I used to be obsessed with true crime and serial killers.
Ask me anything about Dahmer and Bundy, and I will tell you. I was studying them way before Hollywood came and told us their stories.
Why? Because growing up with a father as a police officer, I became interested in crime and the psychology of criminals from a young age.
I am fascinated by true crime and those who perpetrate it. It helps me learn how to protect myself and my loved ones. Plus, it helps me see the signs in people around me who might be up to no good.
My favourite way to learn about it is by reading books like Mindhunter by John E. Douglas. He is a fantastic writer and former FBI agent who knows his stuff. It’s worth a read.
The reason why I am writing about this topic today is that I want to share some lessons I’ve learnt. That way you too can feel safer in the world, because you will know what to watch out for.
So here is what true crime books taught me:
- Kids who are loved are less likely to fall victim to sexual predators.
Most victims of sex trafficking and paedophilia come from broken homes. That means we need to make sure our children grow up and live in loving families.
The more they know they are loved, appreciated and wanted, the lower the chances of something bad happening to them.
Groomers are actively looking for children who are not confident, who are lonely and without protection. This is why runaways are easy targets for sex traffickers – because they run away voluntarily.
- Serial offenders usually start small before their first kill.
There is no such thing as a petty crime. A crime is a crime and should be treated accordingly.
It starts with a theft, continues with a robbery, or it begins as a domestic abuse situation, and the next thing you know you are in a body bag.
I don’t think this is paranoid thinking. It’s taking precautions in order to prevent something horrible from happening.
Be aware of what is happening around you at all times.
- Look for signs in children that something might be wrong with them.
Another thing true crime books taught me is that sometimes you can see the signs of a future criminal in children.
For example, they may hurt non-human animals or other people consistently and without remorse. Bundy put knives around his aunt’s head, and Dahmer dissected dead non-human animals he found.
Of course, just because someone tends to be violent doesn’t make them a little psychopath, but once they start killing cats and birds, we have to take it seriously. Very seriously.
If you watch out for these three things, you will be safer and so will the people around you.
I believe it is important to learn from criminals and their acts on what we can do to protect ourselves. Everything they do can be a lesson for us.
Reading can literally save our lives.