Types of Serial Killers
Most serial killers are men. There are several different types of serial killers. In fact, they have determined that there are basically four categories. The first type of serial killer is the visionary killer. He may also be referred to as mentally disturbed since these individuals suffer from paranoid schizophrenia. These are individuals who claim to hear voices that tell them that they should kill certain people. The “Son of Sam” or David Berkowitz made such claims. He said that he was told to kill people after hearing his neighbor’s dogs bark messages to him. Other serial killers may have visions that command that they kill people. In some cases, these individuals are told they will become God after killing a certain number of people. Because of their mental disorder, these killers may be more easily caught because they are so out of touch with reality.
Another type of serial killer is the mission-oriented killer. These are individuals who believe that they should attempt to eliminate a certain type of individual. So, their victims tend to be a certain type of individual, such as a prostitute or homosexual. They view these people as undesirable or undeserving of life. Often, these killers are completely sane and in touch with reality. However, they are filled with hate toward these individuals that they kill. They are more difficult to apprehend then visionary killers because they are rational individuals.
Another type of killer researched was the category of hedonistic killers. These are murders that obtain some type of pleasure or thrill during the commission of their crimes. Sometimes this pleasure is sexual. As a result of this motivation, they tend to exhibit a great deal of violence during the act of murder. These serial killers will often mutilate their victims during the process of killing them. They may continue their brutality even after the victim dies. These individuals may become “sloppy” in terms of hiding evidence or clues to their identity and may make their capture easier. Ted Bundy was this type of serial killer. In fact, his desire or need to kill for a thrill eventually led to his capture, in that he left too many clues of his identity during the abduction and murder of a twelve year old girl.