Dr Charlotte O. Kwakye-Nuako, Clinical Psychologist and Lawyer, Department of Forensic Sciences, University of Cape Coast, has called for the use of psychological assessment tools to measure and understand the motives and behaviours of persons who commit heinous crimes.
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She said interrogations and investigations on the causes of the acts of violent offenders such as serial killers were necessary to prevent future occurrences.
Dr Kwakye-Nuako in an interview with the Ghana News Agency said human beings were valuable, therefore, for another to degrade one in such a cruel manner required assessment to ascertain what could be wrong with the brain of the killer.
She said society downplayed the behaviours of violent offenders by attributing their actions to demons and concentrated on only counselling sessions for families of victims and leave out the perpetrators and it was time more work was done on them.
The Clinical Psychologist said serial killers usually targeted weak people including; children, women and the aged, and were sometimes unsuspecting members of communities who had all forms of relations with community members.
According to her, some of the reasons why people committed violent offences could be traced to their childhood experiences, a need for revenge against a society they believed had not been kind to them or some other factors that were likely to be revealed through a psychological evaluation.
Dr Kwakye-Nuako observed that society elevated people with wealth and the way it attributed people’s successes to money could inform the decision of the killers.
She said the perpetrators could engage in such atrocities for reasons such as money rituals, organ harvesting, or for fun especially if they were psychopaths who were unsympathetic and lacked empathy.
Dr Kwakye-Nuako attributed some behaviours of such violent offenders to social factors such as movies on television revealing dubious means of acquiring wealth, although the end usually had lessons to teach.
She said some people who were desperate for riches would ignore the lessons and follow the evil means to riches and noted that advertisements on the television and radio on means of acquiring wealth could also entice and influence people to be serial killers.
According to her, research had revealed that some serial killers suffered mental illness after committing the crime of killing, while others were adversely affected in other ways.
The Clinical Psychologist stated that the effects of serial killings on society were enormous, including; panic and fear in the society, where members were careful about their surroundings with a negative impact on socio-economic development.