For nearly 30 years, Helen Morrison has probed the brains of serial killers, reports the Associated Press. “”What makes a serial killer? After all these years, I still don’t know,” she said. “We try to give them motives, but they don’t have any. They just do it.” Morrison, who tells her story in her new memoirs – “My Life Among the Serial Killers,” written with Harold Goldberg – has studied more than 80 of these murderers. She has spoken with their relatives, read their diaries, exchanged correspondence, consulted with their lawyers, and examined photos of victims.
Morrison has found “a cookie-cutter syndrome:” serial killers tend to be hypochondriacs, chatty, remorseless men who are addicted to the most brutal acts – stabbings, strangulation, rape – and see their victims as inanimate objects. Serial killers, who are almost always men, can appear normal, affable, even charming – up to a point. Morrison believes that serial killers can’t be rehabilitated and, if set free, would surely commit more murders. (She supports the death penalty.) She doesn’t see a sexual motivation, believing they stop developing psychologically as infants. Other experts disagree with her, saying serial killers aren’t all alike, have motives and their sexuality is closely intertwined with their violence.