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  • Writer's pictureKelly Romo

Do You Know A Serial Killer?

Updated: Nov 11, 2023

Here are six telltale signs to look out for.

Are you concerned that someone you know could potentially be a serial killer? Do you have someone acting a little suspicious in your life? Are their words and behaviors difficult to reconcile? If so, it is important to note that there are certain key signs to look out for when identifying a potential serial killer. These include sensation seeking, lack of remorse, guilt or empathy, impulsivity, the need for power over others, predatory behavior, and the torture of animals. By keeping an eye out for these hallmarks, you may discover if someone close to you is more than they appear.


Does someone in your life search endlessly for the next thrilling experience? Do they take risks and have an affinity for seeking out experiences and emotions that are unique, intricate, and powerful? Do they feel that life is mundane without the occasional rush of adrenaline or strange exotic feelings? This type of personality trait involves a readiness to push boundaries in all areas – physical, social, legal, and financial – without fear or worry of the repercussions. Unfortunately, this behavior can often lead to dangerous situations and is one indicator of a serial killer.


Does a person in your life lack remorse, guilt, or empathy? Do they consistently show disregard for right and wrong? People with a lack of remorse or empathy often manipulate or treat others harshly without consideration of their feelings. They are impulsive in their behavior and do not stay within the boundaries of the law. Unfortunately, these individuals are often more than just lawbreakers. They may lie habitually, behave violently towards others, and struggle with drug and alcohol abuse. They also tend to avoid responsibilities related to family, work, or school, which can further exacerbate the problem. What's more, they may purposely attempt to make those around them angry or upset.


Do you know someone who makes rash decisions or reacts without thinking? Impulsivity is characterized by hot-headedness, unpredictable behavior, and instability in emotions, relationships, and other areas of life. These emotional outbursts often lead to feelings of inadequacy and a cycle of unstable behaviors that can be hard to break free from. For instance, someone with impulsiveness might become overly irate at even the slightest insult without understanding why their reaction was so disproportionate. Or they may take action without considering the consequences.


Does someone in your life try to control and manipulate you? Do they keep you in fear? Control comes in many forms, such as keeping you away from family, friends, or supportive people—and they make you feel guilty when you spend time with others. Controlling behaviors may include putting up financial, social, and emotional barriers that make it difficult for the victim to get out of the relationship. These measures could also involve stalking, questioning, embarrassing, or gaslighting their partner. In extreme cases, the perpetrator might even deprive the other person of basic needs like sleep or food. Sometimes, these behaviors can be so subtle and psychologically abusive that even long after the relationship ends, their victims remain traumatized. It is, therefore, essential for anyone in this kind of situation to take action as soon as possible.


Do you know someone who displays predatory-like behavior eerily similar to wild carnivores? Unlike their animal counterparts, predatory people have no legitimate need to kill; they do so just because they can. In some rare cases, they may be provoked into violence, but it’s usually because they view other people as inferior beings who don’t matter in the grand scheme of things. It’s difficult to spot someone with this personality type since they can be highly skilled at pretending to be normal, though underneath the façade lies an unquenchable thirst for blood and destruction. It is not uncommon for them to disguise themselves as empathetic individuals, making them even more challenging to identify.


When it comes to the psychological profile of a serial killer, there is one telltale sign that should NEVER be overlooked: torturing animals. Studies have shown that killing or torturing small creatures such as birds, cats, and squirrels can often be an early warning sign of sociopathy in children. Much like many serial killers who murder other people to gain a sense of control over their lives, kids with violent tendencies tend to gain the same feeling by taking out their aggression on innocent animals. This behavior is further compounded when they collect, dissect, and disembowel them as part of their morbid fantasies. Parents should be especially vigilant when observing any strange behaviors around animals in their child, as these traits can potentially indicate deeper psychological issues than simply "kids being kids.” While this doesn’t necessarily guarantee a person will become a serial killer, it is an alarming sign that requires further investigation and possible help for the child exhibiting such behavior.

The hallmarks of a potential serial killer are stark and vivid. Sensation seeking, lack of remorse, impulsivity, control, predatory behavior, and animal torture are all traits to be aware of in your life. Of course, it is essential to remember that not everyone who possesses these qualities is a serial killer. However, if each trait is present and recognizable to someone close to you, then it might be worth investigating further. In any case, remain vigilant and trust your gut instincts.

***Disclaimer: This blog post is meant for entertainment purposes. I do not claim to be an expert on serial killers other than the research I did for my thriller novels. This blog is research-based, but please, take it all with a grain of salt.

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