There are few crimes which evoke more horror and loathing than sexual abuse, especially when the victim is a child. Yet in the late 1960s, when I first began a residency in psychiatry, there were also no established evaluation and treatment programs for the sexual offender.
Nathaniel Bar Jonah would regularly say, when questioned about the murder of the 10-year-old boy, “They can’t prove anything because there is no body,” and Bar Jonah was right, because he ate the young boy.
‘I hadn’t started out per se to ‘study’ serial murderers, now many years ago. I was doing neurological research on the NASA Skylab and Apollo-Soyuz Test Project. Increasingly I was becoming interested in neuropathology of primitive personalities. In biochemistry we go to the molecular structure of a compound to see what its chemical signature is composed of. What then was the signature of what may be the most primitive form of man; who represented man at his serially worst: A murderer who killed for seemingly pleasurable gain and who used power, control and dominance, as a way of torturing his victims before he murdered them. In those days the term ‘serial killer’ was not yet in the public sector as it resides today nor did the idea of a serial killer carry the current voyeuristic allure.