Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Murder Mystery

Not ideal bedtime reading
My eye was caught by this headline on the Internet today, and my interest was immediately piqued. I find stories of unsolved murders and serial killer infinitely interesting. It is horrific, I do understand that, I'm under no illusion that serial killers aren't seriously disturbed, sick people. It doesn't make me any less interested in the subject. Years ago I found this book, which I have since read several times over. Murder is fascinating.

I'm obviously aware that it is only fascinating when it's not a personal experience, but looking from the outside in, it never ceases to keep me captivated and wondering what went on in a killer's head. Psychopathic, sociopathic, unempathetic, twisted thoughts, no doubt. But how did they get that way? Did something happen to them to make them that way? Can we blame their parents, someone who treated them badly, the society? Or do we have to come to the truly frightening conclusion that, in the absence of any visible reason for homicidal behaviour, some people are born bad?

Because that is the really scary bit, isn't it? Because I like to think that there was something very very bad in that person's past that made them see the world in a dark, twisted way. That in itself is scary, that there is something in us, that given the "right" circumstances, we can be driven to horrific acts. But there is a reason behind it. Something to explain the atrocities. What happens when there is no explanation? Nothing to fall back on, nothing to make you go "well I suppose that's why..." Just the cold, harsh reality of the fact that some people are capable of great evil and that is the long and short of it. They just do it, there's no "why" or "how".

In fiction, we're given an explanation; Norman Bates had a multiple personality disorder and was traumatised by his mother's death. Leatherface was a product of inbreeding, even Hannibal Lecter had a method to his madness. Things don't always wrap up nicely in real life, and even in cases when there is a reason we never find it out. Jack the Ripper, what was his story? Why did he attack those women? It's the element of unknown that has me intrigued. It's the same element of unknown that has me lock my doors every night.

You never know what might go bump in the night.

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