Serial Killers and Alcohol (Part I)
While researches still don’t know all the factors that lead seemingly ordinary people to become serial killers, one of the most common traits found among this group of individuals is the heavy use of alcohol and/or drugs. According to Robert Ressler et al. in the 1988 publication Sexual Homicide - Patterns and Motives, about 70% of families who have raised a serial killer have had verifiable records of alcohol abuse by some member of the immediate family. John Wayne Gacy’s father was an abusive alcoholic, and Edmund Kemper recalls nights when his mother would come home “sauced.” Many serial killers tend to rely on alcohol and drugs as a coping mechanism. Jeffrey Dahmer began drinking heavily in high school to help deal with his parents’ bitter fighting. Ted Bundy used alcohol to “dampen inhibition,” and find the courage to commit petty crimes, such as theft. Some even used alcohol as a means to lure victims, such as Jeffrey Dahmer and Alexander Pichuskin.
Whatever their reasons and motivations, there is no denying that serial killers could throw a couple back with the best of them. Here is a list of a few serial killers and some of their more notable drinks of choice.
1. Jeffrey Dahmer: Rum & Coke
Jeff was a heavy drinker since high school and was known to drink various kinds of alcohol including Miller and Pabst brand beer, scotch, whiskey, and rum; however, he is most notable for the rum and coke concoctions he would offer his victims. Laced with sleeping pills, Jeff would offer this signature drink to men at gay bars, bath houses and back at his apartment before strangling and dismembering them.
2. Ted Bundy: Mickey’s Big Mouth Malt Liquor
Ted was said to have drank alcohol to dampen his inhibitions so that he had more courage to commit certain crimes, such as theft. He himself claimed that alcohol was an “important trigger” in some of his more serious crimes and that before some of the murders, he had been intoxicated beforehand. According to Miss BunnyBundy, Ted liked to drink wine, but his favorite alcoholic beverage was Mickey’s Big Mouth Malt Liquor.
3. Edmund Kemper: Tequila
“Big Ed” frequented a bar called “The Jury Room” where he befriended and drank with several members of the Santa Cruz County police department. While I’m sure Ed and his cop buddies downed many various alcoholic beverages, he was noted as taking straight shots of Tequila when hanging with the guys. Given his large frame though, it was said they had little effect on him. Maybe “one tequila, two tequila, three tequila, floor” only applies to those of us 6’1” and under.
4. John Wayne Gacy: Justerini & Brooks Scotch Whisky
John Wayne Gacy claimed that he would often black out after drinking, not remembering his actions during those times - this would be a very convenient excuse that would seemingly justify acts of homosexuality, and/or serial murder if found to be true. Which is exactly why officials attempted to confirm this claim by allowing doctors to give Mr. Gacy an electroencephalogram (EEG) while intoxicated to see the effects alcohol had on his brain while he was drunk. The drink of choice in this case was scotch, and it happened to be known that a specific brand was John’s favorite: Justerini & Brooks Scotch Whisky. Incidentally, J&B was also the preferred drink of Truman Capote and the character Patrick Bateman from American Psycho.