It may be shocking to discover, but many serial killers have additional hobbies of artistic varieties, besides that of committing heinous crimes. Just as artists have been considered to have tortured souls and under perpetual pressures placed on them by their spirits of ingenuity, the same holds true for serial killers. Not only do many serial killers utilize their acts of killing to express art, but they also externalize their creativity in artwork, such as paintings, drawings, embroidery, and more.
John Sweeny, regarded as one of the most hazardous men in Britain, was apprehended March 4th, 2011. Sweeny was charged with killing two women. One, having been a former girlfriend, whose dismembered body was found in a bag floating down a canal in Rotterdam. While the psychopath, Sweeny, waited on pending death in confinement, stumped detectives, of Scotland Yard, exigently launched an appeal to trace three adscititious disappearances of women that had prior relationships with Sweeny. Amongst the items found at Sweeny’s residence, was over 300 macabre drawings, wood carvings, and poems. Some of the poems wondered to be confessionals of past additional killings and genuine drawings of the missing women and clues to supplemental murders.
Henry Lee Lucas, convicted of killing 11 and confessing of killing more than 300, committed his first act of murder by killing his own mother. After having been sentenced for a 20-40-year term, due to overcrowding, Lucas was discharged. It was at this time that Lucas went on what seemed a killing spree. However, while incarcerated, Lucas engendered what came to be famous works of art. Some art pieces reflect a chilling tone, while others are considered to be more of a mild flavor.
These unhinged individuals, like those noted above, with a thirst for inflicting pain and brutality on their victims, are not only ingenious in eschewing detection and the ways in which they opt to haunt and slaughter their prey, but additionally ingenious in the art culture for their art pieces expressing their tormented souls. However, let us not give all the credit to the men. There are, additionally, women serial killers who love to document their acts of killing in photos and writings and will experience sexual gratification from it. To the average person, it may not seem homogeneous to art. To the killer, the act alone is not what stimulates them, but the ingeniousness in which they utilize to achieve the act. The killer will keep journals, photos, and some type of documentation to continue reliving the act and the creativity in which they feel it was performed. Noted in an article, "Women Aroused by Murder," located on the Psychology Today webpage, affirms:
“Like sexually stimulated male killers, females can be orgasmically conditioned toward sexual predation. It’s a developmental process involving fantasies and a specific type of stimulation. If sexual satisfaction occurs, the person is likely to repeat the act, incorporating the source of stimulation. Eventually, the person depends on it for arousal” (Ramsland, Ph. D.; online see endnotes).
Serial Killer, Elena Lobacheva, gained her notoriety from having gasconaded about receiving sexual pleasure when killing the homeless. At the age of 27, Lobacheva was mixed up with a gang which claimed to be the cleaners, “butchers”, of Moscow. Through her involvement, with the gang, she was noted to have taken part in murdering 14 people in Moscow. An online news article, “The Sun”, recorded:
“She "loved" killing, and she confessed to involvement in half the gang's murders. A drunk carpenter killed by the gang was knifed 171 times, while others were battered to death with hammers…Lobacheva killed a father using a hammer and a knife and hit him so hard that bits of his brain were found 16ft from his body… She always spoke about torture and the dismembering of bodies. She laughed as we killed, it was clear as day that she loved it… When her flat was searched, police found five knives and a step-by-step guide to killing people on her computer. She also had photos of all of her victims with their stomachs cut open and body parts cut off. Folders titled "Tenderness" and "Need This" contained hundreds of pictures and video recordings of the torture and executions” (Stewart; online see endnotes).
Multiple recorded counts of serial killers gaining inspiration from their acts of crime to engender their versions of artwork, just like the examples provided, can be found in numerous locations. The concepts that sexual gratification, exhilaration, adrenaline, and tranquility, after having explored this topic, are only a few of the many demeanors and motivations in which these murderous killers gain inspiration for their creations. Is it an inordinate amount of a grisly thought for those of us non-killers to believe that these serial murderers can procure stimulation to create masterful pieces of art from the atrocious crimes they have committed? No matter how shocking the initial conception may be to those who opt to believe they could never be stimulated in the same way from the same forms of criminal acts; So sorry to burst your bubble, but the very opposite holds to be true. How do I know? Well, look at you. Engrossed by the sense of death, you opted to read this gruesome article to the bitter end. Nonetheless, this is not the only reason why serial killers are incentivized and inspired to create artwork from their killings. Nor is it the only reason why the public takes pleasure, in the same sense, when viewing the artwork or reliving these crimes in films, books, poetry, and other forms. However, you will have to stay tuned for part II, where together we will explore and examine what psychologist experts explain in relation to both views.
While waiting, please enjoy the video links provided of serial killers’ inspired artwork: