Childhood of a Criminal
As part of my studies in Criminology and Correctional Administration in my PG and also a Lecturer in this field for a number of years, I stand in awe when I continue the studies of the depths of the Mind of a Criminal . There are number of studies going on to excavate the depths of the human mind of a criminal. One of the common understanding of criminal goes back to his childhood interactions.
Childhood of of criminal often associated with physical, psychological, and sexual abuse and psychiatric problems, alcoholism within the family,broken homes, and childhood.
The MacDonald Traid : Three Behavioural Red Flags:
J.M.MacDonald, a Forensic psychologist, ( 1960s) Popularized the idea that there Three Behavioural Red Flags. 1.Bed Wetting (Enuresis) 2. Fire Setting 3. Animal Cruelty
Ted Bundy, Jeffrey Danmen, dennis Radar tortured and killed animals in their childhood.
BUT this theory lost its credibility due to lack of Research, there’s no link existed to these demarcated points.
The Homicidal Traid:
This claimed that the ‘dysfunctional childhood creat a cold-heart and lack of empathy. Which often comes through modeling from the parents ;and seeing mother and father interactions. Lack of empathy is a primary characteristic of Psychopaths. This absence of concern for others and the effects of their actions on them makes a person Psychopath. Certainly all psychopaths are not criminals but frequently trait of the serial killer.
Being psychopath is personality disorder in people who use a mixture of charm, manipulation and intimidation, violence, verbal abuse, to control others and satisfying only their selfish needs. Generally its an emotional absence in relationships and remorse.
- Case Study Ted Bundy was just like the man I met in Open Prison in Bangalore, by name Venkatesh A Notorious criminal in East Godavari, AP; born to single mother, brought up by her parents, grew up surrounded by lies. He was told that he was adopted son of his grandparents and his mother was his sister. Extremely confused about his own identity, he is a classic psychopath murdered a three year girl when he was just nine years old. More or less with the same background Ted Bundy in N. America killed 30 young women and made their profile photos as a stamp collection in his album. Ted Bundy was a student in Seattle, and as a part of his Psychology studies worked as a volunteer in the City Suicide Hotline Centre, involved in politics.
Paraphilia is another abnormal sexual behaviour or impulses characterised by intense and recurring sexual fantasies ad urges. These people often abused sexually as children. Lust and killing is an outgrowth of paraphilia. fantasy plays a very important role in these offenders, They think in their heads about the kind of sex they want and the kind of ideal victim that they want .
2.Jeffrey Dahmen was not only a murderer but also a cannibal. He was sexually abused by a neighbor at the age of 10 years. His parents divorce at his 17th year. They moved out leaving this boy alone.He grew with Paranoia and terrible fantasies and his courtships often go awry. More or less the same type of life led by a Naval officer who killed his friend’s son by developing illegal relationship with his wife in his absence. When I met him in his lonely cell he lied down on hard floor with a few James Chase books under his head as pillow and ten or twenty books beside him reading one by one.He was going to gallows the next day as a capital punishment, but when I asked him why he committed such cruel murder of a 10 years boy , he answered me as if he did a heroic deed with such style and grin on his face. The woman with whom he had illegal relation died by committing suicide in the women’s prison by burning herself with the oil she asked for a lamp to worship an idol. Strangely enough this man did not show any guilt or remorse while answering my questions about his crime. He too had extreme social isolation like Jeffrey and developed hatred of the world and everyone in it; felt suicidal in his teen years. Both of them fond of precarious interest in deviant sexuality and obsessed with violence,voyeurism, pronography. Idi Amin was a serial killer, and cannibal, the vice president of Uganda , and there was a rumour associated with him that he used to kill people and used to eat their organs keeping them in the freezer box.
This Naval officer who murdered a boy did not look like a monstre, not these criminals live in remote houses as often we imagine. On contrary they are successful in life, good fathers to their children, moderate persons in earnings but become criminals due to Inner Thrill and the fantasy they carry on.
When I was confronting this Naval Officer, face to face a) surprisingly enough he looked so normal, b) very talkative , polite, really condescending, with refined tone of a well educated man.
3. John Wayne Gacy is another criminal, a born Salesman, who could talk his way in and out of any situation he did number of jobs and also run a family restaurant, respected member of the society, often performed as a clown at children’s parties, and make everyone happy by his jokes, and clowny actions. later he was nicknamed as The Killer Clown. More or less was the case study of Suresh aged 30 years whom I interviewed, in Central Prison in Visakhapatnam, Killed his own brother, with whom he studied, worked in ancestor fields and grew beautiful roses in the borders of Orissa, he exhibited a deep religious life, talked very politely and gently, and reminded me as a wolf in sheep clothing. when I questioned him about the murder he committed, there was no remorse, guilt in his voice, and on the other hand he was thinking that he did good thing by killing his blood relation, to gain the plot they were working together.
These are only a few Case Studies out of many Case Studies I did in the course of my PG education. One or two of them ended up in Mental Hospitals in Vizag and Bangalore and Hyderabad.
Man thinks his life is his, and his plots in his brain are his, and he is the king of the life of his own and the others, but its not true.
Most of the time the childhood influence his whole life later. The treatment of parents, the experience he gained in the society around him makes him a hero or a villain. This Criminology widens our understanding of the Criminals and warns us the serenity of the marriage, and family relations. “No Man is an island.”says John Donne . He can not live by his own dictation of life, he is a piece in whole community. He has responsibilities towards others.
Especially Family and marriage are God given gift. It is His intention that Man should not live alone, and considered that Marriage is honored above all. And expects that man should bring glory, honour and power to His Mighty name by living a dutiful life. Living on selfish interests and not having empathy for others may give thrill and joy for time being but in long run no one escape its repercussions. Bible says, a person who desires to be seperated wants freedom and he is an enemy to the best knowledge and he himself ruin his life. Relations, commitments, responsibilities, empathy are valuable stones to build the life. We can not ignore and live selfish life. If we do we become psychopaths, and bring many more psychopaths and harm other person who is created in the image of God.