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Why are Serial Killers Mostly American?

Newswise - In her new novel Little Town Lies (in bookstores now), Anne Strieber writes about a surprising serial killer. Anne will read several chapters from her book on this website. We know that serial killers are psychopaths?monsters created by childhood sexual abuse. But one little-known fact that most of them are male and that 85% of them come from the US. Psychologists don't know why this is, but it does say something about the true level of sexual abuse in this country.

Sexual abuse is no longer the dark secret that it once was in some families and schools in the past, since every psychologist now recognizes the traits in their patients that indicate that they've been a victim of this type of abuse.

Like pedophiles, serial killers cannot be "cured," but they can be identified BEFORE they strike, because they all display traits of what is called The Unholy Trinity: As children, they set fires, tortured animals and wet the bed. But if we can identify a future serial killer from these indications, should we lock him up to save future torturous deaths? We don't have the legal mechanisms to do this and most people would find it morally reprehensible. As we learn more about these killers, this will become the moral and legal conundrum of our time.

Serial killers are categorized as "organized" or "disorganized." While the things they do to their victims can seem loathsome and bizarre, they are all acting out sexual fantasies, even if these are not recognizable as such to us.

Many of them seem to want to get caught, so they can show off their expertise and skill to the world. Many are very intelligent and charming.

The US has always glorified gangsters. In the 19th and early 20th century, we admired criminals and murderers like Billy the Kid and Bonnie and Clyde. More recently, Americans loved the Godfather films and the TV show The Sopranos. Today, you can buy serial killer memorabilia on eBay, such as a lock of Charlie Manson's hair or one of John Wayne Gacy's clown paintings.

Art credit: http://www.freeimages.co.uk

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