We’ve all got the power in our hands to kill, but most people are afraid to use it. The ones who aren’t afraid, control life itself.”
-Richard Ramirez, serial killer
Sophie is almost 50 years old, devoted wife and great mother. We can’t say that she is really beautiful but we can say that she is an attractive woman, that takes care of her look. As a nurse with part time job, she can manage her life very good and makes sure that family is still on the first place. Her husband, Kurt is leading a successful career as a manager in City National Bank of Florida. He is five years younger as Sophie, good looking and rich. This means he works a lot to provide a great existence to his wife and his 15-year-old son Matthew. The house that Family Butler has bought is one of the most beautiful on the Fisher Island. Sophie loved that house so much and wanted to make a big party for her round birthday. She was killed exactly on her birthday, with no mercy. Sophie Butler was the third woman that has been killed in Florida in the studied period of time, according to the same pattern. She was a victim of a serial killer.
How someone is ended to be a victim of a serial killer ? I guess it is not so easy to reply in spite of fact that we all know the basic facts from crime documentary, that wolves lurk on weak sheep. The theory of hunt and the hunting field could be multidimensional because the world is not in one colour. The time has changed and the hunting options too. The crime mind has developed together with the social and tehnological Big Bang and has embraced all new challenges. No matter what and how, the psychopath is always one step forward, provoking the justice and modifying the feel of safety. In the age of hyper digitalisation and networking, the stalker has many tickets on the boards and the victims have only one way ticket. The death has never been easier and the life has never been cheeper.
I have always wondered what are the criteria for serial killer to pick out the victim ? Indeed, there is always some secret code that they follow in recognising their next pray but since Jack Ripper´s days, many things are different. The modern victims aren’t anymore forgotten street ladies but beloved wives and mothers. Why they have been picked out from million other people ? Because they are pretty, successful or intelligent ? Maybe because all of them have been blondie with amazing and fit body? It could be all and nothing but one is sure: serial killer has a perfect image in his head and he follows his vision, full of devils and darkness. According to one psychiatrist, it is very hard to note the slightly differences between victims and to find that invisible connection between preys:“This person would be thought of as their ´ideal victim´ based on race, gender, physical characteristics, or some other specific quality. It is rarely possible for the killers to find people who meet these exact qualifications, so they generally seek out people with similar traits. This is why serial killings often seem to be completely random at first – each victim may have something in common that only the killer easily recognizes.It is generally accepted that most serial killers feel a strong urge to commit acts of murder. They are, however, thought to be extremely cautious people who will not choose a victim unless they feel the chances of success are very high. For this reason, the first murder victim is very often a prostitute or homeless person, someone the killers can attack without drawing a lot of attention. These factors make it even more difficult to establish patterns in a series of slayings and to track down the responsible culprit.”
Back in 2016, I spoke with one serial killer profiler from FBI. This man has impressed me a lot with his know-how because he seemed to be very good in catching sexual predators and serial killers. Till now, I remember his words:” It is not important who may be the victim but to make sure you are not a future victim.” Sam has right about it. Before we think of the categories of victims we should think of preventing even being in the radius of the killer hunting zone. What does it mean? I will clarify it very simply: we can’t eliminate serial killers, they will be always the penetrant part of our sick societies but we can ensure our own safety and the protection of our life. It may sounds pretty much radical but in this polarised world, taking care of individual security is a demand of every human being. The governments won’t do much about it since they are busy organising wars for oil and gold, for their own national strategies and international failures. This further means, we are all on our own. I do not underestimate the work of law enforcement but I don’t believe they can protect all people at once. Personally, I am supporting the rights for bearing the gun and making yourself not being such a weak target. At least, with the weapon, you are considered to be a dangerous target or target that is willing to strike back. If Sophie only had a gun…..he maybe wouldn’t see her as his easy catch, as a cheap trophy. Because Sophie would go all over with her gun and be noted as a woman with her own defending capacity.
The victimological approach to serial murders starts with analysing the motives and visions on the serial killer and his hunting logic. One serial killer is focusing on his research of the future crime field and try to find the ideal victim social networks for his project. He will study the hunting field as the bussinessman studies the risk of investment. Everything must be clear from potential risk and such killing projects can take even years before they are really realised. One researcher has pointed the hot zones of serial killers: “Urban Subcultures (heterosexual and homosexual bars, night clubs, and red light areas); Isolated Landscapes (parking lots, jogging paths, and rest areas; Areas with high concentration of elderly and poor individuals; Skid Row (derelict areas of a city); University Campuses. Victim social networks provide the predator with opportunities to prey on transient persons; for example, lost or run away children, mental patients, and prostitutes. Victim social networks are also important for determining where a predator resides and works. The locations above are the geographical areas in the USA where the highest risks for victimization from serial killers and rapists exist. These landscape layouts provide the predator with ease of access and escape routes to avoid detection. For example, from the five high risk victim targeting areas the university campus appears to be a safe place. However, university campuses, at least in the USA, have certain landscape features which make them ideal for hunting and abducting victims. Isolated parking lots provide ample opportunities for serial killers and rapists to abduct victims. While lighting on university campuses has improved safety, the predator is still willing to take their chances in open areas. Ted Bundy, a contemporary serial killer, provides a classic example of an offender who targeted many of his victims on college campuses.”
Th serial killers search for their ideal victim and they may to find the one who is almost as ideal as one in their vision. Before you are on their list of deadly desire, be sure to make all steps against that potential trap. It is not about being paranoid but about being careful and loving your life and safety. As I have already suggested, don’t try to live isolated but rather with family or friends. Be social active person but escape the wandering at night at the alone places, park lots or distanced night bars. Do not have always the same routine but do not make exceptional rules, only to escape the boredom or to save time. If may happens that you walk down the street at night and you have a shortcut to the house, keep walking the busy street rather than provoking the darkness. If you believe that someone is in your house, don’t get in. Call immediately the police. It is always better one more safety test as final death. Don’t park at strange parkings only to save some money but pick out those that are monitored. People should make sure that their garages have authentically code because there are some universal remote controllers that could be purchased and abused by serial killers, as a way to the victim through the garage. Beside it, I would provide the house with safety alarm and one Malinois dog. Regarding the online stalker, it is a next level of consideration. There are some great people on the Internet but there are so many of those who are seeking for their own trophy of death. They will never stop to search for someone like you, me or Sophie. Don’t let them play they game with you, don’t run with them on the field, be out of their hunting zone, being strong, prepared and informed to deal with lunatics. Even the wolf is afraid of the wolf that hides in the sheep clothes.
2 thoughts on “THE STALKER: HOW SERIAL KILLERS PICK OUT THEIR PREY?”
Sarah’s invaluable and enlightening article should be the type discussed by high school students, across the world: they will become adults and need to be educated about how to protect themselves from potential and real serial killers.
At the same time, we need to acknowledge that many powerful governments and their elite commercial employers access violent criminals (including serial killers) for political purposes (e.g. assassination).
A recent and infamous case was that of Enrique Prado (Miami-mafia serial killer) who was employed by the CIA (via proxy means) to undertake specific assassinations in Iraq and Afghanistan. Former US-President George W. Bush extended permission to the CIA executives to create a clandestine assassination unit comprising of a variety of killers (e.g. military, mercenary and criminal). The notorious firm Blackwater was involved in this; the first time the US-government had outsourced assassination tasks to a private company.
In his e-book ‘How to Get Away With Murder in America’, North American writer Even Wright (b. 1966) wrote ‘In the past, the CIA was subject to oversight, however tenuous, from the President and Congress, but President Bush’s 2001 executive order severed this line by transferring to the CIA his unique authority to approve assassinations: by removing himself from the decision-making cycle, the president shielded himself and all elected authority from responsibility; should a mission go wrong or be found illegal.
When the CIA transferred the assassination unit to Blackwater, it continued the trend: CIA officers would no longer participate in the agency’s most violent operations, or witness them. If it practiced any oversight at all, the CIA would rely on Blackwater’s self-reporting about missions it conducted. Running operations through Blackwater gave the CIA the power to have people abducted, or killed, with no one in the government being exactly responsible.’
A US-Federal organized crime squad (Miami-Dade Police Department) produced an investigation allegedly tying Enrique Prado to 7 murders carried out while he worked as a bodyguard for a narcotics crime boss. At the time, the CIA declared him unavailable for questioning, and the investigation was shut down before he was arrested or tried.
The Obama administration awarded Blackwater (now called Academi) a US$250 million contract to perform unspecified services for the CIA.
There is evidence that even ancient governments (e.g. in Rome) employed psychopaths, etc., to undertake specific assassinations.
The northern Indian pedagogue, philosopher and royal advisor Chanakya (c. 350–283 BCE) wrote about assassinations in detail, in his political treatise ‘Arthashastra’: types of assassins are referred to (e.g. serial killers).
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