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Top 10 jobs of serial killers and psychopaths
These are the occupations that attract the most serial killers and psychopaths.
The recent arrest of the alleged Golden State Killer, Joseph James DeAngelo, was notable not just for the capture of an elusive monster after decades of futile searches, but also for DeAngelo's occupation. The killer—also known as the East Area Rapist, the Original Night Stalker, the Diamond Knot Killer and Visalia Ransacker—managed to avoid getting caught for years while being likely responsible for 12 murders and almost 50 rapes in the 1970s and '80s. How did he not get caught for such a long time? By living and working in plain sight as a police officer.
As writes professor Michael Arntfield, who teaches Criminology & English Literature at Western University, there have been other famous killers who had very reputable professions.
Canadian “Colonel" Russell Williams, who got two life sentences for multiple murders, sexual assaults and burglaries, was a commander of a major Air Force Base.
Jeffrey Dahmer raped, killed, and dismembered 17 men and boys. Already a murderer, he worked for a while at a chocolate factory in Milwaukee.
Tom Steeples, who killed several people, was a computer store owner and prominent businessman in Nashville.
Ted Bundy, convicted of ruthlessly killing 30 people while being probably responsible for many more, had a job while already a murderer at Seattle's Suicide Hotline Crisis Center. He followed that up by working on the re-election campaign of the Republican governor of Washington Daniel J. Evans.
Ted Bundy. 1977. Credit: Glenwood Springs Post Independent via AP.
Taken as a whole, certain patterns emerge in the occupations chosen by serial killers, with some full-time and part-time jobs over-represented, says Arntfield. Of course, just because terrible people had these jobs that doesn't mean everyone associated with them is somehow on the path to becoming a killer. Still, here are the top jobs for serial killers, broken down by their skill level:
- Aircraft machinist/assembler (top skilled serial killer occupation)
- Forestry worker/arborist (top for semi-skilled killers)
- General laborer - mover, landscaper, etc. (top for unskilled)
- Police officer/security official (top for professional/government)
- Shoemaker/repair person (skilled)
- Truck driver (semi-skilled)
- Hotel porter (unskilled)
- Military personnel (professional/government)
- Automobile upholsterer (skilled)
- Warehouse manager (semi-skilled)
- Gas station attendant (unskilled)
- Religious official (professional/government)
What about these jobs appeals to serial killers? Arntfield says sometimes these occupations facilitate opportunities for the killers' desire to kill but ultimately, it's a complex interplay of factors.
“[It's a] combination of mobility, power (whether structural or actual), and the fact many jobs also simultaneously satisfy the underlying paraphilias, or sexual preoccupations, that also fuel killers' crimes," said Arntfield in an interview with IFLScience.
One commonality between some of the jobs is that they provide an access to vulnerable victims, like travelers, sex or shift workers.
What about the popular occupations of the psychopaths? Certainly, not all psychopaths end up as serial killers, but psychopathy is a common feature among serial killers, sex offenders and the most violent criminals.
According to an Oxford University psychologist, the top 10 jobs for psychopaths are:
1. CEO or business executive
3. Media personality
6. Journalist or news anchor
7. Police officer
8. Religious official
10. Miscellaneous civil servant (military, city council, corrections, etc.)
More details about the occupations of various killers can be found in Michael Arntfield's recent book, Murder in Plain English.
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Construction of the $500 billion dollar tech city-state of the future is moving ahead.
- The futuristic megacity Neom is being built in Saudi Arabia.
- The city will be fully automated, leading in health, education and quality of life.
- It will feature an artificial moon, cloud seeding, robotic gladiators and flying taxis.
The Red Sea area where Neom will be built:
Saudi Arabia Plans Futuristic City, "Neom" (Full Promotional Video)<span style="display:block;position:relative;padding-top:56.25%;" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="c646d528d230c1bf66c75422bc4ccf6f"><iframe type="lazy-iframe" data-runner-src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/N53DzL3_BHA?rel=0" width="100%" height="auto" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" style="position:absolute;top:0;left:0;width:100%;height:100%;"></iframe></span>
Coronavirus layoffs are a glimpse into our automated future. We need to build better education opportunities now so Americans can find work in the economy of tomorrow.
- Outplacement is an underperforming $5 billion dollar industry. A new non-profit coalition by SkillUp intends to disrupt it.
- More and more Americans will be laid off in years to come due to automation. Those people need to reorient their career paths and reskill in a way that protects their long-term livelihood.
- SkillUp brings together technology and service providers, education and training providers, hiring employers, worker outreach, and philanthropies to help people land in-demand jobs in high-growth industries.
Source: McKinsey Global Institute analysis [PDF]<p>Work in understanding the skills at the heart of the new digital economy is leading to novel assessments that allow individuals to prove mastery to faithfully represent their abilities—but also to give weight and stackability to the emerging ecosystem of micro-credentials that make education more seamless across time and education providers. And we are seeing the beginnings of a renewal in the liberal arts, focused on building human skills in affordable ways that are accessible to many more individuals and far more effective.</p><p>Amidst these dark times, there is much opportunity to refresh the nation's education and training solutions to support the success of individuals and society writ large.</p>
Do we really know what we want in a romantic partner? If so, do our desires actually mean we match up with people who suit them?
- Two separate scientific studies suggest that our "ideals" don't really match what we look for in a romantic partner.
- Results of studies like these can change the way we date, especially in the online world.
- "You say you want these three attributes and you like the people who possess these attributes. But the story doesn't end there," says Paul Eastwick, co-author of the study and professor in the UC Davis Department of Psychology.
Do we really know what we want in love or are we just guessing?<span style="display:block;position:relative;padding-top:56.25%;" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="204859156383d358652fda6f7eadda0f"><iframe type="lazy-iframe" data-runner-src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/vQgfx2iYlso?rel=0" width="100%" height="auto" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" style="position:absolute;top:0;left:0;width:100%;height:100%;"></iframe></span><p>More than 700 participants selected their top three qualities in a romantic partner (things like funny, attractive, inquisitive, kind, etc). They then reported their romantic desire for a series of people they knew personally. Some were blind date partners, others were romantic partners and some were simply platonic friends.</p><p>While participants did experience more romantic desire to the extent that these personal connections of theirs (people they knew) had the qualities they listed, there was more to the study. </p><p>Paul Eastwick, co-author and professor in the UC Davis Department of Psychology <a href="https://medicalxpress.com/news/2020-07-romantic-partner-random-stranger.html" target="_blank">explains</a>: "You say you want these three attributes and you like the people who possess these attributes. But the story doesn't end there." </p><p>The participants also considered the extent to which their personal acquaintances possessed three attributes nominated by some other random person in the study. For example, if Kris listed "down-to-earth", intelligent and thoughtful as her own top three attributes, Vanessa also experienced more desire for people with those specific traits. </p>
Does what we want really match up with what we find?<img type="lazy-image" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yMzQ0NDA4Ni9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTU5NjM3NzY5OX0.gdUo-UbjYhKUDOL39BDZseRynbwaK2H5dfJtbV0nw8Y/img.jpg?width=980" id="ff376" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="7c1e3a1bb9d576872ef5dce39b2e8e80" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" alt="illustration of a man and woman matching on a dating app" />
What we claim to want and what we look for may be two separate things...
Image by GoodStudio on Shutterstock<p>So the question became: are we really listing what we want in an ideal partner or are we just listing vague qualities that people typically consider as positive?</p><p>"So in the end, we want partners who have positive qualities," Sparks explained, "but the qualities you specifically list do not actually have special predictive power for you." </p><p>In other words, the idea that we find certain things attractive in a person does not mean we actively seek out people who have those qualities, despite saying it's what we want in a love interest. The authors of this study suggest these findings could have implications for the way we approach online dating in the digital age. </p><p>This isn't the first study of its kind to suggest that what we find in love isn't really what we were looking for. The evidence suggests that we really are consistent in the abstract of it all: when asked to evaluate what you want on paper, you are more likely to suggest overall attractiveness in accordance with what you've stated are important ideals to you. But real life isn't so similar. </p><p>According to <a href="https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/meet-catch-and-keep/201506/when-it-comes-love-do-you-really-know-what-you-want" target="_blank">Psychology Today,</a> who covered a 2015 study with similar results, initial face-to-face encounters have very little effect on our romantic desire. "When we initially meet someone, our level of romantic interest in the person is independent of our standards."</p><p>While you might have no immediate interest in John, he may fit your criteria of being kind, loyal, and intelligent. Similarly, someone may be attracted to Elaine even though she doesn't have any of the qualities they originally said were important to them. </p><p><strong>What does this all mean? </strong></p><p>The authors of both the 2015 and 2020 studies say the same thing: give someone a chance before writing them off as a poor match. If your initial attraction is independent of the standards you've set out, the qualities which you've listed as important to you, the first time you meet someone may not give you enough information to make an informed decision.</p><p>"It's really easy to spend time hunting around online for someone who seems to match your ideals," said Sparks, "But our research suggests an alternative approach: Don't be too picky ahead of time about whether a partner matches your ideals on paper. Or, even better, let your friends pick your dates for you." </p>