Friday, March 19, 2010

Serial Killer Trophies And Tendencies

I am a lifetime student of the psyche of the serial killer.

Admittedly, the mysterious machinations of the mind that seems to float inside the brain cavity has always been a fascination of mine, perhaps more of an obsession. I am most fascinated when thought processes turn extreme. Particularly to murder of the serial variety.

I don't know when that first point in time was, I knew I was hooked.

Could have been Lizzie Borden.
I remember that being the first murder case that stuck with me.
I lived in New Bedford Massachusetts then. Lizzie was from in Fall River. And my best friend then claimed her wealthy father acquired some of Lizzie's things in an auction, including a milking stool. This was my first actual experience with "murderabalia," which was not even officially a concept then, I think.

I don't believe Lizzie was a serial killer. More likely, she was really ticked off at her parents, was PMS'ing big-time, or something just snapped in her head. Whatever went wrong, Lizzie  made all the right post-murder moves. She got the crime scene just so, she got  her story down pat. Then wealthy,  she hired her own dream team and got off, free as a bird with a clipped wing, in the criminal trial like OJ.

I don't believe anyone sued Lizzie in civil court. So all she had to do was live out her remaining years in whatever posture she chose that day -- innocently accused, or evidently guilty. Her nights though, her dreams.... surely.... karma haunted her.

However, from the first time I first heard that people actually hunt other people for pleasure, I was captivated by both the "victimology" (why does one person become a victim and the other not)...
and the "thought processes" of the serial killer (why do some killers work with such organized intellgence and others act so impulsively?).
Also intriguing to me was the trophies, the "murderabelia"  some of these killers keep.
Ultimately, for some, like OJ, years later....that was his ultimate downfall.
It was OJ's trophies, not of murder, but of his career success that finally got him behind bars.

I have studied photographs and documentation of serial killer brains post mortem.
I have read countless books, psychological studies and researched beyond the levels of what might consider a normal pre-occupation.
And true to form, little did I know when I was little, that decades later, I would still be as obsessed as I was the very day I stumbled upon the truth that there were good people, unwell people, and evil people.

With so much going on the world lately -- the economy collapsing, jobs being lost, homes foreclosed, earthquakes, floods, fires -- it's been fairly easy to miss the morsels of news regarding the latest in serial killer findings.

So imagine my somewhat perverse delight when I came upon this article by Andy Kahan in "In Cold Blog".

Serial killer Rodney Alcala is the most recent focus of said obsession on my part... and the discovery recently of hundreds of photos of young women, some taken 30 years ago, was mind blowing to law enforcement officials, and the families of young women who just simply disappeared. Like a lot of serial killers, Alcala  also kept trophies.

You may or may not know who Alcala is. Here's a quote from the article I am linking you to at the end of this post:

"Alcala was so smooth, so suave and debonair, he even managed to appear as a contestant on The Dating Game and was chosen by the Bachelorette. Luckily, for her she had the good sense to decline the date claiming he was too creepy.

In addition to the photos, Alcala also kept earrings from his victims as trophies. Recently, relatives of four young women who have been missing since the 70's advised investigators that they recognized their loved ones from the photos."
Read this article and you may find probing the depths of serial killer memorabelia either enlightening or disgusting. 
Either way, it will let you know one important thing I have learned.
Bad guys, evil people, do not wear tags on their shirts I.D'ing themselves.
Most serial killers, could pass for, or be,  the guy next door.  
Some are even more handsome than your average guy. 
Like Ted Bundy, they lure you in with their good looks, charm and in Bundy's case, a fake cast.
In other cases, like B.T.K., they track and hunt you while wearing the uniform of authority.

Okay here's the link to Andy Kahan's about Rodney Alcala from "In Cold Blog".
It's called "Ghastly-Ghoulish &Sickening Serial Killer Momentoes."


  1. Thank you for this...WOW, we seem to be so much alike that its almost scary!

  2. do you think he kept the photos as souvenirs or as trophies?
    honestly, i heard about alcala but i'm not familiar with his childhood, criminal history or an analysis of his murders, sexual homicide for sure but what's his MO?
    do you know more?

  3. teresa, thank you back. i am finally figuring out how to use comments.

  4. mnemosyne....both i think. now there is a great dal out there on him now if you google him. i think he captures people through lies and then kills for whatever purient reason he chooses. you inspire me to write more about serial killers.

  5. can't get to incoldblogger anymore... any idea where he moved to?

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