How To Spot A Serial Killer Using Only Five Key Traits

We’ve all seen them in movies and television. They walk towards the camera with their head down, handcuffs on, showing an emotionless face.

But since the rise in technology, both criminologists and forensic psychologists have started to put together the pieces on predicting future serial killers.

As the Daily Mail reports, serial killers, or psychopaths, have been a part of society for a very long time. And we’ve seen the worst of the worst. From Jack The Ripper to Ted Bundy to the Zodiac Killer, these serial killers are simply a way of life.

Real Crime magazine, along with several reputable individuals who have devoted their life to criminology, put forth a list of five key traits that may forecast a future serial killer.

Let’s begin!

5. The Average Joe

Not all serial killers look crazy. In fact, many serial killers look just like anyone you would see casually walking down the street. And it’s because of this that serial killers are deemed horrific and dangerous by criminologists.

The “average joe” will appear as a friend, bestie, bro, or even family member. However, at night, the “friend” or “family member” you once knew, will be out searching for prey. And no one would ever suspect it.

You might remember watching news reports where neighbors of murderers felt a strong sense of shock as soon as they find out that a serial killer was living next door. It’s truely a horrifying sensation.

4. Superficial Charm

Serial Killer Ted Bundy before his execution.

Okay, first off, this trait isn’t that common with most serial killers. However, there is one serial killer in specific, Ted Bundy, who was one of the most intriguing murderers of all time.

Not only was this young man perceived as “charming,” but was also looked upon by women as exceptionally handsome, intelligent, manipulative, outgoing, and social. Characteristics that usually don’t fit the specification for a typical serial killer. Yet Bundy had it all.

Some might ask, how exactly does charm benefit a serial killer?

Well, with Ted Bundy, for example, he would wrap around a fake cast on his arm and pretend to be injured. Bundy would approach young women, “injured,” and ask for help with lifting heavy boxes to his car. Of course, a sweet young lady wouldn’t see anything out of the ordinary, especially since Bundy occasionally loved to slither a few compliments to gain his victim’s trust.

When the young woman would agree to load the boxes into Bundy’s car, he would then strike them on the head unconscious with a metal object and disappear with them on a dark night.

3. The Egotistical Bragger

If there is one thing that 98 percent of serial killers have in common, is the fact they love to brag about their accomplishments.

For many, after their work is done, many murderers tend to keep something from their victim as a trophy.

Weird right?

Famous serial killers even more so will lie and exaggerate the number of people they’ve killed to seem more notorious than previous serial killers.

It’s just the way they are.

2. Being A Manipulator

An encrypted letter by the Zodiac Killer.

One of the strongest weapons in a killer’s disposal is being manipulative.

According to experts, being a manipulator can do wonders, including pushing the right buttons to get what you want.

By doing this, people won’t catch on to your manipulative games and therefore, you could get away with almost anything. Being manipulative means lying constantly and showing no empathy for your actions, to get what you want.

Manipulating is also a key trait of narcissistic personality disorder, one of the Dark Triad characteristics of serial killers. Ted Bundy, among other serial killers, demonstrated his manipulative skills when he managed to escape from law enforcement several times.

1. Power

And finally, the biggest reason why serial killers do what they do is simply to obtain power.

See, almost all serial killers have suffered from sexual or mental abuse, in addition to bullying, during childhood. They lacked control over their traumatic situations and began growing an urge to be in power or control.

As these killers grew older, gaining power developed into an obsession and having control over things or a person compensates for their traumatic childhood.

Some killers even grow to become very sadistic. Sadistic to the point where it’s all smiles and joy when a serial killer is butchering someone. They spot innocent and defenseless people the same way a cat spots a mouse. In addition, serial killers have intense fantasies or delusions about leaving behind a legacy.

Serial killers simply want the world to remember their killing spree for all eternity.

These delusions are actually psychotic symptoms of personality disorders like Psychopathy or Antisocial. They are triggered as a defense mechanism in the ego, as a result of childhood trauma, among other factors.

So, this is what the mind of a serial killer looks like. Now that you know a bit about how serial killers think, try to stay as far away as possible from these people.

If you suspect someone has all the five traits, even if it’s your boss at work, keep an eye out and be safe.

[Photo via Lions Gate Films]