Boards are fundraising to help the people of Ukraine via the Red Cross at this horrific time. Please donate and share if you can, you will find the link here. Many thanks.

Have you ever had Sympathy for a prostitute or a serial killer?

  • 24-08-2021 3:00pm
    Registered Users Posts: 10,793 ✭✭✭✭ AMKC

    I ask this because I am watching a program on Aileen Wournos. She killed seven men in a year and yes it was not right what she done but at the same time fair play to her.

    I have some sympathy for her because of how she was brought up. She was a buses by her Grandparents and then made homeless when her Grandmother died because the grandfather blamed her and she was only 15 at this time still a girl basically but she had already been pregnant and had a baby at 14 as well as selling her body for sex. She done this because of the way she was treated so yes I have sympathy for her.



  • Registered Users Posts: 7,594 ✭✭✭ Fann Linn

    Hitler was a good man, give him his due.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,807 ✭✭✭ ShatterAlan

    People who don't feel sympathy for someone's circumstances or more accurately vilify them are essentially frightened of the thought of exploring a deeper level of humanity. It terrifies them so they slam the shutters down and effectively engage in victim blaming.

  • Advertisement
  • Registered Users Posts: 7,312 ✭✭✭ Ray Palmer

    I think it is more fundamental than that. Some people never learn deductive reasoning and are emotionally stunted on top and very likely to encourage the same mentality in their own children.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,073 ✭✭✭ Jequ0n

    I’ll never understand why people think that the ability to sympathise/ empathise is so important.

    You can either feel it (so some extent maybe) or you can’t. Doesn’t change a thing at the end of the day though.

  • Advertisement
  • Registered Users Posts: 19,833 ✭✭✭✭ One eyed Jack

    Being expected to have sympathy for either prostitutes or serial killers, or serial killers who engage in prostitution, is just not something I’m bothered to do tbh. I wouldn’t have sympathy for anyone who chooses to enter into prostitution, or kills anyone else, never mind several people, regardless of how they attempt to justify their behaviour. It’s an excuse, not a justification.

    Using that rationale, it would stand to reason that anyone who experiences abuse as children is more likely to become a serial killer or engage in prostitution, or both, and it simply isn’t the case for people who choose to become either serial killers or people who choose to engage in prostitution, that they had any sort of ill experiences in childhood which led them directly to becoming either serial killers, prostitutes, or both.

    Certainly I would have sympathy for anyone who experienced a difficult childhood, but using their difficult childhood to justify their behaviour as adults? I don’t think so.

  • Registered Users Posts: 10,793 ✭✭✭✭ AMKC

    I was not trying to compare them. I just used both because this Women was a prostitute before she became a serial killer. She got death by lethal injection in the end. Not a nice way to die but I suppose after coldly shooting 7 men she deserved it. She had a horrible upbringing do.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,344 ✭✭✭ Montage of Feck

    The unibomber wasn't half wrong to be fair to him just his methods were a bit extreme.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,307 ✭✭✭ SoulWriter

  • Registered Users Posts: 14,939 ✭✭✭✭ klaz

    Serial killer job breakdown

    • Top 3 Skilled Serial-Killer Occupations: 1. Aircraft machinist/assembler; 2. Shoemaker/repair person; 3. Automobile upholsterer
    • Top 3 Semi-Skilled Serial Killer Occupations: 1. Forestry worker/arborist; 2. Truck driver; 3. Warehouse manager
    • Top 3 Unskilled Serial Killer Occupations: 1. General laborer (mover, landscaper, et. al.); 2. Hotel porter; 3. Gas station attendant
    • Top 3 Professional/Government Serial Killer Occupations: 1. Police/security official; 2. Military personnel; 3. Religious official

    [Although, the logic of the breakdown is rather creepy in itself]

    Strangely enough, prostitution doesn't seem to appear that much.

    Although for female serial killers, there's no similar analysis, although I did find this (pages 213/214 caught my eye):

    "It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it." - Aristotle 

  • Registered Users Posts: 16,002 ✭✭✭✭ Sleeper12

    Yeah, I only clicked the thread because I was shocked that someone would compare someone working in the sex industry & a serial killer. Serial killer will get at least one life sentence if caught. Call girl won't have any charges let alone convictions for her work

  • Registered Users Posts: 68,244 ✭✭✭✭ seamus

    Serial Killers are placed into a special compartment in my brain. You have "ordinary" murderers, the likes of Graham whatshisface. People who kill a single person out of malice/hate/whatever and cover it up. The level of cruelty and detachment is huge, but at a fundamental level they tend to be "normal" people who have committed a murder for whatever reason. I have only disgust for them.

    Serial killers though are on a whole other level. They cannot be considered "normal" by any stretch of the imagination. They can be insanely intelligent and socially aware, but the extremes of cruelty and detachment they display to their victims and to the rest of society as a whole, can really only be explained by the individual being badly "broken" at a fundamental level.

    Do I feel sorry for them? Not in the slightest. But I don't really consider them fully "human". In the same way that you don't feel angry at a wild animal for killing someone or doing damage, you accept that this is just what they are. And you take whatever measures are needed to contain them and protect everyone else.

  • Registered Users Posts: 7,312 ✭✭✭ Ray Palmer

    Most serial killers are below average intelligence you have been sucked into the media made belief they are all super smart. They are as human as anyone else and that you can determine they are sub-human actually suggest psychopathy in you. The fact you can believe a person is damaged and don't care how they became damaged and how to prevent it happening to others suggests you lack basic empathy which again indicates psychopathy. You should look it up as it doesn't mean what you think it does as it doesn't mean you are a danger to others.

    You can mistreat 2 dogs and one will be a cowering mess and the other vicious snarling beast. Both are victims of abuse one is just easier to have sympathy for and the same applies to people. Nice and easy to say lock them up and never help them especially if you arleady decided they are subhuman. It is the same excuse people have used for genocide and war.

  • Registered Users Posts: 35,321 ✭✭✭✭ ohnonotgmail

    The only reason he didnt end up as a serial killer is because he got caught after the first one. He would have found another vulnerable victim sooner or later and did the same.

  • Advertisement
  • Registered Users Posts: 2,073 ✭✭✭ Jequ0n

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,073 ✭✭✭ Jequ0n

    Genuine question and not meant as a challenge: why would you feel sympathy for someone who messed up their life and has to suffer the consequences? I struggle with that concept

  • Registered Users Posts: 12,104 ✭✭✭✭ mrcheez

    The title of your post says "prostitute or a serial killer" in other words you're asking 2 questions

    "Have you ever had Sympathy for a prostitute"

    "Have you ever had Sympathy for a serial killer"

    What you probably meant to ask was "prostitue AND and serial killer" ?!? But still the prostitute aspect is irrelevant

  • Registered Users Posts: 7,312 ✭✭✭ Ray Palmer

    How do you know they messed up their life? Lets say that women was rapped by multiple family members from the age of 4 till 16 when she ran away from home and turned to drugs then prostitution to pay for her habit. Still no sympathy from you?

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,073 ✭✭✭ Jequ0n

    Well no, why? It’s still ultimately their choice what she does with her life?

  • Registered Users Posts: 8,011 ✭✭✭ PlentyOhToole

    I think we’re always in the pursuit of explanation of the human condition when faced with terrible crimes such as serial killing etc maybe we’re in a state of denial that such a thing could occur by “rational” human beings who hold down jobs mortgages even marriages - I guess the truth is human beings are capable of all sorts of terrible things- we use terms like “evil” but that’s because we’ve no other words to describe their actions.

    As regards sympathy or empathy, I think these are strong words to use- I guess where a criminals background has been detailed and it’s been nearly as horrific as the crime they committed , maybe I’d stretch to “understanding” - it still doesn’t mean I think the perpetrator should walk free but I’m not a fan of “burn them at the stake” sort of approach some people are. I’d prefer to focus on how can we make society better, and how can we prevent people with potentially a predisposition to carry out “evil” acts to refrain from doing so.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,975 ✭✭✭ Fandymo

    He killed that b*stard Hitler, but no one ever gives him the credit he deserves for that!!

  • Registered Users Posts: 35,321 ✭✭✭✭ ohnonotgmail

    Of course it is an assumption. I didn't know him personally. but the manner of the murder suggests he was unlikely to stop after one.

  • Registered Users Posts: 7,312 ✭✭✭ Ray Palmer

    That is psychotic. At what point of being 4 did she choose to be rapped? Say if nobody ever taught you to read or write growing up, would it be your fault you couldn't read or write at 16? Would it effect your choices going forward? Now apply that to any knowledge you should get growing up including sexual consent and self esteem

  • Advertisement
  • Registered Users Posts: 7,312 ✭✭✭ Ray Palmer

    You can have both empathy and sympathy for somebody and still think they need to be in prison and a danger to others. There is no need to exclude the feelings and healthy thoughts