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deaddolly's avatar

Why do you think people get obcessed with serial killers and/or famous murderers?

Asked by deaddolly (3406points) September 21st, 2008

I devour (pun intended) everything I can about Ed Gein. I also find Charles Manson interesting. I can’t expalin why. There are so many sites devoted to serial killers, just to name one. I don’t condone murder…so wtf?

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22 Answers

iwamoto's avatar

maybe because they did things you would never dare doing…

sarapnsc's avatar

They are out of the norm, basically anything that doesn’t seem normal interest us as humans, that is why I read about them or listen to them on the news. I just seem transfixed, and stand there while the tv is playing and tell myself…this isn’t true, people aren’t really like this. But, alas it is true. I seem to want to take my child and not let him stray too far after seeing or reading about serial killers, I become a bit paranoid.

We as humans hate fear, but we are seemed to be drawn to it. I don’t think any of us that don’t have the serial killer profile/character condone what they do by watching them or reading about them. We’re just drawn to the abnormal. I watch the television series,
“Dexter” and find myself rooting for him, hoping he gets away with it. I guess, because his character is more of a vigilante killer. I want justice, but it’s too bad someone has to die because of it. They’d be more justice if they rotted in a prison cell, but who knows, these people could get out and do it again. The world is just messed up. But, nevertheless we are drawn to the messed up.

Just a note: statistics that I have read, state the majority of serial killers are white, heterosexual, average intelligence and are from lower to middle income. Interesting, to say the least.

Skyrail's avatar

Because following a guy who killed the dog on a lawn isn’t quite as fascinating as the book makes out.

JackAdams's avatar

Your fascination for Ed Gein. IMHO, is no different from a nun’s fascination for Jesus Christ.

Both of you are interested in researching and learning more about a historical figure. One was delusional (believing he was “divine”) and the other was homicidal.

In the case of these two historical figures, each did something to publicly make themselves “get noticed” by others, and there will always be someone, somewhere, who will find either person “interesting enough,” that they will devote some serious research time to them.

Nothing “wrong” with that, at all.

If you just learn about them, or go on to author a book about them, you have done nothing “harmful,” have you?

jlm11f's avatar

I am not really obsessed with serial killers or the like but I understand why many are. Since it’s abnormal behavior, many are curious to know the psych and reasoning behind this behavior. Some also like to put reasons behind their thinking. Like oh “i know that so and so kills because s/he had an abused past and is now just lashing out at other humans”. Once they have a reason for their killings, they now have a moral for their children/relatives etc. Like “if you don’t take care of your kids, they might feel abused and take it out on society later on”. By providing this “advice”, they have shown their own observation and analyzing skills.

As a rule though, anything abnormal or out of the ordinary is bound to get spotlight and people interested in it. In a way, it’s an escape for people who feel they have mundane lives. (not that i am saying that you are one of these people)

deaddolly's avatar

@ sarapnsc Exactly, I love hearing about their lives and trying to understand what pushes them over the edge.
@jack No, lol, no dead bodies in my back yard! There were times when I’ve been tempted tho! I collect books, movies about them is all
@pnl No, i definately do not have a mundane life. lol I think a lot of my love for the bizarre comes from my love of horror movies.

Curious, what does everyone think of those women who marry killers in prison? It’s like they become under they’re spell. And they gain a bit of fleeting noteriety.

deaddolly's avatar


I’m getting a tattoo of Leatherface and Ed Gein next week. Just thought I’d throw that in!

JackAdams's avatar

You’re not married are you? Just curious…

deaddolly's avatar

lol, no. Been single all my life. Had my daughter via artificial insemenation.


marinelife's avatar

Like most obsessions, this one is not healthy.

In the case of serial killers, there can be more than one reason for such an obsession, but a common one is that people make the mistake of thinking that these people who, after all, look like us, hold jobs, date, marry, have children, etc. are like us. They want to know “why” they do what they do. What they fail to take into account is that serial killers have abnormal brain chemistry. It is not going to happen that any average person could one day become a serial killer. Really, these sociopaths are simulacrums, faking humanity.

@deaddolly You might find the work of Marian Woodman of interest someday.

deaddolly's avatar

Thanks, Marina—I’ll look for Woodman.

I have intense interest in serial killers/horror/morbid things…there! Is that better than
obsession? lol Just joking with you.

I remember years ago being in a bar and seeing some girl stick a knife into this guy I knew, stick it in his stomach and rip up. His intestines hung out, I rmember seeing someone use a cloth to hold them there…She was arrested, and as the police drove off with her, she was laughing. My friend recovered, but it’s always stuck with me. How could anyone do that to another person? And laugh about it? It totally freaks me out.

JackAdams's avatar

Sounds like that girl might make a good moderator, when she gets released.

Bluefreedom's avatar

Maybe human beings are just naturally morbid in a creepy type of way. Or it might just be me in which case we need to keep it a secret. I’m trying to appear normal.

deaddolly's avatar

i guess i’m pretty morbid. i surround myself with dead looking things.

I see nothing wrong with NOT being normal…welcome to fluether!

Bluefreedom's avatar

I’m probably a little morbid also. I’ve paid many visits to several internet sites and I’ve read up on serial killers at different times. I think it’s only natural that all of us not be completely normal all the time. We have to retain our individuality and uniqueness right?

deaddolly's avatar

@bluefreedom Knew I liked you! Have you gone to yet? Great stuff. My house is filled with stuff about horror. Check it out, on myspace. Look at my profile.

Bluefreedom's avatar

@deaddolly. I’ll head out soon and check all of that out. I’ve read a lot of material at the Internet Crime Archives and the Court TV Crime Library (tru TV). There is a lot of good information at both sites.

deaddolly's avatar

@blue And I’ll check those out. That’s what i love about the internet…you can find all this and still be in your pj’s!

Bluefreedom's avatar

@deaddolly. Or you can be in your birthday suit but that’s probably TMI (too much information) LOL

deaddolly's avatar

yep…way too much!!! lol

Krow1125's avatar

I think it is because it is a subject that people think is unusual and not many people may know what The Zodiac Killer did or who Charles Manson was.

tiffyandthewall's avatar

perhaps because it’s just interesting to examine a personality so far off on one side of the personality spectrum. most people (i hope) would never be able to kill a person – especially that many people – and since it’s so different and unthinkable, it makes for interesting research.

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