Saturday, March 7, 2015

"The Psychology of Female Serial Killers"

Again, I'm amused at those who defend the "Alpha" and the "Dark Triad" in men without understanding what it is - whether they are male or female.

For male serial killers it is about sex and power, which the Greeks called Hubris - which almost ways contained an element of sexual pleasure. It's a bit different for women.

There is an old saying: "Never fuck anyone crazier than you are." Excellent advice.

This is from Research Digest and was written by Christian Jarrett.


There is a mistaken cultural assumption, say Marissa Harrison and her colleagues, that women are, by their nature, incapable of being serial killers – defined here as murderers of three or more victims, spaced out with at least a week between killings.

This misconception, the psychologists warn, is a "deadly mistake". They point out that one in six serial killers are female. Their crimes tend to go undetected for longer than their male counterparts, likely in part because "our culture is in denial of women's proclivity for aggression."

Harrison and her team have profiled 64 US female serial killers active between the years 1821 to 2008. The researchers used the murderpedia.org website to identify these killers and they verified the cases they found using reputable news sources.

The female serial killers had murdered between them at least 331 victims (making an average of 6 victims each). Their victims are of both sexes, but disproportionately male. The women had an average of age of 32 at the time of their first killing, and poisoning was the most common method. However, between them, the women used a range of murderous techniques, as the researchers explained:

"Contrary to preconceived notions about women being incapable of these extreme crimes, the women in our study poisoned, smothered, burned, choked, shot, bludgeoned, and shot newborns, children, elderly, and ill people as well as healthy adults; most often those who knew and likely trusted them."

Many of the homicidal women had stereotypically female professions, including being nurses and baby-sitters. They tended to be above average in physical attractiveness, which may have helped to engender trust in their victims.

As to motives, the most common was "hedonistic", a category in forensic psychology that refers to killing for financial gain, lust or thrill, with nearly half the sample fitting this category. The next most common motive was "power-seeking", which includes killing people in one's care.

The researchers urge caution regarding the factors that contributed to these women becoming serial killers. Apart from anything else, the historical records are incomplete and the absence of information does not mean that a given factor was not contributory. Nonetheless, Harrison and her team highlight several noticeable patterns in the data: a greater proportion of the women, as compared with the general population, had: a history of having been physically or sexually abused; drug or alcohol problems; and a diagnosis or signs of mental illness.

Quotes from some of the killers hint at their psychopathological thinking:

"They [the children] bothered me, so I decided to kill them."
"I like to attend funerals. I'm happy when someone is dying."
"That is my ambition, to have killed more people – more helpless people – than any man or woman who has ever lived."

A striking contrast with male serial killers is the relative absence of sexual violence and deviance. Two exceptions were a female serial killer who was a rapist, and another who reportedly barked like a dog during sex. But overall, the researchers highlighted how the women in their study primarily killed for resources, while their male counterparts kill for sex. This follows evolutionary theory, Harrison and her co-authors explained, in the sense that men are said to be motivated more by seeking multiple sexual opportunities, while women are motivated to find a committed partner with sufficient resources. "However," they added, "although an evolutionary framework can offer understanding, we stress that these heinous acts are a vicious extension of unconscious drives and are not therefore 'normal' or 'excused' ... ".

The new analysis points to a worrying trend: a 150 per cent increase in the number of reported cases of female serial killers since 1975. This study has obvious limitations, most obviously the reliance on historical records and news reports, and its exclusive focus on US killers. However, it makes a valuable contribution to a neglected topic.

The researchers concluded: "Increasing our understanding of serial killers may minimise the number of victims potentially lost in the future while maximising the effectiveness of interventions to prevent vulnerable individuals from taking a killing path."

5 comments:

Anders said...

Usually that scene from Heathers where she gives her friend a cup of orange juice laced with liquid drain cleaner or that scene from Pet Cemetery where she stabs her husband in the back while kissing him comes to mind when I think of female serial killers.

Earl Thomas said...

Considering the amount of abortion going on...it wouldn't surprise me one bit that there are plenty of female serial killers.

One Fat Oz Guy said...

The problem lies in women being assumed to be victims, even when they're standing over a dead body with a knife.
They can keep doing this and playing the "I can't help but be attracted to abusive men and keep having to 'protect' myself".
A woman in Australia killed her ex by drugging him, tying him to a bed and cutting his penis off when he woke. She plead temporary insanity, was sentenced to only 3 years jail and is already free. If the genders had been reversed there'd have been protests both at the light sentence and when the criminal was paroled.
A man is dead because his ex was jealous.
Lesson: never drink/eat anything your ex has made.

Anonymous said...

Is a woman who had several abortions considered a serial killer?

Anonymous said...

It's either feminazis / bitter dykes who refuse to believe this.

Or men who look down on women and think they're incapable of becoming serial killers.

Or dumbass people who live in the old age of stereotyping.

Fucking kill all 3 groups. I wish there were more female serial killers and school shooters.

Imagine the butthurt when they especially KILL femanazis and DYKES (like from The L Chat)