Rex Heuermann Once 'Hunted' Co-worker on Cruise Ship, Just Because

Sep 19, 2023, 01:00 PM

"What drives a man to stalk a colleague on a cruise just to showcase his hunting prowess?" In a gripping episode of the "Hidden Killers" podcast with Tony Brueski, retired FBI Special Agent Robin Dreeke delves deep into the bizarre behaviors exhibited by alleged serial killers like Heuermann. The conversation sheds light on the complex dynamics of grandiosity, obsession, and the haunting concept of 'leakage'.
 Heuermann's reported stalking of a female colleague on a cruise ship was described by Brueski as "one of the strangest things a female colleague could hear from their boss or co-worker." For Dreeke, Heuermann's actions were indicators of a more sinister pattern, stemming from "grandiosity... going toward sensationalism." He posits that while serial killers may momentarily cease their lethal activities, they never truly suppress their darker impulses. This, Dreeke suggests, was Heuermann's way of "satisfying his crazy impulses."
 The duo discussed the puzzling reality where some serial killers can remain dormant for prolonged periods, only to suddenly act on their uncontrollable urges. Brueski drew an unorthodox analogy between serial killers and a chocolate chip cookie. He elaborated, "The victims are the cookie... they can smell the cookie. But they don't always have to eat it." The idea is that serial killers may sometimes be content with the mere anticipation or the thrill of the hunt, without actually committing the crime. But, there are times when the urge becomes overpowering, leading them to act on it, despite knowing the risks and the moral atrocity of their actions.
 Dreeke introduced the term 'leakage' to describe the manifestation of these uncontrollable impulses in other inappropriate ways. Such individuals, lacking empathy and the ability to truly connect, often remain oblivious to their impact on others. They misinterpret reactions and cues from those around them. Dreeke pointed out how someone like Heuermann could mistake a colleague's polite laughter or acquiescence as genuine interest or playfulness. Such misinterpretations could lead to escalations in their behavior.
 Brueski expressed that Heuermann's actions may stem from a misplaced desire to display power and strength, failing to understand the level of discomfort or fear he may induce in others. This behavior seemed consistent with reports from prostitutes who described Heuermann's actions as 'strange'.
 The conversation naturally progressed to the mystifying pattern observed in Heuermann's interactions with prostitutes: why were some murdered while others were spared? Dreeke theorizes that the initial impulse was never murder but rather the fulfillment of a twisted fantasy. He added, "At a certain point when the fantasy without killing cannot be satisfied, it's gonna escalate." Brueski suggested that it might be a combination of timing, unsatisfied cravings, and the specific individual Heuermann interacted with that determined the outcome.
 In conclusion, the episode provided a riveting look into the intricate dynamics governing the behaviors of individuals like Heuermann. The insights shared by Dreeke, with his vast experience in the field, paint a chilling picture of the unpredictable and often inexplicable nature of serial killers. The conversation serves as a poignant reminder of the lurking darkness within the human psyche and the boundaries it can push when left unchecked.
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