Thursday, October 29, 2015

Serially Sexy

In May of 2012, Luka Magnotta uploaded a video to the website titled 1 Lunatic 1 Ice Pick.  In the video, his then boyfriend Lin Jun is shown naked and bound on a bed before Magnotta brutally murders him with—well, I think the title says it all.  Afterward, Magnotta mailed pieces of his dead lover to random government buildings wrapped like presents for some really disturbed kid’s fucked up birthday party.  After an international manhunt, Magnotta was finally arrested, tried, and sentenced to life in prison with the possibility of parole in 25 years.

Today, Luka Magnotta is free…to win your heart. 

Earlier this year, he created a profile on Canadian Inmate Connect Inc.—a pen pal service for inmates in Canada.  According to People, Magnotta is:

Seeking single white male, 28 - 38 years of age, white and in shape. One who is loyal, preferably educated, financially and emotionally stable for a long term committed relationship.”

At least the guy has standards, right?  And who knows?  Maybe he’ll find his Mister Right.  If women are still lining up to marry Charles Manson, I have no doubt Luka Magnotta will find a love connection.  In fact, I am almost certain of it.

Hybristophillia is the sexual arousal to particularly violent criminals.  Rape, murder, armed robbery…these are all potential triggers that may get the hybristophile nice and randy.  Sometimes referred as the “Bonnie and Clyde Effect,” some hybristophiles may even coerce their partners into committing a crime just to jump-start their sexual engines.  With the infamy surrounding serial murder, it is no small wonder serial killers are often bombarded with fan mail, love letters and marriage proposals as if federal prisons are some kind of fucked up Hogwarts with the various Ted Bundy's out there playing the role of Harry Potter.

Serial killers are not uniquely American, yet we Americans tend to immortalize them and their heinous acts, elevating people like Jeffery Dahmer to near god-like status for—what?—raping, murdering, and then consuming his victims.  Television shows like Dexter, or movies like American Psycho perpetuate the myth of the serial killer and give the illusion serial killers are sexually motivated loners, usually white men with mommy/daddy issues.  In actuality, though, serial killers are chameleons of various backgrounds, ethnicities, and genders.  

And one could be sitting beside you right now…

Still, psychopathology and sex do have an interesting relationship.  Sex is about power, and what is more powerful than taking a person’s life?  But for a woman who marries a serial killer in prison, sex is often not on the table.  I mean, do conjugal visits even exist anymore? 

So what is the appeal?

According to this Psychology Today article:

“Some believe they can change a man as cruel and powerful as a serial killer. Others “see” the little boy that the killer once was and seek to nurture him. A few hoped to share in the media spotlight or get a book or movie deal.”

The author goes on to describe this “perfect-boyfriend” situation in which the woman is showered with affection from beyond the prison walls without having to worry so much about other women being attracted to this alpha machismo dick.  Unfortunately, true serial killers don’t give a shit about these women, but are just somehow furthering their own agenda because, well, that is their nature.

Psychologically, serial killers tend to fall under the antisocial paradigm.  According to the DSM-TR-V, antisocial personality disorder is defined by marked “impairments of personality (self and interpersonal) and the presence of pathological personality traits.”  This fun list of pathology includes things like a lack of empathy and intimacy—all the things a person with nothing but time on their hands needs to make a connection on the outside world after being sentenced to life in prison for mutilating their entire family. 

The serial killer phenomenon might be losing some steam, however.  Today’s audience isn’t captivated by how many people you kill, but the setting in which you do it.  According to criminologist Scott Bonn in an interview with Huffington Post last year, homicide has decreased in recent years and with it, serial killers.  Instead, mass murder like--insert tragic, violent school shooting here--has spiked in recent years. 

Bonn reminds us, however, that mass shootings are not the same as serial killers, though I’d argue they’re not too different—at least, as far as the media is concerned.  Mass shooters are built up as these disturbed, untouchable individuals that gain some sort of fame through their violence.  I wonder how many websites and Facebook pages exist for these people in memorium, and how many people pine after them when they take their own life.  Or is the idea of us, ourselves, facing the same fate too much of a turn off?  

Either way, sexuality and control dynamics are very much at play in both the killer and their hybristophile counterpart, which make them spooky discussion points for this time of the year.  After all, when a person’s actions are seemingly inexplicable, they can seem scarier and larger than life…supernatural, even.

Halloween is nearly upon us my creepy cretins, and I have one last scare up my sleeve for this holiday season. 

So until then…

Happy Halloween!

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