A violent crime occurs every 26.3 seconds (Crime par. 1). By the time you are finished reading this, around 395 people will be dead due to a crime. People often ask themselves what causes someone to commit murder? This is a question that can’t be answered with a simple explanation. “Humans have evolved the tendency to kill each other from our primate ancestors – violence didn’t just arise from human nature, as has been suggested in the past.” (MacDonald, par. 1). Ending another life has been happening since the creation of the earth, yet we don’t understand the reasons behind it.
Composure is vital to a well-functioning life. “People are frequently confronted with feelings of disappointment, frustration and anger while connecting with government officials, co-workers, family and even fellow commuters,” and while most people have the ability to control their actions, few of these interactions end in a violent act (Greenemeier par.1). Surprisingly, “the same mirror neurons that make people feel empathy for others also makes people very vulnerable to all sorts of infuelces;” (Greenemeier, par. 4) which is the reason why control mechanisms are essential for humans. “A control mechanism is any mechanism that regulates a biological process, such as metabolic pathway or enzyme-controlled reaction, or that helps to maintain the internal environment” (Control Mechanism) Take a moment and think about it, there has to be a control mechanism for mirror neurons (Greenemeier, Larry).“Mirror neurons are the cells in the brain that activate when we perform a particular action or watch someone else perform that same action” (Livescience) like when you see someone else grabbing a pencil, so the question is: why don’t people imitate others all the time? (Greenemeier, par. 5). Researchers claim that mirror neurons may be critical for understanding the actions of other people and for learning new abilities by imitation. Researchers hypothesize that mirror systems may mimic observed actions, this is why later on the person will unconsciously grab the pencil because the mirror neurons will make you imitate the action. Because of this, it has been proven that the smallest thing can trigger violent behaviour for example, watching a movie that shows violent acts can induce some people to act violently. Also, the simple act of just listening to violent talks disposes people to be more violent. Similar to these neurons, “perception- watching someone else making an action- can influence decisions, making others do the same action.” (Greenemeier, par. 6 ) In addition to the neurons, there are other factors that cause people to act violently such as cognitive control or “self- control.” When people lack self control it makes anger take “control” and can end with the murdering of someone, and it is why people who have more self control tend to stay untroubled in stressful situations. Multiple reasons, mostly mental health problems can cause social isolation, leading the person to a mental state that transforms their ability to exercise cognitive control in a healthy way (Greenemeier, par. 7).Richard Nisbett, professor at the University of Michigan, said that he would prefer to have his son score high in self-control rather than intelligence since self control is key to a well functioning life.
Types of Killers:
Researchers have come to the conclusion that there are many types of killers. To begin with, there is the Visionary Killer, who believes he has visions from God, Satan, angels or demons, these people think they have received this order and need to follow it. The victims of the Visionary Killer are usually not associated with the killer himself.There is a killer that will incline to murder a certain class, race, or group of people to eliminate them. It is said that Hitler was a Missionary Killer, after all he killed the Jews, Gypsies and other groups during World War II. The Hedonistic Killers are the ones with the intention of gaining intense sexual gratification from their violent acts. Following the Hedonistic Killer, another type of killer is named the Lust Killer, which get sexual pleasure before and after the victim is dead. Then there is the thrill killer, who find their excitement fades when the victim is dead. (Why, ACS Distance Education.)
More Reasons for Killing
Experts, psychiatrists, and defense department geniuses have studied criminals and came across different motives for killing someone. Just like anger transforms into killing, greed does the same. In most of the cases it is the inheritance factor that has to do with eliminating someone. For example, suppose you have a grandfather who owns a very big business and he is planning for you to inherit it. You may say that before your grandfather changed his mind about you being in charge of the business you have to get rid of him. Normally people who consume drugs very frequently aren’t aware of the possible consequences as well as they are not using their full five senses since drugs cause a very powerful effect on the brain of a person no matter the age and sex. While people are high, they forget what right and wrong means and everything they do while being high seems logical to them. Most believe that any mistake they make is justified since they were not in control and aware at the time of their actions. There have been huge amounts of people who have died because a person who is high/drunk did not realize what he/she was doing. Lawsuits for killing someone due to domestic violence have increased a lot during the past few years. There are times when people kill because they love their partner so much that they can’t stand the thought of seeing them with someone else, in other words they kill because of jealousy ( Top, List Dose).
A mass shooter is mainly driven by more personal motivations, whereas political aims are a terrorist’s main focus. The symptoms are utterly visible, however hard to interpret without a context and sometimes unfold quickly, which makes it hard for people to notice them before the action/crime happens (Pappas, par. 9.) Researchers, psychologists and other experts trying to prevent these atrocities “concentrate more on behaviour and less on ideology.” (Pappas, par. 3). Mia Bloom, a professor of communication at Georgia State University who researches suicide terrorism said that one study of lone terrorists found that 83% had given hints to other people about their plan. Not only do derange people murder someone, there are many other factors that can influence and have an impact on one’s brain. University of Alabama criminal justice professor Adam Lankford claims that mental health problems are popular in suicide attackers. “Suicide attack is any violent attack in which the attacker expects their own death as a direct result of the method used to harm, damage or destroy the target” (Suicide, Merriam-Webster). In a trial of 130 suicide terrorists, he found that 44 of the attackers revealed signs of depression, post-traumatic stress disorder or other mental health issues; 104 had tackled a crisis before the attack; 12 had severe physical injuries or disabilities; and 66 had previously lost a loved one unexpectedly. As mentioned before, it has been found that the combination of head injuries with psychological trauma can lead to violent crimes. As a result of all of these experiments it is being said that people with autism have higher probabilities of committing a crime. A study made at the University of Glasgow found that “28% of multiple killers believed to have autism” (Dearden, par. 3). Many people might be asking what is the relationship between autism and crime? Well, there is not a firm answer to this question, however it is believed that due to their lack of communication with people and with people excluding them from society they become “loners” which again, causes more psychological problems to people with this disability.
“There is no template for the path to violence and rarely can a single cause explain any one atrocity” (Pappas, par. 2). It is clear how there are many factors that drive a person to commit murder such as psychological traumas, head injuries and many more. Nevertheless, there is not one answer to this question. Researches are still trying to figure this out and answer all of peoples questions. Still, with all of this facts and experiments people can have an idea of why people kill. With the technology of science in the future maybe researchers will come up with a more definite answer to the question: why do people kill?