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Cheish Merryweather. It is difficult to believe that anyone could be born evil. Even creepier, there were clear warning signs of their evil potential in their earlier years. But it was completely overlooked until it was too late. There were many signs that serial killer and cannibal Jeffrey Dahmer was an evil child. From a young age, Dahmer collected roadkill and dismembered the carcasses in the woodland area behind his home.

Are Serial Killers Born Bad or Man-Made Monsters? | CrimeReads

He also impaled skulls of decapitated dogs with stakes in the woodland to frighten those who lived in the neighborhood. Jeffrey Dahmer did that. As a youngster, he would capture animals and torture them. These were all signs of what was to come later in life as Dahmer tried to use his victims as part of his own twisted zombie experiment. His emotionally abusive mother would lock him in the basement at night because she believed that he would cause harm to his sisters. He took out his anger and frustration on the family cats. At just 10 years old, Kemper buried his pet cat alive. Then he dug up its dead body and placed its head on a spike.

In adulthood, he used the same method of decapitation against his own mother. As a young boy, he found a pair of high-heeled shoes and took them home to wear. This angered his mother. However, instead of throwing away the shoes as she demanded, he secretly kept them.


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At 17 years old, he was treated in a mental ward for nine months because he attacked a girl in a tunnel. After his release, he settled into married life, but his urges were still there.

Are murderers born or made?

Brudos lured unsuspecting women to their deaths, often keeping items of their clothing as a sinister reminder of his twisted crimes. His father was an alcoholic who had severely beaten DeSalvo, his siblings, and his mother. At a young age, the future serial killer trapped small cats and dogs inside crates and then used arrows to shoot them for archery target practice.

Despite stints in reform school and the US Army, he was unable to control his behavior.

His victims were tied up and held at knifepoint before he strangled them to death—often with their own stockings. When DeSalvo was identified as the man responsible, he was sentenced to life in prison. Ted Bundy is one of the most recognizable and widely discussed serial killers in history. Over his career, Kiehl has collected brain-imaging data from more than 4, criminals at eight prisons in two states, in the largest study of its kind in the world. He has found that psychopaths tend to have less gray matter and smaller amygdalas.

In , Kiehl, then a neuroscientist at the Mind Research Network in Albuquerque, studied a group of 96 male prisoners shortly before they were due to be released. His team scanned prisoners brains while they were carrying out computer tasks in which subjects had to make quick decisions and inhibit impulsive reactions. Adam Lanza fatally shot his mother and killed 26 people at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut in before committing suicide. Scientists have studied the brain and genome of Adam Lanza. Lanza fatally shot his mother and killed 26 people at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut in before committing suicide.

The massacre prompted President Obama to look into new gun controls and banning assault rifles such as AR Bushmaster used by Lanza in his rampage.


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Wayne Carver who carried out the post mortems on all the victims. He contacted geneticists at University of Connecticut's to conduct the study. Geneticists said they were looking at Lanza's DNA to detect a mutation or abnormality that could increase the risk of aggressive or violent behavior.

They wanted analyse Lanza's entire genome in great detail and try to find any unexpected mutations. The researchers used functional magnetic resonance imaging fMRI to focus on activity in a section of the anterior cingulate cortex ACC - a small region in the front of the brain involved in motor control and executive functioning. They then followed the subjects for four years. Among the ex-criminals studied, those who had lower ACC activity during the quick-decision tasks were more likely to be arrested again after getting out of prison.

This was even after the researchers accounted for other risk factors such as age, drug and alcohol abuse and psychopathic traits, according to a report in Nature. Dr Helen Morrison studied and interviewed serial killers and has found many of them share surprising similarities illustrated.

Perhaps most intriguingly she has identified chromosome abnormalities such as an extra X Chromosome or Y Chromosome during puberty may act as a trigger for their later behaviour.

Men who were in the lower half of the ACC activity ranking had a 2. Kiehl admits low ACC activity could have a variety of causes — impulsivity, caffeine use, vascular health, low motivation or better neural efficiency — and not all of these are related to criminal behaviour. Kiehl isn't the only one to believe there are born killers out there. She believes that in many cases the killers suffered a chromosome abnormality that led them to have an extra chromosome in their DNA.

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For example, Bobby Joe Long, who is currently on death row in Florida for sexually assaulting and murdering at least 10 women in the Tampa Bay area, had an extra X Chromosome. According to Dr Morrison this led to excessive amounts to oestrogen which began to cause him embarrassment and anger during puberty as he developed breasts.

Research has suggested many serial killers suffer a sense of detachment from the world around them that means they struggle to empathise with their victims. Professor Jim Fallon discovered that he himself had the brain of a psychopath right in the picture above which has dark patches on the orbital cortex behind the eyes. Similarly Richard Speck, who tortured, raped and murdered eight student nurses in Chicago, had an extra Y chromosome. Dr Morrison has also said serial killers tend to develop a sense of detachment from the rest of the world from a very early age.

This ultimately leads them to feel a lack of empathy for their victims.

How alleged Toronto serial killer Bruce McArthur went unnoticed

Research by Professor Jim Fallon, a neuroscientist at the University of California, Irvine, has also been studying the brains of psychopaths using brain imaging. Finally, recommendations are made about assessing and treating a youngster who expresses violent sexually sadistic killing fantasies so that attempts can be made to interrupt the progression to actual killing. National Center for Biotechnology Information , U. Didn't get the message? Find out why Add to Clipboard. Add to Collections.

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