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Why do we fetishize serial killers?
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Serial killers' pasts cause people to empathize with them

Serial killers often have bad pasts or childhoods. Because they have had hard lives, people feel sorry for them.

The Argument

Serial killers are formed from a bad past. Childhood abuse is one main reason why they become criminals. In 2005, a study conducted on 50 serial killers revealed that 50% of the individuals suffered from psychological abuse and 36% suffered from physical abuse.[1] Other than abuse, serial killers are usually outcasts. Ted Bundy didn’t have good social skills when he was younger and didn't have friends.[2] Because of their bad past, they deserve sympathy for becoming criminals.

Counter arguments

Although childhood trauma has caused future criminal behavior, it’s not an excuse. Unfortunately, in 2018 alone, 678,000 children were reportedly abused in the United States.[3] But that doesn’t mean that they’ll become serial killers or criminals. Therefore, there's more than a bad past that makes someone a criminal.



[P1] Childhood abuse makes a person become a serial killer. [P2] Because of their bad past, serial killers need sympathy.

Rejecting the premises

[Rejecting P2] Childhood abuse doesn’t cause someone to become a serial killer. It takes a lot more to make someone a serial killer.


This page was last edited on Friday, 17 Apr 2020 at 08:50 UTC

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