Why do women love serial killers?
Alright, so let’s imagine a relationship. You get to have an emotional connection, love letters, and meetings tinged with mystery and romance. You never have to pick up his dirty socks, and you know, without a doubt, where he was last night. You know where he’s been every night, and there’s always proof. The niggling questions of past relationships about where and with whom are outside of the equation of your relationship, and they never bother you. He can’t hurt you, and can never show up at your door unannounced or uninvited. You feel like you hold all the cards.
So, your boyfriend is in prison. For murder. Multiple murders, even. Don’t get me wrong- this is not a normal, healthy relationship that we’re talking about, and likely those involved are well aware of this fact. This relationship also comes with costs, like stigmatization and judgmental glares from strangers. It may even damage your familial relationships or job. But, it’s not completely without benefit or appeal for those who seek and find these relationships with incarcerated men.
All the big names have fan clubs and even marriage proposals: Manson, BTK, the Night Stalker, on and on. The women who comprise these groups are not all crazy-eyed lunatics with sub-par IQs. Well, some are. But most aren’t, and their reasons are myriad.
For some, the excitement and safety, combined with a hard, bleeding edge of danger can only be offered by a serial killer now contained. By associating with him, notoriety also follows. This man has killed and killed but he can’t kill me. His fame becomes my fame. The allure might be similar to that of a chained predator; his ability to harm is only curtailed by his circumstances. Having a relationship with someone like this is like petting a briefly sedated tiger. It’s living on the edge, but with a net.
Your new boyfriend also has an unending supply of time with which he can lavish attention and affection. If your thing is caretaking, who needs your love more than someone in prison? Your excessive compassion has a new outlet, and your wallet a new cause. This guy might be in prison, but he can still exploit you, and you are likely not his only new friend. While you have obligations, he doesn’t. He can spend all of his time wooing and writing to keep himself entertained, and his harem might never know about one another.
Don’t scoff- this has happened over and over to beautiful, educated, successful women who, for one reason or another, find themselves corresponding with men in prison. This initial curiosity leads to a friendship, which leads to something romantic. Maybe you can’t ever see yourself in this situation, but likely you or a friend of yours has ended up in an unhealthy or exploitative relationship at some point. All these guys require is an opening, a vulnerability, and their skills as manipulators take over. Maybe the lesson here is don’t write letters to serial killers, but it is also to keep your eyes open, in all relationships.