Oddly enough, the brain can tell a lot about a person. I have always been interested how the brain of a normal person differs from the brain of a serial killer. What drives these people to do these awful things? Is there even anything that drives them to do these things or are they just one in a million?

Helen Morrison, a forensic based psychiatrist, has interviewed many serial killers and found many similarities. She has come to the conclusion that one of the triggers may be a chromosome abnormality. She found that this chromosome abnormality begins to show itself during puberty and is especially prominent in men who display their homicidal tendencies. When killing victims, brain scans show that they never develop a form of attachment or belonging to the world which makes it easier to kill.

Jim Fallon, a neuroscientist, has studied the brains of psychopaths for over 20 years and found that they have low orbital cortex activity. The orbital cortex is in charge of behaviors. If you have low activity in this region that means that there is less normal suppression of behaviors, including rage, violence, eating, sex, and drinking. This change in the brain could be the result of many things including child abuse. Many serial killers have experienced child abuse, psychological abuse,  and/or maltreatment. Fallon’s research made him come to the conclusion that childhood experience could make all the difference when it comes to the making of a serial killer.

You don’t have to be enlightened to realize that there is something wrong/different with serial killers. There is a lot of medical evidence that shows us this. For example, the two people above who talked about the differences in the brain of a serial killer. There are many differences and disorders shown. In most cases, as a child they suffered home issues but in others this may not be the case.

CC BY-SA 4.0 The Brain Chemistry of a Serial Killer by Maggie is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

5 Comments
  1. Colin 1 week ago

    Maggie,
    I found your study on relations to brain and serial killers very interesting. I have studied serial killers such as the Zodiac Killer and Jeffrey Dahmer, and found what you said about the brain to be true about these killers. The most fascinating part to me is “When killing victims, brain scans show that they never develop a form of attachment or belonging to the world which makes it easier to kill.” I have always wondered what drove these people to do these awful things, and not being able to form attachment makes a lot of sense. If you would like to go further in depth I found an article that may help determining a serial killer before a crime is even committed.
    https://www.theguardian.com/science/2013/may/12/how-to-spot-a-murderers-brain

  2. Angelica 2 weeks ago

    The psychology of the human brain is pretty amazing, and I too can’t help but wonder why serial killers think so differently than regular people do. I had read from the article, https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-superhuman-mind/201212/the-making-serial-killer , that not all serial killers grew up in an abusive household. Notorious killers like Ted Bundy, Jeff Dahmer had a healthy childhood, unlike Charles Manson who grew up in an unhealthy environment. So what really creates a serial killer? From the article, https://www.popsci.com/can-your-genes-make-you-kill, there was a story about a family with a violent history concerning the male family members. Tests were run and scientists finally figured out why there was a trend of violence, it turned out that there was a mutation on the X chromosome. Since men have one X Chromosome, this increases the chances for men to become killers than women. This mutation in the X chromosome had been passed down from generations causing family members to have the mental illness. There are many factors as to why serial killers are what they are, but is one more influential than the other? I’m interested to hear what you think about whether being a serial killer is genetic or not.

  3. Oliver 2 weeks ago

    Maggie,
    I found your post to be very intriguing. I think it is very interesting that a psychiatrist found out that most the serial killers have not developed the ability to make connections with people. I think that is really interesting to think about because, as I think about it. I either make connections with everyone, but people I do not make connections to I do not usually like, although I still wonder how that influenced someone to murder other people. I think this is a great idea on a large topic but there is more studies that need to happen to fully understand while serial killers really harm people like that. We all have our limits that we can go over but why do serial killers go to the point of killing while the majority of the population responds to rash decisions with words. Here is a link I think you might find interesting and might help you with your interest in this, https://www.criminaljusticedegreehub.com/serial-killers/ .

  4. Shane 2 weeks ago

    Maggie,
    I found this post very interesting. One of my biggest interests has always been serial killers and how they think. I found the research you did about the differing cortex very interesting and something that I had never thought about or heard about before. There is a new documentary coming out called Dahmer on Dahmer that you might like. It is about Jeffrey Dahmers thoughts and ideas throughout his life.

  5. Emily 2 weeks ago

    Hi Maggie!
    I found your post very interesting. I especially found “When killing victims, brain scans show that they never develop a form of attachment or belonging to the world which makes it easier to kill.” fascinating. The thought of what makes a serial killer kill/who they are has crossed my mind. While I realized that bullying and the nature in which they were raised contributed to their behaviors, I never realized that these factors can actually cause a physical psychiatric abnormality. If you want to read any more on this topic, here’s an article you might find useful https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/culture-conscious/201207/why-do-killers-kill

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