In the movie “Taking Lives” Angelina Jolie, who plays the role of a detective explains that for a serial killer, killing someone and brushing their teeth holds the equivalent significance and value. They are devoid of emotions and bear a vacancy in their heart, which is why they always turn a blind eye to plead and requests by their victims.
Talking about serial killers, one cannot forget some of the haunting names that America contributed in the global list. Jeffrey Dahmer, Ted Bundy, Richard Ramirez, Charles Manson, you name it. Their crimes were so brutal and so gut-wrenching that they have engraved their names on the pages of history so deeply that oblivion will never wither them away.
Nonetheless, some serial killers were such that took the lives of their own family. Robert E. Hanlon is the writer of one such killer’s namely Thomas V. Odle, biography “Survived By One”. And now in a new study, he has explained that murderers, who take the lives of their own partners and/or family members, considerably have a distinguished forensic and psychological sketch from those who make strangers their victims.
Hanlon who is associated with Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, conducted an analysis on 153 individuals who committed “spontaneous domestic homicide,” for over 62 days. These murderers, who spread over Indiana, Colorado, Arizona, Missouri, and Illinois, were both men and women and were accused with and/or convicted of first-degree murder.
He discovered that they have increased acute mental illness, especially psychotic disorders, some earlier criminal records, bears minimal intelligence and more rational disruption.
In this context, Hanlon and his team cautioned that the difference could serve to be early signs and therefore, intervened to thwart the homicide.
Domestic homicide, which is one of the most ordinary and recurrent types of murders in the U.S, saw male partners like husbands, former husbands, boyfriends, former boyfriends to be the killers of one-third of all females murdered.
Besides, 25 percent women will approximately be victims of acute domestic violence by their close partners in their lifetimes.
Hanlon emphasized that such crimes can time and again be stopped if family members are better informed about the probable danger “from having someone who is severely mentally ill in the home” with history of “violent tendencies” before.
He further said albeit family members may live in a “state of false beliefs,” thinking that their son or husband can never hurt them, it is in fact them who “may very well harm the wife or mother.”
Citing momentary passion and/or anger under the influence of drugs and alcohol, and propelled by envy or avenge due to a split to be the reason, he explained why these crimes are not planned.
Another situation is when a mentally ill son or a different family member, who is psychotic, does the killing believing that the victim is conspiring against him.
In order to stop being a victim or letting someone become one, Hanlon said that close partners and family members should inform the authorities of their concern of probable harm and get rid of the situation.
The study has been published in the “Journal of Forensic Sciences”.
A similar instance happened in 1993 in Kolkata, India when a 16-year old minor namely Sajal Barui along with his five friends, brutally murdered the former’s father, stepmother and stepbrother. He stole the limelight not just of the Kolkata press, but also of India and is currently serving life imprisonment in Kolkata.