CHARLESTON, WV (WVNS) — As a society, we love crime.
There’s just something about it, but we mostly question it. “How could someone do such a heinous thing?” “How could they get away with doing it?” “I can’t believe they did it this way!”
This is how we feel when we talk about notorious serial killers such as Jeffrey Dahmer, Ted Bundy, or John Wayne Gacy.
59News was able to get an exclusive interview with Mark Vecellio, Professor of Forensic Investigations at West Virginia University Institute of Technology. Vecellio is also a retired Special Agent from the Department of Defense where he worked with the Department of the Army as a Criminal Investigator.
He gave us some more insight on why we’re so “attracted” to these types of people and their crimes, and why we love to hate serial killers.
“The psychology of serial killing is almost it’s own field. They [serial killers] are all unique and have their own signatures and MOs, modus operandi and how they work,” Vecellio stated.
There is some type of psychology behind it as to why we find this topic so fascinating.
Vecellio expressed, “Yes, it’s true [why people find this topic so fascinating]. In the field of Psychology, they’ll use the term, or the phrase ‘morbid curiosity’. Our intellectual curiosity of this strange and sort of repulsive behavior that’s horrible is shocking to the system, but yet we can’t look away.”
Vecellio also hypothesized different possibilities, one of which, that there could be some link in our DNA that helps us to understand terrible tragedies and horiffic things to somehow help us survive. He also mentioned that there are actual studies conducted, where when given the choice, subjects would be allowed to look at different pictures and different images. In these studies people chose horrible, morbid death scenes over something calm and peaceful.
Another possibility was that people love looking at the case facts in a criminal case from a serial killer and find them fascinating.
“These things compare favorable to any type of fiction novel. Stephen King has nothing on John Wayne Gacy, or Jack the Ripper…People find it interesting because it’s so unusual [serial killers] and really we can’t relate to that. We can’t imagine that really happening.”Mark Vecellio | Professor of Forensic Investigations @ WVU Tech
Whatever it may be, the reason may not always be clear as to why people love this topic. What we do know is that people share the curiosity and wonder behind it, which will always keep us scratching our heads on why we truly want to love hating these types of killers.