Making of a Serial Killer: Amalgamation of Law, Crime & Psychology

“While nothing is easier than to denounce the evildoer , nothing is more difficult than to denounce them” –  Dostoevsky. Recognition of a criminal character is essential for rerouting a perpetrator’s thinking, which is encircled by his delusions. Criminal psychology is a field of study that focuses on the psychological aspects of crimes and how to prevent them. Serial killers have existed since the dawn of time, and then when the motivation for such crimes is understood, they could be stopped. Violent criminals are among those that decide, target, as well as slaughter. To deal with this kind of deadly murderers, one must go deeper into inner minds, that exposes everything or even just resolves the problem. Nowadays, diagnostic or criminal psychologists conduct inquiries, assisting governmental authorities in tracking down criminals by drawing up profiling of them, which are utilized at each and every level to detect any potential offences.

Psychology has elucidated the relation among a murderer’s thoughts and his actions. Criminal psychology, also known as criminological psychology, is the study of a murderer’s actions and character as well as their inherent inclinations or Criminal Psychology, according to “G.H Gudjonsson” and “L.R.C Haward” is “The branch of applied psychology which is concerned with the collection, examination and presentation of evidence for judicial purposes”. There are also several issues that circle all over a felony and a murderer, including what beholds it, what provokes it, if intention exists, and if a yearning to obtain food and milk is so tremendous in today’s environment that it can foreclose murders. The persistent efforts of psychologists and criminologists have shed insight on the subject and assigned particular personality traits to offenders. Serial murderers, who seem to to withdraw back into societal structure and establish a disparity, are at the top of the felonious hierarchy; India has already seen several of the most heinous offenders including Charles Sobhraj, M. Jaishankar, Devendra Sharma, Autoshankar, Cyanide Mohan, Akku Yadav, Thug Behram, The Nithari Killers among many others.

Who is a Serial Killer and Categorisation of the same

As even the term implies a “serial killer” is somebody who murders a huge proportion of people in a short period of time for a specified reason. However, those same serial killers who seem to have a proclivity to cause fear and warning share some characteristics. Typically, their sentimental mental capacities become unresponsive without even any understanding of regret or compassion mostly during their childhood, and this type of circumstance contributes to psychiatric conditions.

They may have faced abandonment, solitude, tragedy, as well as other things as youngsters, shaping themselves into people who are fearful of the consequences of their behaviour. According to a research, 42 percent of inmates who became violent criminals have been exposed to violent assault, 74 percent to mental torture, 35 percent to sexual violence, and roughly 29 percent were accident-prone adolescents.

When one’s character deteriorates, they have a propensity to disconnect their cognitive talents from the natural surroundings. There are no propelling causes of inspiration in a murderer other than the joy which the conduct of murder offers to individuals; nevertheless, to their disappointment, it simply serves as a distraction from inner disappointments. There may also be instances wherein the sufferer is chosen based on the misery that he or she has endured.

It was also discovered that a serial murderer could have a variety of objectives for committing the wrongdoing including monetary benefit, any sort of philosophy or wrath towards humanity, authority or pleasure associated with felony or any sexual drive. The ideal age for someone to enter the cruel realm of criminality is in their mid-20s, or around 28 years and older; almost all of such offenses drop or the offenders recede by their 40s or 50s, although there are deviations to this rule.

In particular, with the exception of a tiny fraction, the majority of them seem to have average Intelligence thresholds. Any suspected serial killer will indeed integrate into the conceptual description of a psychopath, but not every psychopath is a killer because one affecting approximately 150 individuals turns out to be the same.

According to a research performed on 5000 offenders by Kent Kiehl, a neurologist, the majority of psychopathic become murderers and suffer from neurological abnormalities. As a result, they seem to be either psychopaths or even have an unethical temperament (Sociopaths), but they cannot be declared not convicted because this would not constitute judicial lunacy.

Based on the aforementioned elements, it may be concluded that a career criminal is not created or birthed as is commonly assumed, but that vulnerability differs depending on whether these characteristics are inherited or owing to an immoral disposition.

These categories of criminals have a topography or taxonomy that separates them from one another. They’ve been categorised into four kinds by Holmes and DeBurger: “mission-oriented serial killers”, “hedonistic serial killers”, “visionary serial killers”, and “power-control serial killers”. A mission-oriented murderer believes it’s really there own vocation to murder the people, and that they are travelling the universe to fulfil their objective; sufferers in these kind of instances include females, homosexual people, and others. “Joseph Paul Franklin”, that murdered 12 black males is an instance of mission-oriented topology.

Hedonistic killers, on either side, would be those who murder for the sole intention of excitement as well as delight, such as obtaining any type of physical enjoyment from the sufferer, as did the murderer “Jaffrey Dahmer”. A Visionary Murderer is someone who commits crimes while struggling with a mental disorder, such as “Son of Sam” or “David Berkowitz”. These were all murderers who’ve been forced to assassinate or those who have gotten orders to assassinate. The power-control oriented killers, on the other hand, operate underneath the pretext of bloodlust as well as counterfeit authority and influence. “Ted Bundy”, who garnered a lot of public attention and operated during 1946 and 1989, is someone that committed numerous atrocities to gain dominance and influence.

Applying the Amalgamation

Numerous violent criminals have terrorised people across the Indian Sub – continent by engulfing them in deadly realms of chaos, brutality, and bizarreness. Charles Sobhraj, also known as the Bikini Killer, is a well-known serial murderer that burglarized humans to stay off their wealth and afterwards coolly carried out his strategy to obtain the survivors’ confidence and afterwards deceive people. Between 1975 and 1976, he murdered approximately 12 individuals These murderers are motivated solely by monetary benefit in order to enjoy a lavish lifestyle. Another of them would be Gowri Shankar, better known as Auto Shankar.

Auto Shankar was raised in the Vellore district and instilled fear inside the town of Chennai during the years 1987 and 1988, when he perpetrated six killings and so many more, beginning with a lady called Lathika. Shankar had a background of illegal distilling (coconut liquor) and running prostitution brothels (flesh trade) alongside his five collaborators before even being traced for and caught by the Madras authorities, which resulted in the remains of his captives being unearthed. The cognitive perspective on criminality has its origins in places such as Europe and Russia.

The very first institution of its sort in India was created in 1916 at University Of calcutta, and a National Institute of Criminology and Forensic Sciences was founded in Delhi in 1972 to capture the mental core of crimes. According to the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) report of 2018, crime in India has risen by 1.3 percent, embracing approximately 50 lakh or above percentage of violations inside the nation. Additionally, due to overcrowding in detention centers, our region is experiencing a scarcity of Criminal Psychologists that are not provided sufficient power to cope with the issue.

This limitation not just restricts the quantitative element of incapacity to resolve difficulties, but that also prevents progress within the area of comprehending a murderer’s psychological state. Because a sufficient restriction on the frequency of wrongdoing can be imposed by correcting issues at the floor level, i.e. wherever a perpetrator’s understanding originates, Other than that, a therapist is needed to handle any problems that the prisoners may have, increasing the need for greater needs. Despite the fact that India has famous crime psychologists such as S.L Vaya, Ahuja Trehan Kapur and many others, there is still a scarcity of them. This technique tries to provide a response to contemplating problems of horrible circles of wrongdoing by evolving since its inception, presenting a severe shift in the view that an offender is a sinner to a dramatic shift that he or she can really be a sufferer of conditions.


The Psychology of Thought is both a revelation to a person and a movement that targets unethical activity from its start. Serial killers including Madan Bhawanlal Nayak could be readily restrained from committing crimes by gaining mental aptitude. Psychologists are, in fact, a tool for resolving complicated mental problems. The issue has contributed towards the discovery that a normal adult doesn’t really torment, and that this is the tormented individual who abuses another. As Carl Jung put it, “In all chaos, there is a cosmos, and in all disorder, there is an order,” but if there is dysfunction, request may be restored by changing conduct.


[1] Abrahamsen, D., “The Psychology of Crime” (1960).

[2] Gabriel, U. and Greve, W., “The Psychology of Fear of Crime: Conceptual and Methodological Perspectives”, British Journal of Criminology 43(3) 2003, pp.600-614.

[3] Kocsis, R.N. ed., “Serial Murder and the Psychology of Violent Crimes”, Totowa, NJ: Humana Press (2008).

[4] Bartels, R. and Parsons, C., “The Social Construction of a Serial Killer”, Feminism & Psychology19(2) 2009. , pp.267-280.


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