Mutilations to the bodies of three North Carolina women authorities say were killed by the same person during a nine-year span were more severe each time, reports the Charlotte Observer. Criminal justice experts say that fits the pattern of a serial killer who got bolder over time, and demonstrated efforts to satisfy a compulsion caused by an earlier trauma. Scott W. Williams is charged. All three women were shot to death before they were mutilated, and the third was decapitated and dismembered.
Paul Friday, a University of North Carolina-Charlotte criminology professor, said serial killers typically have “revenge fantasies” caused by a “significant shock in their life.” Friday and Lawson Bernstein of the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, who has studied death row inmates, said serial killers need to satisfy a desire that continues to grow. “The first mutilation satisfies them, but they have to escalate that because they need more satisfaction, and then more and more,” Friday said.