Sunday, September 14, 2008

Are Serial Killers All Loners?

They arrested the Satin Strangler tonight.

The classic serial killer was once depicted as a social monster living alone and trolling the streets for victims.  That story became overplayed, though, and in many cases was total BS.  The media also learned that monsters don’t sell as much as mainstream killers.  It’s a cinch for the public to dismiss a monster as a freak of nature, something unlike the rest of us.  But what happens when the serial murderer actually resembles us in many ways?  They are just as frightening, but far more disturbing.

Tonight’s media coverage has been about Destiny Blande being the quintessential girl next door.  No surprise there.  But who is she really?  Is she America’s sweetheart, a psychopath, or something in between?  Can a serial murderer really live among us at work, in a family, and as an interactive member of society, all while accumulating a pile of corpses?

Many serial murderers have lived and worked in normal settings, and some have supposedly had normal family situations.  These are the most intriguing killers, after all.  A shiver runs down our spine when a killer’s friends and family report how shocked they were to hear of the news.  We stare at our televisions into the peaceful face concealing the monster within.  These are the most successful serial killers, the ones we all overlook as the body count rises.  These are also the ones who sell the most Crazy 4 Crazies memorabilia – Mug Shot Mugs, t-shirts, and victim calendars.

Robert Yates, killer of as many as 17 prostitutes in the state of Washington in the 1990’s, was married with 5 children and lived in a middle class neighborhood.  He was even a decorated US Army National Guard helicopter pilot.  The neighbors never would have suspected that a body was buried right outside Yates’ bedroom window.

Another Washington state favorite, Gary Ridgeway, aka the Green River Killer, was a truck painter for over 32 years and was married at the time of his arrest.  He was a church-going bible reader, professing religious beliefs while killing at least 48 women in his spare time over a 20-year period.

BTK killer Dennis Rader was married with two children in Wichita, Kansas.  He was a Boy Scout leader, a government official, president of his church group, and a US Air Force veteran.  His favorite hobby, however, was killing victims and sending taunting communications to the press.

We want to think of Destiny Blande, the Satin Strangler, as the girl next door.  A raving lunatic would hardly be as interesting. Instead, she is in control enough to conceal her pathology, keeping it buried just far enough from the surface to lure in, not just her victims, but the public.  Her fans.  It is easy to see how she seduced and killed so many men.

The first news stories are breaking, and we are already falling for her because we’re Crazy 4 Crazies.  Let’s face it; this luscious lady had us at “hello.”


This is post #10 in The Satin Strangler Blogs (TSSB).

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