Dexter: The Sympathetic Serial Killer

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The author of the popular "Dexter" series, Jeff Lindsay, is astonished to find his novels and the correlating television series to be a hit. There are countless television programs and books dedicated to the lives of famous serial killers from around the world. Why are we attracted to those who find pleasure from destroying our own kind?

Lindsay asserts that the serial killer "represents an inhuman psychology that is beyond us" denying us the ability to turn away without further knowledge. While the TV series, "Dexter" is not extremely graphic each of us has our own imagination to complete the puzzle. We are terrified by the images that occur in our own minds yet we can't seem to stop watching. Lindsay believes that the creation of a serial killer is purely biological:

"Serial killers are psychopaths, and current research in brain mapping indicates that psychopaths are born, not made. There is an actual, physical, difference in their brains; you can't become a serial killer by reading about one, any more than you can get magical powers from reading 'Harry Potter.'"

I disagree with this argument. I previously researched the famous serial killer, John Wayne Gacy. After Gacy's execution his brain was taken in order to find abnormalities, however no such abnormalities were discovered. Despite this case I believe that there has to be a biological component to creating a serial killer. I believe this component lies dormant in each of our brains until an incident occurs that can trigger violent behavior. I do not believe that humans are simply incapable of committing such heinous acts because it is not in their biological material. However, I think the "trigger point" is different for each individual and the crime is not necessarily murder. Simply said, there are more factors than just the biology of an individual that creates a serial killer.

Furthermore, if it is true that serial killers are purely biological creations, where do they originate from? Must their parents have a certain chromosome that the individual receives in order to cause said individual to become a serial killer?

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/06/25/opinion/25Lindsay.html?ref=psychologyandpsychologists

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