My friend Kyle is walking a tightrope, leading a double life. He is at once a copy-writer and a prospective serial-killer-you’d-least-expect to murder-you. His greatest earthly desire is to slaughter indiscriminately (he hasn’t settled on a ‘pattern’ yet) like his sinister hero Emperor Nero.
His motivation is clear – “I crave the media attention” – and his ambition loud and concrete, but like anyone considering a new career, he has had his doubts and sometimes questions his suitability for the role – he is partially human after all. He has done his research, and found, irritatingly, that he doesn’t fit the psychiatric mould for serial killerdom. There are three key childhood traits which most serial killers have and Kyle lacks all of them: bed-wetting, murdering small animals and pyromania. I tried to reassure him that this needn’t hold him back; that it would help his cause if things ever came to court and he needed a psychiatric assessment, but Kyle is an anxious soul and a perfectionist and is convinced he doesn’t have what it takes.
“What about the mess,” he worried, “and the clean-up? Dexter makes it look so quick and hygienic but it will take them hours to clean up between shots. I think to myself, could I be doing something else with this time?” I suggested strangulation, poisoning and suffocation as three non-messy options, but (a true artist) he is reluctant to limit his craft, and is also starting to worry about where to dispose of the bodies. I suggested throwing them into the River Kennet and he laughed scornfully. Cowed by his expertise, I stopped making suggestions and started making notes to document his reign of doubt-ridden savagery. “It will just be so time-consuming. The maiming and the torture – OK I can enjoy these things. But finding and stalking my victims in the first place, the arduous process of mopping up their blood afterwards (it goes everywhere), taunting the police during their laughingly unsuccessful manhunt – people don’t realise how much time this takes. I’d need to give up my day job which would then limit me to seeking out richer victims who might carry cash.”
Furthermore, he hasn’t decided on his target market. As a marketing consultant I stressed the importance of knowing your demographic but he just isn’t fussy, and my non-marketing side commends that; old, young, male, female – the world is full of bastards of all shapes and sizes so why discriminate?
Kyle’s inherent doubtfulness may hold him back for some time, but rest assured, one day we will be seeing this man on the news, and it will not be regarding his copy-writing proficiency. He has already decided on his ‘calling card’: a single playing card placed whole in the mouth of each victim (“No folding. I’ll remove the tongue if necessary.”) I said “Oh, like the Joker?” and he gave me a withering look and said “No. He only left a joker playing card. I have 52 lives to play with.”
If you’d like access into Kyle’s pre-serial-killer thought-stream, see his Twitter here.