These are the questions true crime aficionados are invited to ask as they wander through the minds of Ted Bundy, Jeffrey Dahmer, Ed Kemper, and Richard Ramirez at ‘An Evening Of Serial Killers’ at the Vicarage Park Community Centre in Poulton this Friday (March 18).
Serial killer researcher Cheish Merryweather will give insight into how serial killers are raised, how to spot a psychopath, and how to find out whether they have a mind for murder during the two-hour seminar – which is strictly adults only.
She said: “There’s always something along the way that has provided them with a traumatic experience, something that has happened very young which if addressed, would not have led to so many lives lost. We can see through these childhood patterns how they went down the path of complete destruction.
"Ever since I was very young, I have been fascinated by serial killers. Any true crime fan will be able to relate. There are so many stories, so many different puzzles for us to solve. Once you’re in that rabbit hole, it’s very difficult to get out and find answers to all the questions that keep us up at night.
"Whe you put the puzzle together, the first piece can always be found in their childhood. That’s what we’re looking for – what went wrong along the way. What I’m interested in is looking at these childhood experiences, see what serial killers have in common. If we can find these patterns we can derail them early on with young offenders today, and prevent them from becoming the next Ted Bundy.”
Since the 1970s, there have been around 2,600 unsolved murders in the UK, with the majority of these involving female victims.
Some of these cases have been unofficially linked to known serial killers, such as Peter Sutcliffe, Fred and Rose West, and Robert Black. Others, such as 74-year-old Harry Howell who was found bludgeoned to death in his home off Central Drive in November 1988, and the disappearance of 13-year-old Charlene Downes from Blackpool town centre on November 1 2003, have never been solved.
Cheish said: "It would be narrow-minded to say that none of these could be committed by the same individual. The problem is we’re very reluctant to suggest the work of a serial killer, which is how killers like Stephen Port (the Grindr Killer, who murdered four men in East London after luring them with dating and hook-up apps) can get away with killing for so long. Nobody was putting these things together, even though these victims were found in the same area, killed in the same way.
"People don’t like to say ‘serial killer’, but it something we need to explore, because there is a staggering amount of unsolved murders in the UK, and we need to be aware of the potential dangers.
"True crime is a way we can get as close as possible to our mental fears without the terrifying inconvience of death itself.”
Tickets to ‘An Evening of Serial Killers’ cost £18, or £9 for students and NHS staff, and can be bought online HERE.