Types of Motives for serial Killers

  • Visionary- These serial killers suffer breaks from reality sometimes thinking a god or devil is compelling them to kill .David Berkowitz, “The Son of Sam” Killer is an example of this.
  • Mission Oriented- These killers believe their acts are helping to rid the world of something evil or unwanted. Some see themselves as curing society. A killer example of this would be Ted Kacynski, the unabomber. 
  • Hedonistic- This killer seeks a thrill or a rush from killing. Killing for them is like a drug it sends them on a high they never want to come down from. There are three sub types of hedonistic killers; “comfort”, “thrill” , and “lust”
  • Lust- These are the most common type of serial killers. Killers that are motivated by sex and fulfilling their fantasy. It doesn’t matter if they body is living or not all that matter is that they get to relive their fantasy over and over again. Serial Killer Ted Bundy would be an example of this type of killer.
  • Power/ control- These killers kill in order to feel a sense of power or control they don;t have in their everyday lives. The act of taking someone’s life gives them that control they crave. Ted Bundy is also an example of this as he traveled the United States looking for women to control. 
  • Media-  Media killers are driven by publicity. They thrive on other knowing what they have done and seeing everyone’s reactions to their heinous deeds. They seek attention for their deeds and will continue to kill until that need for attention is fulfilled. The BTK killer is a killer who sought media attention for his crimes. 

Rachel Scott’s father with David Berkowitz, also known as the “Son of Sam.”

The two met in 2001 after Darrell had received a call from Berkowitz’ friend as well as a letter from Berkowitz himself asking to meet. When he had read “Rachel’s Tears” he claimed to be deeply moved and was inspired to commit his life to acts of kindness and began to seek forgiveness from God as well as from the families of his victims. Hesitant at first, Darrell traveled to Sullivan Correctional Facility in New York. “David Berkowitz radiated the life of love of Jesus Christ,” Scott stated - and they became friends.

10 Facts about the Son of Sam killer, David Berkowitz

  1. He said he only committed his crimes and murders because of his neighbors possessed dog. He claimed the possessed dog told him to do all the killings .
  2. David Berkowitz was actually born Richard David Falco before he was adopted by Nathan and Pearl Berkowitz. 
  3. He found religion in prison and now claims to be a born again christian. 
  4. He named himself “the Son of Sam” until he sent the letter with that name he was being called the “.44 caliber killer”.
  5. In 1971 at the age of 18, he joined the United States military where he served in America and South Korea. 
  6. While the song didn’t come out until a month after the killings began he claims the song “Rich Girl” by Hall and Oates motivated him to kill. 
  7. He set 1,488 fires in New York and recorded each in his journal before he started killing.  
  8. He claimed at the time of his arrest that he was being forced to kill by a Satanic cult he was in. Some believed his neighbor( with the ‘possessed’ dog) was also a part of the cult.
  9. He inspired the Son of Sam laws. These laws “required the person contracting with the criminal to turn over the criminal’s proceeds to the state’s Crime Victims Compensation Board, which established an escrow account for the benefit of the crime’s victims and publicized the existence of the account.”
  10. His astrological sign is Gemini. 

Famous Killers Mailing Address List (pt. 2)

Kenneth Bianchi:

Kenneth Bianchi #266961 1313 N 13th Ave, Walla Walla, WA 99362

Kip Kinkel:

Kipland Kinkel #12975669 Oregon SP 2605 State St Salem, OR 97310

David Berkowitz (Son of Sam):

David Berkowitz #78A1976 Shawangunk CI 200 Quick Rd Wallkill, NY 12589

Ed Kemper:

Edmund E Kemper #B52453 CDCR CMF P.O. Box 2000 Vacaville, CA 95696

Ted Kaczynski:

Ted Kaczynski #04475–046 USP Florence ADMAX PO Box 8500 Florence, CO 81226

Paul Bernardo:

Paul Bernardo Millhaven Inst. Highway 93 PO Box 280 KOH IGO Bath, Ontario, Canada

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev:

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev #95079-038 5880 CO-67, Florence, CO 81226

Dennis Rader:

Dennis Rader #0083707 1737 SE Us Highway 54, El Dorado, KS 67042

Criminological Theories: Social Reaction

Social Reaction or Labeling Theory may help explain why criminals commit the crimes they do. According to this theory, when someone is labeled by society, their peers, parents, etc, as a deviant, they fully embrace how they are viewed. People can be defined and controlled by how the world views them. Viewing oneself as deviant can isolate you from obtaining normal social bonds. Isolation is one of the common threads seen in the perpetrators of most serial murder cases. Here are a few examples of real-life cases where Social Reaction Theory may apply.

  • Ed Kemper: Throughout his childhood, Ed was severely abused, both psychologically and physically by his mother, Clarnell. When Edmund was around eight-years-old, Clarnell made him sleep in the basement of their home. Ed was terrified of the basement and described it as “hell”. She did this because she believed that her son would harm her daughters, even though he did not display any violent tendencies at this point in his life. Clarnell would constantly refer to her son as a “real weirdo”, and reminded him multiple times that no woman would ever love him. She labeled her son an outcast, weirdo, and deviant, therefore he became one.
  • Jeffrey Dahmer: “Am I just an extremely evil person or is it some kind of satanic influence, or what? I have no idea. I have no idea at all.” Dahmer labeled himself as evil early on in his killing career, and maybe even believed himself to be evil before that. After all, he was so haunted by his fantasies in high school that he drank to forget them. In his confession, Dahmer stated that he “felt thoroughly evil.”  Jeff considered and labeled himself as evil, therefore he committed evil acts.
  • David Berkowitz: The Son of Sam was given up a few days after his birth. He was quickly adopted by Pearl and Nathan Berkowitz. While David was growing up, his adopted parents would frequently remind him that he was not their biological son and that his mother had died giving birth to him. This made David feel extremely guilty about entire existence, and in turn inadvertently labeled him as being “no good.” David went his whole life feeling as if he was a bad seed. This very may have contributed to him committing serial murder.

Source: Criminology: Theories, Patterns and Typologies by Larry J Siegel

Voices of serial killers
Voices of serial killers

Voices of various serial killers. 

Ordered by date of apprehension: Edmund Kemper (about watching TV and learning how not to get caught, through crime shows) - Ted Bundy (about remorse) - David Berkowitz (about finding religion) - John Wayne Gacy (demonstrating a rope trick he used on his victims and explaining it) - Richard Ramirez (about his thoughts on serial killers in general) - Aileen Wuornos (getting angry about the way she was treated by others) - Jeffrey Dahmer (about his motive) - Dennis Rader aka. BTK Killer (about dreaming about and planning the killing)

References to serial killers in Marilyn Manson songs
  • “Sam, Son of Man”, early Spooky Kids song references David Berkowitz.
  • Band slogan and lyric from “Cake and Sodomy”, “I am the God of Fuck”, is a direct quote from Charles Manson.
  • Lyrics of the song “Little Horn” are adapted from Revelation 9 of the Bible, the section Charles Manson was obsessed with that eventually led to his murders.
  • “This is beyond your experience” from song “The Reflecting God” is a paraphrase of Richard Ramirez’s last words before his sentencing.
  • Sample of Richard Ramirez, “Killing is killing, whether done for duty, profit or fun”, used at the start of “Snake Eyes And Sissies”.
  • Lyrics from “My Monkey”, are either taken from or adapted from the Charles Manson song of the same name.
  • Covered a Charles Manson song, “Sick City”.
  • Past and current band members have taken their names from Charles Manson, Richard Ramirez, David Berkowitz, Ed Gein, Henry Lee Lucas, Albert Fish, John Wayne Gacy, Ted Bundy and Richard Speck.
  • Spooky Kids songs “Dune Buggy” and “Let Your Ego Die” is a reference to Charles Manson.
  • “Portrait Of An American Family” was originally going to be called “The Manson Family Album”.
  • “Portrait Of An American Family” is a reference to “Portrait Of An American Serial Killer”, a documentary about Henry Lee Lucas.
  • “No, don’t, this is gonna hurt someone” sample taken from the public suicide of Budd Dwyer and used in song “Get Your Gunn”.
  • “Why are the children doing what they’re doing? Why does a child reach up and kill his mom and dad and murder his two little sisters and then cut his throat?“ sample from Charles Manson used in “My Monkey”. Several other Charles Manson samples were used in this song, along with a sample from The Beatles’ song “Helter Skelter”.
  • Sample of Charles “Tex” Watson, Manson Family member, saying “We would swoop down on the town, and kill everyone that wasn’t beautiful.” backmasked and used in the song “The Beautiful People”.
  • “A loved one laid his head in her lap, red roses fell to the floor, and the world stood still” in song “Coma Black”, is a reference to the assassination of JFK by Lee Harvey Oswald.
  • “Last night… I think he should have suffered… longer,” sample from “The Love Song” is Lee Harvey Oswald’s mother talking about his death.
  • Song “Revelation 9″ (b-side of “Get Your Gunn”) is a reference to the Bible section Charles Manson was obsessed with. If you play this song backwards you can hear many more disturbing references to Charles Manson, and twisted interpretations of the Bible.The Beatles had a song called “Revolution 9″ also, which was one of Charles Manson’s favourites.
  • Sample of Charles Manson singing “I’m gonna kill you, I’m gonna kill you” used in the song “Dope Hat”.
  • Unreleased song “Smells Like Children” uses sample of Albert Fish saying “I like children, they are tasty”.
  • Many references to the Columbine school shooters, Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold, throughout the album “Holy Wood”, most notably on “Disposable Teens” and “The Nobodies” .
  • The album “Holy Wood” is named after a message painted on the side of a school bus used by the Manson Family in their early years.
  • The song “Evidence” from album “Eat Me, Drink Me” is partly about German cannibal Armen Meiwes, who devoured a man who answered an internet request he sent on the now closed site,
  • The songs “President Dead” and “King Kill 33″ reference the Kennedy assassinations and a document attempting to expose Freemasonry in the US government.
  • “Today I am dirty, but tomorrow I’ll be just dirt”, lyric from the song “The Nobodies”, is a direct quote from Carl Panzram, who confessed to raping over 1,000 boys.

If I missed anything tell me, and I’ll edit it.


“Son of Sam” was released as a single in the US and UK (with different b-sides) on 11 April 2000, 1 week before the release of Elliott Smith’s final studio album, Figure 8. The song peaked at #55 in the UK, but went largely unnoticed in the US.

Smith denied that the song was about the serial killer, stating, “I’m not sure exactly what it’s about because it’s just sort of like telling someone a dream you had last night. There are some destructive figures in it… . it’s just an impressionistic song about destruction and creativity, I guess, if it’s about anything.”