Crime history tells us that many serial killers had a difficult upbringing due to physical, emotional, or sexual abuse as children.
Some also showed mental illnesses and suffered from physical brain dysfunction caused by injury or fetal alcohol syndrome. Despite all those issues, serial killers are intellectually capable people in their ways.
Murderers are only labeled as “serial killers” if they have committed multiple killings at different times with a cooling-off period in between.
This means they get away with the first, second, and perhaps third instances of murder.
It takes someone who is not severely damaged to hide evidence of crimes or evade arrest, so the mental issues associated with some forms of childhood adversities could not be overwhelming enough to render serial killers incapacitate.
They are not even reckless – on the contrary, serial killers often work meticulously.
Otherwise, the authority will take them into custody without much investigative challenge. That said, the following known serial killers showed early warning signs of disturbing behaviors as children.
10 /10 Ted Bundy
Before his execution in 1989, Ted Bundy confessed to 30 homicides he had committed between 1974 and 1978, although he was suspected of earlier killings.
As a teenager, Bundy had a bizarre inclination to spy on people’s homes and catch a glimpse of how the neighborhood girls getting undressed.
An eight-year-old Ann Marie Burr disappeared from her home on August 31, 1961. Bundy lived just a few miles from the Burr household.
If she was his first victim, then Bundy did it when he was only fourteen. Her body was never recovered; Bundy remains a prime suspect.
9 /10 David Berkowitz
The self-proclaimed Son of Sam, officially known as David Richard Berkowitz, murdered six people and injured seven others in a series of shooting attacks between 1976 and 1977.
As a child, Berkowitz was a pyromaniac – even his classmates called him “Pyro” as a nickname. Fire is psychologically attractive, but it usually does not trigger unhealthy obsessions like Berkowitz’s case.
In addition to the killings, he also reportedly started more than 1,000 fires in New York before becoming the Son of Sam.