Investigators and true crime authors spend countless hours trying to figure out serial killers' motives and methods. But instead of studying crime patterns and victim types, maybe they should take a quick look at the perpetrators' Myers-Briggs types.
Much like looking at serial killers' zodiac signs, the Myers-Briggs test can give fresh insight into how a murderer's mind ticks. The test takes a look at four different personality categories: Introverted (I) or Extroverted (E); Intuitive (N) or Sensing (S); Thinking (T) or Feeling (F); and Judging (J) or Perceiving (P). Stereotypes for criminals definitely exist, but these fictional killers as Myers-Briggs types prove that they're not all cut from the same cloth.
While it may seem like most killers fall under the umbrella of introversion, there are some outwardly extroverted, charming killers, like Patrick Bateman in American Psycho. Some are meticulous, sure, but others can't resist a quick, impulsive kill – just ask Mallory Knox from Natural Born Killers.
ENFJs are people people. They are imaginative and love to live in the moment. They have a knack for relating to others, and in general have a high moral aptitude.
Hannibal Lecter, perhaps the most famous fictional serial killer, has appeared in a plethora of novels, films, and a television series. When most people think of Lecter, they think about Anthony Hopkins's Academy Award-winning performance from the 1991 movie The Silence of the Lambs.
In the film, Lecter treats FBI rookie Clarice Starling (Jodie Foster) like a gentleman would, despite the fact that he's locked up in a cage and is constantly on the brink of biting off a guard's entire face. Prior to his incarceration, Lecter was a practicing psychiatrist with a clear set of moral values. He is totally charming and winning, just like a good ENFJ, minus his whole desire to kill and eat people.
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ENTJs are born leaders and like to take the reins. They seek out personal challenges in order to find out how far they can push themselves. They think logically, speak clearly, and are intelligent.
Patrick Batemen (Christian Bale) from American Psycho (2000) is an uber-successful corporate businessman. He's the stereotypical '80s Wall Street yuppie who dresses in designer suits, and nothing is more important than his social status.
In between vigorous workouts and passive aggressive business card comparisons, Bateman meticulously plans out and executes his crimes. The ending of American Psycho is open to interpretation – maybe Bateman was delusional this whole time – but if you ask him or any other ENTJ, things are going exactly as planned.
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ISTP - Paul Spector
A person with an ISTP label is hard to figure out, even to the people who supposedly know them best. They are known to hide who they really are to the outside world. For the most part, ISTPs are logical, but they are known to hop into things spontaneously every once in a while.
Paul Spector (Jamie Dornan) from the British television series The Fall is probably the last person you would think to be a serial killer. He is handsome, has a steady job as a bereavement counselor, and is a loving father and husband.
But Paul has a secret past, one that is filled with abuse. In order to act out his rage, he stalks and brutally murders young women. When his wife finds out about his crimes, she is absolutely stunned. Friends and significant others of ISTP folks can probably relate, as these crafty introverts have a knack for surprising everyone.
ESFJs are the popular types. They are natural leaders who are completely charismatic and totally beloved. If any personality type is charming enough to earn a cult following, it's an ESFJ.
Joe Carroll (James Purefoy) from the TV series The Following loves to bathe in the spotlight. This college professor is able to amass a literal cult following, and his fawning students help execute his sinister and psychotic deeds. Viewers may realize they are supposed to actively root against him, but Carroll's ESFJ charm is difficult to resist.see more on Joe Carroll