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Why do we fetishize serial killers?
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Serial killers' mental illness

Mental illness has been the cause of antisocial or aggressive behavior for years. As people become more aware of them, there are more treatments. The same goes for serial killers.
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The Argument

Mental illness has been a popular cause of how serial killers become criminals. Ted Bundy and Jeffery Dahmer were reported to have borderline personality disorder.[1] However, many people don’t understand how mental illness affects the mind. Therefore, people find it easy to see them as less than human and more like characters. In media and entertainment, serial killers are romanticized. Mental illness is exaggerated and incorrectly portrayed, becoming part of a fantasy and used to entertain ignorance.

Counter arguments

Not all serial killers have mental illnesses. Ted Bundy and Jeffery Dahmer had anti-social behavior and borderline personality disorder. But anti-social behavior isn’t considered a mental illness.[2] Additionally, not all cases of mental illness result in violence. Only about 4% of those with mental illness behave violently.[3]



[P1] Mental illness causes aggressive behavior. [P2] People don’t understand how mental illnesses work. [P3] Serial killers are romanticized in media and entertainment.

Rejecting the premises

[Rejecting P1] Not all cases of mental illness result in violence.


This page was last edited on Wednesday, 11 Nov 2020 at 11:40 UTC