Sunday, April 28, 2024

Are all serial killers psychopaths?

Graphic serial killer
By 愚木混株 Cdd20 Pixabay
Do serial killers have traits in common? According to the FBI, while the motivations and methods of serial killers vary, most serial killers tend to be self-seeking, and use charm, manipulation, intimidation to satisfy their selfish desires. They exhibit sensation-seeking and predatory behavior, impulsivity, and a desire for control. 

Not all serial killers are psychopaths, however. The psychos tend to exhibit a total lack of empathy, lack of guilt or remorse, are out of touch with reality and often live in a fantasy world. If one examines the hands of serial killers, which of these characteristics would be evident? 

The hands of serial killers are mostly

not to be found on the net, with the exception of Ted Bundy, whose hands I have written about on this blog. Ted Bundy was a psychopath. 

Aileen Wuornos, the serial killer played by Charlize Theron in the movie, Monster, was also unlikely to be a psychopathic serial killer, although she is known to have killed seven men. Her hands are more or less normal, and by normal it means that there are a lot of people with similar hands and they are not criminals. You can check out Aileen's hand photo here. Her hand does not even show lack of control. Aileen was very likely was quite sane and in control when she committed the murders, and as she admitted to the authorities, it was for the purpose of robbing her victims, although she could have had other motivations like rage and hate.

Her hand shows heavily developed mounts, particularly those of Venus, Moon, Mercury and to some extent, Mars, and a short Jupiter (index) finger. The headline is long, slightly thick and going across the hand, and the heartline is fainter, less strong. She has a good thumb, but a short first phalange. This hand shows a person who was volatile and headstrong and though smart and capable, not too bright. She was likely to be aggressive and also very ambitious, crude, with a strong physicality, low-self-esteem and a morbid imagination. People with these personality characteristics need a strong moral compass to keep them within the bounds of normality, without which they can fall. And fall she did. She had average will power (different from self-control). Not everyone with these traits turns to murder, but Aileen did. Maybe, her traumatic childhood pushed her over the edge. Whatever the reasons, she was declared sane and said she knew what she was doing was wrong, but did it anyway, due to feelings of “hate” towards humankind. She was not mad, not according to her hands, simply very selfish, headstrong, and mentally disturbed. She was executed in 2002, at the age of 46.

There is another case, of a man in India, called Krishna, a resident of a village in Karnataka’s Chikmagalur district, whose hand photo I found here. He killed 20 people, targeting the destitute and the mentally ill, to rob or rape. His hand reveals heavily developed mounts, thick third phalanges, an excessively sloping headline and a strong curving heartline, and a thick, supple thumb. He enjoyed the good stuff, craved luxuries, and the hand also shows a lazy and pig-headed mind-set. There is immense aggression shown as well, a kind of abnormal aggression. It is likely this aggression which made him into a killer. People like this are unlikely to get along with people, even if they appear somewhat normal on the outside, because when they want something, they will grab it for themselves. They will go after what they want, rough-shodding over opposition, and as they lack self-control, they can kill to get it. This man is in prison, since 2016, and hopefully he has been convicted. His hand does not show him to be a psychopath, just violent, lazy and greedy.

I came across this picture of the hands of Fritz Honka,  a German serial killer who murdered at least four prostitutes in the 1970’s. Only the back of his hands are visible in the photo, and the clubbed thumbs on both hands are clear to see. A clubbed thumb is a short, thick first phalange of the thumb, almost like a club, hence the name. This shows lack of control and also a deep rage. However, not everyone with a clubbed thumb becomes a killer. Without seeing his palms it is not possible to confirm whether Honka was a psychopath or not, but no doubt he was a man with a dangerous temper, a person who could fly off the handle. He also very likely inherited these characteristics, as both his hands are similar. He spent his life in a psychiatric hospital and died in a nursing home in 1998 at the age of 63. It is unlikely that he was a psychopath, although he was considered a psychiatric case.

Tsutomu-Miyazaki was a Japanese serial killer who murdered four young  girl children in the eighties, in Japan. Miyazaki's hands were weird, never seen anything like it. He was a short man, but had very long hands, and long thin fingers. The finger of Jupiter (index) was a little short, and the finger of Saturn (middle) longer than average. The little (pinky) finger was low-set, and the mounts on his hand were not developed. The heartline, mostly straight, is dominant and the headline faint. The thumb is very supple. The strange thing about the fingers is that the middle phalanges, are very thin, and the first and third thick. This is a very odd combination, and almost unknown.

What this hand shows a lack of control, coldness, impulsivity and a total lack of empathy. He did what he felt like doing but in a systematic, ruthless manner. He was analytical to an extreme and probably lived a lot in his mind. His hand shows a morbid seriousness of nature and also feelings of inferiority. He had selfish desires, both physical and mental and very little control over them. His hand, oddly enough shows a lack of imagination, and interestingly, he had an extensive collection of pornography, anime, manga, and horror videotapes, probably to stimulate his own! His hand shows him to a psychopath, a cold blooded conscienceless killer, without self-control and self-awareness. He was evil personified. He blamed his crimes on an alter ego and also said he was helping his victims! Oddly enough, the Japanese courts deemed him sane and executed him in 2006, at the age of 45. It was a good idea to execute him, sane or not. Japanese law does not permit execution for psychiatric cases.

Another serial killer, Richard Ramirez, was convicted of dozens of murders and attempted murders, which he committed in the eighties, and though he was convicted in 1989, and sentenced to death, he died of a disease in prison, before his execution. The only hand photo available of Ramirez, is this photo, and it is of his left hand, and it is also curved which means the hand shape is not visible. It is also likely his passive hand, which means that it will not show his current personality. The thumb is short, and the headline faint, which means that Ramirez had the ill-luck to be born with limited will-power and self-control. That’s all one can see from the hand. His right (active) hand most likely would reveal who he really is.

Interestingly, all the killers mentioned in this post had traumatic childhoods, and were ill-treated by their parents. I do not have information on Krishna, though I am sure he too was a neglected child.

Some of these killers' hands have similarities with the hands of dictators. You can also check out the hands of criminals whose hands I have read on this website. 

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