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Chrysalis



Hi all,

In my current campaign I play a serial killer. As serial killers have been prominently in the media then it would make an interesting character. So anyone else play a serial killer in their games?


A group of questions:

What kinds of skills would a serial killer need in Shadowrun? Most active skills seem to involve sledge hammer like precision.
What would the corps use serial killers for?
Could there be p-fix serial killers?
Could there also be shadow schools for murder?
Would there be a youtube like site devoted to it?
Dumori
anwesring you questions
1 Killing and as scapegoats
2 I don't under stand what you mean.
3 I don't see it as just a lone thing to learn but they may have classes on the subject most likely just theory.
4 yeah stuff/slash films have there own site now I believe though finding them is more than just hard.

skills wise stealth skills melee weapon skill ranged skill(s) and what ever you want the guy/girl to be like.
imperialus
QUOTE (Chrysalis @ May 11 2008, 02:01 PM) *
Hi all,

In my current campaign I play a serial killer. As serial killers have been prominently in the media then it would make an interesting character. So anyone else play a serial killer in their games?


A group of questions:

What kinds of skills would a serial killer need in Shadowrun? Most active skills seem to involve sledge hammer like precision.
What would the corps use serial killers for?
Could there be p-fix serial killers?
Could there also be shadow schools for murder?
Would there be a youtube like site devoted to it?



Well if you want to take a look at serial killers just take a good long look at the PC's around the table. Chances are every single one of them have killed enough people just as part of a days work to be their own crime wave. I think what you mean though is a character who kills for fun. In that case it really depends on what kind of serial killer you want to play. I expect that the general profile of a traditional serial killer won't have changed all that much in the next 60 years. Probably someone highly intelligent, with well developed social skills that he can turn on or off like a light, and a particular pattern or favored victim that he or she follows would make sense.

I don't really see corps having much use for a serial killer. SK's tend to operate on a particular 'type' of victim, it's rarely random. I think it was Ted Bundy for example who only killed young homosexual men. They also tend to be very secretive, and not likely the sort to kill for a paycheque. SK's operate outside normal social boundries, very differently than runners. Runners kill when they have to, rarely because they want to. Bodies create complications.

I expect you could produce a p-fix killer but the question is why? I suppose that some groups like Tenamous (sp?) that organ harvesting gang might have use for a few p-fix killers but that's all I can think of off the top of my head.

I'm sure that many large organizations operate small shadowschools where they train people in assassination techniques and the like but they would be few and far between.

Nevermind Youtube. I'm sure there is a market for BTL's that allow the user to experience killing someone. There's some twisted stuff in the BTL market and I'm sure there are people willing to shell out money and cook their frontal lobes for the chance to be a murderer for an evening. People have an odd obsession with that sort of stuff. Sites like Rotten.com are pretty popular. BTL's just take it to the next level.
Zak
QUOTE
What kinds of skills would a serial killer need in Shadowrun? Most active skills seem to involve sledge hammer like precision.


None and any. Cooking works just as well as explosives.

QUOTE
What would the corps use serial killers for?


CEOs.

QUOTE
Could there be p-fix serial killers?


Of course.

QUOTE
Could there also be shadow schools for murder?


Ask CanRay if he lets you run a class.

QUOTE
Would there be a youtube like site devoted to it?


It is just a question of time until there is a snufftube. Probably there is, I wouldn't want to know.

But who am I talking to. Chrysalis. Thanks for starting this thread. grinbig.gif
Larme
I don't know if it's possible for a shadowrunner to be a true serial killer. Killer, of course. But serial killer doesn't mean they kill when paid to, or in self defense, or even just for fun. Lots of people kill for fun, especially in the various lawless hellholes that exist around the world today, but that doesn't necessarily mean they're serial killers. Serial killers are insane. One example is the guy on whom they based Jame Gumm from Silence of the Lambs. He was a real dude, he killed women so he could make a woman suit and become his mother. He wasn't some badass killer dude from a movie, he was a man who killed in order to turn into his own mommy. Yeah. Serial killers do their work under severe delusions and compulsions. They are often able to keep their wits about them and get away, but they're not stable individuals who simply like to kill, they are 100% batshit nut factories. They have crazy fantasies that drive them to seek gratification by killing. They make very poor professional killers because they aren't there to do a job, they're there because they can't stop themselves.

I think what you might want to play is not a serial killer, but a sociopath. That's more like what Dexter is. They have no feelings for other people, no guilt or empathy. They might enjoy the power rush they get when killing, and that could lead them to become mercenaries, torturers, etc. But they are capable of doing the job they're paid to do without flying off the handle. Like Dexter, if it's not time to kill, they can keep their fingers off the trigger finger. You could be a real cold psycho killer who enjoys inflicting pain and death, but that would not make you a serial killer. I don't think it's possible for corps to "use" a serial killer, because serial killers are not truly in control of their urge to kill, nor are they totally sane, despite their ability to often fake it. But I'm sure that the ranks of shadowrunners are full of sociopaths and people with Antisocial Personality Disorder.
Stahlseele
wasn't there some sort of berserk chip or something like that?
load someone up, chip him in and drop him off wherever you want people to die?
would chipped serial-killer like that even count? o.O
ludomastro
QUOTE (Stahlseele @ May 11 2008, 06:41 PM) *
wasn't there some sort of berserk chip or something like that?
load someone up, chip him in and drop him off wherever you want people to die?
would chipped serial-killer like that even count? o.O


Only if the victim type was "everyone in sight" otherwise, you just have a berserk chip-head. Not like those aren't a dime a dozen.
Method
The adventure Dreamchipper had a Jack the Ripper chip long before they were called p-fix chips...

In fact, there are numerous canon references to serial killers.There was a spirit possessed serial killer named Corey Martin in the Primer Runners book. And of coarse you have the Mayan Cutter discussed in Runner's Havens.
CanRay
QUOTE (Zak @ May 11 2008, 04:38 PM) *
Ask CanRay if he lets you run a class.

No, but there is a need for an "Advanced Body Disposal" class.

I'm thinking of having it as an Art Credit.
vladski
QUOTE (Method @ May 11 2008, 08:21 PM) *
The adventure Dreamchipper had a Jack the Ripper chip long before they were called p-fix chips...

In fact, there are numerous canon references to serial killers.There was a spirit possessed serial killer named Corey Martin in the Primer Runners book. And of coarse you have the Mayan Cutter discussed in Runner's Havens.


I was jsut getting ready to run through my old adventures to see what that was called. I remembered it from reading it, but never "ran" my characters on it. I think it was pretty close to what the OP was asking about.

I have to agree with most of the posters above: a true serial killer would be hard to play adn there would be next to zilch interest in one from the Corps.

Now a sociopath, on the other hand.. they could/would be sought after. I think most assassins and torturers pretty much fit under this label. The most current character I have follows Raven and was severely screwed over by corp life prior to his move to the shadows. Now, he doesn't care about killing. If it's wet work, he simply expects to be paid according to the job requirements. He won't hesitate to kill a security guard or anyone else that gets in the way of his goal. He doesn't do it out of enjoyment, he jsut doesn't value life, especially of corp sell-outs. He pretty much only draws the line at kids. He considers them the only "innocents."

The only way I see a "serial killer" working in Shadowrun is one that has it as his "hobby" ala Dexter. (If you haven't watched the uncut Showtime version of htis series you positively HAVE to!) It should be a heavy guarded secret, even from his fellow 'Runners. He does his regular jobs, but, in his spare time, he kills people for fun or beccause he feels it's his "mission." He needs to have a favored target type. Maybe he enjoys killing the homeless because he believes he is sending htem to a better life... and he cruises the streets at night looking for the ones that would be most deserving of his "reward." Maybe it's that bum he dropped a few nuyen to outside the Stuffer Shack that took the opportunity to tell him his sad, sad life story. Maybe he has a thing against awakened folks and goes out of his wayto geek powerful mages becasue they are an abomination to him. Maybe he kills drug dealers becasue he believes they are harming society. The sky's the limit on preferred targets.

Vlad
vladski
QUOTE (CanRay @ May 11 2008, 09:13 PM) *
No, but there is a need for an "Advanced Body Disposal" class.

I'm thinking of having it as an Art Credit.


It involves "ovens/furnaces" and titanium bonelacing, right? wink.gif

Vlad
Larme
QUOTE (CanRay @ May 11 2008, 09:13 PM) *
No, but there is a need for an "Advanced Body Disposal" class.

I'm thinking of having it as an Art Credit.


+2 to all body disposal if you wear a tux and are Jewish! (if you miss this reference you fail.)
Chrysalis
QUOTE (imperialus @ May 11 2008, 09:18 PM) *
Well if you want to take a look at serial killers just take a good long look at the PC's around the table. Chances are every single one of them have killed enough people just as part of a days work to be their own crime wave. I think what you mean though is a character who kills for fun. In that case it really depends on what kind of serial killer you want to play. I expect that the general profile of a traditional serial killer won't have changed all that much in the next 60 years. Probably someone highly intelligent, with well developed social skills that he can turn on or off like a light, and a particular pattern or favored victim that he or she follows would make sense.


Serial killers often are trying to fulfill a fantasy that involves the suffering of others. It is not necessarily sexual. There is also the disorganised serial killer who kill in a first person shooter manner where points are gained through brutality. In movies it is a character who murders for the pleasure of it and seems to have near unlimited resources and time.

The big question is with law enforcement. Does Lonestar have access to all the DNA databases and what is their funding. Do they have the manpower and money to run a task force for a long period of time to catch one individual. What is pervasiveness and tenacity of law enforcement in following up on any murder?

I think that the Shadowrun community, which does oppose figures of authority, would be a fantastic location to hide out in and learn the necessary tradecraft for killing.

QUOTE
I expect you could produce a p-fix killer but the question is why? I suppose that some groups like Tenamous (sp?) that organ harvesting gang might have use for a few p-fix killers but that's all I can think of off the top of my head.


A serial killer for pure shits and giggles could make a p-fix of himself and put it into local distribution with BTLs of his snuff films.

CanRay
QUOTE (Chrysalis @ May 12 2008, 07:36 AM) *
A serial killer for pure shits and giggles could make a p-fix of himself and put it into local distribution with BTLs of his snuff films.

*Points to "A Debt of Non-Blood" in Sig* Something like that in here.

Winternight used something similar as well.
Kagetenshi
QUOTE (Chrysalis @ May 11 2008, 05:01 PM) *
In my current campaign I play a serial killer.

Are you properly playing the disorganized nature of the serial killer, and the way in which over time any care they might have taken to conceal evidence at the beginning (and many never do) breaks down utterly?
QUOTE
A group of questions:

What kinds of skills would a serial killer need in Shadowrun? Most active skills seem to involve sledge hammer like precision.

One of: stealth, a combat skill, a social skill, or an athletics skill. More than one is entirely optional.
QUOTE
What would the corps use serial killers for?

About the same thing that today's corps use them for—a way to sell screamsheets.

Fun fact: a current theory for the underlying cause of antisocial personality disorder is that those affected have essentially no ability to feel fear, at least not in any anticipatory sense. Consider that the next time you use the word "fearless" in a good way.

~J
Ed_209a
Keep in mind that being a sociopath and being a serial killer are completely independent factors, even though they do sometimes occur in the same individual.

Sociopaths have no empathy for their fellow human.

Serial killers kill because of a deep seated need. Similar to an addiction.

A sociopath thinks "I am going to do what I want. Any pain I cause is irrelevant."

A serial killer thinks "I need to kill someone who <insert surprisingly arbitrary conditions>"

Sociopaths would be very useful to corps. Their lack of morals make them efficient. Serial killers eventually become uncontrolled and get themselves caught.
Sir_Psycho
Guns just don't have that visceral panache. It has to be creative or personal. Poison or nanites are great. Creative use of melee weapons, typically blades.

A medical or forensic background is useful, for killing and cleaning up.

I think one of the differences between serial killers and your regular shadowrunners is that when shadowrunners kill, they generally want to leave no connection, and preferably to leave no body (hello tamanous). Serial killers always seem to want some sort of acknowledgement or recognition of their action, this is why they often have distinctive styles and even calling cards.
CanRay
Not every Shadowrunner.

*Points to "Kane Was Here" written in the wall with machine gun fire*
Method
QUOTE (Ed_209a @ May 12 2008, 05:44 AM) *
A serial killer thinks "I need to kill someone who <insert surprisingly arbitrary conditions>"


Jack Levin once gave a talk at my university when I was an undergrad and talked about a particular serial killer he profiled. He said the guy made a clear distinction in his mind about which women where "his" (and thus subject to being murdered) and which where not. The distinction? If a woman touched the door knob to his office door she became "his".

Which brings up another important point: serial killing often involves ritual. There is a clear distinction in criminal sociology between spree killing / mass murder (categories where most shadowrun activities would fit) and serial killing. Serial killing involves a period of time (sometimes short but usually long) during which the killer is quiescent. A "cool-down period" that involves planning, less criminal engagement in fantasies and ritualistic preparation.

Also there was a rather interesting discussion about the nature of "sociopaths" and their place in SR HERE.
DocTaotsu
I'd have to say that there only a few reasons why a corps would erm... employ a serial killer.

1. Serial killer is being used to distract the general public. Aztechnology has a busy schedule of genocide in the Yucatan. Oh noes! This just in! Rich, white, human girls are going missing! News at 11!
2. Serial killer has some how obligated the corps to cover his/her tracks and support him/her. Maybe they're the child of a high placed executive/politician. Maybe they know something the corps would rather not have get out. The popular (and in my mind overused) theme is that they're a research project gone awry. A creepy variation would be that they are not a project gone awry but a project that's actually going exactly as planned.
3. Serial killer provides some extremely valuable service (top researcher, outstanding interrogator, incredibly powerful magic user) and the corps helps feed their addiction because the corps continues to find them useful.
4. This option could probably be combined with any of the above. We've mentioned p-fixes and I think that a corps might use p-fixes as a way to either make a serial killer or direct their efforts towards a particularly helpful avenue. This way the serial killer becomes something a rabid dog that the corps can add to their list of "creative ways of arranging for accidents". It'd have to be used sparingly of course but it would also give the killer a great deal of... creative liberty. In between carefully designated kills the killer is free to do whatever they want until the next profile magically appears on their commlink (carefully constructed to look like the killer put it together by them self). Hell, if you tailored the p-fix right a killer may view the arrival of these profiles as proof that God himself is guiding his careful blade. Oh wow, that's really fucked up. Yick.

I like the first one because that seems the most reasonable to me. I'm not an expert but my understanding of serial killers is that they actually want to get caught at some point. They usually have a pattern and this does lend towards them being detected and therefor caught. Gee Detective Murphy, this is the 3rd one-legged troll transvestite we've seen carved into a chess set, do ya think there might be a pattern?

I'd also be highly doubtful that a corps would do anything as direct as having a Johnson that actually goes out there and says "Hey Mr/Ms serial killer, congrats on killing a bunch of people, here's some money" Most support would be indirect, obstructing an investigation here, discretely dropping a target profile there, and so on. If corps are worried about getting runner juice all over them they'd probably keep a serial killer even further in the shadows. After all, no one really wants to get a name as "That corps who funded that guy who carved all those elves into a statue".

I also second the opinion that a medical(forensics) background is vital for a 2070 serial killer. I'd also add that it would also be necessary to be magical or at least have access to an Awakened that would be willing to help scrub astral crime scenes and what not. Perhaps a toxic shaman or a corrupted free spirit.
CanRay
QUOTE (DocTaotsu @ May 12 2008, 09:45 AM) *
"...that guy who carved all those elves into a statue".

That is *SO* not going to be allowed as a Art Credit at the Shadow School, BTW.
Method
Or, in the case of Corey Martin, be possessed by the corrupted free spirit...
Chrysalis
QUOTE (Kagetenshi @ May 12 2008, 01:21 PM) *
Are you properly playing the disorganized nature of the serial killer, and the way in which over time any care they might have taken to conceal evidence at the beginning (and many never do) breaks down utterly?


My character is an organized serial killer. She has a strong distrust of men with a complex about suburban middle-class families. Her modus operendi is seducing the male of the family. Families targeted are white, middle-class, with two children between the ages of 10 and 14. The romance period lasts roughly 3 months during which she injects herself into the life of the male reaching for codependency. The male is killed first followed by the rest of the family. Her favoured weapon is a neurotoxin. Sometimes the male leaves messages of leaving and disappears or his body is discovered in an abandoned area or in a refuse pile. Bodies recovered show signs of dismemberment and disfiguration of the face and genitalia.

The quiescent period is often six months dependant on the stressors on the unsub.
DocTaotsu
Wow, your character sounds like she could be weaponized by a corps fairly easily.
Chrysalis
Automated food dispenser systems in suburban areas are easy to break and subvert. Most likely learned from a hacker.

-Chrysalis
Speed Wraith
Nice profiling wink.gif
WeaverMount
QUOTE
The big question is with law enforcement. Does Lonestar have access to all the DNA databases and what is their funding. Do they have the manpower and money to run a task force for a long period of time to catch one individual. What is pervasiveness and tenacity of law enforcement in following up on any murder?


This is actually one of the few things the Star would find budget for. In RL the job of the cops is to make people feel safe and de-legitimize militia/gangs. Serial killers are one of the most terrifying things communities face, and it will scare people out of complacency if the powers at be don't handle the situation. Also I imagine that very few of the SKs out there are awakened. I think the bulk could be brought down via Search, Movement, and Ritual tracking pretty easy. Anyone one with there game enough to avoid these methods likely is so low profile that they could be swept under the rug more easily than they could be caught, and very well might not get task forces. But I think less than %1 percent of SKs is about the right number to be swept under the rug for setting purposes.
WearzManySkins
Well there could be a Awakened or TM Zodiac SK, such a SK would be difficult to track down.

WMS
Larme
QUOTE (Chrysalis @ May 12 2008, 12:34 PM) *
My character is an organized serial killer. She has a strong distrust of men with a complex about suburban middle-class families. Her modus operendi is seducing the male of the family. Families targeted are white, middle-class, with two children between the ages of 10 and 14. The romance period lasts roughly 3 months during which she injects herself into the life of the male reaching for codependency. The male is killed first followed by the rest of the family. Her favoured weapon is a neurotoxin. Sometimes the male leaves messages of leaving and disappears or his body is discovered in an abandoned area or in a refuse pile. Bodies recovered show signs of dismemberment and disfiguration of the face and genitalia.

The quiescent period is often six months dependant on the stressors on the unsub.


That's certainly a good serial killer biggrin.gif My fear with the topic is it was someone who thinks of a serial killer as a person who has an urge to kill, but isn't particularly crazy otherwise. Though, is your character a shadowrunner? It seems to me like a suburban dad killer wouldn't take much pleasure in killing for money for a corporation, they'd probably find it boring if not downright abhorrent.
WeaverMount
QUOTE (WearzManySkins @ May 12 2008, 03:02 PM) *
Well there could be a Awakened or TM Zodiac SK, such a SK would be difficult to track down.

WMS


Absolutely. I am assuming that awakening is a completely random event, so that in all other random population 1% will be awakened. Therefor 1% of SKs are awakened. Some of that 1% will be disorganized or "kept" by someone with the power to keep them above the law. And yes they would be nearly impossible to to track. I think that it is still fair to say that the Star does track down SKs as a rule, while a fraction of 1% of a small number is swept under the table.
DreadPirateKitten
QUOTE (Larme @ May 12 2008, 05:09 PM) *
That's certainly a good serial killer biggrin.gif My fear with the topic is it was someone who thinks of a serial killer as a person who has an urge to kill, but isn't particularly crazy otherwise. Though, is your character a shadowrunner? It seems to me like a suburban dad killer wouldn't take much pleasure in killing for money for a corporation, they'd probably find it boring if not downright abhorrent.


Her character is a shadowrunner...a horrifyingly scary one. The rest of the group is terrified of her.
Chrysalis
QUOTE (Larme @ May 12 2008, 08:09 PM) *
That's certainly a good serial killer biggrin.gif My fear with the topic is it was someone who thinks of a serial killer as a person who has an urge to kill, but isn't particularly crazy otherwise. Though, is your character a shadowrunner? It seems to me like a suburban dad killer wouldn't take much pleasure in killing for money for a corporation, they'd probably find it boring if not downright abhorrent.


My character is the face of the group.

It's not the money, it's about the profile. One of thing she wants to buy as soon as she has money is going into buying genewipe! Five minutes and her DNA is no more for those pesky ritual sampling.
Kagetenshi
QUOTE (Ed_209a @ May 12 2008, 09:44 AM) *
Keep in mind that being a sociopath and being a serial killer are completely independent factors, even though they do sometimes occur in the same individual.

Do you have any citations to papers suggesting this, given that it runs counter to… well, a number of papers? Even this paper (by someone who, I should note, I don't recognize, and whose name I can't find outside of the context of that paper), which draws a distinction, makes it a subset relationship.
QUOTE (DocTaotsu)
I'm not an expert but my understanding of serial killers is that they actually want to get caught at some point. They usually have a pattern and this does lend towards them being detected and therefor caught.

While there have been serial killers who expressed the opinion that they wanted to be caught (either in interviews or in memorable messages left near victims), the tendency to descend into disorganization and the existence of a pattern exists in those who show no desire to be caught, and who indeed escape repeatedly after being caught (e.g., Ted Bundy).
QUOTE (Chrysalis)
My character is an organized serial killer.

Even the organized killer archetype, Ted Bundy, only stayed organized for a few years (admittedly potentially up to seventeen depending on whether or not he committed certain suspected crimes, but only for four years after his known start of frequent killing, and two of those years were spent in jail).

~J
Sir_Psycho
Wait, Chrysalis, are we talking about Vera here, or is this another game?
DocTaotsu
I meant to seperate "Serial killers tend to want to be caught" from "Serial killers have a pattern which is an excellent start to being detected and caught".

But yeah, I don't exactly buy into the whole Hollywood notion that every serial killer sends taunting cryptic messages to newspapers and closely follows the detective assigned to his case.
Sir_Psycho
That reminds me, has anyone read Neil Gaiman's The Sandman graphic novels?

There is a particularly scary character, who is a personified nightmare, created by the king of dreams, but decides instead to go to earth and become a serial killer. He has teeth for eyes, and his MO is removing eyes from his victims and then eating them with his own.

While that's not very shadowrun, he does attend a "cereal convention" which, typically, is actually a convention of serial killers patting eachother on the back. It's also not too long until they start hunting the other residents of the hotel/resort the convention is held at.
DocTaotsu
Yes and the serial child rapist who works at the Not-Disneyland haunts me to this day.
Pyritefoolsgold
Serial killers wouldn't have to be mages to avoid instant capture. They'd just need access to a convenient warded building somewhere. The most successful serial killers would work at corporate research facilities and arcologies.
vladski
QUOTE (Pyritefoolsgold @ May 13 2008, 01:12 AM) *
Serial killers wouldn't have to be mages to avoid instant capture. They'd just need access to a convenient warded building somewhere. The most successful serial killers would work at corporate research facilities and arcologies.


I agree, ANY seriel killer could be very difficult to track. From what little I understand about msot of them is that htey are:

  • intelligent
  • somewhat methodical
  • typically either enjoy getting away with it, or do not want ot be caught because they believe they have a "mission" to continue doing what htey are doing.
  • capable of at least postponing hteir impulses
Sure, the sloppy, completely unhinged or unlucky ones will get caught, at least eventually. But not all. A lot would depend on their motive and the type of their targets. If a serial killer is killing prostitutes in the Barrens, who's gonna go after them. Or SINless, homeless folks? Who will even notice or care? Now, if the guy is going after pretty blonde elf co-eds at the local college campuses? You'd better believe the Star will be looking for them, assorted mages and probably PI's and shadowrunners hired by the families. I would expect that slot to have a fairly short career what with 2070 forensics and magic.

Vlad
Kagetenshi
There are, broadly speaking, two varieties—one of above average intelligence, the other of below average. While the intelligent ones tend to be able to plan and clean up, postponing impulses is not something I've found indicated (though I can't categorically state it doesn't happen, at least before the usual end-stage rampage).

~J
Ed_209a
QUOTE (Kagetenshi @ May 12 2008, 06:38 PM) *
Do you have any citations to papers suggesting this, given that it runs counter to… well, a number of papers? Even this paper (by someone who, I should note, I don't recognize, and whose name I can't find outside of the context of that paper), which draws a distinction, makes it a subset relationship.

There are sociopaths who aren't serial killers, and serial killers who aren't sociopaths, so it can't be completely in lock-step.
Kagetenshi
The first is obvious, and needs no evidence. The second, however, is less so—citation, or enough information so I can look for one?

Edit: ah, I think I see where you're coming from. Our problem is that the psychological component is relatively recent—so, for instance, John Haigh is typically classified as a serial killer, while from what I know of his case I would generally consider his murders to be sufficiently methodical and goal-oriented enough to be unusual for the APD type (for instance, while his victims indeed shared a common trait, this trait was that they all had a fair bit of money)—though I'm not at all certain I could concede that he did not, in fact, have APD.

Was there anything other than Haigh?

~J
Sir_Psycho
In game terms how would you spin it?

SR3 I'd definately go Compulsive flaw. SR4 is harder, Mania works in theory, but the RAW doesn't work, as serial killers aren't made catatonic by their actions, generally. I'd go mild addiction, I guess. Once a week you feel the urge to kill, but given that you're a strong-willed sociopath, you can probably hold off until you've made the right plans for maybe a few months at a time.
Ed_209a
QUOTE (Kagetenshi @ May 13 2008, 10:25 AM) *
The first is obvious, and needs no evidence. The second, however, is less so—citation, or enough information so I can look for one?

I am coming at this as an interested amateur, ie, lots of TV documentaries. Sorry, no scholarly citations here.

It seems like there are the serial killers who kill in callous disregard for their victims, ie the sociopaths, then there are the ones aren't really aware they are killing "people". These would be psychotics and schizophrenics, right?

Feel free to clean up my cable TV pop-psychology if necessary. smile.gif
Siege
Serial killers could be "weaponized" by narrowing the operating parameters - "must kill all members of Corporation XYZ. Begin. Repeat."

The cost-benefit analysis would be horribly lopsided in the wrong direction for it to become particularly feasible - perhaps with the exception of attempting to discredit a law-enforcement corp or create some good publicity for the same.

Serial killers aren't inherently stupid - which, psychological issues aside, profiled victims tend to be children or slender women. These are victims easily dominated and controlled, on average. Versus, say, staking out a gym and hunting down the biggest 'roid rat you can find.

Compulsions - must kill xyz and, at your discretion "compulsion: secretly desires to be caught".

-Siege
Method
QUOTE (Ed_209a @ May 13 2008, 08:41 AM) *
I am coming at this as an interested amateur, ie, lots of TV documentaries. Sorry, no scholarly citations here.

It seems like there are the serial killers who kill in callous disregard for their victims, ie the sociopaths, then there are the ones aren't really aware they are killing "people". These would be psychotics and schizophrenics, right?

Feel free to clean up my cable TV pop-psychology if necessary. smile.gif


If we're getting technical, psychotic is a horrible term and should probably be avoided in this discussion. Psychotic describes anyone who's thoughts or perceptions are out of touch with external reality. Its more of a symptom than a condition. If your demented grandpa thinks you're his kid brother he's technically psychotic. The term can describe anything from severe depression to adverse drug reactions to serial killers IF they happen to have delusional thinking.

Likewise schizophrenia has nothing to do with serial killing, although you might argue that some serial killers have schizoid personality disorder (also a confusing term).

Really the psychological component to serial killing is probably a complex combination of anti-social personality disorder, narcissistic personality disorder and delusional thinking, which is often described as a psychopathic personality disorder.
Kagetenshi
Psychotic is a perfectly good term with a good, useful definition. It is also something that, without any exception that I'm aware of, serial killers have not been—even those who have claimed to be on missions from god, IIRC, have generally not met the conditions for psychosis (you'll notice that people make similar claims all over, some on television while asking for money, without being diagnosed).

Siege: one of the two "groups" of serial killers I mentioned above is inherently stupid—quite literally, low IQ (around one standard deviation lower than average, IIRC).

Ed_209a: I'm not aware of anything like being not "really aware they are killing 'people'"—do you have a name as an example?

Fun fact: Ed Gein does not necessarily fit the definition of a serial killer, as IIRC only two murders were considered very strongly linked to him (there were others, but as he never stood trial, the strength of their connection was never tested).

~J
Method
QUOTE (Kagetenshi @ May 13 2008, 05:36 PM) *
Psychotic is a perfectly good term with a good, useful definition.

From the DSM-IV TR:
QUOTE
The term psychotic has historically received a number of different definitions, none of which has achieved universal acceptance.

Plus, most lay people think (as Ed_209a might have) that psychotic implies violent tendencies, which it does not. Thus, it is a poorly defined term that is often used incorrectly in the popular press. It has no inherent place in a discussion of serial killers except in the context of delusional thinking, which some, but not all, serial killers have.

QUOTE
It is also something that, without any exception that I'm aware of, serial killers have not been€”even those who have claimed to be on missions from god, IIRC, have generally not met the conditions for psychosis

Delusions are categorized as a form of psychosis. There have been delusional serial killers.

QUOTE
you'll notice that people make similar claims all over, some on television while asking for money, without being diagnosed.

The big difference in terms of diagnosis, that is the line between the charismatic tent-revivalist preacher and someone with a delusional disorder (and thus psychosis), is whether the delusional thinking affects normal function and how it sits with the societal norms. Belief in God is not unusual or adverse for most people. Belief that God has sent you to earth to kill women if they touch the door knob of your office is delusional.
Kagetenshi
QUOTE (Method @ May 14 2008, 01:04 AM) *
most lay people think (as Ed_209a might have) that psychotic implies violent tendencies, which it does not.

Correct.
QUOTE
Thus, it is a poorly defined term

Eh. It's a non-technical term, but it encompasses a specific state (loss of contact with reality).
QUOTE
that is often used incorrectly in the popular press.

Correct but irrelevant.
QUOTE
It has no inherent place in a discussion of serial killers except in the context of delusional thinking, which some, but not all, serial killers have.

Absolutely, though that has no bearing on the term itself.
QUOTE
Delusions are categorized as a form of psychosis.

Not by themselves, at least not in any context I've ever heard of. Delusions are commonly a part of the symptoms present in "psychotic disorders", but unless I'm very mistaken are not usually sufficient by themselves.
QUOTE
There have been delusional serial killers.

Certainly.
QUOTE
The big difference in terms of diagnosis, that is the line between the charismatic tent-revivalist preacher and someone with a delusional disorder (and thus psychosis), is whether the delusional thinking affects normal function and how it sits with the societal norms.

More often the line is "causes distress", though I grant that that line is often discarded when behaviour threatens others.
QUOTE
Belief in God is not unusual or adverse for most people.

Not unusual, I'll grant wink.gif
QUOTE
Belief that God has sent you to earth to kill women if they touch the door knob of your office is delusional.

Right. But it does not, by itself, indicate any more of a break from reality.

~J
Bashfull
Is it worth pointing out that Seattle already has a notorious seriel killer: the Mayan Cutter?
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