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Serial killing - a claim to fame?

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  • #16
    Originally posted by Robert Linford View Post
    You say that, Fish, but power is power over oneself - the rest is for those who aren't up to it.
    Robert, for a man like Panzram, power over oneself was not equivalent to doing good. Self-restraint was not on his to-do-list. You are working from a presumption that Panzram was morally convinced that he did wrong. He was not. He knew quite well that the surrounding society thought he did wrong, he was quite aware that he acted unlawfully. But he did not care a bit about that - he was at war with society, and he hated every human being.
    Once again, oversimplifying will not facilitate our understanding of these men. Panzram was scum, but he was not weak scum.
    "In these matters it is the little things that tell the tales" - Coroner Wynne Baxter during the Nichols inquest.

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    • #17
      Originally posted by Robert Linford View Post
      Hi Anna

      But wasn't the Alaskan man a baker? Hardly a 'successful' man in Fish's sense.

      I know that 'successful' men will sometimes jeopardise their position by taking risks - kerb-crawling and picking up prostitutes, that sort of thing - but I'm guessing that not many top writers, artists, etc have committed strings of murders.
      Yes, the Alaskan huntsman was a baker of restricted economic means - Robert Hansen.
      "In these matters it is the little things that tell the tales" - Coroner Wynne Baxter during the Nichols inquest.

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      • #18
        Hi Fish

        I wasn't really talking about morality. I'm saying that Panzram was a weakling. He was consumed by resentment - a trademark reaction of the weak. And it was the worst kind of resentment - he expressed his resentment against everyone, regardless of whether he had been injured by them, right down to the level of children. He wasn't some kind of brave free spirit. He twice tried to join the army, and he was the kind of person that if you stuck him in a uniform and pointed him at a village full of civilians, he'd have obeyed your every command. Both times his own lack of self-control ruled out any kind of army career. Tough? Not really. To be tough, you have to have something to lose. He was a nothing, and he knew it.

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        • #19
          Robert Linford: Hi Fish

          I wasn't really talking about morality. I'm saying that Panzram was a weakling.

          If you were locked up in a room with him, you may have taken a radically different view.

          He was consumed by resentment - a trademark reaction of the weak.

          That depends on how we define "weak". In your case, you define it "unable to fight of the darker side of your personality", and that´s fine - if you really WANT to fight of that dark side. If you don´t, then the argument fails. Basically, we are touching on philosophy here, and we will perhaps not be able to agree. I don´t want you to believe that I admire Panzram in any way - on the contrary, I really dislike him very much.

          And it was the worst kind of resentment - he expressed his resentment against everyone, regardless of whether he had been injured by them, right down to the level of children.

          Yes, he did.

          He wasn't some kind of brave free spirit.

          No, he was a tormented soul in many a way. Brave, free spirits enjoy life, and Panzram really did not.

          He twice tried to join the army, and he was the kind of person that if you stuck him in a uniform and pointed him at a village full of civilians, he'd have obeyed your every command.

          I agree - and he would do so fearlessly. In my book, that tallies poorly with the epiteth "weakling". It tallies much better with the term psychopath.

          Both times his own lack of self-control ruled out any kind of army career.

          Yes. And that only added to his resentment of all forms of disciplin.

          Tough? Not really. To be tough, you have to have something to lose.

          I see your point, Robert, it´s not that. But people who readily walk into the line of fire, no questions asked ARE tough. Whether that toughness testifies about a well shaped character is another question. In wartime, many despicable persons win acclaim for being tough - and just like you lead on, that may be because they feel they have nothing at all to loose. It does not, however, detract from the toughness.

          He was a nothing, and he knew it.

          That´s true! He despised ALL men - himself included. But that only makes him an entirely sad character in my eyes, not a weakling.

          Can we please just agree that his life was a waste of creative power on God´s behalf, and leave it at that...?
          "In these matters it is the little things that tell the tales" - Coroner Wynne Baxter during the Nichols inquest.

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          • #20
            Originally posted by Robert Linford View Post
            Hi Anna

            But wasn't the Alaskan man a baker? Hardly a 'successful' man in Fish's sense.

            I know that 'successful' men will sometimes jeopardise their position by taking risks - kerb-crawling and picking up prostitutes, that sort of thing - but I'm guessing that not many top writers, artists, etc have committed strings of murders.
            What I remember is he was very wealthy. Guess I should look it up. Had his own plane, property, international big game hunter.

            Possibly it goes back to what my husband said, "Where do serial killers get the TIME?" Serial killing doesn't create wealth or success anyone in regular society can understand. For a "professional" serial killer, obsessed with his activity, success as the world knows it will remain elusive.
            The wickedness of the world is the dream of the plague.~~Voynich Manuscript

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            • #21
              Ian Brady is surely a good example of a psychopath who believed - and believes - he is better and more capable than anyone else. Frustrated ambition, the feeling of not being sufficiently rewarded for their 'brilliance' is a common characteristic. Whether this manifests itself in the desire for public recognition is another matter. Sometimes they just get personal satisfaction, although who knows how this might have developed had they not got caught - in the case of Brady particularly. But he seems to have got careless - arrogance - hubris?
              Sutcliffe also seems to have taken great pleasure while in jail at his notoriety.

              Many successful businessmen and politicians are said to score highly in psychopathic tests. But I would suggest (to amplify Christer) that their personality disorder is satisfied by the success they achieve (dominance etc) - and so murder is unnecessary and probably never even contemplated.

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              • #22
                Originally posted by Anna Morris View Post
                What I remember is he was very wealthy. Guess I should look it up. Had his own plane, property, international big game hunter.

                Possibly it goes back to what my husband said, "Where do serial killers get the TIME?" Serial killing doesn't create wealth or success anyone in regular society can understand. For a "professional" serial killer, obsessed with his activity, success as the world knows it will remain elusive.
                This is the guy:

                https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Hansen
                "In these matters it is the little things that tell the tales" - Coroner Wynne Baxter during the Nichols inquest.

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                • #23
                  Well, we'll have to agree to differ on the weakling thing.

                  Re Brady, I think Brady is supposed to have a high IQ. Like Bundy. And both of them without one original thought in their heads.

                  PS Fish don't worry, I know you have as much contempt for Panzram as I have.

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                  • #24
                    Originally posted by Christer Holmgren View Post
                    That's the guy. That piece also shows another thing about serial killers; they tend to have long records of dysfunction and criminality. There's a screw loose somewhere.
                    The wickedness of the world is the dream of the plague.~~Voynich Manuscript

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                    • #25
                      Originally posted by Edward Stow View Post
                      Many successful businessmen and politicians are said to score highly in psychopathic tests. But I would suggest (to amplify Christer) that their personality disorder is satisfied by the success they achieve (dominance etc) - and so murder is unnecessary and probably never even contemplated.
                      Of course, that doesn't imply that murder, or even crime, is the only option for those who score high on psychopathy but who don't find success. If so, we might expect to find a lot more serial killers around, and/or SK's who complied unambiguously to that "pattern". We might also expect to see instances of truly successful people who turned serial killer when their careers began to creak or fail. Given that we don't, it's unlikely that there's a straightforward equation between success/failure and psychopathy in the average killer's makeup. Whatever an "average killer" is
                      Kind regards, Sam Flynn

                      "Suche Nullen"
                      (F. Nietzsche)

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                      • #26
                        Originally posted by Christer Holmgren View Post
                        Can we please just agree that his life was a waste of creative power on God´s behalf, and leave it at that...?
                        Well, a waste of his parents' energy, at any rate!
                        Kind regards, Sam Flynn

                        "Suche Nullen"
                        (F. Nietzsche)

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                        • #27
                          Gareth
                          I suspect it is the case that psychopathic serial killers develop a growing sence of frustrated resentment in their youth that develops into a desire to kill.
                          If they have other trait's that pushes their energy or abnormal mind set in another direction then it is sated and the resentment factor would not have built up. I doubt it is like a switch that can be activated if they are thwarted in their business or political career later in life.
                          Also there are scales of psychopathy - I would suppose that you would have to score highly on that scale to become a serial killer.
                          There are other factors such as opportunity, or the psychopath may take his actions out on his family in many non murderous ways, or it may well be that certain nurture elements need to be there to trigger or magnify the pre-existing genetic element.

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                          • #28
                            Originally posted by Sam Flynn View Post
                            Of course, that doesn't imply that murder, or even crime, is the only option for those who score high on psychopathy but who don't find success. If so, we might expect to find a lot more serial killers around, and/or SK's who complied unambiguously to that "pattern". We might also expect to see instances of truly successful people who turned serial killer when their careers began to creak or fail. Given that we don't, it's unlikely that there's a straightforward equation between success/failure and psychopathy in the average killer's makeup. Whatever an "average killer" is
                            I was thinking to add that about very successful businessmen scoring high in the psychopathology range. The difference is serial killers are unable to feel empathy, possibly not under any circumstances. That part of the brain doesn't function. They use their consciences different than the way we do.
                            The wickedness of the world is the dream of the plague.~~Voynich Manuscript

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