THE KILLER WHO TAKES THE IDENTITY OF THE KILLED ONE
Italian novelist Donato Carrisi is a maestro of psychological writing. He knows how to write so that we could be afraid while we read. That is a virtue of a good mind walker and each one of his books is a proof that he reached the top of thrilling story telling. But, above all, he has touched the deepest instincts of our inner beings and make us breathe in the panic, like we are fighting to survive.
The idea about the chameleon syndrome of serial killers is not so new but the idea about the serial killer transformist is even more exciting. It combines the chameleon effects of killer with his pure ability for transforming, but not into someone somewhere and sometime, but into taking or overtaking the identity of the victim.
What we know about the serial killers is that they are having a serious issue with their own identity which comes from the fact that many of them suffer from the severe mental diseases. That usually named bipolar disorder is merged with fascinating sociopaths and psychopaths attributes so the mask of the soul monster is something we will never forget. When serial killers kill, he recognizes his lost identity in the killed one and he experiences the sadistic joy, accumulated in traumatic past. Nevertheless, Donato Carrisi in his novel ” The lost Girls of Rome” introduced us with the term of serial killer transformist, the special chameleon killer that assumes the physical and personality traits of his victims, trying to solve his own identity crisis, borrowing the another’s one life:“He was a unique example, an extremely rare psychiatric case. He didn’t just take another’s person place and imitate his behaviour, he actually became that person. It was impossible to predict his moves. The transformist had exceptional learning skills, especially as regards languages and accents. ”
The point about the serial killer transformist is not that he hunts everyone everywhere, he is rather selective. It is almost like an elitist approach to the killing ritual. He takes time to define the potential victim and to make a mosaic if that person is suitable for his own mental cracks to fulfill with the own death.
The killing is a ceremony for the serial killer transformist because he believes it must be done or he will be lost without “borrowed identity”. It is not a simple chameleon effects that we are familiar with when it comes to the serial killers field and media coverage. There are many of serial killers that have managed to escape the judicial system and the jaws of law just because they were gone within the society they have terrorized with their random murders. Some that have killed tens of people are simply vanished and none ever detected them again. This occurs in the U.S. because the land is large and the population huge so that makes easier for killers to embrace the chameleon strategy and be gone. Zodiac is just one famous example but there are those less famous but never ending riddles for old police records and doubts.
According to criminal files, the curious case of Serial Killer Transformist has been born in the 19th and early 20th century. Because of the lack of forensic methods and investigative tools, the circumstances were differently stated. The bodies have never been found but there was an idea that NN had killed the people before he consumed their identity. Later, the advanced police operative work raised the problem again and forensic psychiatry come out with the new observations:“We’re not dealing with a case of multiple personality, or the kind of patient who claims to be Napoleon or the Queen of England. Subjects affected by chameleon syndrome tend to imitate perfectly whoever they meet. Faced with a doctor they become doctors, faced with a cook they say they know how to cook. Questioned on their profession, they respond in a general but appropriate manner.”
In the age of Internet homicide, when the killers have all freedom to pick their victims, it seems that serial killer transformist has a open highway for his own modus operandi and the ideas about finding his lost identity. Just to mention social media and the lack of personal security on the web which also has its dark side. Chat-rooms, online meeting services, digital marriage clubs, popular social networks…very fertile ground for a hunter to look for a prey. There are people who offer their routine life on the horror table of social media scene. Facebook is definitely one of the most popular, both for predators and victims. The first seek for a weak flesh, the second seek for an attention. At the end of the day, it is just an illusion that makes us separated. As once wrote, what is normal for a spider, it is a chaos for the fly. Spiders hunt flies. Natural circle. The serial killer transformist in this case is a spider that becomes a fly.
I find very disturbing the fact that many people have identity crisis. It has it benign and its malign side. The benign way is one life process through the finding own selves without harming others. The malign option is one we do not want for ourselves because it harms us and everyone else. The serial killer transformist is one who did not managed to stay on the light but he fell down into the hell of his own spirit. He kills his victim on the physical level but on the mental level, he becomes that victim. That is a silent admiration of the object of the killing. He or she deserves to die because his or her identity is enough attractive for a transformist to overtake it. Since the serial killers are highly intelligent, they analyze the possible victim and all attributes so they are ready to jump only when they are sure that they won’t be caught in their own web. The spider doesn’t want to end up like the fly dying in own web of confusions. They always pick grey mouses, the people they are not remarkable and whose missing wont be so obvious.
Based on FBI statistics, there are about 25 and 50 active serial killers throughout the U.S. at any given moment. Not every of them have chameleon syndrome, not every of those who have chameleon syndrome could be an exceptional transformist. It is very rare but it exists and having in mind the level of mental disorders within our communities, it is to be expected the growing side of crime and challenging psychological key questions for the future murders. The spider never sleeps. It always hunts, mostly in the shadow of our own happy, peaceful lives.