Self loathing, which is a behavior of hating oneself , causes serial killing tendencies. According to Robert Simon (as stated in Miller, 2013), serial killing “is not primarily an anti-social predation and narcissistic entitlement but fundamentally in a core of self-loathing. The killer briefly relieves himself in acts of controlling, torturing and killing the victim.” In this perspective, in order for the serial killer to get out of an emotional deadness in life, that would enable him to be temporarily feel calm and relax, is to act out an intensely violent and sexually sadistic exploitation of his victims.
After an intense sense of relief after the torturing and murdering of the victim, this is the only time that serial killers feel “normal” that is until they have another urge to kill. On a more recent note, an excerpt in Dr. Faye Synder’s book, “How to Make a Serial Killer,” states that self-loathing of the serial killer was developed during their early years. Lonnie Athens, a criminologist, gave a detailed description of childhood experiences that would create diabolical criminals. He breaks them down into three main stages: brutalization, besiegement and belligerency.
In the first stage, brutalization, it involves subjugation, the act of being controlled. In this part of subjugation, the child is treated violently and if that dominance is retaliated, then the perpetrator would beat the child into submission. If a child begs for mercy, the beating will stop. However, another level of subjugation is when the brutality of the perpetrator is out of control and does not stop the beating. Resigned, the child would let the beating go on but he would fantasize about killing the perpetrator to stop the beatings. When a child is treated to, he watches the abuse of a loved one helplessly. The child would then think of ways to rescue the loved on and stop the attacker by retaliating and even killing the abuser but instead the child would develop feelings of impuissance and guilt by not being able to do anything.
Knowing if he intervenes, then the attacker would turn on him so the child has to listen and watch the abuse happening. The child’s helplessness would turn into an agonizing self-loathing and fantasizes of killing the abuser to rescue the loved one. Additionally, if a child lives in a violent neighborhood, he would not feel safe to leave the house since the other children in the neighborhood have turned into bullies from similar abuse. The child will begin to suffer from the social encounter of being treated with contempt and derided by his fellow peers. In the second stage, besiegement, the child would be pressured to become violent with violent coaching. He is berated to constant goading to fight. “If you don’t beat that kid up, you stupid wimp, I’ll give you a beating you’ll never forget.” Around the time, the child would also be introduced to vain glorification, in which an established person in the neighborhood takes a fascination in him and show him how glorious it is to be feared.
In the third stage, belligerency, the child is now older and bigger, starting to reflect about the world and its paradoxical values. The child will start to think that it is “me vs. them” as he realizes that the world isn’t the place that some people present it to be. He will face the dilemma if whether or not he can still bear the abuse. In an oppressed moment, he will decide to fight back, even kill, to protect himself or a loved one.
The day comes when someone will attempt to hurt him, who is now older and bigger, the child will retaliate. Once the child decided of killing the perpetrator to protect himself or a loved one, he will need to resolve whether or not he can. “It is a kill-or-be-killed choice.” The child cannot lose as there can be no draws or ties. The, now older, child wins, victorious in defending himself, realizing that there is honor in retaliating than avoiding further mistreatment. The child gains a reputation, now highly deemed and treated with respect from other people. He becomes elated with the new power he has obtained. His role and perspective in life is changed, determined that no one will hurt him ever again.
His interpretation of the slightest dispute will be scorn. The change of the prey becoming the predator gives him solace. “Now no one can even convince him that he should give up violence.” Herbert Baumeister, a serial killer, born in 1947 in Indiana. He apparently experienced a normal childhood but in his adolescence, he displayed peculiar behavior such as playing with dea animals and wondering what urine taste like. He was diagnosed with schizophrenia but did not receive any treatment for it. Despite having jobs and working hard, he still displayed peculiar behavior. He married Juliana Saiter and had three children with her although the wife reported that they only had sex six times in their 25 years of marriage, never seeing her husband naked.
A number of gay men started to disappear in the Indianapolis, which Baumeister was a suspect of. He fled to Ontario, committed suicide by shooting himself. His suicide note contains details of his divorce and marital problems which are primarily caused by his homosexuality. Because of his homosexual tendencies and sadistic fantasies, “an obvious hypothesis is that he projected his self-loathing for his own homosexuality onto others” (Lester, 2010), entitling him to exploit and kill them.