A TOP criminologist has revealed the three traits serial killers share before carrying out their horrific murders.
Dr Michelle McManus said animal cruelty, repressed anger and child abuse are three commonly seen signs of a murderer.
It comes after David Iwo, 23, was last week handed a life-sentence for the killing of former Crown Prosecution Service lawyer Martin Decker, 69.
Iwo told psychologists the killing lead on from his "hobby" of torturing and killing cats – and said he was "surprised" he was caught after his first murder.
Dr McManus – the head of criminal justice at Liverpool John Moores University – told the Liverpool Echo: ""In research involving serial killers, they do often have some kind of animal cruelty involved in their history and there is a degree of escalating behaviour."But that doesn't tend to come out until they speak to psychiatrists, as was the case with Iwo.
"And that makes it hard to quantify and record cruelty to pets in any kind of statistical way."
During a hearing at Preston Crown Court, Iwo dramatically sacked his legal teamand chose to represent himself – and insisted you "can't blame your parents for everything".
Dr McManus added: "What is interesting is hearing that Iwo talked about his anger towards his parents.
"There is a lot of research that has come out about Adverse Childhood Experiences and experience of childhood abuse.
"I know the court talked about robbery as a potential motive but I think it was much more an opportunity to project that anger he may have felt towards his parents.
"We know that he targeted vulnerable men and animals and that will have presented him with the opportunity.
"The attack on Martin Decker with the hammer was extremely violent.
"He also talked about how he liked to see the the harm and pain [to the owners] he caused by killing animals, and that could indicate a desire to exert control.
"That is similar to what we have seen with a lot of serial killers."
Others have highlighted a lack of empathy and rampant narcissism as a trait shared by killers.
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