Motivations for serial killers are wide-ranging: criminal profiler

Murder charges laid against 66-year-old landscaper Bruce McArthur have dominated headlines over the past week.

As police continue their investigation across multiple locations in southern Ontario, CityNews spoke to University of Toronto sociology professor Dr. JooYoung Lee, currently working on a book on serial killers, about what may motivate an individual to commit multiple murders.

While Lee can’t speak to the allegations against McArthur directly, generally speaking he says there is a wide range of possibilities for why someone would commit such crimes.

“One thing that we know about people who are serial killers is that they are extraordinarily good at deceiving people around them,” says Lee.

“They have, what we call, a glib charm, and they’re able to sort of come across as a ‘normal person.’ They often have a family, they’re involved in churches, in community organizations, they have friends, people usually like them — but that is all a mask for a very secretive life.”


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