Mental illnesses as a link between killers and cannibalism. Essay
Mental illnesses as a link between killers and cannibalism., 502 words essay example
A cool academic point to note about psychopathy is that we know the kinds of behaviors psychopaths reliably exhibit such as superficial charm and a lack of empathy, we know that they typically have a low resting heart rate and we also know that that they are likely to have significant differences in their brain, such as reduced prefrontal gray matter, amygdalar abnormalities and asymmetric hippocampi. One can only speculate how these brain differences could be implicated in psychopathic behavior, but it does mean that if we scanned the brain of a serial killer and measured their heart rate, these are the kind of differences we could expect to find (Jack Pemment).
This abuse and mental illness might also be the link between killers and cannibalism. Experts say a killer's need to dominate his victim may be a motivation. Devouring a victim is the step beyond taking their life and represents the ultimate conquest and sign of domination to a killer. Cannibalism is rooted in both Ancient Rituals and Warrior Battles. George Palermo, forensic psychiatrist at the Medical College of Wisconsin in Milwaukee says that " It goes back to the old days of the warrior, where they would defeat their enemy and eat the part they most admired, like their brain or their heart...It's like they're saying, 'I really killed you. The only way you exist is in me." Keeping in mind cannibalisms past and it's significance, experts believe its practice in killings could show a killer's need to possess his victim. By eating their victims, they are showing an extreme desire to possess their qualities and not share them with anyone else. It can be seen as an extension of an ancient culture's' traditions. When looking at someone like Jeffrey Dahmer he believed in incorporation, when he would dismember the body he would either dispose of it or sometimes keep a body part as souvenir. Jeffrey believes that if he ate the flesh of his victims they would come alive again in him (George Palermo).
Cannibalistic killers tend to have a history of violence and have a rage that drives them to lash out and eat their victims. The source of their rage can be an abusive relationship with a parent, with a lover or spouse, or the loss of a relative or spouse. Every time they attack and eat a victim, they are releasing that rage, reliving their relationship and acting out vicariously at either an abusive parent or their partner. Ed Gein did not start killing and eating people's remains until after his mother died. Gein had an obsession with his deceased mother, this was his form of release for what he was feeling. Both serial killers and cannibalistic killers have a pent-up rage they need to release. Cannibalistic killers have a tremendous amount of hostility that they need to release, anger is stored up inside them in order to reach the point of where they want to destroy the human body and eat human flesh (George Palermo).