Can Serial Killers Really Love Their Children?
Dennis Rader’s daughter once claimed that her father could be a good and decent one.
Damn, that was seriously shocking for many.
It’s so hard to put into words how all the victims’ families thought and felt about this statement made on their loved ones’ murderer.
Since then, I’ve seen this question often, “can serial killers really love their children?”
It’s my desire to provide a personal opinion on this topic, that’s widely misunderstood by many.
So, long post heads up, readers!
Serial Killers’ Love for Their Children – Is That Even Possible?
Want to know the kind of response I’ve received on this question?
“What an odd question.
Did you forget what a serial killer is?
In simple terms? It’s a person, or should I say a vile creature, who doesn’t hesitate to take the lives of not only one, but several people.
Some of these creepy animals even find great pleasure in binding, torturing and killing their victims.
They are driven by that “thrill of the kill” and I doubt they feel any remorse for their brutal acts.
Now, do you really think that these kinds of people are actually capable of loving their kids?
Instead, it’d be rather scary if they do.”
Hmm… not capable of love?
That answer somehow feels quite empty to me and I’d like to answer it in my own way.
Are Serial Killers Capable of Love?
I don’t understand how people come to the conclusion that serial killers cannot feel love.
Where did you get the impression that they are incapable of love?
Does it stem from the belief that all serial killers are psychopaths?
Well, that’s a myth, but I still find it interesting that people connect serial killers with the neuropsychiatric disorder.
Now, a little bit about psychopaths:
These social predators don’t need to cut you up with a chainsaw. Their inability to feel love, fear, guilt and shame and their power for manipulating you are enough to deflate your feelings.
Born with a different brain structure, psychopaths don’t empathize with starving children. They don’t freak out at dead bodies. Their hearts don’t race for a lover.
They can abuse their friends, family members and neighbors without one ounce of remorse.
Basically, these emotionless people have no conscience and would more likely kill out of pure boredom.
But, that’s not the same for serial killers.
If your question was more like, “can psychopaths really love their children”, things would have taken a different turn and I’d be the first one to say no.
The answer to this question is truly fascinating – it’s not that psychopaths don’t love their children, but they cannot love their children and that’s two different things.
(This topic has intrigued me so much that I may write an article based only on psychopaths and their inability to love their kids).
Coming back to the original subject, whoever came up with the hypothesis equating serial killers with psychopaths should get their IQ tested.
That isn’t to say that I believe all serial killers stem from completely normal people.
Just think of Hannibal Lector and that would be it.
To some extent, I do agree that anyone can be a serial killer – your choice to kill doesn’t depend on whether you are a psychopath or not.
To quote Dr. Robert Schug, “Serial killers are as individualistic among their peers as the rest of us are…”
We are all a little bit crazy, some more, others less.
But, for all to be lacking empathy? No, not as far as what I know.
The point I’m trying to make is that it’s not compulsory for a serial killer, someone capable of horrendous things, to be having an emotional emptiness.
While I’m not a serial killer, I can deduce that the act of murdering people does not make serial killers incapable of loving their kids.
That is a very broad perspective, which may also be false.
But, thing is, no matter the reason that drives serial killers – fear, rejection, power, sexual thrill – it’s more incorrect to say that these individuals are void of any emotions or more, incapable of giving love and affection to their kids.
Heck, I could even give the example of Israel Keyes, the person who confessed to over 11 murders and in probability actually killed a lot more, tried to protect his daughter during a police investigation.
“I just want my kid to have a chance to grow up…”
Hearing him say those words can flip your entire perspective and make the whole thing more complicated.
I’ve realized this even long before I write this article: I can say that serial killers are not psychopaths. But, does that lessen the fact that they show absolutely no empathy or remorse when torturing and killing innocent people? Does that erase the possibility of some serial killers killing their own children?
No matter in what box you try to fit serial killers, you’ll never know what goes on inside their minds. You’ll never know whether their love for their kids was just a cover for their emotional emptiness.