Cyprus, in its troubled past is no stranger to violence and mass killings and in modern times, plenty of murders, but the idea that Cyprus might be seeing its first recorded serial killer has gripped people, with horrified fascination.
The biggest question that comes in mind in almost all killings is motive, the ‘why’ when someone takes the life of another. But health psychologist Theano Kalavana told the Cyprus Mail, when it comes to serial killers, there is no motive as such because it’s about the act of killing and not about ending the life of another over a grievance, money, love an argument, or to get them out of the way for some reason – the usual reasons people kill.
Technically a male serial killer must have murdered three women to be placed in that category of killer. With strong suspicions that there are more bodies in the Mitsero mine shaft, it looks increasingly likely this is what authorities are dealing with.
Kalavana said that in the case of serial killers, the method is almost always the same as such characters are ritualistic. In the current case, both women were found naked and bound and it appears as if the killer had sex with them before strangling them, or during intercourse.
“It appears in this case that the killer falls under the category of sexual psychopath,” said the psychologist. Sexual psychopaths kill at the moment of orgasm, Kalavana said as it heightens the enjoyment for them.
She also said there appeared however to be a second aspect in this instance and that was the fact he chose foreign women either because he perceived they would not be missed or looked for as much, or because in his mind he was “clearing the country of these people”, in other words, it had a racist component “a mission”, and he did not choose the women because he was attracted to them.
“Serial killers also have rituals and signatures,” said Kalavana. In these cases, the women were naked and bound.
“There is no sense of morality, no remorse. Psychopathy is all about obsession,” she added. “Psychopaths are also very intelligent.”
Kalavana said the first stages of taking action for them involves fantasising or visualising about killing, and step by step they move towards taking action to fulfill the fantasy. They might take photos of where they would dump the body for instance and imagine how they would get rid of it and also take photos afterwards. They use these again and again to relive the experience until it fades and after a while, weeks, or months, they have to go out and kill again.
In the current investigation one of the victims went missing in May last year, and the second some four months later in July. If the psychology of the killer repeating the experience is accurate, it could mean there were at least two more victims over the past nine months. Such a timeframe would also tie in with another woman’s disappearance in December 2017.
Until last week’s gruesome discoveries, the closest Cyprus has come to such a case were the murders of Ukrainian artiste Oxana Lisna, 20, and Swedish housewife Christina Ahfeldt, 28, over 25 years ago.
Lisna’s battered body was discovered down a well near Livadia village, Larnaca, while Ahfeldt’s corpse was unearthed at Kotsiatis rubbish tip outside Nicosia.
Both young women had been abducted, beaten and sexually assaulted before being murdered and dumped in the summer of 1993.
Antonis Kitas, known as Al Capone, and Michalis Iacovides were convicted in 1994 for the rape and murders and are serving life sentences.