Before he killed anyone, serial killer Ted Bundy would go on “dry-runs” to test his skills in serial murder. He would pick up a woman, terrorise her, but release her unharmed just to see if he was capable enough. In later interviews, he compared killing to learning how to be a better mechanic or chef. He told interviewers that he thought he had a Ph.D. in serial killing and that he took time to select the perfect victim- both physically and mentally. When asked about how he selected a victim, he stated that: “I have known people who…radiate vulnerability. Their facial expressions say ‘I am afraid of you.’ These people invite abuse… By expecting to be hurt, do they subtly encourage it?”.
Jeffrey Dahmer’s mugshot after being arrested for public intoxication.
Dahmer started drinking heavily from an early age to numb the pain from his parent’s divorce. He would go drinking at a friend’s house everyday before school, and would even bring bottles of liquor to school which he would pour into a polystyrene cup and sip during lessons. This unusual behaviour led him to become an alcoholic later on life and during most of his murders, he was roaring drunk. Once, he recalled getting drunk with a young man and sleeping with him. In the morning, he found the man lying next to him dead: He had been beaten to death. When asked by an interviewer what happened he replied “I don’t remember beating him to death, but I must have.”
While 14-year-old Graham Young was awaiting trial for the attempted murders of his father, sister, and a classmate, he whined to prison warders about not having access to the poison he used on them and murdered his stepmother with, saying:
“I miss my antimony. I miss the power it gives me.”