Okay, parents, this one is not for the faint of heart. Are serial killers born or raised? There is an argument of nature versus nurture that is still ongoing and heavily researched even today. If children have a happy childhood, but genes of a killer, one might just stand a good chance of living a normal, adult life. If a potential killer has the wrong genetics and a terrible childhood, then it’s a dangerous time bomb waiting to happen. In the anatomy of violence, there are biological and environmental factors that can turn a child into a cold-blooded killer that gets joy out of ruining people’s lives.
Some of the potential traits of an assassin includes: being male, a low resting heart rate, brain damage, and a mother who smoked, or drank throughout the pregnancy, children who are separated from their parents before the age of three, or if their parents don’t engage with them at a young age. Also, most of the children show distinct patterns of childhood abuse and early trauma.
8. Louise Bundy
Louise Bundy is the mother of Ted Bundy. Ted Bundy was one of the most notorious serial killers in American history, taking the lives of so many women and girls that the final count may never be known. Law enforcement would put the number between thirty and thirty-six, with the caveat that there might be more. Bundy stalked and tortured his way through at least seven states across the country.
He made his marks in the 1960’s to the late 1970’s. He left families devastated, colleges on edge, and towns on high alert. One of his own lawyers described him as the very definition of heartless evil. But he finally did get caught, twice, and escaped, twice. It wasn’t until the state of Florida sentenced him to death for taking the lives of two university co-eds and a twelve-year-old girl that the death penalty would be carried out on a January morning in 1989.
Ted’s mother stood by his side, and even after hearing his blatant confession to his crimes, she still said that she had faith that he was innocent and that he was the best son in the world during a News Tribune Interview in 1980. This was right after her beloved son was convicted of two of his ghastly crimes!
7. Regina Tague
The mother of accused South Carolina serial killer Todd Kohlhepp has passed away, according to the coroner’s office. The body of seventy-year-old Regina Tague was found by her husband inside their home. Todd’s mother did go to the courthouse and spoke with the family members of the people that her son took the life of. She talked and prayed with those family members for more than ten minutes before her son came into the courtroom. This was on January 12, 2017, of this year.
Todd Kohlhepp walked by the family members in his orange jumpsuit without saying a word to them. Regina did tell those family members that she was sorry, so sorry that her son did this. It doesn’t seem right, and it doesn’t help them any. Todd was charged with taking the lives of seven victims. In another interview, Regina did, however, downplay her son’s crimes and said that he did some bad things and that she didn’t understand how he could do those things because he wasn’t a serial killer.
6. Joyce Flint
Joyce Flint is the mother of Jeffrey Dahmer; she was one of those mothers who used pills and alcohol most of Jeffrey’s childhood, even while she was pregnant. In 1978, the mother moved to Wisconsin, but only with Jeffrey’s brother David. She coldly leaves Jeffrey behind with only half a gallon of milk in the house. He stayed in the house by himself for a short period of time all alone until his father finds him in there and realized that his mother had abandoned him there. His dad does move into the house to raise his son.
Jeffrey Dahmer was serving nine hundred thirty-six years for the grisly crimes against humanity and the dismemberment of the sixteen young men. He died on November 28, 1994, in the bathroom that he was cleaning with two other men.
5. Kathleen Dennehy
Kathleen Dennehy is the mother of Joanna Dennehy, and she is the person who took the lives of three men. She dumped the body of the three men in Peterborough in March of 2013. Joanna is one of only three women to have been handed a whole life sentence.
Her parents spoke out for the first time since their daughter’s conviction, the parents Kathleen and Kevin, spoke on the disgust of their daughter’s crimes. Joanna’s mother can’t believe the little girl she brought up could’ve gone and committed something so heinous. Kathleen said that to her, she is not her Jo and that she does not exist because she destroyed peoples lives.
Joanna Dennehy also has a daughter who was thirteen-year-old at the time of the crimes. The child’s father said that the daughter is now struggling to come to terms with all of this. She even asks him if this is how she will turn out. She also asked him if she will also take away lives like her mom. Her dad had answered her back with, “No honey, that is not something we inherit.” To make her feel better. What else is a father supposed to tell his daughter?
4. Lois Robinson
Lois Robinson is the mother of Larry Robinson, his father’s name is Paul, and they live in the state of Texas. What all of us need to know is that Larry was diagnosed as a paranoid schizophrenic at age twenty-one years old. Larry has taken the lives of five people in 1982 and was sent for execution in January of the year 2000.
His parents feel that if they lived in any other state but Texas, his story might have ended much differently. If he would have been receiving professional help and medication, that his parents said he desperately needed. Instead of being released from an institution after institution because the doctors did not consider him dangerous, then he would have never committed his first and only act of violence.
Lois also stated that as a little boy, Larry was every mother’s dream. He loved to read, was really smart, got honors, and she even said that he was in the boy scouts.
3. Augusta Wilhelmine Gein
Edward Theodore Gein was born to Augusta and George Gein on August 27, 1906, in La Crosse, Wisconsin. Edward’s father was a violent alcoholic who was frequently unemployed.
Augusta operated a small family grocery store, and then purchased a farm on the outskirts of Plainfield. Edwards mother was very religious, and he was not to have any friends or girlfriends at all, she read the Bible to him every afternoon.
Because of the problems with his mother’s beliefs, he took it out on a lot of the women in town, by ending their lives. He was called the Mad Butcher of Plainfield. Gein was found mentally incompetent and thus unfit to stand trial at the time of his arrest, and sent to the Central State Hospital. In 1968, the doctor’s determined he was sane enough to stand trial, and he was found not guilty because of insanity by the judge and spent the rest of his life in a state hospital.
2. Kitty Menendez
Kitty Menendez was the mother of Erik and Lyle Menendez, the brothers who took their parents lives on August 20, 1989. Their crimes were atrocious, and the trials that followed with their often-gruesome details created a national sensation. They grew up in Princeton, N.J., before moving to Beverly Hills, where the father was an entertainment industry executive. The mom was a former small-town beauty queen and school teacher.
The retrial jury rejected the abuse defense convicting the brother of two counts each of first degree [manslaughter] and conspiracy to [take a person’s life]. They also found them guilty of special circumstances, [taking a life] by lying in wait and multiple [accounts of taking a life]. They both got life in prison without the possibility of parole.
Kathleen Maddox was the mother of Charles Manson. He was born in Cincinnati, Ohio, on November 12, 1934. She was only sixteen years old when she had him; she worked on the streets for a living. She did marry a man very briefly, whom Charles last name came from, but he was not the father of Charles. She did file a paternity suit against a man named Colonel Scott from Ashland and won a grand monthly sum of five dollars for support of Charles Milles Manson.
Manson’s mother did go to jail for robbing a West Virginia gas station. And Charles was packed off to live with a strictly religious aunt and her sadistic husband, who constantly berated the boy as a sissy and dressing him in girls’ clothing on the first day of school, in an effort to help Manson act like a man. He did go back to live with his mother in 1942 when she was paroled. That life wasn’t any better; he adapted to a life of violence and loneliness.
Sources: thetalk.com, webmd.com, usatoday.com, legacy.com, dailystar.com, wisconsinsickness.com, hollywoodlife.com, newyorkpost.com, thesun.com, people.com, geni.com, dailymail.co.uk
Samantha is the author of "My Bipolar Mind: You're not alone," she is also a freelance writer, blogger, and mental health advocate who runs and manages her own mental health blog MyBipolarMind.com.