As much as we all agree that crime is just, like, the worst, there's still something romantic about being an outlaw -- hell, most beloved TV shows out there star soulless, piece-of-shit lowlifes like gangsters, drug dealers, and Alf. There's a part of us that admires those who boldly break the rules set by The Man and live their lives any goddamn way they want, the way our forefathers intended. Well, before you quit your job at Kinko's to go all Thelma & Louise, we should clear up a few misconceptions for you ...
6 Most Serial Killers Are Dumber Than Average People
If there's anything we know about serial killers, it's that a) they're always smarter than everyone around them and b) the only thing more disappointing than their behavior is their series finale. The whole genius part isn't all that surprising; murder is a relatively difficult crime to get away with, what with dead bodies presenting something of a red flag to the average passerby. To be able to get away with it over and over again and outwit detectives who do nothing but track killers for a living, surely these serial killers must be on the upper end of the brain scale, right?
Dino de Laurentiis Company
"It's pronounced Sartre, actually."
Nope, not really: A study of over 2,600 serial killers found that they were no smarter than your everyday idiot, with an average IQ of 94.7. This makes a lot of sense when you consider how the most famous ones got caught: Charles Manson was found hiding under a sink. John Wayne Gacy voluntarily went through a Secret Service background check to get a photo taken with the First Lady, and miraculously passed it ... only to later get smashed and confess to his lawyer. The BTK killer was arrested after believing police when they said they couldn't trace a floppy disk. Jeffrey Dahmer was discovered because he left Polaroids of his murders lying around his house. Ted Bundy escaped twice, but that also means he got caught three times (stupidly on each occasion). And so on. Even Assassin's Creed players know to keep their head down after they've stabbed someone in the throat.
Maybe Dexter is more realistic than we thought.
So, how do these dopes manage to kill over and over again when so many murderers are caught on the first try? Well, most murders are committed by people the victim knows, so police can usually narrow the list of suspects down pretty quickly (it's usually people's spouses, or their butlers). Since serial killers tend to be random in their choice of victims, it makes it much harder to connect a person with the crime. Some are actually caught when they themselves start giving evidence to the police, in an effort to taunt them. Again: dopes.
The one exception to the intelligence thing appears to be serial killers who use bombs. They actually tallied an average IQ of 140, because working with explosives and fuses apparently requires a little bit of know-how. In short, don't worry about the creepy, brainy kid who keeps lighting pentagrams on your lawn, but keep an eye on the one who keeps stealing your egg timers.
5 Hitmen Are Usually Regular Schlubs
20th Century Fox
If the criminal underworld was a high school, hitmen would be the star quarterback. Brilliant, precise, lethal, and always well-dressed, hitmen reign supreme. Just look at Leon, Agent 47, Jules and Vincent, or even Mr. and Mrs. Smith -- all of them are masters of their craft and look cool doing it.
This lesser-known British one is kinda neat too, we guess.
Of course, the reason movies make them look so awesome is to make up for the fact that the reality is so utterly boring. A U.K. study of hitmen showed that the stereotype of the suit-wearing, surgical, master assassin is far from the truth. Most hitmen are average Joes (apart from killing people for money) with fewer assassin skills than the average Blood Money player.
Movies portray contract killers as jet-setting off to exotic locales to ply their trade, but in truth, hitmen are usually first-time, local individuals who are so hard up for money they can't even leave the area after the kill. Incidentally, they also get caught a lot. Instead of killing for political motives or as a part of a vast conspiracy, most of their contracts are for dull stuff like life insurance payouts and bad business deals. And since most hitmen are rookies who are hired opportunistically, their wet work tends to be correspondingly shoddy, like the Jamaican killer who accepted a contract but didn't go through with it because he decided the victim was rather nice.
The most experienced hitman in the study only had six kills under his belt. Another pair of would-be assassins boldly walked into a bar and opened fire on their targets, only for the bar patrons to shoot back, killing both of them.
Which makes The Simpsons the most accurate thing here.
In other words, it's less like the opening scene from Wanted and more like the Three Stooges trying to bake a cake.
But at least the money is good, right? Well, the average hit was contracted for $25,000, but it turns out the type of person who will hire a hitman also tends to be the type who will stiff you on the bill, because the average payout is only $5,400. You'd be better off robbing a bank. Which isn't saying much, either ...