Trying to Understand Antonio Rodriguez

on January 20, 2011 in Psychology, Serial Killers by

With the confession by Antonio Rodriguez to the murder of three women, the inevitable discussion of what made the so-called Kensington Strangler tick has begun. Jessica Hopper of ABC News has interviewed a number of forensic psychologists and criminologists, and determined that he should be classified as a sexual serial killer.

While certainly correct, I think we can be a bit more specific at this point.

Rodriguez claims that he did not mean to kill the women, and was just looking for “rough fantasy sex”, hoping to choke the women until they were unconscious. That is unlikely.

Sexual stranglers generally suffer from a paraphilia where they can only achieve sexual gratification while killing. Often, they strangle the victim just shy of the point of death, in order to prolong their pleasure, but death is the end goal.

Rodriguez is expected to be charged, along with other crimes, of involuntary deviate sexual intercourse and abuse of a corpse. While this activity behind this charge has not been publicly revealed, at least to my knowledge, we can only assume he engaged in some form of necrophilia.

All of the information we have so far leads me to classify Rodriguez as a hedonistic lust murderer. I’ll receive final judgment until more info is made public.

The article makes a big deal of the fact that all of the fact that none of Rodriguez’s victims were African-American, while he is himself. While that is unusual, it is only because most sexual murders kill those they are attracted to, and most people are attracted to those within their own ethnicity.

If Rodriguez is more attracted to Caucasian women, he would naturally chose them as victims.

But this preference can be grossly overstated. Ideal Victim Type is only a preference. A particular lion might prefer the taste of gazelle, but if there are no gazelles around, he’ll need to find something else to sate his hunger.

Gary Ridgway, for instance, preferred white women, but he killed a number of African American and Asian women.

Another fact revealed by the article above is that Rodriquez was adopted by a Spanish-speaking family, thus explaining his Hispanic family name. A surprising number of serial killers were adopted. The reasons for this are not known, but one theory is that the break in mother-child bonding that happens for adoptees may lead to increased instances of psychopathy.

We’re just beginning to scratch the surface. I’m sure we’ll learn more in the coming months.

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