The 1 Thing You Could Have in Common With a Serial Killer

It isn’t news that society is fascinated with serial killers and their motives. So … what exactly makes a murderer? According to, “Serial murderers, like all human beings, are the product of their heredity, their upbringing, and the choices they make throughout development.” But even with this knowledge, mothers of notorious killers reported their children showed no violent behavior growing up, so it’s all still kind of a mystery. 

Here, we explain what you and an infamous serial killer could have in common. 

Bradley Waldroup had the MAOA gene — could you?

A black hooded figure walks along a dark passageway.

Maybe they’re born with it. | Philly077/iStock/Getty Images

An NPR Talk of the Nation details how neuroscientists are utilizing brain scans and research to identify similarities between killers. James Fallon, a neuroscientist at UC Irvine, came to a conclusion after decades of studying brain activity in serial killers.

Fallon’s research involved three factors, two of which were brain function and genes. He believes serial killers have a less active orbital frontal cortex (the part of the brain that is involved in moral decision making) and may possess the MAOA gene. This gene, also called the “warrior gene,” can predispose serial killers to violent behavior.

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