As a college student, the most common questions received is, "What's your major?" and, "What do you plan on doing with that?" Sometimes these questions put a bright spotlight on us college kids as if saying that everyone needs to know what they're for sure doing with their lives.
This isn't true for a lot of college-age kids because sometimes it takes a lot of time to find your niche, or even just what you love and are passionate about. However, I am one of the lucky people who realized my passion early on. As a child, I spent the years before I went to school with my grandma while my mom worked during the day.
My grandma was constantly watching shows having to do with law and crime, to which I credit her for my still present love for Murder, She Wrote, and Matlock. Also a long time favorite of both my grandmas and my mom's being Forensic Files, another one of my favorites as well. This, I would say was probably the start of my true crime addiction. Then, I was around 14 years old or so and I found the book shown below in my mom's things. I asked if I could read it and she said that I could if I so wished.
I opened the book to the first page that reads,
The Nature of the Beast. There is no such thing as a profile of serial killers - no single description that covers in all cases who they are and why they kill. The behavioral scientists who study them define them narrowly as killers who, over a period of time, slay three or more victims, compelled by some inner drive that finds release only in killing.
But, the experts say, there are as many kinds of compulsions as there are motives for killing, and so there are as many kinds of serial killers as there are motives." It goes on to define psychotics as, "a minority among serial killers." It's quoted as expressing psychotics as those who, "fail to perceive reality correctly. They hear voices or see visions, or sometimes both, and murder is a symptom of their madness."
This is very rare however and the book tells you that for every 10 murderers there is one psychotic and nine of another type. Psychopaths. The book defines psychopaths/sociopaths as antisocial people that, "do not suffer from a mental illness, but a character flaw.
They are in touch with reality. They know right from wrong, and they know killing is wrong. But they don't care. Psychopaths lack a vital component of the human personality that most other people take for granted - conscience. Either they have no conscience, or their conscience is too weak to inhibit the violence they commit. Psychopaths kill without guilt and without remorse." In the final parts of the introduction, it states, "no one knows for certain what creates a psychopathic killer. Some theories stress genetics - an inborn predisposition to kill. Others favor an environmental explanation - factors in an individual's upbringing that make him a killer.
Many experts believe the truth lies in a combination of genetics and environment. Perhaps the psychopathic serial killer's most frightening quality is his ability to live unnoticed among his fellow humans. He seems normal. he may even be intelligent and charming...But beneath the surface two traits are almost always present in in psychopathic killers: sexual abnormality and a consuming need for power. Killing satisfies them sexually, and it satisfies their need for control - the ultimate control over life and death. Simply put, killing gives them pleasure. They kill, the experts say, because they want to. They kill because they like it.
Reading those words and then the four stories that followed, I found bone-chilling stories of torture and murder and in that moment, as gruesome as what I was reading was, it was as if flare guns went off in my head and I knew exactly what I wanted to do for the rest of my life.
I wanted to find out why these killers do what they do. I wanted to analyze the behavior and analyze the subjects. I wanted to find out what happened to these people that caused them to do what they did, whether that be from the way they grew up or something in their brains from birth that was just never right.
These are pining questions for me, so when someone asks me, "What's your major?" my answer without hesitation is Psychology, and when asked, "What do you plan to do with that?" My answer is that I want to earn my doctoral degree and study forensic and criminal psychology.
Since I've decided that psychology is the path for me, I've had a year of college psychology classes (general of course), I've changed my path in order for me to obtain the best psychology education available to me, and I've taken a personal interest in learning the things I can. I am an avid listener of true crime podcasts including Last Podcast on the Left and My Favorite Murder, both of which I highly recommend if you are a true crime lover like myself. Come to the dark side and be a murderino.
Criminal psychology, as scary as it can be sometimes, is a fascinating world that I am so very excited to be a part of. I'm very excited about the path I've chosen and I intend on doing everything I can to succeed in my position, whatever that ends up being. I hope to practice criminal psychology, or maybe one day work as a criminal profiler, inspired by my love for Criminal Minds and the BAU of the FBI.
My path has been chosen and I will stop at nothing to achieve the goals I've set for myself in this life.