Monday, November 2, 2009

Killer IQ Part 5: Serial Self-Awareness

Previously covered was interpersonal intelligence, the opposite of that is intrapersonal intelligence.  It's focus is more introverted, focusing on understanding oneself.  Those ranking high in this intelligence are introverts, very self-aware, and capable of understanding their own emotions, goals and motivations.  They prefer to work alone and tend to be perfectionists. Their interests also lean towards thought-based pursuits such as philosophy which is why they may seek out careers as philosophers, psychologists, and theologians.

Know Thyself

This intelligence may be one that serial killers do well in overall, though better in certain aspects.  Serial killers are most certainly introverted, frequently in their own head enjoying their own twisted fantasies, and generally prefer to work alone.  In their kills they're perfectionists...or at least try their best to be.  (For them, in the end, nothing can really live up to their fantasies.)  They also tend philosophize a great on different things - especially good and evil - an activity that seems to increase once caught and jailed.  Whether they all come up with any answers is a matter for debate, but then that fact holds true for the average person and their motives for their actions as well.

One that did seem to find some answers about himself, about his own ultimate motives, was "Co-ed Killer" Ed Kemper.  After killing eight people, including his grandparents, it seemed Kemper realized what he'd been wanting to do all along...kill his mother.  In prison interviews with FBI profiler John Douglas the killer also seemed aware of the reasons behind his other kills (the non-family-oriented ones) explaining that the co-eds were the women his mother told him he was never good enough for.  True that it is illogical to then go and want to possess every part of a person, even their life, but that was how Kemper felt and he was well aware of that fact.

Other killers might not be aware of specifics, of exactly what drives them to attack and murder others, but many seem to know there is something driving them.  Albert Fish, murderer and cannibal of at least three children, confessed, "I always had the desire to inflict pain on others and to have others inflict pain on me. I always seemed to enjoy everything that hurt. The desire to inflict pain, that is all that is uppermost." He had theories on why, including the abuse of young boys at the orphanage he grew up in, but it's hard to tell if it was his explanation or just his excuse.  But, still, he was self-aware to know it was the pain, and most especially inflicting it on others, that spurred him to his horrific crimes.

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