Serial Killers – Psychotic or Psychopathic?

Gary Palin: I see your points Robert, and your way more knowledgeable about these types of psychotic sociopaths than I am. When I saw the picture of Libby in the hat and how young and innocent she looked, this crime really struck a chord with me. When I was younger growing up in the 70’s this was relatively “uncommon,” but there were some (Charles Manson, etc) Also there were very few homosexuals, at least out in the open, and there were no transgender people ( not that I have disdain for them). This goes for where I grew up, but maybe in liberal California it was different for you.

I just wonder if this escalating type of violent crimes against women has anything to do with “feminism” and men feeling slighted and emasculated, and this is their way of rebelling against women. I think there may be a lot of truth to this.

I would bet in the 1950’s where divorce was uncommon, and families were mostly all the patriarchal type, when men were the head of the household, I think people and families were a lot happier than in today’s world, even though they didn’t have as much material wealth. Maybe you should do a blog on that subject, as you’re truly a student of human nature.

As far as being a student of human nature, I work in mental health. I have dealt with very few psychotic or psychopathic people, but I often have to rule out psychopathy or psychosis. In the group I am dealing with, I almost always rule it out. But to rule it out, you have to understand it.

Actually there were quite a few serials running around in the 1970’s. I like to think of the 1970’s as the Decade of the Serial Killer. There were an amazing number of them running around right here in California. We regularly had them running loose here in the LA area. Randy Kraft, the Hillside Strangler, the Toolbox Killers, the Sunset Strip Killers, Rodney Alcala, William Bonin, on and on. In California proper there was the Zodiac, the Hitchhiker Killer, and the Keddie Murders. Ted Bundy was running around the West.

My Mom thinks she saw Bonin and crew pick up a young male hitchhiker on a freeway entrance in Garden Grove. She thought that may have been the last ride that boy ever took.

A good friend of mine had an encounter with Randy Kraft and drank some beer and smoked some pot with him. The beer was one of Kraft’s specialty Valium-laced beers, but my friend caught on that something was wrong. Kraft tried to stop him from leaving the car, but my friend screamed at Kraft like a maniac, and Kraft was taken aback and let him go.

Back then we did not have DNA and advanced forensics, so most of these guys killed a number of times (4-10) before they were caught. It was so much easier to be a serial back then due to the more primitive forensics. Serials often targeted regular females or males, but now a lot of serials are targeting druggy street prostitutes, truck stop whores, and other marginal women whose disappearance is not even known because they are so far outside of society. It is quite hard to catch these killers because they are targeting such marginal women who hardly anyone even knows. When the serial starts targeting ordinary members of society, it’s a bit easier to catch them.

I do not think the rate of rapes or rape-murders of women has gone up since the 1970’s. I have heard that child killings have been at a flat rate of ~150/year since the 1970’s. If anything, I would assume the rate of rapes and rape-murders has gone down since the 1970’s. Sure, there has been a much-needed backlash against the sexist hate movement called Feminism, but it doesn’t seem like men’s rage over it is causing us to rape and kill women at any higher rate than we ever had. Instead a lot of men seem to be dropping out of dating and dealing with women altogether for fear of a sexual harassment, sexual assault or fake rape charge. See the Men Going Their Own Way Movement for more on this phenomenon.

The concepts of psychosis and psychopathy are often confused in the public mind. How many times have you heard about “psychotic killers?” Thing is, when someone says that, they are almost never referring to killers who are actually psychotic. Instead they are referring to psychopathic killers and confusing them with people who are psychotic. Most people do not understand the difference between these psychological states, and this is the reason for the mix-up. Also most people assume that any maniac running around like Jack the Ripper slaughtering other humans for no good reason has to be insane or psychotic. They say this because to them such an act seems to be so outside of normal behavior that only a crazy person would do such a thing.

Psychosis and psychopathy are too different things. I suppose there are some cases where the two conditions overlap. Some paranoid schizophrenics seem to have also been psychopaths, but this is not common.

These sociopaths are not psychotic. This is an important thing to note. Only 2% of serials are psychotic. It is fairly easy to catch a psychotic serial because they are completely insane. It’s hard for crazy people to organize a trip to the bathroom, much less a serial killing spree.

Sociopaths and psychopaths are not the tiniest bit crazy. If they were even 1% nuts, they would be easier to catch. They are almost too sane in that they don’t have to worry about emotions slipping them up. These humans are like machines. If they are serials, then they are killing machines.

I would agree though that outside of the former definition of craziness which tends to emphasize impairment, sociopaths/psychopaths are indeed crazy. They’re morally crazy. And in some ways, these are craziest humans of all because they simply lack a conscience.

Instead of being crazy, sociopaths and psychopaths are better seen as sick. Or even evil. We need to take our analysis of these folks outside of the sanity/insanity paradigm and over into the moral universe of good/evil. These people aren’t crazy. They’re just evil, that’s all. This is the only way to properly understand such people.


Filed under California, Crime, Evil, Feminism, Gender Studies, Man World, Mental Illness, Personality Disorders, Psychology, Psychopathology, Psychotic Disorders, Regional, Serial Killers, Sick, Sociology, Sociopathy, USA, Women

24 responses to “Serial Killers – Psychotic or Psychopathic?

  1. ROBERT Killer Zeitgeist

    Serial killers seemed to capture the era of their crimes.

    Manson was the hippie from the depths of desert commune counterculture madness.

    Richard Ramirez, who looked like an Argentinian soccer player, seemed to summarize both the coked out 1980’s Cholo from the barrio loose in suburbia and also the eighties hard rock flirtation with Devil Worship at the time (AC/DC) that reached its peak in the mid 1980’s.

    Jeffrey Dahmer seemed to sum up the gay scene depths of dementia.

    Andrew Cunanan summed up a later aspect of the same gay culture with its crystal meth and steroid abuse.

    The Grim Sleeper summarized the Crack Era and its marginalization of addicts as did Joel Rifkin as did Gary Ridgeway.\

    Bundy summarized the Me Decade. The chauvinistic pig behind the Preppie facade.

    All of them could not have existed or operated outside the time and place they did.

    Of course even long-dormant serial killers are being caught now. The guy that strangled a prostitute 40 years ago is now caught as a 60 year old retiree.

    • Jason Y

      Richard Ramirez, who looked like an Argentinian soccer player, seemed to summarize both the coked out 1980’s Cholo from the barrio loose in suburbia and also the eighties hard rock flirtation with Devil Worship at the time (AC/DC) that reached its peak in the mid 1980’s.

      What do you think of Motley Crue? 😆

      • JASON Y

        I do not believe Tommy Lee or Vince Neil were ever serial killers.

        Nor did any of their songs ever motivate serial killers, to my knowledge. They were glam-rock drivel to be honest.

  2. Annmarie

    I respect your comment , however, absolutely, positively, when a person takes the life of another.. regardless of what any medical professional thinks, they are psycho, psychotic, crazy, bananas… they would have to go into some kind of psychotic rage in order to do it..they come out of there psychosis once they are done but for me and only me, it doesn’t take a medical professional to tell me they are or are not crazy! It’s all bs… try telling the families that this killer was just someone who was a good guy and just was pissed about feminism.. maybe I’m reading it wrong and with all due respect I will never buy into the fact that a killer any kind whether they are planned or all of a sudden, is not a psycho!
    Why do we have to look far and not see the reality right in front of us ? These sickos pull out of their rage after it’s done that’s why they seem so nice when you meet them. I lived in California in the 70s and between Son of Sam, Bonin, The Night Stalker, Manson, you name it sent a huge amount of fear which is also a form of public control and to me is a psychotic nutjob! Men of today are the same, back in the day we had curfews and real rules where as in today’s society we have nothing even close.. I believe when our society gives off an image of being safe and protected , I think people tend to conform, even criminals. Right now our crime in our country is rampant and it’s because everyone is carrying, everyone is living in one trusts authority… it sets society up for failure… this is just my personal opinion and obviously I’m not a medical professional I’m an outsider looking into a very big problem. That’s the thing I don’t believe we need a court of law to decide if someone is psychotic or not, anyone would have to be in order to kill another person.. common sense ! ( oh and my tone is gentle I get riled about crime this is no directed at you personally-that’s why it may be a bit irrational)

    • Do you know what the word psychotic means?

      I have mentally ill clients, and I have to make a determination of whether they are psychotic or not. Psychotic and psychosis have a particular meaning. You either are or you are not. And killing another human, for a good reason or for no good reason, is not a symptom of psychosis.

      If you want to call them psychos, that’s fine. Psycho-killers.

      I assure you that these people are not psychotic. Psychosis is defined as out of touch with reality. You need to have delusions (false beliefs) and/or hallucinations (sensing things that are not there) in order to be psychotic. No delusions? No hallucinations? No psychosis.

      Why can’t you just say he’s evil? Why does he have to be nuts too?


    The 1970’s and 1980’s will always be the peak of serial killers simply because the technology did not yet exist to catch them.

    By that time certain elements had created a vacuum in society-drugs, casual sex, mobility, dysfunctional backgrounds that created the killers, a CRUISING-Type gay underground (Dahmer, Gacy, Cunanan) etc.

    Internet and DNA have curbed the the days when 75 people died at the hands of a killer or a serial killer was on the loose in one small city like Witchita for 30 years like BTK.

  4. Garry Palin

    CRAZY MAN !!! – there was this Chinese guy-named Vince Li, and he boarded a Greyhound bus traveling from Edmonton, Canada, to Winnipeg, Canada. He got on the bus and sat next to a guy named Tim Mclean, who was sleeping with ear buds on. They got to a town in Portage La Prairie, close to Winnipeg to make a stop.

    Vince Li, then took out a big knife, and started stabbing this guy in the neck with all these people aboard. The people all witnessed this, and were trying to get off the bus. The guy that was getting stabbed, was trying to fight back, but was fatally wounded and lost a lot of blood. Then Vince Li started to cut the guy’s head off- in front of a lot of people. He cut the head off clean, and was holding the head up in the air, and sticking it out the window. A truck driver passed by and yielded a crow bar at this guy, and the guy just motioned for the truck driver to enter the bus. The driver decided not to press his luck with this psychotic psychopath.

    After awhile the bus emptied, and the cops were called and Vinve Li was on the bus. A special police unit was called in to enter the bus and capture this guy. They did that, and found that this Vince Li guy had cut out this guy’s heart, and eyeballs and ate them. He also had the victim’s ears in his pocket, that he was “saving for later.” ( his favorite part) My sister told me this, and she said could you imagine eating a guy’s ears- I replied to her just joking-I said -” don’t knock it til you try it-those Chinese guys can make anything taste good, with a little sweet and sour sauce.”-( she laughed) but it was a sick joke.

    Anyways this Vince Li guy ( Chinese guy) had come from Toronto and had a job in Winnipeg. When he was in Toronto, he was supposed to take his medications to control his sadistic thoughts, and voices in his head. He wasn’t taking his meds, and look what happened.

    When he was arrested and taken off the bus, he asked the police to kill him, as he felt he didn’t deserve to live. They asked him why he killed this innocent man- he didn’t know ( Tim McLean), and he said he heard voices in his head instructing him to kill this guy. This case then went to court, and again Vince Li, asked to be put to death- the court said no, and sent him to a mental institution. ( I think this happened around 2007 -2008)

    After 7 years went by this Vince Li was up for a parole hearing, and his parole was granted with the provision he take his medications. Now the guy is on the loose- talk about a fucked up judicial system !!! What if the guy get’s in a bad mood, and decides “not” to take his medications ??? Then we have a Cannibalistic, psycho, sociopath on the loose. In China where he’s from, you get the “automatic death penalty.”

    The psychiatrists and psychologists, all say he’ll be just fine as long as he takes his meds. This Canadian Law system is a complete joke. This guy is a danger to society, and should at the very least be locked up for life- without question. He really should get the death penalty for this. When does society get back to the “eye for an eye” judicial sentencing ??? I t really makes me wonder. I’m sure in the US -he’d be locked up for life.
    Now we have a “friendly young cannibal” running around- that is til he forgets to take his medication !!!

    Note- to read more on this case- just Google-Tim McLean beheaded by Vince Li- Greyhound bus”- you can read all about it. The moral of the story, is if you want to kill someone, do so in Liberal Canada- where everything will be understood, and excused.

    • Immigration Canada Policies

      If this man had been in the padded cell in Hong Kong or Beijing where he should have been this would not have happened.

      But of course China was not concerned if Canada wanted to let a nutcase into their country.

      Even normal immigrants can develop schizophrenia in new countries and when a psychotic or maniac is exported to be Canada’s problem they often lose their mind completely.

    • GARRY China vs. North America Immigration

      So I want to immigrate to China and the Canadian/American governments fax my rap sheet that like Li indicates a long history of mental instability and psychiatric treatment with the determination that I am a psychotic paranoid schizophrenic.

      Beijing Immigration notes that I “complain of hearing voices ordering me to kill”.


      • Yee

        “In China where he’s from, you get the “automatic death penalty.””

        Well, we sure wish this was the case. But no, China is just as insane as most country about crazy killers, only mental institutions.

        And Trash, China doesn’t have immigration laws, so basically no one can immigrate to China. You need to have at least 1 parent Chinese and born in China to have citizenship. Or you get special permit from State Department. They don’t even give out permanent resident permits easily, it’s people like Stephon Marbury who got it. Other foreigners need to renew their visas every year.

        • Garry Palin

          Well Yee- you do sound Chinese, and also seem like you know the immigration rules, and probably are right.

          In the case I cited above on Vince Li- cutting this guy’s head off- I later did some research, and the research said a guy commiting a crime like that in China-say 8 years ago would automatically be executed by “firing squad”
          and this article went on to say, this law has now been changed to death by lethal injection. I know nothing about state laws in China. It did say though, that China was very strict, and automatic death penalty.

          NOTE- This Vince Li guy that’s now a free man, was also given a new name-last name is (Baker). He also says he’s going back to China to visit his parents- although they do not know about his crime. I think one article says his from Guandong province ???- not sure. This is a “real case” and all very true what I’ve posted.

        • Yee

          If he didn’t have mental illness, then it would be a guaranteed death penalty in China for killing a stranger unprovoked.

          I’m sure mentally ill killers get released after a few years in institutions. Because just last week, we have one such crazy man killed again.

  5. Jason Y

    Possibly these men view women as objects – far beyond what a porn addict might see them. Note, if you look at porn, especially Japanese porn it seems to be heading in that direction. Anyway, I don’t like Feminazis – but everything they say isn’t false.

    So I wouldn’t say these killers are mean or lack a conscience but are rather predators. I mean what conscience does a lion have when tackling a gazelle? Of course, all guys have this sexual predator thing in them – but it’s went haywire with these serial killers etc..

    • JASON Y Somewhat Familiar With Porn Stars

      The women want money and are grateful for $1,000 a scene. Nothing they do bothers them. They do not care about fat unattractive middle-aged Lesbian feminists who cannot get a nickel out of men because, well, they can.

      Philippines exemplifies the reality of the world-wet body cavities rule the world, not Lesbian manifestos.

      Lesbians feminazis, unlike gays, do not fare well economically on average.

      Gay districts will be upbeat, happy, with productive men cheerfully enjoying life.

      Lesbians will sit in dim apartments reeking of incense in their dated goth outfits and piercings moaning about male patriarchy.

      Straight women really do not care for them either.

  6. Jason Y

    I guess ultimately the penalty for such predatory behavior might be simply making the man the prey. Note, men like sex – but they don’t like looks and glances from men or women they don’t like. Well, maybe women they don’t care, but not men. So with gays, we see a predatory fixation on straight men, and that’s why the straights hate gays so much.

    Also, men don’t like to be a sex slave 24/7, but there are women and men who might make them just that. So again, as the Bible says, “Treat others the way you want to be treated.” seems to be the moral of the story.

    • Garry Palin

      @ Jason- I don’t agree with what you say, as I think these serial killers are mean, and definitely “lack a conscience”. That’s what a serial killer is, one that has “no emotions” and are called “sociopaths”. They don’t feel happiness or sadness, and they are not right. Maybe they feel a sexual high and thrill, by brutally killing someone. ( I’m sure they do)
      Your example of a lion attacking a gazelle is different, as what separates animals from humans is that human’s have “intellect”, that should overide their emotions. Animals only have “instinct.”
      Where I do agree with you, is on the Japanese porn, or violent type of porn- I think some men can’t separate fantasy from reality, and it can certainly affect them negatively. I don’t mind porn once in awhile, as a lot of men do, but it has to be taken for what it is. ( a lot is not reality- has to be put in proper perspective.) I also don’t like heavy duty “feminists” and I also this can cause hatred in men, toward women. ( not all men though)
      I do appreciate your perspective Jason, as we all see things differently 🙂

      • Jason Y

        Well, even in strip clubs etc.. – places that Feminazis view as “houses of abomination” – they still don’t like creeps and serial killers and will kick one out – and/or beat them up on the spot (the bouncers).

        • JASON Y

          Strippers are usually leading some lifestyle involving drugs and crime anyhow. I knew a few.

          Nobody ever kills a stripper in a club.

          The owners of the strip clubs do not want trouble, they want money.

      • Jason Y

        Where I do agree with you, is on the Japanese porn, or violent type of porn- I think some men can’t separate fantasy from reality, and it can certainly affect them negatively.

        Except the psycho is crying when he’s in prison where – he’s the bitch. 😆 It’s way different then.

        • JASON Y

          Little is done to deter prison rape and statistics indicate that it takes place more often that the rape of women outside of prison.

          When some hulking Irish-American coarse-looking dude like Tom Selleck who is 6 4 and 240 or something is facing ass rape you know it is BAD in prison.

      • There’s real women, and there’s feminists. I love real women. It’s’ the feminists I hate.

        • Jason Y

          Possibly, feminists are trying to get back at sexual abuse or something. I don’t think it comes out of thin air – there is a reason for it. And don’t bring up cause they’re ugly – a lot of these women could look sexy if they just wore better clothes etc.. It’s mainly the attitude which is anti-feminine.

        • Jason Y

          The attitude drives the looks and everything else. The attitude is “I hate men and want revenge for what was done to me by them (when really who did it to them – was not all men, but maybe a few bad apples).

    • JASON Y

      This seems to be absent from the gay population of males. They may do bizarre and disgusting things but for the most part none of them truly transform others into sex slaves very often.

      It is actually Lesbian women who go on man-killing rampages like Aileen Wuornos.

      So clearly this is a male-female thing.

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