Why Do Some People Marry Murderers?

A look into the minds of those who love the evil among us.

Why Do Some People Marry Murderers?
Ramirez played up to his "groupies"

Murderers are nasty, evil, dangerous individuals, they take innocent people's lives and often show no remorse for their actions. So what exactly is it that makes people fall in love with them? What does this person see that the rest of us don't and why does this happen so often?

Carole Ann Boone married Ted Bundy, one of America's most notorious serial killers, rapists, kidnappers and necrophiles during his trial in Florida. She even went as far as having a child with him.

Doreen Lioy married "The Night Stalker" Richard Ramirez in 1996. Ramirez was responsible for the death of 13 people and the rape and torture of 25. He was a murderer, rapist and a burglar. Yet Lioy was apparently so in love that she declared that she would commit suicide when he was finally executed, but Ramirez died of liver failure.

Eccentric billion Donald Lee Laisure married Susan Denise Atkins aka Sadie Mae Glutz. Atkins, a member of Charles Manson's "family" was involved in the murders of at least 8 people including the famous Tate/LaBianca murders. Atkins had the marriage annulled when, according to sources close to her, she found out that he wasn't as wealthy as he had claimed and that he had apparently been married 35 times. She married again in 87, this time to James Whitehouse, a Harvard Law student 15 years her junior and they remained married until her death in 2009.

So what is the motivation behind this behavior? Why would someone want to start a romantic relationship with a cold blooded killer?


Fame and Notoriety

One of the most psychologically simple explanations for this behavior is the pursuit of fame and attention. This person wants to be noticed and remembered, and what better way to do this than to do something as controversial as date or marry a murderer. This is incredibly self serving behavior, and it shows a great deal of callousness and a complete lack of empathy for the victims of their "true love's" crimes.

For these types of people, the more notorious the murderer and the more horrific the crimes, the better because even if the murderer gets executed, the spouse will still remain famous and the subject of a lot of attention. There will always be someone who will pay big bucks for an "inside look" at a murderer.


Despite all evidence to the contrary, some people actually believe these murderers are innocent and that they are nothing more than victims of the justice system. Why they believe this remains a mystery, but some people refuse to be swayed, even in cases where the murderer confesses.


Danger and rebellion have always seemed appealing, but the love of "bad boys/girls" can even extend to murderers. There is an element of danger about becoming involved with a murderer, they are violent, unstable people. But conversely, this could possibly be one of the "safest" relationships possible. All communications are monitored, and if visits are allowed, they are done so under close observation. And since only 4 states allow conjugal visits, there is virtually no chance of physical intimacy.

This has to be one of the most extreme ways to push the boundaries and go against the "norms" of society without actually breaking the law, these people are essentially living vicariously through the murderer.

Changing the Murderer

Some people are under the impression that their love and influence would be so strong that it could change the murderer and make them into a good person. They think that all they need is someone who understands them and wants to take care of them. They genuinely think that there is a tender, caring side to the serial killer that can only be brought about by their love. They will so almost anything that is asked of them to prove that they understand the murderer.

Constant Attention and Admiration

Prisoners have nothing but time to dedicate to someone, they can give their undivided attention to whoever writes to them and for someone that feels lonely, this can make them feel wanted again. The attention might be coming from a dangerous killer, but it is still attention and this is all some people care about.


Childhood Abuse

Childhood abuse is common amongst those who get romantically involved with murderers. It is theorized that this is because some abuse victims gravitate towards aggressive people. This is not because they want to be abused again, it is because it is familiar to them, it's what they have known from a very young age, but now they stand no chance of being physically hurt by the person.


Hybristophilia is a paraphilia (sexual perversion/deviation) part of which means an individual is aroused by someone who has committed a violent crime.

Every individual will be unique in their reasons for becoming involved with a killer, but whatever their reasons, their lack of empathy for the killer's victims is worrying, and something that I believe should be closely monitored.

Claire Raymond
Claire Raymond
Read next: 'Chocolate Kisses'
Claire Raymond

I have been a writer for 14 years now, I'll figure it out one day.

See all posts by Claire Raymond