My blog title has been on my list of topics for some time. I didn’t know how to address it. The recent news about a nurse, being a Female Serial Killer (eg, Guardian, 24 August), changed my perspective. This excerpt bothered me though: “babies who were grievously ill”.
Most known serial killers are male, while only few are female. Guardian-2023: Female Serial Killers (FSK) have “an elevated probability of being a healthcare worker, often in charge of caring for those who are helpless.”
I wonder if that caring environment is instrumental for the means and opportunity of their crime, or for the motive (or all 3). While my thought is irrelevant for the crime, it is relevant for the criminal profiling.
The “elevated probability” as per the recent Guardian article suggests to me that this probability is first and foremost about motive, and then about means and opportunity. Moreover, caring includes compassion, empathy and – also – mercy.
May a caring environment make a FSK go unnoticed?? To some extent, this seems to be the case. Or in the words of District Judge Thomas Kleeh: “You are the monster no one sees coming” (Guardian-2023).
Our focus on male serial killers may relate to their differences in means, motive & opportunity. Compared to a FSK, it’s like complexity versus simplicity. Latter may also be a reason for underestimating FSKs.
A FSK could always use plausible deniability as an excuse (eg, “it’s my job”). A male serial killer may, however, taunt the (assumed inferior) intelligence of police officers (eg, leaving clues). To a large extent, FSKs are hiding in plain sight.
From a risk management and even an auditing perspective, the inherent combination of means, motive & opportunity cannot be mitigated because our intentions are invisible and hiding in the human brain.
“We must be prepared to recognise that, sometimes, the monster is a vanilla nurse who took dance lessons, fancied a staff doctor, and had teddy bears, fairy lights and a polka-dot dressing gown in her bedroom; an otherwise ordinary woman who took salsa lessons and a holiday with friends in Ibiza, and yet destroyed lives in a most extraordinary way.“A quote by Marissa Harrison from a 2023 article in The Guardian
Note: all markings (bold, italic, underlining) by LO unless in quotes or stated otherwise.