I Grew Up With All The Signs Of Becoming A Serial Killer

According to Dr Phil’s signs of a future serial killer, I pretty much have them all (Kendra Jade was the first person to point this out to me, she had a great fascination with serial killers and read many books on them and she recognized their characteristics in me):

1. Over 90 percent of serial killers are male. Check.

2. They tend to be intelligent, with IQ’s in the “bright normal” range. Check.

3. They do poorly in school, have trouble holding down jobs, and often work as unskilled laborers. Check.

4. They tend to come from markedly unstable families. Check.

5. As children, they are abandoned by their fathers and raised by domineering mothers. Check.

6. Their families often have criminal, psychiatric and alcoholic histories. Check.

7. They hate their fathers and mothers. Check.

8. They are commonly abused as children — psychologically, physically and sexually. Often the abuse is by a family member. Check.

9. Many serial killers spend time in institutions as children and have records of early psychiatric problems. Check.

10. They have high rates of suicide attempts. I never did anything, but constantly thought about it.

11. From an early age, many are intensely interested in voyeurism, fetishism, and sado-masochistic pornography. Check.

12. More than 60 percent of serial killers wet their beds beyond the age of 12. I think I stopped before age five.

13. Many serial killers are fascinated with fire starting. Check.

14. They are involved with sadistic activity or tormenting small creatures. Check.

In accordance with the teachings of the Seventh-Day Adventist church’s prophet, Ellen G. White, I am kept out of school as long as possible (until second grade).

I spend my days wandering around the bush outside our home at Avondale College (two hours drive north of Sydney).

An absolutely miserable kid (due to genetics and living in more than a dozen homes from age one to four while my mom was dying of cancer), I learn to escape from my surroundings by fantasizing that I am a great person having marvelous adventures. I tell myself that I’ll grow up to be the equivalent of Winston Churchill, Abraham Lincoln and George Washington.

I go out in the bush every day and I pretend I am conquering the wild west. I chop down trees. I blaze trails. I make mud pies. I rip the wings off flies and hack up insects and then I open up an animal hospital in our backyard and try to fix them. I try to stick their parts back together and dab water on their wounds, without much success. None of them get healed. Kinda similar to some of the people I blog about. I hack ‘em up and then try on occasion to patch them back together.

When I am about seven, I develop a fascination with matches. I learn that if you wrap them in tinder from matchboxes and then stepped on them hard, you can set off a small explosion. One day, I want to matter. I’ve heard so many stories about the evils of lighting forest fires. Ha! I want to set off a conflagration. I want to feel powerful. I light a fire in the dead grass outside our home. My adrenalin races as I run away. I feel alive. I’m like God. I’m deciding people’s fates. When I look back, I see the flames catch and spread. I feel powerful. I feel like I matter. I feel like I am transforming the world outside of me into the mirror image of the world inside of me. I love fire! I love power! I love importance! I love messing with people! Here is something huge that I’ve made.

A neighbor catches the fire before any damage is done. When I tell my friend Wayne what I’ve done, he says that he will tell on me if I ever do it again. And so I don’t.

I understand people who make fires and viruses and wars. You think happy people set fires? We want the outside world to match our inside world. It makes you feel powerful to create destruction and to change lives. It makes you feel like God. Who will live? Who will die? Who by fire and who by water?

I don’t commit arson anymore, but I love to light fires online through my Facebooking and my blogging. I love to set off flame wars. I love to polarize. I love to provoke. I love to watch people go nuts. I love to be incendiary. It makes me feel powerful.

If I’d grown up a Palestinian, I probably would have become a suicide bomber. With my social isolation, the promise of being cool and doing something great and bringing honor to my family would’ve been irresistible.

I’m susceptible to cults. Anyone who takes me in and tells me, “Yay Luke, we love you,” well, I’m willing to give them my every penny. I’m willing to give them my life. I just want to feel a part of things. I just want to matter. I desperately want to feel important.

I think a lot about suicide. I just make sure to never make the first step towards it. I never take a knife out of a drawer to run over my wrists. I never get a rope out to experiment with hanging myself. I don’t dawdle beside cliffs. I never allow myself to act on my suicidal impulses.

Aside from my two attempts at lighting fires, I never allow myself to act on my homicidal tendencies.

I might inadvertently be painting a picture of my oh so difficult childhood, but it is nothing compared to what my parents endured. They give me something far better than what they had. Compared to what they had, my childhood is a paradise.

Mom hits me spontaneously while dad is very disciplined. He gives me a little talk before the spanking where he says that this will hurt him more than it will hurt me but that he is only doing it for my own good. That sometimes we only learn through pain.

In my conservative Christian upbringing, sexual sins are the biggest sins. Sins like pre-marital sex, adultery, and reading nudie magazines. So out there in the tobacco plants, I did something horrific.

In case you are wondering what the Seventh-Day Adventist church’s position is on pornography:

“Seventh-day Adventists deem pornography to be destructive, demeaning, desensitizing, and exploitative.
It is destructive to marital relationships, thus subverting God’s design that husband and wife cleave so closely to each other that they become, symbolically, “one flesh” (Genesis 2:24).
It is demeaning, defining a woman (and in some instances a man) not as a spiritual-mental-physical whole, but as a one-dimensional and disposable sex-object, thus depriving her of the worth and the respect that are her due and right as a daughter of God.
It is desensitizing to the viewer/reader, callousing the conscience and “perverting the perception,” thus producing a “depraved person” (Romans 1:22. 28, NEB).
It is exploitative, pandering to prurience, and basally abusive, thus contrary to the Golden rule, which insists that one treat others as one wishes to be treated (Matthew 7:12).
Wise, indeed, is the counsel of Christianity’s first great theologian: “If you believe in goodness and if you value the approval of God, fix your minds on the things which are holy and right and pure and beautiful and good” (Philippians 4:8, 9, Phillips).”

This public statement is released by the General Conference president, Neal C. Wilson, who one day will end my father’s brilliant Seventh-Day Adventist career.
I get so scared about the magazines, so scared by my fascination with what I saw, so scared that my desire for this material is stronger than I am, that it violates God’s will, that even though porn is what I love most in the world, it’s the single most exciting thing, I don’t look at it again until I am 16.

Porn and suicide are two of my darkest drives. I allow myself to feel them intensely but always refuse to act on them.

From 1980-1982, my family does a lot of traveling and I spend many hours at newsstands in airports, reading magazines about my favorite football team, the Dallas Cowboys. Sometimes I look over the shoulders of men checking out Playboy and Penthouse. My heart pounds.

At the beginning of my Junior year, I stay with friends for a week while my parents are gone. Away from Rainy’s wholesome influence, away from Adventism’s wholesome influence, away from my parent’s wholesome influence, I buy an erotic novel and one afternoon all alone on the couch, I begin pressing on myself while reading it…
I am so scared by what happened, so scared by the pleasure and the humiliation and the mess. I resolve to never do it again. I know that masturbation is Satan’s typewriter. In a vision, Sister White “saw imbecility, dwarfed forms, crippled limbs, misshapen heads, and deformity of every description as a result of the solitary vice. Cancer is inflamed and commences its eating, destructive work. The mind is often utterly ruined and insanity takes place. Those who masturbate are just as surely self-murderers as though they pointed a pistol to their own breast, and destroyed their life instantly.”
My dad when he looked at his students could tell with just a glance who was masturbating. Their sallow complexions gave them away. When I was a kid, dad warned me against spending too much time down there. A little cleaning and that’s it.
The next afternoon, I am right back at it. I don’t know how to do it right so I roll my penis between my hands like I am hoping it will catch alight, and along with the pleasure of playing with myself, the skin rubs off and my penis bleeds and the pain builds but I keep rolling until I receive satisfaction. After a few weeks of this, I learned that a gentle tugging motion is much less damaging.

As a teen, I am not successful in employment. Until age 16, I am fired from every job I take.

I become busy, work insane hours, get good grades at college, eventually straight As, get accepted into UCLA to major in Economics and then boom, I’m laid out by illness.

When I get into Judaism, I decide to become holier than Dennis Prager.

I believe in Judaism’s ideals about sex and everything else, but when I can’t live up to them, I just say, “I’m not there yet. I haven’t spiritually evolved to that place yet.”

When I do temp work in offices from 1995-1997, I am fired from about five different jobs for inappropriate speech. With a Tourettes-like regularity, I’d say nasty sexual things that would cause great offense.

When I get the diagnosis of “eroticized rage” in 2011, it feels like a great relief to have my illness named. I start to see how my drive to transgress is holding me back in life. My sexual fantasies are all about transgression. No big deal, except that this rage keeps seeping into my life in the inappropriate things I say, in my writing, my work choices, my relationships. I’m all about rage and breaking the rules and this destroys any chance I have at a normal life and normal friendships and normal relationships.

About Luke Ford

I've written five books (see Amazon.com). My work has been covered in the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and on 60 Minutes. I teach Alexander Technique in Beverly Hills (Alexander90210.com).
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