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Inside the minds of predators who dismember victims, like in the Shraddha Walker case

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New Delhi, Nov 22: As the gruesome details continue to emerge each day in the Shraddha Walkar murder case sending shock waves across the country, it becomes imperative to understand what goes on in the darkest corners of the minds of such murderers when they do the unimaginable.

While the media has termed Aftab Amin Poonawala, who has emerged as psychological killer of sorts, as 'the Butcher of Delhi', 'Indian predator' or Delhi 'Dexter', the question remains-- why did he went to such lows after committing the murder? The macabre manner in which the crime was committed has left many of us disturbed and with questions.

Inside the minds of predators who dismember victims, like in the Shraddha Walker case

This 'Butcher of Delhi' strangled his girlfriend to death, then dismembered her body before disposing of the pieces in the Mehrauli forest. It's true that he appears to be a fan of the American TV show Dexter; he apparently got the idea to clean the blood-stained floor with some chemicals and disposed of the stained clothing after the grisly murder. Aftab had chalked out a proper plan to keep her mortal remains unretrievable, was fortunately arrested. The crime also brings back memories of several other shocking crimes committed by the likes of Raja Kolander aka Ram Niranjan, Surinder Koli and Chandrakant Jha.

<strong>'Killed in spur of moment': Aftab tells court as Delhi court extends police custody by 4 days</strong> 'Killed in spur of moment': Aftab tells court as Delhi court extends police custody by 4 days

Explaining the convict's motive behind such a gruesome killing, Wanlop Piyamanotham, a psychologist told the Nation Thailand that according to studies, murderers who dismember their victims are characterised by a form of subconscious cruelty and can be divided into three different categories.

  • Prior experience with dismemberment
  • people who have experienced trauma
  • psychotic episodes

Prior experience with dismemberment:

The first suggested in this category as explained by Wanlop are those who have had prior experience with dismemberment, such as medical professionals or butchers. These criminals may also become desensitised over the period of time to the act of dismemberment even if the corpse is human. Put simply, they have become so used to this act that irrespective of the body, they can perform the dismemberment without attaching any emotions to it.

Shraddha Walker murder case: CCTV footage shows Aftab carrying bag outside his homeShraddha Walker murder case: CCTV footage shows Aftab carrying bag outside his home

People who have experienced trauma:

People who have suffered trauma of some sort such as being assaulted, piled-up grudges, often suppress pain and rage, are the second category of this subconscious cruelty. These victims might later in life commit crimes to release these hidden feelings.

Psychotic episodes:

According to Wanlop, persons suffering from acute psychotic episodes associated with rage are the third group.

What about Aftab:

In the case of Shraddha murder case, Aftab had admitted in the court today that 'he committed the crime in a fit of rage.' He further said that cooperating in the investigation and is having difficulty recalling the incident.

Another report in news agency PTI stated that lower anger tolerance, piled-up grudges, and lack of communication are some of the reasons that drive such violent crimes.

Forensic psychologist Deepti Puranik told PTI that for somebody to be caught in a fit of rage so intense to kill their partner, one has to look at the increasingly lowering levels of tolerance among people.

Puranik said,"We find it often these days that people get stressed out easily, they are not able to tolerate frustration. And there is certainly a lack of communication. Instead of communicating and resolving the issue, they are resorting to fighting. People usually avoid communicating, nobody wants to sit down and listen."

Shraddha Walkar murder: Cops find part of skull, bones in forestShraddha Walkar murder: Cops find part of skull, bones in forest

Smita Pandey, Associate Dean, School of Behavioural Science, National Forensic Sciences University (NFSU) said,''Piling issues, old grudges, and an anti-social lifestyle can lead to a sudden burst of anger in some people.''

Pandey said,"Lately, people are not able to forgive small issues that happen in daily life. They keep piling up and the grudges are kept alive. People are also leading an anti-social lifestyle. All of it can result in a fit of rage that they cannot control their anger."

She further said that there is no recourse for anger management and there is a visible lack of communication in such cases.

The Bottom Line

Data tells us that most people convicted of serial killer already had a violent streak or were mentally unstable before they began killing. The environment also plays a role in the making of a serial killer and violent people are often the product of violent experiences in the past. But a genetic predisposition to brutality and barbarism must not be ignored.

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