Develop psychopaths and / or sociopaths habits

The connection between sociopaths and serial killers

Source: The Illustrated London News, October 13, 1888

For decades, forensic psychologists and investigators have worked diligently to understand the pathology of serial killers. It is clear that there is no "one size fits all" classification in their respects. Expert participation in a national FBI symposium on serial murder in 2005 concluded that there is no definitive cause and no general profile of a serial killer1. Experts at the symposium concluded that serial killers are very different in their motivations and behavior.

However, participants identified certain traits that are common in serial killers, such as seeking sensation, lack of remorse or guilt, impulsiveness, need for control, and predatory behavior. These common characteristics of serial killers have been linked to certain disorders, including sociopathy.

Sociopathy is antisocial personality disorder that is characterized by the following characteristics such as:

  • A disregard for rules and social mores
  • A disregard for the rights of others
  • A failure to feel remorse or guilt
  • Can indicate violent behavior

In addition, sociopaths tend to be nervous and easily aroused or upset. They are volatile and prone to emotional outbursts, including fits of anger.

Sociopaths are likely to be illiterate and typically live on the fringes of society. They are often unable to keep a permanent job or stay in one place for a very long time. They are often transients and drifters.

It is difficult, but not impossible, for sociopaths to make bonds with others. You are able to connect emotionally and demonstrate empathy with certain people in certain situations but not with others. Many sociopaths can form an attachment to a particular person or group, despite disregarding society in general or its rules. Significantly, sociopaths seem very disturbed in the eyes of others.

It is believed that sociopathy results from one's own environment. That is, sociopathy is viewed as a product of childhood trauma and abuse rather than being an innate trait.

Because sociopathy appears to be learned rather than innate, sociopaths are able to show empathy or create an emotional connection with others, but only with certain people, such as family members or friends, and only under certain circumstances.

All crimes committed by a sociopath are usually arbitrary or spontaneous. A sociopath turned serial killer will most likely be adaptable to the FBI's disorganized serial predator category. Jack the Ripper provides a classic example of the volatile, spontaneous, and disorganized serial killer.

According to the FBI, disorganized crimes are not planned and the perpetrators usually leave evidence such as fingerprints or blood on the scene. There is often no attempt to move or otherwise hide the body after the murder2.

As Peter Vronsky explained in Serial Killers: The Method and Madness of Monsters, disorganized criminals share a number of common characteristics. They can be young, under the influence of alcohol or drugs, or mentally ill. They often have poor communication and social skills and may be below average in intelligence.

In addition, the disorganized perpetrator likely comes from an unstable or dysfunctional family. Disorganized criminals have often been physically or sexually abused by relatives. They are often sexually inhibited, sexually uninformed, and can show sexual aversions or other pathologies. It is more likely that they are compulsive masturbators.

They are often isolated from others, live alone, and are scared or confused while committing their murders. They often lack reliable transport and kill their victims close to home.

Significantly, disorganized killers often “flash” their victims - that is, they use sudden and overwhelming force to attack them. The victim's body usually stays where the attack took place and the killer makes no attempt to hide it. Jack the Ripper, for example, left the mutilated corpses of his victims on the open road right where he faced them.

The serial killer, known as "Charlie Chop-Off" for his penchant for genital entanglements, is a more recent example of the dysfunctional, disorganized killer. Charlie accidentally killed boys in lightning strikes in New York City in the early 1970s3.

I present much more about the motivations, fantasies, and habits of serial killers, including "Bind, Torture, Kill" or BTK, which I gained in my book from my extensive correspondence with him "Why We Love Serial Killers: The Strange Appeal of the World's Wildest Murderers."


(1) Morton, R.J. 2005. Serial Murder: Multidisciplinary Perspectives for Investigators. National Center for Violent Crime Analysis. Washington, D.C .: U.S. Department of Justice.

(2) Vronsky, Peter. 2004. Serial Killers: The Method and the Madness of Monsters. New York: Berkley Books.

(3) Ibid.