Basically, each section of the
Fantasy Wheel represents a continuum. Each continuum can range from
high to low, general to specific or describe a range of dangerousness or
risk. The outermost surface of the wheel is the lesser, lower or
general end of the continuum, while the inner most surface is the higher or
specific end of the continuum. Taking victim demographics as an
example, if the offender chooses victims in a nondiscriminatory manner, it
could be said that he invests little time in fantasy choosing a victim and
would fall somewhere near the outer surface for that variable.
However, if the offender requires victims of a specific age, hair color, or
build, then he has invested more time fantasizing about his preferred victim
and would fall near the inner surface of the wheel.
Inside the Fantasy Wheel is a hub, which represents the criminal and
non-criminal behaviors of the offender. The theory behind the Fantasy
Wheel holds that if two or more variables interact and cross this hub, this
is overt fantasy behavior that can tell us a great deal about the offender's
fantasies and motivation. Many times these variables can interact with
each other without crossing the hub. If two continuums are adjoined,
then these fantasy elements may ebb and flow without crossing the hub.
An example of this is the self-perceptional and power variables. These
two variables are next to each other on the wheel and can feed off of each
demonstrates just a few of the interactions that can take place within the
same crime scene. Each of these interactions can provide
investigators with critical information about the offender and his
motivation for committing the crime. As each of these variables
interact with one another, it will cross the hub or center of the Fantasy
Wheel and will be evidenced at the crime scene for interpretation.
There are times however when interactions may occur that are not visible or
understood by investigators, which have been shown by an interaction between
the Relational and Situational variables. In these cases, the
interaction may be occurring between the variables without crossing the hub
of the wheel and will require further interpretation (if possible) or may
need to be explained by the offender upon apprehension.
this example there is a paraphilic variable interacting with a power
/dominance/ control variable which extends directly across the hub. In
addition, violence and anger variables will also be involved to some extent.
This will be very apparent to an investigator and many conclusions can be
made about the offender's fantasy process, his motivation, and degree of
risk for crimes in the future. This interaction is
most likely seen at crime scenes where the offender murders a victim during
the course of fulfilling a fantasy that satisfies a sadistic need.
Notice that the interaction between the Self-Perception and Power variables
does not cross the crime scene, yet the offender's need to commit the
sadistic acts upon his victim can point the investigation toward looking for
an offender that views himself as "God" (Self-Perception) and requires
dominating his victim (Power) to meet the expectations of the fantasy.
An offender that overtly displays the type of fantasies just described is
the criminal sexual sadist. Additional behaviors that may indicate
sadistic fantasy include bondage, torture, anal rape, captivity, and
ritualistic homicide. It should be noted
that serial murderers commonly have strong narcissistic traits, that are
cultivated and maintained through their use of fantasy and the desire to be
in control. When there is a real or perceived loss of control, the
serial murderer will attempt to re-gain control by dominating and ultimately
destroying a victim.
is not always easy however as there may be similar fantasy elements
evidenced, but for different reasons. For example, sadists often
record their crimes in some way, and there are many examples in the
literature of this. This is where things can get tricky. Some may
record crimes to relive the thrill as a form of triumph, some may record
crimes for masturbation purposes, while others record their crimes as a
means to perfect technique or further develop the fantasy.