Murder, in literal definition, means the unlawful premeditated killing of another human being, and rightly so, the person who performs the unlawful act is acknowledged as a murderer. From way back in time, society has rendered abode to many mass murderers and serial killers. For instance, Ken Bianchi, infamous for raping and murdering a dozen of women on the West Coasts in the late 1970s; and in 1992, Kenneth Seguin of Holliston, Massachusetts, high on hysteria, killed his own wife and children. Appalling reports of such mass murderers and serial killers prompt questions like, what compels a person to lose all humanity and commit such heinous crimes; how twisted are their brain wires that plots to kill; and how do they process their actions.
Jack Levin, an emeritus professor of the Northeastern University, who has spent his career studying murder and violence, might have answers to all these questions. He has conducted many painstaking types of research, interviewed many notorious murderers and draws his inferences in his latest book ‘ The Allure of Premeditated Murder ’, co-authored by Julie West. He examines the rationale and motivations of killers who mediate their drive.
Levin gives an insight into the criminal minds of mass murderers- he suggests they’re clever but amoral; they lack conscience but are well versed in the art of manipulation. They derive satisfaction from strategising a kill than executing it, it is similar to how one takes pleasure in planning for a vacation or a wedding; agreeably so, the payoff is in planning. They understand the way other people think, they find your weaknesses and prey on them. In this line of work, as Levin registers, men are more inclined to commit murders than women, they’re more spontaneous. And almost every mass murderer, in history, has held a vendetta against plainly anyone, spouse, classmate, the shopkeeper down the street. They find others responsible for their misery and yearn to get even with them, and so they dwell on revenge for many years before hitting.
A murderer could kill as an outcome of extensive brooding or because of the eternal passion for sadism. For a fact, there’s a subtle nuance between mass murderers and serial killers, which is, mass murderers are victims of psychological distress, disorders, and depression; they feel socially isolated and as research suggests, such people may have undergone deplorable dejection and suffered a tragic loss, say, of intimate relations. Serial killers, on the other hand, are wannabe perfectionists, who yearn to perfect their aweless art, and show no care for ethics.
Subsequently, their karma sounds the death knell, and in time, the dust settles. After all, there is no such thing as ‘perfect crime’.