Serial Killer – Psychopathic or Psychotic

Differences between the two.

What is a serial killer? A serial killer is a person who attacks and kills victims one by one in a series of incidents. Some characteristics of a serial killer is that they have a minimum of three to four victims, usually with a “cooling off period” in between. The killer usually is likely to victimize a stranger than they are to victimize someone that they know. The serial killer has a sadistic urge to dominate there victims, they do not profit, except for psychological satisfaction. The serial killer usually looks for victims that are vulnerable. The majority of serial killers are white males, in there late 20’s to early 30’s, but some have been known to be a lot older. Serial killers usually come from lower to middle class family backgrounds and they usually have at least an average intelligence.

There are two types of serial killers, the psychotic and the psychopath. The psychotic serial killer is one who is legally insane, they cannot tell the difference between right and wrong, they may hear voices, see visions and sometimes may have hallucinations prior to committing the murders. “The son of Sam” aka David Berkowitz is a great example of a psychotic serial killer. The second type of serial killer is the psychopathic serial killer. The psychopathic serial killer does not suffer from hallucinations, they know the difference between right and wrong, and are in touch with reality, they just do not care what the are doing is not right. Psychopathic serial killers lack one very important trait and that is that they do not have a conscience, or that there conscience is too weak to stop the violent behavior. A psychopathic serial killer does not feel any guilt, nor are they sorry for there actions.

There are numerous theories as to whether a person is born with the predisposition to kill; some theories suggest that the psychopath is a product of his/her environment. It is possible that it is a combination of both genetics and the person’s environment. The worst part of a psychopathic serial killer is his/her ability to blend in with their environment. They will act normal, but underneath there persona, lies two uncontrollable traits; sexual abnormality and a consuming need for power. The killing satisfies both the ultimate control over life and death. Simply, killing gives them pleasure, they will because they want to and because they enjoy doing so. The only thing that stops a serial killer from committing these types of killings is either they are arrested or they die.

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25 Responses to “Serial Killer – Psychopathic or Psychotic”
  1. Tina Says...

    On November 20, 2008 at 3:24 pm

    This is awesome,


  2. carl Says...

    On November 20, 2008 at 3:30 pm

    nice read


  3. Mike Says...

    On November 20, 2008 at 5:45 pm

    This will deff. help with my research paper! thanks.


  4. Mike Says...

    On November 20, 2008 at 5:46 pm

    This will deff. help with my research paper! thanks.


  5. tori Says...

    On November 21, 2008 at 7:57 am

    i liked this


  6. denise Says...

    On November 23, 2008 at 12:00 pm

    great one deb


  7. Liz Says...

    On March 1, 2009 at 3:42 am

    wow, this is very well written and was helpful. thanks!


  8. Mort Says...

    On April 18, 2009 at 10:02 pm

    Do you have any other examples of psychotic serial killers other than David Berkowitz or Petere Sutcliffe? There seems to be an amount of evidence for both that their delusions are made up for their own gains and that they are acutally psychopaths.


  9. cod5y Says...

    On May 5, 2009 at 1:37 pm

    yeah i dont think berkowitz was actually a psychotic. he was faking. look up ed gein im pretty sure he was


  10. clafleur Says...

    On May 30, 2009 at 1:29 am

    i wish you had provided more information, your article was getting good.


  11. Medicated Maniac Says...

    On June 1, 2009 at 2:08 am

    Wow, that is the most helpful piece of writing on the subject I have found so far on the internet.
    I am writing a book on a serial killer and since it is in first person POV I need an inkling of what goes on in theyre mind.
    Power and sex. Seems to me thats what everyone wants, just that serial killers often dont know what is the right and wrong of acting on those.
    I am going to make it comlicated and go for a little mix.
    When the book is completed and published, I’ll acknowkedge your stunning description.
    Kudos.


  12. erin Says...

    On August 3, 2009 at 1:02 pm

    this was good, well done


  13. Njchix Says...

    On October 15, 2009 at 11:16 am

    This was very well done. Great work


  14. Hjones Says...

    On November 2, 2009 at 7:33 pm

    It would be a lot more credible if you used proper grammar.>


  15. s.a.m. Says...

    On March 18, 2010 at 5:41 pm

    yea good info but you gots badder gramer’;,’.,


  16. Wise Ass Says...

    On March 24, 2010 at 11:06 pm

    Please, PLEASE do not write English if you cannot write English. It’s that easy. Thank you!
    Or as you would say:
    Please, PLEASE do nod ride English if you can not ride English. Its that easy. Thank you!


  17. Al Says...

    On November 3, 2010 at 1:55 pm

    Has anyone seen the movie Red Dragon? I was wondering whether the Ralph Finnes character in that is psychopathic; he is not psychotic (he doesn’t hear/see things), but later on in the film (when he has already killed 11 people) he cannot bring himself to kill the girl, indicating that he is not completely psychopathic. Could this serial killer exist in reality? if so, what would he be classed as?


  18. tryingtohelp Says...

    On December 19, 2010 at 2:42 pm

    The difference between they’re, there, and their. Learn it.
    Otherwise, good read.


  19. Athena's Subject Says...

    On January 12, 2011 at 3:02 pm

    Great! Really helpful for my research paper, answered all of my questions on psychopaths.


  20. Theo Says...

    On March 12, 2011 at 11:30 am

    it was pretty good written, but you have to eliminate the words “A serial killer” from some sentences because it doesn’t look and sound good. I really liked it though.


  21. Liz Says...

    On June 3, 2011 at 10:31 am

    There, Their, They’re. Look it up.
    “Normal” is an adjective – you were looking for the adverb “normally”.
    “The worst part” ? Unspecific, generic fluff.
    One trait “lies” beneath something else. Two or more traits “lie” beneath…

    Plus, why is this categorised under “Physics”? Psychology, psychiatry; yes – Physics is the study of particles, objects and forces in the universe, not the study of the human brain.

    Oh, and Theo? I think you meant to say “well written” not “good written” You’d still be wrong though.


  22. Terry Mulhare Says...

    On October 7, 2011 at 2:13 pm

    David Berkowitz was a psychopath. So is David Arvedon, the lead vocalist for David Arvedon and The Psychopaths. David Arvedon killed E.T. David Arvedon told Santa Claus to fuck himself. Then David Arvedon killed him Then he ate him.


  23. Larry McScully Says...

    On October 22, 2011 at 9:35 am

    David Arvedon, the lead vocalist for The Psychopaths, is more than just a psychopath. He has intense feelings of RAGE. These have nothing to do with the need for power or the need for sex. He is just a killing machine. He goes into a fury and kills everything in sight if they are Moslem terrorists or Nazis.
    He was portrayed accurately in the movie ‘Inglorious Basterds’ as ‘The Jewish Bear.’ When his group captured Nazis, he went into a fury and smashed all of their heads with a baseball bat.
    In addition to being a psychopath, he is a maniac and a lunatic.


  24. Ron Blair Says...

    On October 23, 2011 at 8:25 pm

    David Arvedon and The Psychopaths– mental case, lunatic, maniac, menace to the world who kills with a baseball bat. He killed Adolf Hitler. He killed Osama.


  25. Barathy Nadarajah Says...

    On July 20, 2012 at 6:40 pm

    god hates me!


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