Serial killers often show early warning signs that are overlooked or go undiscovered during their childhood. As a society of parents, how many future victims, and future killers could we possibly save by learning to recognize these early warning signs? These questions have been studied at length over the last twenty five years, and according to FBI special agent Robert K. Ressler and other leaders in serial killer studies, we are learning more and more about serial killer childhood behavior.
There are a number of early warning signs that should not be ignored. If any of the following signs are noticed in a child, they should be seen by a professional immediately. More often than not, these symptoms or signs are not indicative of future violent behavior, but it is still important to get them help.
Serial killers often are bed wetters well into their teens. For whatever reason, this early warning sign seems to show up quite often. This could be related to sexual abuse, which is also an early warning sign of the potential serial killer. Sexual abuse may be by the Mother or Father. The child is brought up with very mixed emotions about who they are and the roles of children and parents. This can lead to a lack of identity in the child, as well as the beginnings of callous behavior towards others. A young serial killer will begin to feel as though he should simply take what he wants.
Serial killers often will have a fascination with fire and arson. Many serial killers were formerly arsonists, and some continue the behavior even after they become serial killers. Again, this is an action of power and control. Along the same lines, many serial killers will grow up torturing family pets, animals and strays as a means of exerting power over them. As they grow, this need to control progresses to human beings in the budding serial killer. Torturing animals is a serious sign of future problems.
Another early warning sign of serial killer is peeping, and theft. Many serial killers begin their criminal careers by peeping through windows, or breaking into homes. Some go so far as to steal little mementos, or objects of desire such as underclothes. This too, is a serious early warning sign of a serial killer. Not every person that exhibits these behaviors will grow up to be a serial killer, but some will. All of these behaviors are serious enough that a doctor should be consulted regardless
Serial killers will always be a part of our society. Hopefully, through research and intervention we can at least limit the numbers of potential serial killers. There is still much to be learned, but some of these early warning signs are a great start.