12 Psychological Reasons Why Some Women Love Talking To Murderers In Prison

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woman keeping a secret

Serial killers are kind of fascinating, aren't they?

For many of us, when we learn that a woman has fallen in love with a murderer or has become romantically drawn to a serial killer, we question the reasons why and wonder about her upbringing.

Did she grow up with a father in the home? Did she have a dysfunctional childhood?

It's hard for most people to understand the romantic attraction to a dangerous person like a serial killer. How can a person be so drawn to someone who's capable of taking the life of another?

RELATED: Here's Why Serial Killers & True Crime Stories Are So Fascinating, According To A Psychologist

There 12 possible psychological reasons why many women fall in love with serial killers.

1. They have a fascination or attraction to the murderer’s media attention.

Many serial killers — especially those who have committed violent crimes that included high media attention — tend to attract the attention of women.

Experts believe that some women's motives may include the desire for fame — by proxy or association.

2. They believe they can rehabilitate the killer and "tame the savage beast."

Many mental health professionals believe that women who love talking to and engaging with serial killers and murderers are fulfilling an unmet need.

Some theorize that these women feel they can "tame the savage beast," or see beyond the exterior to a person who's just a product of their environment.

3. They see the "innocent child" that the killer once was.

Joyce Mitchell, a prison employee, helped two convicted murderers, Richard Matt and David Sweat, escape the prison where she worked.

Mitchell insisted that there was "more to the men than their convictions" and that they weren’t monsters.

She also informed officials, when they learned of her involvement in Matt and Sweat’s, escape that Matt "made her feel special" — he made her feel like no one else had.

According to Mitchell, Matt wasn’t the cold-blooded murderer he was portrayed to be in the media.

4. They can trust the murderer not to cheat, as they know where they are at all times.

Oscar Ray Bolin Jr., a serial killer convicted of raping and murdering three young women in separate incidents in the Tampa Bay area in 1986, married his public defender Rosalie Martinez.

Martinez was once married to an attorney and had four children. However, after she met Bolin, who was on death row in 1995, she left her husband for him. Martinez and Bolin married that same year, over the phone.

According to Martinez, Bolin was not a killer, but a man struggling with loneliness and isolation. Martinez felt the "spark" between her and Bolin during their initial meeting as he left her "breathless."

Martinez believed so much in Bolin’s innocence that she decided to dedicate her life to fighting "injustices" and bringing awareness to innocent people being incarcerated for crimes they didn't commit.

5. They don't have the demands of a traditional relationship.

There's no checking in nor accountability when your partner is in prison.

Ted Bundy, an American serial killer and rapist, was one of the most notorious criminals of the late 20th century, known to have killed at least 36 women in the 1970s.

Considering the heinous crimes he committed against women, one would assume that women would be scared of him, or at least not inclined to be attracted to him.

You would be wrong.

Carol Ann Boone became Ted Bundy’s girlfriend while he went through his legal proceedings in Florida. She took every opportunity to describe how he was being "unfairly railroaded."

Although Bundy was convicted of the murders, Boone maintained her stance of his innocence. Boone testified on his behalf during the trial and married him after he had been found guilty of the charges.

They exploited an old law and married in the courtroom, just before he received a death sentence. Boone had a child with Bundy, but eventually moved away.

6. They have a fanaticism or infatuation with killers.

Everyone is a fan of something or someone that fascinates us. But sometimes, it's taken to the next level. 

Just like people who claim to be in love with certain celebrities, some people "fall in love" with serial killers. 

7. They have low self-esteem.

Women who are drawn to murders typically struggle with low self-esteem and self-doubt.

There's a need to be "seen" and acknowledged when there are fears or suspicions of being "unseen," not good enough, or unworthy.

Some theorists suggest that the attraction to notorious serial killers offers some women the thrill of fame. And there's also the aspect of being attracted to danger and the "bad boy."

RELATED: What Makes Someone Become A Serial Killer

8. They are naturally drawn to "dominant" men. 

Primate research suggests that females prefer the larger, louder, more aggressive males who show clear markers of their maleness and dominance.

9. They have difficulty finding and securing love in "normal ways."

Some women are driven by strong unconscious forces to fix or save a criminal from their flaws, due to an unconscious way of dealing with childhood emotional wounds within themselves.

10. They are love-avoidant or sexually challenged.

Due to the fact that they can't fulfill certain needs in a relationship, they choose to seek romantic relationships that cannot be consummated.

Restrictions of physical contact in prison seem to unintentionally contribute to an even more intense previously unmet intimacy.

11. They believe their love can transform the murderer. 

From aggressive, cruel, and cunning, they'll become caring and passionate.

Women who find themselves falling in love with a murderer often make significant sacrifices. They put money in their commissary, write multiple letters professing their love, and, sometimes, sit for hours every week to await the brief face-to-face visit in prison.

These women may even sacrifice their careers, families, friends, or current romantic relationships to be near who they perceive to be their "soulmate."

12. They are attracted or erotically stimulated by dangerous individuals. 

This is called hybristophilia. And the offender doesn't need to be physically attractive to land a potential mate.

For example, Henry Lee Lucas, the one-eyed drifter who confessed to hundreds of murders across the nation but later recanted, had several female admirers after his conviction.

Despite his supposed sexual relationship with drifter Ottis Toole, he was apparently still compelling as a mate.

One married woman even devised a plot to free him by posing as his supposedly murdered former girlfriend — a girl that Lucas had confessed to strangling and cutting into pieces.

Whatever the psychological dynamic, the most dangerous males in a prison, if also media-genic, will likely draw women who hope to become their mate or partner.

RELATED: About That Time I Dated A Probable Serial Killer I Met On Tinder

Dr. Tarra Bates-Duford is a psychologist who has engaged in extensive work and research on familial relationships, family trauma, and dysfunctions. To know more, visit Family Matters Counseling Group.