Sunday, April 29, 2007

Psychology of a Killer (Disclaimer: Nothing to do with Brandon Flowers)

The media, in an attempt perhaps to send a warning to society or address the natural curiosity that corresponds with atrocious acts, often focuses on the psychological aspects of the responsible party. Murders mean murderers, and the most compelling murderers are those who were never the "murdering type".

Kevin Underwood is a 28-year old man who bludgeoned a 10-year girl to death, raped her, and planned to eat her corpse. Wikipedia can give you the full story.

After the initial horrific account of the murder, articles began to focus on his public blog--a frequently updated and completely candid journal documenting his experiences and feelings over a span of almost 4 years. The journal is available to be read in its original entirety online.

The recently published writings of Seung Hui Cho are almost exactly what you would imagine them to be--a shoddy attempt at literature which only horrifies and disgusts. I acknowledge the imperfect comparison, but here are two men who committed horrific acts and had their writings made public.

I imagine that if Cho had a blog, it would be similar to his plays and poetry--purposelessly vulgar. The contrast is what makes Kevin Underwood's blog fascinating. It's not at all as you would expect--an account of murderous thoughts and sick obsessions. The entries include links to humorous articles, accounts of awkward scenarios, testimonials of loneliness, optimism, sexual frustrations, and even remorseful confessions about his disgusting and socially unacceptable thoughts.

Never before could you more closely analyze the psychological workings of a murderer. The reader finds a lonely, depressed, and obsessive yet seemingly harmless person's tragic descent to destruction. It almost forces unwanted feelings of sympathy. Read for yourself.