I am fascinated by serial killers, as anyone who knows me off-line is
well-aware.  That a mind can be so broken but manage to hold
itself together otherwise such that they can function without being
detected for so long is just really, really intriguing to me. 
Frankly, I find it fascinating to wonder what goes on in a mind so
unlike my own.  So when I read this post over at Pam’s House Blend, and caught this quote from the BTK Killer, it got me thinking:

“I have a lot of remorse. I’m very sorry for them. It is something I
wouldn’t want to happen to my family,” he told KAKE-TV. The interview
was conducted Saturday; some of it was aired Wednesday night with
additional portions to air Thursday.

Rader, who pleaded guilty
last week to 10 first-degree murders in the Wichita area from 1974 to
1991, nicknamed himself BTK, for “Bind, Torture, Kill,” as he taunted
media and police with cryptic messages about the crimes. He faces
sentencing Aug. 17.

Rader, 60, said his problems began in grade
school, with his sexual fantasies that were “just a little bit weirder”
than other people’s. “Somewhere along the line, someone had to pick
something up from me somewhere that there was a problem,” he said.
“They should have identified it.”

I posted what follows in Pam’s comments, but I’m posting it here as
well because… well, because serial killers are gross and scary and
fascinating to me.

Almost universally, serial killers are all about control over
others.  While it culminates in physical control over them –
determining the time, place and means of that victim’s death – they
also frequently enjoy the psychological forms of control they can
exert.  In fact, I think a case can be made that the physical
exercise of that control is, itself, merely a manifestation of the
psychological control.  Even serial killers who are unknown to
their victims (the DC shooters, the trail shooter out west a few years
ago, etc.) frequently enjoy a sense that their power over their victims
is in fact magnified by their anonymity because their victim might see them at a gas station and never know it is they who hold that power over the victim’s ultimate fate.

In light of that, I see his “It’s really not my fault, it’s yours for not stopping me”
line as being his last attempt at psychological control and power over
those around him.  If he can make his wife, his minister, his
kids, his co-workers, the cops, anyone feel a moment’s guilt
for not having stopped him sooner, he’s gained a degree of
psychological advantage over those people.  Guilt is his last
remaining weapon, and he loves that feeling of power far too much to
shy away from using it. 

Pam has posted about this in the past, I believe, and I’ve read it in
numerous early articles about him:  he was an absolute control
freak in his daily life.  In his job as a city ordinance
enforcement officer he was renowned for abusing the letter of a law as
a means of trespassing far beyond the spirit of the same.  Two
prime examples I remember reading about in an MSNBC.com article
were his habits of filming the back of a neighbor’s house and walking
around his neighborhood measuring the height of other people’s lawns
with a tape measure, looking for excuses to write them tickets. 
The kind of brain that gets its jollies that way is, sadly, all too
common in our society, too easy to understand and absolutely impossible
to stop.  Before he was caught he used his badge to control the
people who knew him and fear to control of the people around him who
would otherwise be beyond his reach.  Now that he’s been captured
he tries to use misplaced blame to achieve the same effect.  When
he says he wouldn’t want someone to do this to his family, I think it
might be safe to assume the reason is that he’d rather get to do it himself. (more…)