An Outsider's Look At The Psychology Of The Most Vile Criminals


When we are young, we fear the dark. We fear the things that go bump in the night, but the people in our lives who love us come into out room, flip on the light and make the shadows vanish. They tell us that monsters are not real and that there is no reason to feel afraid. They are lying of course. Monsters are very real, but they do not have the fangs and claws that the imagination of youth puts on them. No, these real monsters wear disguises so that they look just like everyone else. They are the vilest of monsters though, and the twisted psychology that drives them turns the stomachs of even those in law enforcement and psychology who hunt them.

The Child Predator
There no lower forms of life than those who prey up on children for their own sick and twisted needs or compulsions. While psychologists will be able to find reasons for the darkness that lives inside these types of people, often stemming from abuse in their own childhood. This leads them to the abuse and possible murder of other children.

Even though there are not cut and dry answers when it comes to understanding the way these monsters think, and there is no way to find them and pick them out of society before they strike, forensic psychologists do have an understanding of them. Most of the time, these predators develop in stages, evolving into the perverse individual that they become.

They realize that they are not attracted to people their own age. Instead, they find attraction in children. This fascination will often lead to research on the subject, which can put them into contact with others of the same ilk. Many perform their heinous deeds alone, but others work in networks, trading information, pictures, and more. The FBI computer forensics team does their best to track and apprehend these online activities, but it is not always enough. The fantasy is often not enough though, and they move onward, inching closer towards evil.

At this point, many child predators begin stalking children, trying to find ways that they can be close to them. They may well know that what they do and what they feel is wrong, but they hide it and do not care. Finally, it leads to the act of molestation and abuse or rape. In some cases, this leads to murder. The predator does not always have satisfaction in the actual murder as most serial killers feel, but often feels disgust immediately after the act or hurting the child. Of course, one of the other reasons that this leads to murder is so the child cannot tell.

Are They Fixable?
The rate of recidivism in these people is astonishingly high as well. Many do not want to seek treatment, and for others the treatment simply does not work. If one were to ask parents whether the punishments for these types of crimes are harsh enough, the vast majority would say no. They do not believe that one can “fix” this type of problem without permanent incarceration or death. Psychologists often believe in their techniques of healing, but some forensic specialists will even tell you that with some offenders, it is a lost cause. If they are back out on the streets children will be in danger.

The world is a messed up place, and the monsters do exist. Parents need to keep their children under careful watch, and forensic psychologists need to understand that not all of society’s ills are fixable with psychological care. Sometimes, there is good reason for the torches and pitchforks when you find a monster.

Anita Schepers provides advice and information on how to get a forensic psychology degree online at

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