Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Bone Collectors Are Not Sociopaths

There are some misconceptions about bone collectors I'd like to clear up.

Some people think that because someone chooses to collects bones, dead animal/insect specimens, or even taxidermy that something "clearly" must be wrong with them.

Not true.

Speaking for myself, I do it because of my lifelong passion for science and nature. And I admit I've had a morbid curiosity since a child as well. Both, thanks to my father.

I've been collecting bones from the very young age of 7 years. I still remember the very first time I decided I needed the bones of something I found. It was a tiny dead turtle skeleton in an ant pile. In perfect, beautiful condition.

Antisocial Personality Disorder results in what is commonly known as a Sociopath or Psychopaths. Personality disorders are chronic psychological disorders, which can greatly affect a person's life.

A tell tale a sign of a future serial killer is a child who delights in torturing and killing animals. NOT one who keeps found bones because they find it interesting.

One big difference between Jeffrey Dahmer and myself is that I'd NEVER harm an animal for pleasure. I haven't even eaten meat beyond seafood for over 16 years now. Mostly because of what horrors factory farmed animals are put through.

By age 10, Dahmer was "experimenting" with dead animals, some of which he'd killed - decapitating rodents, bleaching chicken bones with acid, nailing a dog's carcass to a tree and mounting its head on a stake.

BONELUST - Video Still of Dog Head on Stake in the Backyard of Jeffrey Dahmer's Childhood Home in Bath, Ohio

Video still of dog head on stake in the backyard of Jeffrey Dahmer's childhood home in Bath, Ohio. (Still is from - Serial Killers: Profiling the Criminal Mind, 1994)

People who kill animals as adolescents often kill human beings not long after. Just as Jeffrey Dahmer did. I'm interested in seeing what happens to Tyler Weinman, the "Florida Kitty Killer", as an adult. But personally I hope he spends his remaining lifetime in jail and never gets the chance to kill again.

I don't share the personality characteristics of a sociopath. Believe me, I've unfortunately know at least a few.

When I was around 8 years old, a boy down the street was the only child in the neighborhood near my age. He showed frightening early signs in his personality of a sociopath. I remember coming over to his house and seeing him taking live lizards he had caught, cutting them open, filling them with live bees/wasps, and painting them fluorescent colors. Even at that age I knew there was something seriously wrong with him.

Studies have found that those killers who engaged in childhood acts of animal cruelty used the same method of killing on their human victims as they did on their animal victims. So I can only imagine what sort of bizarre serial killer he'd end up being.

His father let him shoot birds from their yard with a pellet gun. Which I also thought was very strange. Considering it was in a suburban neighborhood in Tampa.

I also was never a chronic bedwetter or obsessed with fire setting as a child. Those two things along with animal cruelty are three behavioral characteristics that are associated with sociopathic behavior. According to the Macdonald triad anyway.

So no worries, you can enjoy looking at my blog knowing I didn't torture or kill any animal in any way to get the bones for my collection.


SilkandBone said...

I don't think there is anything wrong with being fascinated by bones and death. Our culture shies away from (discussing) death- and this in itself is a problem, I think.
I also agree that people who start torturing and killing animals as children show signs of serious problems- sometimes developing into sociopathic behavior.

Jana Miller said...

Hi SilkandBone, thanks for stopping by!

I agree that so many people have unnatural fears of death because our society has taught us not to talk about it. Luckily my Father has always talking about it and so here I am, perfectly comfortable with death. And a morbid curiosity to boot... haha

I just found you on Etsy where I sell as well and favorited you. Beautiful pieces!

Dallas Krentzel said...

I get the weirdo/sociopath label a lot for my skull collection as well. It's a rather silly association, especially when the collection is used for scientific purposes and to help others appreciate biology.

Jana Miller said...

Yes, I find that an especially ignorant assumption considering it is for scientific/learning purposes. Thanks for stopping by Dallas, I enjoyed your bone photos on flickr and look forward to more!