What causes a human being to become a homicidal maniac? There are menus of possibilities.
David Berkowitz, the Son of Sam serial killer who terrorized New York City blamed his murderous ways on women. "I blame them for everything. Everything evil that's happened in the world-- somehow goes back to them." Ted Bundy, the infamous serial killer of young college-age woman with brown hair claimed it was pornography that made him a homicidal psychopath. John Wayne Gacy, who murdered more than 30 people, (often while reading the 23rd Psalm to them), blamed a domineering father who made him, feel inadequate.
Nature, nurture, genetics, culture...what conspires to conjure this vulture? Scientists have studied the brain waves of psychopaths. The data suggests abnormal brain activity especially related to the limbic system and the temporal lobe area. Levels of the bodily fluids testosterone and serotonin are recorded to be out of balance in the homicidal freak. Is biochemistry the reason that love and compassion are replaced by lust and aggression?
There is no one pattern that converges to link the killers selected for this game. Eight of the ten are men, seven are serial killers, combined they are responsible for nearly 100 deaths (Gacy alone did away with over 30.) Of the nine players and one manager on the Killers, three were executed for their deeds (Bundy, Gacy, Smith). One met death violently in jail (Dahmer), one committed suicide before being caught (Cunanan), one died a natural death out of prison on parole (Leopold). Three are currently in prison (Berkowitz, Macdonald, Neelley) and one is living in society, apparently rehabilitated (Bell). With only one exception (Macdonald) there are no doubts about the guilt of the selected murderers.
There is nothing to link the victims together with each other except that they all died violent, unnecessary deaths. Five victims were just kids (Doxtator, Franks, Millican, Brown, Butkovich); two were loving parents (Clutter, MacDonald); two were young women in the prime of their lives (Lauria, Healy); one was a celebrity of sorts (Versace).
The links between the killers and his or her victims vary. While there may be symbolic links only two victims were well known to their assailants (Macdonald, Butkovich); the other victims were randomly selected...just in the wrong place at the wrong time.
Statistics show that serial murder is a growing crime although it accounts for a very small percentage of deaths. Domestic violence and drowning claim more lives each year then serial killings. Estimates of the number of serial killers active at any given time vary from 35 to 500; but nobody really has a clue about how many there really are out there. Predatory in nature, manipulative by trade, it is usually difficult to spot a serial killer. Experts look to background issues such as the childhood environment. The so-called "triad of symptoms" is an early warning indicator. As children serial killers liked to play with fire, they tortured animals and they wet their beds, sometimes until adolescence. Clearly unstable love and outright denial of love play a part in the development of the psychopath.
This cosmic game, without attempting to be too ghoulish, re-acquaints victims with their killers. Biological, cultural and psychological issues are shoved aside as natural antipodes meet on a more level cosmic baseball field.