I found this article online today and it got me thinking. It’s about the daughter of a notorious serial killer and the question she’s always asked is ‘how could she not know?’. It is, I suppose, a fair question. How could she have grown up with a father who, over roughly twenty years, murdered ten people (that can be proved – may well be more), brought home ‘trophies’ and yet she had no idea. Is that really possible?
We tend to think of these killers as being distinctly odd, or obvious in their behaviours and I suspect that may well be that television and books have played a large part in this misconception. We all like a villain to look like a villain; it gives us an object to hate, to focus on and maybe on some level, helps us to think that we would have spotted them. We would have known them. We would have been able to tell and yet, how many times do we get friends and neighbours giving interviews saying, ‘he was a lovely man’, ‘a really good guy’, and ‘just can’t believe he’s done it.’
That’s because many serial killers live ‘ordinary’ suburban lives; hold down jobs, go to their kids’ PTA meetings, go shopping to ASDA on a Saturday, help the neighbours dig the garden over (probably experienced in that…) and a million other things that make sure they stay hidden in plain sight.
Have a little read of the article and let me know your thoughts.