Creating Monsters and Getting Away With It.
Analyzing the data available on numerous, infamous serial killers, it appears that childhood abuse, neglect and in many cases torture, is the one common thread linking all murderers labeled: serial killers. Among the hundreds of reports and studies available, no one will find the parents of serial killers having been jailed or punished in any way for the monsters they have created. Even though the facts disclose many acts of brutality perpetrated on these children, by the parents. The facts in this report will expose the physical and mental torture, sexual abuse, environments filled with mayhem, and hideous actions of the parents of these serial killers. The parents of serial killers are to blame for this pathetic species of what is loosely referred to as “human beings”. Otherwise, there are little, if any, human characteristics that mirror the average human being in society. The parents of all serial killers should be held responsible for the monsters they set forth to create. A severe punishment should be imposed on these sadistic, abusive parents for harvesting this breed of human being into our society.
Childhood abuse and neglect may not be the sole excuse for serial killers, but it is an undeniable factor in their backgrounds. In his book Serial Killers, Joel Norris describes the cycles of violence as generational:
Parents who abuse their children, physically as well as psychologically, instill in them an almost instinctive reliance upon violence as a first resort to any challenge. Childhood abuse not only spawns violent reactions, but also affects the child’s health, including brain injuries, malnutrition, and other developmental disorders (8-12).
In many cases the mothers overstep acceptable boundaries, exposing their children to inappropriate sexual behavior. Bobby Jo Long killed women he characterized as whores and sluts, who he said reminded him of his own mom (4). She had frequent sex with men in the same room where Bobby slept. According to Long, he shared his bed with his mother until he was 13 years old. Henry Lee Lucas suffered gender confusion as a child, courtesy of his mother’s sadism. She was a heavy drinker and bootlegger. For unknown reasons she dressed him as a girl until he was seven. She senselessly beat him after he had his hair cut because his teacher complained. At one point, his mom struck him on back of head with a wooden beam, fracturing his skull, leaving him lying in the yard, in a semi-conscious state for 3 days (Burgess 270-272). Her boyfriend took him to receive medical attention, not his mother. Lucas was also exposed to his mother’s sexual activities. He killed his mother in 1951, which began his murderous spree (52-56).
The actions of some of the abusive fathers also had a large effect on these killers in their childhood. It is usually the sadistically disciplinarian father that pops up in the serial killer’s family tree. John Gacy’s dad berated his son, calling him a sissy, queer, and a failure. A violent alcoholic, Gacy’s father beat his mother, and shot his son’s dog to punish the child. When Gacy later strangled his young victims, he encouraged them to stay brave while facing death, just as he had experienced when he was a child. “Through this ritual, Gacy sought to reassert his own vision of a masculine identity that had been squashed down by his father,” wrote Joel Norris (52-56). Albert De Salvo’s father would bring home prostitutes and brutally beat his mother, breaking her fingers one by one as young boy helplessly watched. His father also sold his son off as a slave to a farmer in Maine, while his mother went frantically searching for him for six months, a story that has been confirmed by family friends and social workers. De Salvo stated, “he’d always smash me across the back with a pipe. I didn’t move fast enough.” These examples are minor in comparison to the majority of incidents documented by investigators and experts (Williams 2). Most of these fall back on the child not only being ridiculed and physically beaten, but the violence surrounding them involving other family members had a horrendous effect on them (Williams 2).
Some parents believe that by being harsh disciplinarians, it would “toughen” the child. Instead, it creates a lack of love between parent and child that can have disastrous results. If the child doesn’t bond with its primary caretakers, there is no foundation for trusting others later in life. This leads to isolation, where intense violent fantasies become the primary source of gratification. “Instead of developing positive traits of trust, security, and autonomy, child development becomes dependent on fantasy life and its dominant themes, rather than on social interaction,” writes Robert Ressler, Ann Burgess and John Douglas in Sexual Homicide: Patterns and Motives (19). When the child grows up, according to these authors, all they know are their fantasies of domination and control. They have not developed compassion for others. Instead, humans become flattened-out symbols for them to enact their violent fantasies. Ed Gein’s religiously fanatical, notorious mother convinced her son that women were vessels of sin and caused disease. In some sort of twisted misinterpretation, Gein made literal vessels out of women, using their skulls for bowls, and other domestic objects (Douglas 209). Ed’s body may have escaped sexual disease, but his mind was clearly contaminated by his mother’s constant ranting. Joseph Kallinger, adopted by sadistic parents, and after a hernia operation at age 6, his mother told him that the surgery was to keep his penis from growing. As an adult, he believed it had been stunted. A strict disciplinarian, Kallinger’s mother forced him to hold his open hand over a flame, beating him if he cried (Douglas 213). Admittedly, Kemper’s mom was a shrill, tyrannical nag who locked her son in the basement when he grew to six foot, seven inches tall and frightened his sisters. Kallinger grew up taking extreme pleasure in torturing others, and became a sadistic parent himself. After taking an insurance policy out on his 13-year-old son Joey, he slowly drowned him, deaf to his own son’s pleas for mercy. “I certainly wanted for my son and my mother a nice, quiet easy death like everyone else wants,” said Ed Kemper. His idea of an easy death is markedly unusual. After beheading his mom, he shoved her vocal cords down the garbage disposal, raped her headless body, and placed her head on the living room mantel and used it as a dartboard (Douglas 214). In over one hundred eight case studies, while investigators repeatedly uncovered sadistic torture, sexual abuse and horrendous psychological terror toward the serial killer, in their childhoods, no charges were ever brought against any of the parents. The Martha Stewart of serial killers, Ed Gein who inspired the movie “Texas Chainsaw Massacre”, made gruesome home improvements. This included lampshades and seat covers made from human skin, and skulls used for drinking cups. He also made clothing and bracelets out of body parts (sunset 1). Years of physical torture by his mother and father discovered when the killer was finally apprehended confirm the parents played a major role in the way their son turned out as an adult (sunset 1).
The evidence concludes that all serial killers have varied forms and degrees of child abuse in their childhood years, involving neglect, physical and mental abuse, varied levels of sadistic torture and abusive surroundings. We can see in each case, the lack of healthy, nurturing parents, whether from simple neglect, inflicting torturous rage, or exposing their children to violent surroundings, created sick, twisted adolescents and adults. Although, not all directly perpetrated by the parents, as parents we are responsible for creating decent, law-abiding citizens. When it is deemed that a serial killer, or any other type of monster was created through the horrendous acts of the mother or father, the parents should be punished harshly.