Fantasy Wheel ©
Victim Demographics • Paraphilic • Situational • Relational • Anger • Violence • Power • Self-Perceptional • Personality • Reality-Testing • Factor-X • Time/Fantasy
The Self-Perceptional variable of the Fantasy Wheel was first introduced by Roy
Hazelwood and Janet Warren (2001) to describe how the offender views himself in
relation to the victim or the world as a whole. How does the offender see
himself before, during and after the crime? This is the question to be answered
when exploring this fantasy variable.
In serial murder crimes, there is usually not a victim that survives the attack
to speak about what the offender said or did. In the crime of rape, this
information is utilized extensively to learn more about the offender and his
fantasies. However, even when the victim has been murdered, the body and the
crime scene may provide information about the offender.
Interactions with this variable are vast. Paraphilic, Relational, Situational,
Anger, Violence and Power can all interact with the Self-Perceptional component
and be evidenced at a crime scene. If the offender views himself as “God” or
superior to the victim, there will probably be evidence that indicates control
over the victim in some form. Offenders that view themselves as inadequate may
demonstrate some forms of control to fulfill a fantasized self-image or the
crime scene may reflect overkill type injuries to the victim as the offender
displaces the internalized rage of feeling rejected by others.
Paraphilic desires will also manifest Self-Perceptional fantasy evidence through
sadistic acts or even “caring for” a victim after death. For the most part, the
research I have completed on serial murder to date seems to demonstrate a trend
for sadistic acts and a self-perception on the part of the offender of being
superior to the victim. Even offenders such as the Zodiac killer in California
demonstrated a superior self-perception through his writings to the police. The
Zodiac crime scenes did not reflect this self-image as much as his writings,
however when one takes all behavioral evidence into account in this case, the
violence toward the female victims was more extreme perhaps indicating an
individual that felt inadequate around women and powerless in daily life. The
Zodiac’s crimes, in my opinion, reflect an individual’s attempt to exert his
fantasized self-perceptional superiority over women (and the surrounding
community) while in daily life he was viewed as inadequate or less than desired,
which contradicted this self-perception and created a rage.
Hazelwood, R., & Warren, J. (Editors) (2001).
Practical aspects of rape investigation: A multidisciplinary approach (3rd ed.).
Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press.