Monday, November 02, 2009

Bedside reading

You know I've been fascinated by disasters, right? I still love a good disaster, but I also love serial killers and true crime. I guess I'm fascinated by the number of different ways human lives can go wrong or be cut short, either as a result of the evil or stupidity of humans or the impersonal destruction of nature.

I am reading a book on female serial killers, but that isn't really something that would interest most people. I'm still in the early chapters where they're talking about the incidence and MO of female serial killers and how they differ from male serial killers. One of the big differences is that male serial killers kind of stop killing by the time they reach middle age whereas female serial killers kill all the way through their lives.

There's a lot more in the book - it analyzes different female serial killers and whatnot, but I haven't got there yet. I'm looking forward to reading the rest of this book.


Robin said...

That's really interesting...did the book say why males would stop killing by middle age but not females?

Chantelle said...

It said that for males, has to do with psychopathy, which has an onset in the teen years and then "tapers off" in middle age. As well, serial killers who have a sexual component to the killings also taper off in middle age, presumably because the need for sex also decreases.

Women, on the other hand, start killing later and kill more after they hit menopause.

There are exceptions to both rules, but apparently this is the norm.

Another difference is that men kill people they don't know, and so can sometimes be persuaded to not kill by giving information about oneself - letting him get to know you. So there can be survivors when a male serial killer is killing. There are no survivors when female serial killers are killing; they usually kill people they know (or get to know).

Parts of the book are available for preview on google books here.