As per my quick Facebook post, there is quite a focus in the movie “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo” on the bind-torture-kill brand of sociopathy. That got me reading Wikipedia about the BTK serial killer Dennis Rader who basically coined the term. There are several gonzo scientific aspects of this case that jump out at me:
1. The torture of animals as a young lad is indicative of sociopathy - that part is well-known I hope - but the name of the complex it’s a part of is called the Macdonald triad. I guess chronic bedwetting past age 5 is also a sign.
2. He had been a Lutheran for 30 years, president of his church, and Cub Scout leader. He was a Deacon when they arrested him. Positions of piety and authority are such excellent cover for evil, aren’t they?
3. He goofed when he asked the police in a letter if floppy disks could be traced, and then he believed them when they said no. So he sent them a floppy disk and they traced it to him.
4. The police didn’t have probable cause to arrest him until they got a warrant to get access to his daughter’s pap smear. DNA testing revealed she was related to the semen sample they had from the killer. This is when they popped Rader.
A horrifying scientific detective story.
In The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, a Bible-quoting BTK serial killer glibly explains, “It’s mostly about the sex. The murder is a logical consequence of the rape - there can be no witnesses.” Shudder…