When one thinks about notorious serial killers, what usually comes to mind is the grisly, violent murders they committed while the public was unaware. It’s easy to imagine their bloody faces, and their sadistic smiles as they kill their pleading victims. But the truth of the matter is that many serial killers were able to kill multiple people without being caught because they were the last people you’d ever suspect of committing such heinous crimes. Case in point: Ted Bundy.
While some of America’s most evil murderers could be considered socially inept, most serial killers manage to exude charm and charisma to the outside world. Their psychopathic tendencies usually remain hidden—locked in the basements and cellars they keep their victims in. So if these infamous killers are so adept at hiding their dark side, how do you know if someone you know is a psychopath? What if someone you’re dating or interested in is a psychopath? Here are five warning signs.
1. Lack of Genuine Feelings
Say you and your loved one watch a sad movie, or encounter a depressing news segment. Let’s say it has triggered you emotionally. Does your partner feel much the same… or does he or she only pretend to? Many psychopaths tend to have an underdeveloped range in emotions. Seeing one too many of those Sarah McLaughlin animal shelter commercials may have you on edge, but if your partner seems their usual calm self, or their feelings seem exaggerated and feigned, it could be a sign that their emotional range is severely lacking.
2. Lack of Guilt and Remorse
This sign stems from the same lack of emotional breadth but is often an even bigger warning sign. If you caught your partner in a lie and they don’t seem too bothered by it, it could be that your loved one struggles to understand and cope with your hurt feelings. They are detached from the situation, which will only further allow them to continue to lie and cheat without feeling the urge to confess to you. If your partner hurts you either verbally or physically and still doesn’t show any remorse, I would strongly recommend you reconsider the relationship altogether.
3. Need for Stimulation
Let’s go back to Ted Bundy for a moment. When asked why he succumbed to murdering young women, Bundy often blamed his violent and sexual tendencies on pornography. When Bundy was a young teen he discovers a pornographic magazine near his house. He claims that after finding the magazine, he continued to look at porn and found his desire for sexual violence to perpetually escalate. This, he stated, ultimately led him to seek women out in real life. Once a psychopath discovers a hobby that they enjoy, their interest often escalates to passion and then onto a ravenous need. If your partner or someone you know seems obsessed with carrying things out to the extreme, it might be best to be on the lookout for other warning signs.
4. Strong Ego
Serial killers come in all shapes and sizes, but most have one very specific thing in common—they think very highly of themselves. In the eyes of a psychopath, there is typically a huge gap between how they view themselves and how they view others. To them, they are the king or queen, and everybody else is a mere peasant, regardless of social standing. Furthermore, psychopaths are usually extremely self-centered. They are usually not in the habit of helping others and nor do they usually think well of outsiders. For a lot of serial killers and psychopaths their ego often goes hand in hand with their sense of power—and power is something they must consistently have over all others.
5. Zero Empathy
Again, this goes hand in hand with a lack of emotional depth, but to a dangerous extreme. Some people are naturally more empathic than others, but empathy is a foreign concept to psychopaths. Take notorious killers Fred and Rose West for example. This couple had several children together—children that they also abused, raped, even killed together. To Rose and Fred, the children may as well have been total strangers for all the love they gave them. How did they manage to commit such heinous crimes against their own offspring? From a total lack of empathy. In those violent moments, Fred and Rose did not possess the ability to understand the perspective of their own children. They could not fathom what it must have been like “in another person’s shoes” so to speak. If your partner or someone you know seems incapable of expressing or understanding empathy, chances are they could be a deadly psychopath.
About the Author: Chelsey Dagner is a full time horror writer and aspiring librarian. When she isn’t writing articles for Blumhouse and The Lineup, she can typically be found watching creepy movies, playing Elder Scrolls, or taking leisurely strolls with her cats. Check out her horror blog at www.macabreadore.com. Chelsey Dagner is a full time horror writer and aspiring librarian. When she isn’t writing articles for Blumhouse and The Lineup, she can typically be found watching creepy movies, playing Elder Scrolls, or taking leisurely strolls with her cats. Check out her horror blog at www.macabreadore.com