TIL Serial Killers are more likely to have suffered a head injury as a child than non-serial killers.

Read the Story

Show Top Comments

Childhood head injuries are highly correlated with physical abuse, poor parenting and poverty. People who come from dysfunctional places lead dysfunctional lives.


As a true crime junkie I can confirm, this is totally true. If you look at a lot of the well known ones you can see it. Richard Ramirez (The Night Stalker) had a dresser fall on his head as a kid. And both he and John Wayne Gacy were struck in the head by swings as children. Son of Sam was hit by a car, ran into a wall pretty bad, and got hit in the head with a pipe as a kid. BTK was dropped on his head as a baby. And Ed Gein’s dad was abusive and used to hit him over the head so bad his ears rang. Astonishingly enough though, I’ve read that autopsy reports showed that Ted Bundy—probably the most infamous serial killer in US history—appeared to have no brain damage at all.


They’re also WAY more likely to have had an absolutely horrendous childhood. Not saying it excuses them: murder is murder. But you learn about enough of them and you start seeing how they ended up like that.


People underestimate how different you can become by getting just one hard hit to the head. It’s pretty startling.


So that scene in *The Joker* where (spoilers) they told him that he had been bashed in the head as a child makes sense…