Serial Killers & Jungian Psychology
This is an excerpt from my book 'Hunt Manual: 21st Century Demonology & Forteana' and the post is nearly an entire chapter on serial killers, esotericism and demonology within the framework of Carl Jung's analytic psychology. Names considered are Tedy Bundy, John Gayce, Richard Ramirez, Andre Chikatilo, David Berkowitz, Jeffrey Dahmer, Richard Chase, Israel Keyes and others. If you'd like to read the follow-up chapter dealing with names like Richard Kuklinski, Adolfo Constanzo, Charles Manson and Jim Jones, I invite you to purchase Hunt Manual and support an indie artist!
Let's educate ourselves on heinous people so that we know what to keep our eyes out for, and to help us be a little more thankful for our own simple lives.
Blessings to the victims and anyone else that was ever affected by these infamous names.
I hope you enjoyed the fresh air of the coast because it’s time I tell you some more about some of the most devious minds out here in the woods. The ones who have learned a little bit about the hunt, but have chosen to use it on other humans instead of hunting their demons.
This is, unfortunately, more common a practice than it should be, and many are aware of this dilemma thanks to the waves of true-crime interest found in today’s media.
In some sense, when we lash out at others unintentionally, we’re hunting other humans. There are those rare circumstances where we must stand up for ourselves and what we believe in, but as I have shown you: standing up for yourself in an act of self-righteousness could potentially be the thing that lets the devil through the door. Your uncompromising faith in your own goodness could be the evilest thing about you.
In particular, I’m speaking of cult leaders and serial killers.
And let’s start by straightening some things out from the start: we cannot say that a serial killer is possessed - at least, not as a rule-of-thumb. This is more likely to be a cheap, gimmicky first card pulled for a legal defense while they think of something better. But on a case-by-case basis, possession isn’t entirely off the table, and this will become increasingly clear the more I elaborate.
See: the fact of the matter is that even those truly possessed are not walking anomalies constantly – they have rashes of it. In the annals of true-crime heavy-hitting serial killers, it’s at least possible that one of these killers would’ve shown some certain anomalous symptoms to an eye that was paying attention. But they would, I assume, have to be killed before making it to custody, because I don’t see how any of these people couldn’t have shown strange anomalous activity in custody without some reports. Unless there was a cover-up... but you can play that game with anything.
It is curious food for thought, but possession is not my angle with the serial killer – not directly at least, for it will certainly remain as a heavy peripheral. My direct focus is obsession.
Poltergeists and other activities can certainly be fit under the idea of demonic oppression, and possession is quite self-explanatory to us all. Obsession is understood well enough, but the extent of its usage might not be so commonly considered.
Obsession is the dark underbelly of passion. When passion is fueled by neurosis, fear, and hate, it becomes an obsession.
A passion that takes over someone’s life helps them for the better overall. They might have to sacrifice things for their passions, but there is a greater context of development, catharsis, and self-improvement. Obsession is not merely binging a television show or dutifully smoking only one brand of cigarettes – obsession is a notion that has completely overtaken you, a notion you have completely succumbed to, almost like prey to predator. There is no longer a fight in that moment. It is one steady stream of intense, magnified, and projected neurosis that could very well apex in a psychotic episode or more.
Truly, when it comes to the serial killer, we don’t even need a supernatural angle, which makes it all the more curious when we often find them in these cases still. And this is something I will tell you about more momentarily, but first, it’s necessary to emphasize that the patterns and habits of the serial killer certainly seem to follow these aforementioned pathways of nervous system overload, followed by neurological gateways to states of consciousness that the average human is very unfamiliar with.
Indeed, a 2012 scientific report, entitled, “Serial killing follows predictable pattern based on brain activity” stated: "...[serial] murder activity can be explained by a model describing neuronal firing in the brain, very similar to the model that describes the distribution of intervals between epileptic seizures."
Law enforcement behavioral divisions have always noticed the cyclic nature of the serial killer, and how eventually, this cyclic nature seems to work its way into overdrive and put the killer in a sort of “frenzy” or “berserker” state of consciousness that tends to end in their capture. Not only does it fit a similar model to epileptic events in the brain, but it also has classically seemed to serve as a dark metaphor for substance addiction.
As well, we can take it a step further and consider the amount of damage done to the frontal cortexes of so many serial killers. However literal or heuristic it may be, it seems that the frontal cortex plays some sort of role as an antenna to the collective consciousness through empathy and deep structural roles that the mirror neurons play in the human condition. And if we can speak of the temporal lobe’s role in all of this, then things wouldn’t be complete without also mentioning the variety of injuries these killers and cult leaders have received to their frontal lobe, whether it be John Wayne Gayce being hit in the head with an arching playground swing as a child or Henry Lee Lucas’ mother smacking him in the head with a wooden board and leaving him comatose in the corner for three days.
As we have seen with some of history’s greatest minds, sometimes anomalies to the temporal lobe (which is just below the frontal cortex) could be very beautiful, albeit taxing and arduous in any case, and so it would only make sense that those with minds already wrung with trauma and abuse would have particularly troubling results from the effects of the seizures, like in the case of Anneliese Michel.
And of course, we can hardly relate smacking your head against a wall to an epileptic seizure, especially when they are often hitting two different lobes in the brain. But if each of these can have dramatic effects alone, then both together would likely be disastrous. And such is the case with the brain of the Night Stalker, the infamous Richard Ramirez.
Curiously, Ramirez was diagnosed with genuine temporal lobe epilepsy after multiple head injuries as a child, some of which being intense blows to the front of his head, and while it’s fair to say that he leaned into his own Satanism angle after he was caught, it wasn’t only after he was caught. It’s clear that Ramirez not only enjoyed scaring people by drawing pentagrams on his hand in court and on his victims but that he was genuinely fascinated with the dark side of metaphysics, dating back to his early adolescence when he was taken under the wing of his barbarous war-criminal of a cousin that had just returned from Vietnam.
And then there is Arthur Shawcross: the Genesee River Killer. Shawcross was obsessed with vivid and horrific fantasies, speaking of horrific things he had done in Vietnam, which turned out to either be lies, fantasies, some sort of false memories, or maybe a combination of all three. Either way, his tall tales of Vietnam included the brutal slaughters of men women, and children, which sometimes included rape and ritual torture that echoed medieval horrors and jungle black magick. Believe it or not, this man actually had a cyst on his temporal lobe.
Serial killer Andrei Chikatilo, the Butcher of Rostov and one of Russia’s most notorious murderers was also known to have epilepsy throughout his life, and this man was especially sadistic, having the sort of “cleanser” complex that killers sometimes operate with. Chikatilo seemed to believe (if you take his word for it) that he was ridding the streets of harlots and adulterers and doing a service for the greater good. He was never particularly interested in anything occult, but he was eerily known to be a reasonable and even “loving” family man, and he was also known to cut the eyes out of his victims because of an old Russian superstition that the final moments before death were forever spiritually burned into the retinas of the deceased.
Among others documented to have had a history of seizures, we have John Wayne Gayce, who had a fascination with alternate personalities through his clown work and later paintings. Gayce even went so far as to say that he donned a more nefarious persona that he liked to call Jack Handley (a name he had stolen from a police officer.) It’s also an interesting additional note that Gayce always chose to make his clown paint pointed and sharp, without any circles like a regular clown, giving him a much more nefarious appearance and also just a terrible look for a working clown.
And then there’s David “Son of Sam” Berkowitz, who as well reportedly had seizures as a child. Now, Berkowitz is an especially controversial character because, the horror of his crimes aside, he’s also flopped on his story quite a bit. It’s fair to say at this point that Berkowitz will tell his interviewers mostly what they’d like to hear, but there are certain points of record that we know despite his wishy-washy nature. He wasn’t possessed – that seems to be an elaborate and fantastic series of stories that he told – but there’s no question that Berkowitz had some bizarre fascinations with the occult, and that he was deeply troubled. There is also evidence to suggest that Berkowitz did not act alone, and while this is a highly contentious topic that has a great deal of fluff around it, it does appear possible that, at the least, there were three Sons of Sam. But this is a bit of a different story.
Regardless, it’s a rather strange cherry-on-top that Berkowitz has since become a born-again Christian in prison, doing his own form of preaching, where some are even proclaiming him as a something like an honorary disciple in true cult-like fashion. Again, while I don’t think I could tow a line of Berkowitz actually being possessed, he is as strong a case for genuine, diagnosable, archetypal devilish obsession like the rest of them.
The infamous duo killers Henry Lee Lucas and Otis Toole were both known for a history of seizures, and like many others on this list, they had a bizarre fascination with the occult, although not a studied fascination whatsoever. This one is by its nature less compelling than the others since their crimes and personalities were not particularly fascinated with the metaphysical or symbolic, but after the two were captured, they spun elaborate stories of being assassins for a Satanic Order full of black magick, human sacrifice, trafficking, and drug running. All of this was of course highly unsubstantiated, and in this case, it truly seemed like tall tales spun to receive favors from officers while in custody. Actually, the tales seemed so fake that George H.W. Bush pardoned Henry Lee Lucas from death row (and this is a bit of a different, weird story that many people like to take down conspiracy theory rabbit holes, and I can’t exactly blame them there.)
But in any case, the stories of the Black Hand, spun by Toole and Lucas, became big headlines and large pits where taxpayer money was sunk, all to get extra food and notoriety for these two low-life killer drifters that were rotting in prison. Like Son of Sam and his talk of devils, the stories of Toole and Lucas played their part in the modern surges of Satanic Panic that stir within the western public.
Serial killer Danny Rolling, the Gainesville Ripper, was one of the men in true-crime history that blamed his killings outright on a demonic entity that possessed him, called “Gemini” or “Ynnad” at different times. While I certainly don’t buy this because of how preposterously the context is put together in his defenses, I think there is a reasonable case to be made about obsession here like with the other names at hand. In other words, this man reminds me a great deal of Berkowitz – not only in their story and excuses but in their particularly milquetoast, “woe-is-me” personalities. More than most other serial killers, Berkowitz and Rolling saw themselves as victimized, tortured souls that had no choice but to kill people, and they tried very hard to sell this defense story of, “Aw, shucks, I’m just as surprised as you are! You really shouldn’t blame me!”
Truly, these shoddy attempts at defense and deflection only made the public hate them even more.
For a bit of a turn in context: both Rolling and Berkowitz were born Geminis, and though you might roll your eyes at the mention of astrology, keep in mind the heuristic nature that science sprang from, and how astronomy truly came from astrology. As I have told other people in other places, it is not hard to see that there are bits of astronomy left sandwiched between some of the fluff we see today - and in any case, astrology isn’t a science. It’s a philosophy of science. So with that in mind, it is still rather interesting to find that Gemini is reportedly the zodiac sign to boast the most serial killers, including other infamous names such as Samuel Little (who is confirmed to have killed over 60 people and confessed to over 90), Jeffrey Dahmer, Arthur Shawcross, Kenneth Bianchi (one of the Hillside Stranglers), Peter Kurten (Vampire of Dusseldorf), Peter Sutcliffe (Yorkshire Ripper), and Richard Chase (Vampire of Sacramento) among a whole hell of a lot more examples that not even I would recognize the names of (but are still useful to the record.)
I’m not exactly sure how substantiated this claim is, and some people contest it, but it does appear that the majority of the most notorious serial killers are Geminis.
And that’s not where the Gemini interest ends, because Danny Rolling claimed that a great deal of his inspiration came from the movie, The Exorcist III, wherein the movie a demon takes possession of a serial killer called the Gemini Killer, and not only was Rolling fascinated with this movie but so was Jeffrey Dahmer.
We will discuss the peculiarity of the Gemini symbolism in true crime more soon, but while he’s been mentioned, let’s consider Dahmer a little further. Although he was not known to have a history of epilepsy, in terms of occultism he admitted that he was in the process of making a large altar of a dozen complete human skeletons that he was attempting to collect and maintain. It was one of his many hobbies, along with drilling holes into the heads of unconscious gay men on his couch just before he poured acid into said drill-hole. When asked whom the altar was being made for, Dahmer replied (seemingly in earnest) that it was for himself.
But speaking of demonology, the serial killer talk takes a decidedly left turn to look at the clear-cut, outwardly healthy Ted Bundy, who was known at times to comment on “the entity” that he said he was always surrounded by. He never leaned on it in his criminal defense, but he spoke of it from time to time, and it very evidently echoes the notion of demonic obsession. This is even something that has been loosely touched on in some of the more recent documentaries done on this killer.
Bundy said he had to drink an egregious amount of alcohol before his hunts to in-effect commune with this entity and help cultivate his obsessions in a focused altered state of consciousness – something that Dahmer and other killers are known to claim. And yes, as callous as it may be, Bundy and these other killers truly were hunting. There’s no other way to describe it, and it is truly as disturbing as a premise can be.
For Bundy, it sounds almost as if he was trying to summon this thing in a roundabout, archetypal, diabolical sort of way – rather than something like a clear-cut possession. Perhaps this could be said about some of the other names here as well. Something like the flap of a butterfly wing. And while you could surmise it was something Bundy said to gain attention, it didn’t help his case to begin with, and he didn’t even present a hard defense with any of this in mind. It was a bit more ancillary, like a bizarre appendix piece to it all. Bundy emphatically claimed it was much more sophisticated than mental illness, and he certainly was never diagnosed with any mental illness other than psychopathy and extreme narcissism.
Bundy once stated to an interviewer, “What began to happen was that... important matters were not being rearranged or otherwise interfered with by this voyeuristic behavior, but... things were postponed or otherwise rescheduled, to, uh, work around, uh, hours and hours spent on the street, at night and during the early morning hours... And as the condition develops and its purposes or its characteristics become more well defined, it begins to demand more time of the individual... There's a certain amount of tension, uh, struggle, between the normal personality and this, this, uh, psychopathological, uh, entity... This condition inside him [Bundy speaking in third-person] seems to be competing for more attention... a point would be reached where we'd had all of this, this reservoir of tension building. Building and building... The tension would be too great and the demands and expectations of this entity would reach a point where they just could not be controlled." It might all be an elaborate tale, but it’s curious. Bundy certainly used this entity as fodder for other poor examples of his corruption, like when he coupled it with his “addiction to porn”, but the entity itself was always something that seemed, perhaps most importantly, as perplexing to Bundy as to the people he spoke of it to.
More recently, Alaskan killer Israel Keyes – known for his fascination with Satanism, serial killer true-crime lore, and his carefully hidden “murder kits” stashed around the US – also claimed to experience the same sort of vague entity he heard Bundy describe in interviews. Dennis Rader aka BTK, the most corporate-milquetoast Ned Flanders serial killer of all time, also has made these same sorts of claims. And before moving on – while he doesn’t have much to add to the occultism of it all – I couldn’t bring up Alaskan killer, Ned Flanders persona, and the idea of a sadistic human hunt without mentioning Robert “the Butcher Baker” Hansen, who was known for abducting prostitutes in Anchorage, flying them to remote parts of Alaska, and hunting them like prey in the woods.
Both Keyes and Hansen lived in the same areas I grew up in and frequented many of the places I am accustomed to. I and many other Alaskans enjoyed the same hiking trails Keyes said he enjoyed, and Hansen baked cakes at a grocery store I’ve been to many times. And while Hansen was caught before I was born, Keyes was murdering while I was growing up.
And we couldn’t talk about demonology, serial killers, and mental illness without briefly discussing the aforementioned schizophrenic Richard Chase, the Vampire of Sacramento; Joseph Kalinger, the schizophrenic killer cobbler from Philadelphia; and Herbet Mullin, the psychedelic Santa Cruz burnout that was schizophrenically convinced to sacrifice civilians to Yahweh to stop a catastrophic earthquake from turning California proverbially into Arizona Bay. He was convinced that the burden had been placed on his shoulders after the end of the Vietnam War, which had subsequently been enough to slate Yahweh’s bloodlust. Mullen’s schemes and metaphysical concepts were very elaborate, albeit nonsensical.
As for Joseph Kalinger, the story is even wilder than Mullin’s, in which Kalinger was said to be chosen by Yahweh through his schizophrenic hallucinations to cleanse the world of evil and create the perfect shoe – and I’m not even joking about that. Sometimes the cleanse and the perfect shoe went hand-in-hand in Joseph’s vision, especially towards the beginning, but eventually, this ideal holy shoe became a backdrop for Yahweh and other lesser spiritual entities urging Joseph to cleanse the earth. He eventually murdered and tortured several people, even getting his kids to participate in some of it.
And Richard Chase, the most well known of these three genuine schizophrenic killers, was a young man convinced of several personal maladies that did not exist, such as his skull falling apart inside of his skin, his stomach shifting upside down, pieces of his heart going missing, and more.
In the case of his skull-pieces, Chase semi-routinely sliced oranges and wrapped them in a bath towel around his head because, as he put it, the Vitamin C would be absorbed through osmosis and keep his bones glued together or something. Of course, this would potentially be sad – especially since he was un-medicated – if not for the fact that he killed and defiled six people, including an infant that he cannibalized.
Chase was convinced ultimately that the only way to fix all his medical issues was with blood, which he drank routinely and sometimes bathed in, as well as even injecting it into his veins at one point (not human, but the blood of a rabbit in this case.)
While Richard Ramirez was often just clumsily attacking concepts he didn’t like in his statements, he sometimes showed glimpses of a truly malevolent philosopher, once quoted saying, “We are all evil in some form or another, are we not? Yes, I am evil. Not a hundred percent but I am evil. Evil has always existed, the perfect world most people seek shall never come to pass.” And isn’t this in many ways what I have been trying to impress onto you, my friend? Certainly, we all have the capacity for evil, and the existential responsibility to discipline and transmute those aspects of ourselves before they harm.
Ramirez and these other infamous serial killers caught a whiff of the existential, metaphysical hunt that you and I are on right now: but they flipped it completely. They didn’t see the devils within themselves first – they only saw them throughout the world, and became the devils themselves.
It would appear that, in line with demonic obsession, these killers aligned themselves entirely with the hunt and sought vengeance on the world around them. It is quite true that in the vast majority of these serial killer cases, there is a misplaced sense of vengeance or cleanser- mentality that the killer has, and these are oftentimes better explained as a sense of misplaced righteousness, even a completely inverted code of morality and ethics. Even in cases where there doesn’t seem to be a warped and vengeful victim-complex, like with Ted Bundy, there was certainly always a level of profound, psychopathic entitlement. In their eyes, they were either owed vengeance or owed the gratifications of their darkest desires. Or both.
With this in mind, I think it should practically go without saying that it’s clear all these killers should be punished, and should never see the light of day. These men, despite any sort of strange activity inside of them, are guilty of their crimes and had every opportunity to go and seek help for their disturbing thoughts. Even with all the curious evidence that shows extraneous, perhaps sometimes anomalous factors surrounding the mindset of the serial killer, they are no less culpable for their crimes. We are all human.
And while he wasn’t an outright murderer like Ramirez, a line given by Charles Manson from prison in 1988 touches this whole topic quite well: “Well, say that I am all these things that you think I am... Would you want to make me into those things? Do you need someone like that in your world? That’s your judgment. The judgments you’re making on this mirror, man, you got to carry.”
The deflective ravings of a madman? Yes. But behind the deflection, there is a twinge of realism to it. Manson knew that despite what he was, he was being used by the media for scare tactics. When it comes to headlines, the truth isn’t always the main objective, and while Manson was certainly guilty of his crimes, he was also made into a boogeyman that was much larger than life and capable of hypnotizing his followers like a black magician. And this is just giving Charlie Manson far too much credit. He just happened to be the crab on top of the bucket in that little cult and was certainly smoother at talking than the average guy in his own way.
Remember here that good and evil as we know them do not exist in objective reality, but they dictate our existence and therefore our relationship to reality. Good and evil are the faucet handles of our experience. They are agreements that we have made with the world around us because of deeply engrained biological patterns indicative of forces of nature.
Here the old Christian golden rule comes into effect: allow other things to flourish in the ways that you did, and as long as we can all blossom and flourish without degrading the others, then there are no limits. Well, the limits are the other people’s spaces.
And speaking of the golden rule, how is one to treat another the same way they would like to be treated when that person has been beaten and traumatized their entire lives?
The so-called golden rule works so well because it speaks to the natural humanity in us all, but when humanity is beaten out of us, the metrics become much different. You see, this rule is better described not so much as “Do unto others as you would have done unto you”, but more “You implicitly do unto others as you would have done unto yourself, and you should take note of that to make sure there is enough altruism in that equation.”
Certainly, in a terrible, warped, horrifying way, the serial killer is doing unto others as they have usually had done unto them. They just had the altruism ripped out of them in one form or another. Or, in a case like Bundy, we are not sure where the altruism went or if there was any inkling of it in there to begin with.
... Is that roach out? Damn, that was a nice spliff right there. Hit the spot. Okay, come with me, I still have a couple of traps to take a look at before our preparation is done. And you still have a bit more to learn.