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Why every one you know is potentially a serial killer

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There are a few people in your life whom you’ve probably suspected for having the makings of a serial killer. The truth is, anyone can kill for a multitude of reasons. When we think of serial killers, there are certain characteristics which can link the minds of murderers.

Those quirks can be seen in anybody however, and can lead to you suspecting pretty much anyone of terrible crimes.

Here are 5 reasons to keep alert in the face of strange behaviour...

1. Serial killers are power junkies

Many serial killers refuse to confess to their crimes, or the locations of their victims, simply because knowing things that the police don’t is something they’re addicted to, just as much as the act of killing. Power over the authorities gives them just as much pleasure as power over their prey. Unfortunately, this characteristic can also be seen in people holding a position of authority, which can make it difficult to tell between your boss and an unconvicted murderer.

2. Serial killers are manipulative

Everyone’s got one of them in their lives: not someone cruel, necessarily, but someone who uses information to their advantage, to skew situations, and mess with emotions. The text they don’t send when they know you’re waiting; the compliments they give to make you fall for them. That person, watch out for them, because even if they're not a serial killer, they're almost definitely not worth your time.

3. Serial killers are braggers

This is not say that you ought to immediately call the police to your office to handcuff the man in the blue suit who likes to linger by the coffee machine and talk about how much lifted in the gym this morning. But serial killers are often caught because they can’t help but expose themselves. Whether that's returning to the scene of the crime, taking trophies, or deliberately leaving clues, their inner arrogance can reveal all. British serial killer Trevor Hardy, nicknamed 'The Beast of Manchester' for his murders of young women in the 1970s, was caught only after he bragged about one murder to his younger brother.

4. Serial killers are charming

These days, we like to think we’re savvy. Thanks to the internet and all 2700 episodes of Homicide Hunter we’ve seen, we know precisely what to look out for when it comes to seedy sorts. But serial killers are the sort of people who charm and flatter. They’re not the person glaring at you from the car window, or the shadow looming in the doorway. They’re someone you like, someone who understands you. Someone who might persuade you into their car. Because, after all…

5. Serial killers look like everyone else

The simple fact of the matter is that the majority of people who dream of death and hide body parts in their refrigerators aren’t actually parading around their neighbourhoods sporting signs advertising the fact. They’re the people who buy tomato sauce at the supermarket, and smile at you while you walk your dog. That’s how they’ve managed to get away with it for so long; that’s what’s earned them the “serial” part of their nickname. That’s why they get away with being ordinary brothers, daughters and colleagues. So what traits do you find worrying in people?