yes’- and then I saw it. I don’t know how to explain what she did because it was so very subtle, but she turned something on within herself that was almost like magic. And suddenly cars were slowing and people were turning their heads and stopping to stare. They were recognizing that this was Marilyn Monroe as if she pulled off a mask or something, even though a second ago nobody noticed her. I had never seen anything like it before.” - Amy Greene, wife of Marilyn’s personal photographer Milton Greene
There was a time when I was the only person I knew who gave a crap about things like this because I thought they were interesting or funny. They were glimpses into fringe beliefs, and because of that, they shined a light on political culture in general. Now the fringe is the mainstream and it scares the crap out of me. We cannot have any real social culture in this country if people refuse to believe facts. There is no point to taking about the environment if people believe it is the gateway to one world government.