Tonight I saw Zodiac. I had first heard of the Zodiac Killer a few years back when I saw a special on the History channel. Frankly, it captured my attention did then as much as it did again tonight.
The Zodiac, as he called himself, was a serial killer in the 1970s. He was never caught.
The prime suspect died of a heart attack before any charges could be brought against him, and only after being first cleared due to fingerprint and DNA evidence.
The movie was surprisingly accurate, historically. And some parts were honestly creepy - and with good reason.
This sort of thing is unnatural to us, as humans. Without getting into Aquinas' Natural Law axiom and all, I do believe that we humans are innately created with a sense of an ethic. Now this varies, of course, from person to person. But unjustifiable homicide is wrong in the views of most societies. In fact, this so well accepted as a norm that we consider actions to the contrary anti-social. And we jail people for anti-social behavior.
But, I"ll be honest: serial killers interest me, like any other mental disorder. Psychopathology has always fascinated me. The brain is such a complicated device, if it can be called that. And we only notice anything about it when something goes wrong. The brain is so complex that much of what we know about it comes from when it fails to operate as it should. I've taken classes on abnormal psychology in college just for fun. And it is interesting.
Serial killers can obviously classified as exhibiting signs of mental illness. They are cold yet calculating. There are some very unusual characteristics and similarities among serial killers. My question is why?... Is there something genetic? Is it simply the way a person is raised? I don't think the answer is clearly black and white. There's lots of gray.
But no matter the cause, we must all contend with the idea that there is innately a dark side to humanity. It is exhibited in the ability of one person to disregard the value of the life of another. Among the population on this planet, while most of us agree that murder is wrong, there are those who are not only indifferent to that ideal, but desire the opposite.
And that is a reason for chills to crawl up your spine.