Interview With A Serial Killer

Serial killer Arthur Shawcross was born on June 6, 1945, and died on November 10, 2008 while serving a life sentence for the murder of 11 women. From his birthplace of Kittery, Maine, his family moved to Watertown, a small town near Lake Ontario in New York State, when he was still a child. Shawcross claims that his adolescence was turbulent, and cites a difficult relationship with both parents, particularly his domineering mother, for his later troubles. He says he also exhibited behavioral problems at an early age, including bed-wetting and bullying.

Shawcross also made extreme reports about his early sexuality. He claimed his aunt sexually molested him when he was 9, and that he had sexual relations with his younger sister. He also admitted to his first homosexual encounter at the age of 11, which he says was followed by experimentation with bestiality.

In contrast to these claims, however, his parents and siblings maintain that he had a normal childhood, and the described events were largely the product of his imagination. There is no way of knowing whose version represents the reality of his upbringing, but what became clear, later on, was that Shawcross would change his stories at will, as he was interviewed by various professionals in the course of their investigations.

From school records it can be independently verified that he was an inveterate truant, with a particularly low IQ, a tendency to bullying and violence and that he came under suspicion for a series of juvenile arson attacks as well as burglaries. He dropped out of school after failing to pass the ninth grade, and the next few years were punctuated with violence and jail sentences. He received his first probationary sentence in December 1963 for smashing a shop window.

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  1. kiowatta, I know this is a waste of my time, but your reference to critical thinking brought back a memory of the class I took in critical thinking. These type of posting boards are full of people stating things as truth, or Truth, when they are simply their opinions. So let’s get real and recognize that you are not publishing Truth but simply your clearly biased opinions.
    I am educated, imagine that, a Christian (egads) who actually agrees with your concerns about knee-jerk Christians who spout embarrassing opinions as truth.
    To the subject at hand, I see it as a presentation and observation of something evil. Evil as discussed in the Road Less Travelled by M. Scott Peck presents human evil and then something else, something demonic. Before you curl your own lip in disdain, try reading something about transcendent evil. Read Glimpses of the Devil by Peck. Read something by Malachi Martin. Understand that “experts” in criminal justice and most psychologists wouldn’t touch evil with a ten foot pole because most “educated” have the elitist attitudes you display and disdain the God of the Bible.
    BTW, check out Ravi Zacharias if you want to at least observe a Christian who is brilliant and might meet your expectations of intellectual excellence in order to shift a few of your basic beliefs about Christians.
    Back to the serial killer discussion, an exploration of evil is missing by “experts” who try to understand and should be considered to really understand such horrific behavior.

    • I have first hand experience dealing with people such as these, and know people that work in the system. I have already read those books you mentioned and honestly don’t care for them.
      I have friends who are christians, and don’t understand why so many people feel a burning need to have those around them subscribe to their particular set of beliefs.
      I have a minority outlook on life, and I get harassed by pollyanna militant optimists who can’t stop insisting that if you don’t believe what they believe, then you need fixing.
      I don’t find your didactic tone very helpful, I would have preferred you meet me equally without trying to enlighten me.
      However, I will give you credit at least for being polite. Kudos and eudamonia

  2. I’m sorry, but no. Abuse is never an excuse to hurt people. I was physically, sexually and emotionally abused and neglected for 12 years (from the ages of three to sixteen and then domestic abuse when I was 18), as far back as I can remember and I have never ever hurt anyone (beyond the pain of putting a cannula in or anything because I’m a student paramedic) and would never dream of it. I hate the way these types of documentaries make out that survivors of abuse always become abusers. Most of us are vehemently anti-violence. It really gets to me.

    • I’m terribly sorry for your experiences, and I understand. However, not everybody is constituted the same, and where does it say we all have to live up to a poster child, perfectly polite, unfeeling and virtuous, righteous standard?
      Why can’t we have compassion for those who fall short of these high standards. It’s like the one actor in ten thousand who makes it and goes on to become a millionaire, a raging success. Who will empathise with the many who didn’t make it? Who fall by the wayside?
      Nobody, because we are only interested in feel-good stories, unless we want to jump on the roller coaster for a couple of hours and then point the finger and say ‘why doesn’t that person live up to my standards?’

  3. Cant believe the authorities would allow his daughter to let her children associate or be near a paedophile child killer whether he’s locked up or not??!! She had a lucky escape from that sicko not sticking around to ‘father’ her!?! I have no doubt that she would’ve been child victim number 3. Fuckin hate paedophiles and paedophile sympathizers ?!? Boo boo he had a shit childhood. No excuses. He’s an evil piece of shit.

  4. I don’t give a God Damn Flying Fuck if he’s mentally ill, I never knew you could get brain damage from a blowjob if that was the case I would be in a looney bin.
    He killed two kids did 15 years and out he went to kill multiple women, sick fuck.

    I have a son who is mentally ill my hand on the bible if he would kill somebody as much as it would pain me I would kill him myself period.

    So take this mother fucker in the yard and shoot him right between the eyes and send the bill for the bullet to his daughter.

    • Your reaction is typical of uneducated, ignorant, hate filled Bible nuts who have almost no ability to employ some critical thinking and objectivity toward the human species and separate for a moment the horrific crimes, the man still is a human being and represents potentially what we are all capable of.
      Especially fanatical christians who can’t think for themselves, and conveniently cheery pick passages to suit your immorality and unethical, even dangerous threatening behaviour.
      I bet if this guy was a pentecostal charismatic who murdered muslim women in some type of misguided vigilante justice your opinion would be more forgiving.

      Are you scared that you might be capable of what Shawcross represents, or that your son my be subject to discrimination and bullying, bigotry and narrow-mindedness, the very thing you are displaying.

      Fear not, for every wrong deed you do is justified by a collection of obscure, little known authors of a ridiculous but convenient book called the Bible.

      • Oh Mister scholar is offended well deal with it you moron I use the word bible as a figure of speech I don’t go to church and I don’t identify myself with any religion period, you call that a humam being for fuck sakes wake the fuck up it’s 2017 and it’s still legal to think, this fucker killed innocent people in horrific way’s, there’s no excuse for that period. what would you do with him ”study” him and waste more money’s NO NO take your ethical thinking and piut it where the sun don’t shine.
        there is a saying that if you suck on ass pretty soon your choking on shit so why don’t you find yourself a not so fresh roadkill and suck on it’s ass it just might give you some grey matter that you obviously need, the reason why i’m so blunt is that you made a judgment on my person without knowing the first thing about me and I quote (typical of uneducated, ignorant, hate filled Bible nuts) your not better than me you fucking hypocrite tyour just a damn troll !

      • Actually, no. To this day we still have no idea what causes the dysfunction in the human mind that leads to psychopathy. What we do know, however, is that it is absolutely not “potentially what we are all capable of”. Less than one percent of the population show signs of psychopathic tendencies. It is not like depression, anxiety, or schizophrenia. It is also not environmental. The mind of a psychopath is, although very complicated, very unique. You can’t just become a psychopath.

        These are facts.

        • Humans are capable of doing anything with certain surroundings for instance. There is a case of a mother whose daughter got raped poring boiling water over the sex offenders penis. That is torture and inhuman which before the rape the mother had never dreamed of doing but given the situation she tortured another human. Does that make her a psychopath. And to furthermore prove your “facts” wrong children are very impressionable and often mimick the behaviour of those around them especially age 12 so if a child is surrounded by abusive behaviour they are taught that this normal making it ok to them so as they age they will take the behaviour with them making them a possible psychopath so it is also about environment. Educate yourself before you make yourself look like a fool.

        • You don’t cite any facts, just well sounding opinion. I will cite three cases. Firstly the incidents involving the person or person’s impersonating police officer’s via telephone whom targeted many retail outlets, and convinced many people to perform outrageous acts, as they believed an authority figure was giving them permission to behave in a morally questionable way.

          Secondly there was the high school social experiment that reportedly spiralled out of control in California some time ago, called ‘the third wave experiment’.

          Lastly, and most infamously is the case of national socialism or nazism, in which almost an entire nation acted in a highly questionable, immoral and unethical way. Not everyone, but millions of ordinary citizens acted like psychopaths, as they were, again, acting because of a higher authority relieving them of moral and legal responsibility.

          How is this relevant? It refutes your “it is not environmental” argument. Given the right circumstances, a perfect storm of nature and nurture can and does often lead to people acting outside the bounds of acceptable behaviour.
          I used the wikipedia sources as they are reliable, though not peer-reviewed. You can research that yourself.
          It seems the commenter before you was displaying some real anti-social hostility, so I wonder what they do when no one is watching.
          The truth is, nobody can claim unequivocally what human beings will or won’t do without leaving room for speculation or scepticism.
          Perhaps you might want to consider Sartre’s theory of ‘Bad Faith’, which posits that human beings are actually terrified of the incredible freedom and power they possess, thus therefore use circumstance and rationale to explain why certain things are beyond their choice.
          How do you explain violence? random violence? Have you ever stood on the edge of a cliff and asked yourself ‘what’s stopping me from jumping?’
          Or what’s stopping me from ramming that car that just cut me off? I suspect all of us have these tendencies, we just don’t act on them for fear of the consequences. If you remove the consequences, then what?
          How many normal people are involved in crimes of passion?

      • Blah blah blah. Yawn

        • I suspect it’s all a bit much for you, poor thing. Why don’t you take a nap and hope that when you wake up you contribute something other than lazy, worthless contempt?