Why some women have a fetish for serial killers

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Joran van der Sloot has bragged about the number of love letters and marriage proposals he’s received since confessing to killing Stephany Flores. Carole Boone married Ted Bundy and conceived his child after he was convicted of serial killing. While the mere idea of dating a known murderer repulses most, some women browse PrisonPenPals.com, WriteaPrisoner.com, ConvictMailbag.com, and Meet-an-Inmate.com, as if they were dating sites.

In an article for AlterNet.com, Anneli Rufus's analyzes what exactly these women find so appealing about convicts.

It's no secret that the image of a bad-boy is a turn-on for many women. Being a convicted murderer takes this

rebel identity to the extreme. Perhaps these women think of themselves as "bad" by association or for breaking the taboo of dating a convict. These women may even view these men as exciting, passionate, and misunderstood. Some women view themselves as social outcasts and look to these ultimate social outcasts for comfort and solidarity.

Dating an inmate may also be an ego boost for socially unsuccessful women. While they may have difficulty with real world dating scenarios, these women may have tremendous success with men in prison. These men often even develop intense and real feelings for their women on the outside. Dating an inmate also gives these women a boyfriend they can brag about to friends. And just as some people constantly complain about ailments to get sympathy, these women may use their difficult relationships as a source of pity.

High profile murderers like Sloot become pop culture celebrities. By contacting these men, women hope to gain some of that celebrity. The "Night Stalker" Richard Ramirez, who killed 13 in a 1985, still receives bags full of mail 21 years after entering death row — and 13 years after marrying someone who wrote him 75 letters. Scott Peterson got a marriage proposal his first hour on death row. These women may never get the attention of a Hollywood celebrity, but they very well may get a response from these deadly celebrities.

Others get off on thinking they can be the ones to save these killers. They want the ego trip of being the only person who reaches their dark souls.

Unfortunately a high percentage of these women have suffered from domestic violence and seek a relationship with a convict as it gives them a sense of control. The inmate is almost entirely dependent on them, so these women have the power. Also, these women tend to think these men couldn't possibly cheat on them, though the prisoners are often in contact with countless other women.

Problems arise when the perversions of these criminal mind's extend outside of their incarceration. Some of these men are expert con artists and manipulators who can exploit these women for money, to help with an escape plan, or to commit other crimes. The Hillside Strangler, Kenneth Bianchi convinced Veronica Lynn Compton to stage a murder and plant his semen on the body to make it look as though the real Strangler was still loose.

Then there's the danger of these women suffering from the violence that put these men behind bars. Katrina Montgomery developed a relationship with a convict who was released only to rape her and stab her in the neck.

Read more at AlterNet.com

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