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

Psychologist Joel Norris interviewed over 500 serial killers in the late 80s, studying the very worst of humankind to learn more about what makes killers tick - and how to identify and prevent such behaviors.

One of his most important results of Norris' studies is his guide to the 7 Psychological Phases of the serial killer; read through this data from IC and think about it... just how accurate are the movie representations of serial killers you've seen?

1. Aura Phase

The killer experiences a disjunct with reality, falling further into sick fantasies and giving in to sadistic and violent urges. Some use alcohol and drugs to suppress these feelings, which is generally ineffective.

2. Trolling Phase

The killer begins a search for potential victims, usually within a place of comfort and familiarity; a local neighborhood or social area. This could take as little as a few hours or as long as several months.

3. Wooing Phase

This phase is only for organized killers, who will use their charms to groom a chosen victim and win their trust, rather than simply grab someone at random.

4. Capture Phase

The victim grab, usually executed swiftly with blunt force head trauma and restraints.

5. Murder Phase

During this phase, the actual murder takes place, with the kill method varying dependent on whether the killer is organized (cold, slow torture and abuse) or disorganized (wild bursts of violence and partial/complete destruction of the body).

6. Totem Phase

Creation of souvenirs; taking trophies from the crime scene. This phase is an attempt at prolonging the high from the kill.

7. Depression Phase

Once the kill fades into a memory, it stops feeling real and depression sets in. Whether the killer has killed to overwhelm hurtful memories or simply to satisfy sick urges, they will remain in the depression phase until they kill again.

Sources: IC, Reddit, DeviantArt


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