Is it sociopathy or psychopathy that drives murderers to kill? Discover their differences and the main crime series that can help us understand the profiles of the murderers.
Why do we kill? What goes through the mind of a criminal? Currently, there are many crime series that bring us closer to the minds of criminals, as well as to analyze what leads them to kill others. Some of them can help us understand concepts such as psychopathy or psychopathy, and understand what makes a person become a murderer.
Sociopaths or psychopaths?
Both sociopath and psychopath are two terms that we often use arbitrarily to describe a person who has no conscience or who we associate with hateful or even dangerous attitudes. But actually, these two terms describe two different disorders.
On the one hand, a sociopath is the person who suffers from an antisocial personality disorder (ASD) that implies a limited capacity to feel empathy and remorse towards others. Instead, psychopaths suffer from psychopathy, a personality disorder characterized by narcissism, a total lack of empathy, and a tendency to control the lives of others. Thus, some of the key differences between these two disorders are as follows:
They make it clear that they don’t care how others feel.
They behave impulsively and disrespectfully
They are prone to fits of anger and rage
They are unable to maintain a regular work and family life
They can form emotional bonds, but it is difficult for them
They pretend that others care
Tendency to behave coldly
They do not recognize the emotions of others
They have shallow and fake relationships
They maintain a normal life as a cover
Cannot form emotional bonds with others
They can love people in their own way
One of the most common ideas is to think that both sociopaths and psychopaths are dangerous, and this belief is usually due to the constructions that are usually made by some movies or series. We must bear in mind that violence, although it can occur, is not an inherent characteristic of sociopathy or psychopathy.
Despite this, people with antisocial personality disorder can often do whatever they can to manipulate others, always in order to get what they really want. Instead, when psychopaths become violent, they are likely to harm themselves and others.
Series of crimes that will help us understand the mind of a criminal
Researchers who have focused on the study of the psychology behind serial killers indicate that, despite the fact that there are some variations, in many cases they share a series of common elements that lead them to commit their crimes. In fact, experts indicate that serial killers tend to be selective with their victims, as well as being motivated by a wide range of psychological drives, especially the urge to control and have power over others and sexual compulsions. In addition, some of the reasons that are usually common in the psychological profile of these people are the following:
Lack of empathy
Its victims are vulnerable
Have a difficult childhood (dysfunctional family or history of abuse)
They appear normal (they do not have strange behaviors in front of others)
They are manipulative and even seductive
There are some series about murders that reflect this type of profile. The most interesting, psychologically speaking, are the following:
Mindhunter: This is one of the series of crimes and mysteries directed by the famous director David Fincher. It analyzes the profiles of the most dangerous criminals from the point of view of the FBI. In addition, it is a series based on real events, and focuses on the beginnings of criminal psychology as a science.
Dexter: In this crime series the protagonist is the murderer. In fact, the story of a police coroner who in his spare time becomes a serial killer is told. The interesting thing is that his victims are chosen for a convincing reason for the author of these events, which makes us put ourselves in the mind of a psychopath.
Criminal Minds: Another one of the best murder and crime series is Criminal Minds. In it we are shown the profiles of those who could be murderers from the point of view of the FBI. Therefore, it is a way of knowing what can drive people who commit crimes to kill.
Perception: In this series we meet Dr. Daniel Pierce, a character diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia and who works with the FBI to help them with some of the most complicated cases they face. This series is very interesting because he analyzes some mental disorders from another point of view, as well as human perception.
The Sinner: Although each of the seasons of this crime series is independent, the first one is about a woman who murders a man on the beach, but she doesn’t understand why she had this impulse. In this way, the first season will focus on analyzing the mind of the protagonist in order to understand this murder.
Dahmer: Dahmer is one of the most impactful murderers in the history of crime in the United States. In this series, based on true events, the story of both the serial killer and his family and his victims are told. An unusual way to put yourself in the shoes of the two profiles and to analyze the reason for the attitude of a serial criminal and all the damage that he causes to both his victims and their families.
‘Conversations with murderers: The Ted Bundy tapes’: Ted Bunny was another of the serial killers who marked the decade of the seventies in the United States. This crime series is based on the actual interview this killer had with a detective. According to investigations, Bunny killed at least 36 women, although it is believed that his victims may be many more. In this interview, we can see how a serial killer thinks and the reasons that lead him to kill.
‘Luther’: This murder series stars a detective and a psychopathic partner who helps solve the cases. Therefore, it also allows us to analyze this disorder, as well as the mind of criminals.
These are some of the crime series that can help us get closer to understanding the psyche of a murderer and disprove many myths behind some mental disorders.
Do all murderers have some mental disorder?
As we have mentioned, not all murderers suffer from a mental disorder. In fact, in many cases, the murderers do not suffer from any disorder. On the other hand, only 3% of the population suffers from sociopathy or psychopathy, and this condition is not related to the violent behavior typical of murders in the vast majority of cases.