Sunday, September 20, 2009

Before There was George "Reaper" Foyet...

...On CBS's Criminal Minds there were some other, real life, serial killer's making their demands in wirting as well.  Some were specific, others not, some were normal in the range serial killer desires, others a little odder, but it was ALL about the power.  After all, it's what these men lack most in their everyday lives...power, control, and a general "by George, I've made something of myself" type attitude.  And so, by having those around him (especially those actually in power) obey them they get another form of the rush they get in killing - power!!

The first, chronologically (for these purposes at least), would be Jack the Ripper and his "Dear Boss" letters; one of which was actually a postcard (perhaps he was busy that day?).  These not only mocked the police ("They say I'm a doctor now.  ha ha.") but also requested in the first that police hold off sharing the letter until he'd done a little more killing..."Keep this letter back till I do a bit more work, then give it out straight."  The reason isn't given, just the request.   ...Of course we're going on the assumption dear Jack wrote these, because Mr Ripper was never caught and so much myth has mixed with fact the letters cannot be completely proven to have been written by him.

Now let's move onto The Zodiac Killer and his delight in suggesting that, should his demands not be met, he'd pick off those little kiddies coming off the school bus.  Now he had a few different demands, wanting all of California jumping through hoops for him.  Something he damn near got at times!  Whether it was involving the readers of the San Francisco Examiner in what would probably be one of the more disturbing word puzzles known to man thanks to his threat of a killing rampage is his cipher wasn't printed or getting the good citizens of the Bay Area to wear his nifty Zodiac symbol buttons...imagine the rush he got from that!  Not only could he see people obeying him as he walked the streets but each button worn was like an advertisement in terror...terror brought on by him.

For something just a touch more recent let's look at the BTK Killer, Dennis Rader.  He was a little more with the boasting than the demanding in his letters but he still made at least one.  He wanted a name...apparently, after killing seven women, he felt he'd earned one.  One of his suggestions "Poetic Strangler"; the man wrote poetry which, apparently, he felt made him poetic.  Of course, unlike the other two, BTK's need to babble about the wonders of his kills and the ineffectiveness of the cops ended up being what got him caught in the end, a full 30 years after he'd started (his killings ran from 1974-1991, but it was a 2004 letter he sent that did him in).

And now back to Criminal Minds baddie, The Reaper.  He demanded that law enforcement stop hunting him and, in return, he'd stop killing...a rather unusual request really.  Serial killers do love their power and control over others and, yes, getting those pesky Feds and cops to stop under their command would be a thrill and a half but there is a small problem.  Why on Earth request something like that if it's what you love the most, the one thing that makes you feel good?  It's suggested by Hotch that killing just didn't do it for him anymore and hence the deal made but, if that were completely true, it's likely he'd try something new first, see if maybe it was the MO that got tired for him; maybe give strangling a go or try hunting on one of the many Boston campuses available.  He didn't, he went to deal making and then, after the deal was forfeited in the lead detective's death, the good ol' Boston Reaper skipped right back to those couples on the highway, shooting, stabbing, and bludgeoning them to death.  So then...why make that deal??  Maybe Foyet's a rare (ie only found on TV and in movies) breed, that's highly likely, or maybe he expected the lead detective after him to do exactly what Hotch did - tell him to go to hell.  After all that would defuse any blame on him - "I would've stopped, but that SOB didn't take the deal!  Blame him!" - and make him feel he had every right to kill in retaliation, which he did after Hotch hung up on him by taking out a bus full of people.  We'll probably never know, unless he explains it to Hotch while attacking the agent in his own home, but let's hope whatever Foyet wants he fails to get.

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