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Methods of Madness: How Do Some Serial Killers Evade Suspicion?

A look at serial killers and how some are caught quickly, while others might avoid apprehension for as much as year or, in some cases, never.

     There are several famous serial killers, worldwide; some have never been caught, while others are only apprehended after years of relentless pursuit by law enforcement.  Then, there are still other deviants, who are caught quickly and imprisoned or institutionalized; why does this happen?  Madmen seem to typically fall into one of two categories.  The first of these two categories would be those who are so mad, that they don’t even realize that they are mad.  These individuals recognize no fault in their behavior and that their actions are not acceptable in society.  These are the obviously mad. 

     Those who fall into the second category are not so easily detected.  These are the men (and, sometimes, women) who are fully aware that their tendencies are considered socially unacceptable, psycotic and, even, criminal.  They know that there are penalties for their behavior and, so, they hide it.  These are the calculatingly mad.  They know exactly what to say and how to behave in public to evade suspicion.  H.H. Holmes of 1890’s Chicago was never suspected of being a serial killer, until he was being investigated for insurance fraud.  Only then, were his more heinous crimes discovered.  Ted Bundy’s friends and peers were shocked when he was finally apprehended and convicted.  Each of these men were handsome, successful, well-liked and respected among his peers.

     The life of the truly calculating serial killer is a careful one.  In order to escape detection and rise above suspicion is to maintain a lifestyle that, on the exterior, appears to be above reproach.  Their friends, neighbors and associates haven’t an inkling of anything amiss in this person’s life; by all counts, this person may appear to be “perfect”.  However, they are privately the deviant, the sadist; he is a killer.

     Of the two types of madmen, the calculatingly mad are the most frightening and the most dangerous.  They live their lives like a poker game-always bluffing; they hold all of the cards and will never permit you to see them.

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