ByJancy Richardson, writer at Creators.co
To avoid fainting, keep repeating 'It's only a movie...It's only a movie...'
Jancy Richardson

Serial Killers make for terrible people...but GREAT horror movies! However, according to this Criminal Profiling Agency, those horror movies teach us a load of LIES. Be prepared to rethink what you 'know' about Serial Killers...

MYTH 1: Serial killers are either really weird looking...or really handsome

The gorgeous Patrick Bateman is atypical.
The gorgeous Patrick Bateman is atypical.

According to profilers, serial killers tend to look pretty average. It's more that the terrifying or handsome guys tend to get more press (go figure).

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MYTH 2: All Serial killers are men

Charlize Theron as serial killer Aileen Wuornos.
Charlize Theron as serial killer Aileen Wuornos.

The majority of killers ARE male, but there are many more female serial killers than people suspect. Their cases often get less press because their killings are generally within the 'private sphere' - children, hospital patients, family - rather than random violent attacks.

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MYTH 3: Serial killers taunt the police

In Se7en, Kevin Spacey messes with the cops.
In Se7en, Kevin Spacey messes with the cops.

How many times have you seen 'a deadly game of cat and mouse' written on the back of a DVD? Most killers don't want to cause trouble, slinking back into their normal lives between murders rather than involving themselves with law enforcement.

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MYTH 4: Serial killers kill very frequently

Michael Myers: a staggeringly high body count
Michael Myers: a staggeringly high body count

As far as profilers know, most murderers take time - often years - between kills. This is more to do with energy, danger and practicality than desire, as far as profilers know.

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MYTH 5: Serial killers are unbelievably cunning in their abductions

Your own barber shop is a pretty elaborate ruse!
Your own barber shop is a pretty elaborate ruse!

Grand plots? Fiendish ruses? No. The most serial killers simply knock a victim on the head, or threaten them with a knife before carrying them away.

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MYTH 6: Most serial killers live at home with mom

Norman Bates lived with Mother Dearest...
Norman Bates lived with Mother Dearest...

Interestingly, though living with their mother is not the norm, serial killers will frequently find a female to take care of them in some way i.e. a relative or girlfriend to help with rent and maintenance while their focus is elsewhere.

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MYTH 7: The only way killers stop killing is capture or death

Jason: he will never stop until you put him down.
Jason: he will never stop until you put him down.

Actually, most killers get too old and tired to abduct people and simply give up. It's terrifying to think how many old, dying people take secrets like this to the grave.

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MYTH 8: Serial Killers always keep grisly trophies

Leatherface never throws anything away.
Leatherface never throws anything away.

Of course, some killers DO like to keep souvenirs, but it's the movie-version of this phenomena that's exaggerated its likelihood. Like taunting the police or killing frequently, most killers just don't dare to leave such incriminating evidence around them for the cops to find.

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MYTH 9) Serial Killers are finally apprehended through dazzling police work

Criminal Minds: great brains crack the case.
Criminal Minds: great brains crack the case.

Most killers are caught through their own mistakes. Killers who've been evading capture for years can get complacent, while rookie serial killers are usually made sloppy by their initial nerves and lack of experience.

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MYTH 10) Serial killers are evil geniuses

Hannibal Lecter: evil genius.
Hannibal Lecter: evil genius.

OK, so they're evil, but a lot of the cunning brilliance we see in movies just does not happen. Police press statements can make killers look smarter so cops look better if the murder is not apprehended. Movies make killers geniuses because it makes the movie more enticing. Most serial killers are just regular guys...which is kind of scarier!

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Remember, horror fans: these facts are interesting from a filmic point of view, but information can save lives. The more you know...

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