Hibristofilia: attraction to criminals

Hibristofilia: attraction to criminals

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On January 24, 1989, Theodore Robert Cowell Bundy, better known as Ted Bundy, was executed in the electric chair for committing at least thirty murders. Bundy was a popular serial killer in the United States in the 1970s. Nevertheless, despite being a serial killer, he had dozens of fans. Many of them wrote love letters to jail. This article is not intended to investigate the specific facts that Ted Bundy committed or any other criminal, nor provide morbid details. The aim of the article is to shed light on the attraction that a serial killer can produce in some people. It is a concept known as hibristophilia.

In this specific case, we will try to investigate the reason why murderers and criminals can arouse sexual attraction. Ted Bundy was one of the clearest examples, since her fans could be counted in the hundreds. But we also found cases like that of Charles Manson, who planned a wedding with an admirer shortly before he died. What leads someone to admire a murderer? What causes women across the country to declare their love for someone who could possibly end them? Without a doubt, it is a particularly disturbing fact that deserves a proper approach.


  • 1 Who was Ted Bundy?
  • 2 Hibristofilia
  • 3 Hibristofilia: women's profile
  • 4 But ... Does it only happen with women?

Who was Ted Bundy?

On January 24, 2019, thirty years after its execution, an article in the Spanish newspaper "El Mundo" described the situation as follows: "Ted Bundy was an intelligent and attractive man, an irresistible seducer. Every month I received hundreds of love letters full of compliments, indecent propositions and kisses painted with carmine on paper. "Ted Bundy was known for being a kind and charismatic person, and yet his number of victims was never known exactly. At this point, the question is almost obvious, What can lead so many women to feel sexual attraction for someone who has no scruples and could kill them in a brutal and scary way?

Bundy serves as the central axis for the article because it is the "Casanova" of serial killers, the one who has awakened the most sighs and desires. In addition, this year 2019, on the thirtieth anniversary of his death, a documentary and a film about his life have been released. Due to this, it returns to take center stage after so many years. It is a leading role that, without a doubt, leads us to ask ourselves again and again why a killer can arouse so many passions among women.


Hybridofilia is a paraphilia, that is, a low frequency pattern sexual behavior whose excitement depends on unusual elements. Hybridofilia can be defined as the exorbitant sexual appetite for having relationships with rapists, murderers or criminals. Without a doubt, a most controversial philia. This concept emerged in the 50s from the hand of psychologist and sexologist John Money. According to Money, it was a pathology and said it affected, above all, heterosexual women. Currently, more than a pathology is considered a sexual preference, even so, it is still disturbing and, despite this, there is still little scientific literature about it.

What hides behind the hibristofilia?

Katherine Ramsland, a forensic psychologist and writer, interviewed women who had married criminals. This helped him identify three types of motivations that can hide behind this attraction:

  1. The belief that most of them could change the other person. Many women thought they would have the ability to transform the criminal. As Ramsladn says in an interview: "They are attracted to the idea that they can save them, that they can get them out of the world they are in and make them good". He states that these women are attracted to the strength of these criminals and that they seek to keep these characteristics but deprived of their evil.
  2. Another aspect that highlights the forensic psychologist is the almost maternal factor. Despite all the atrocities that the incarcerated have been able to commit, they feel compassion and even tenderness for these men locked up in a jail. There arises an inclination to protect the child they once were.
  3. The third group of women and most minority, are those that they seek fame next to the criminal Its objectives are to become part of a book or movie.

Hibristofilia: women's profile

Some authors point out that women who are attracted to these types of men have often experienced violent or abusive stories. Ramsland provides a very interesting fact, says they can become perfect boyfriends. According to this forensic psychologist: "She knows where she is at all times and knows that he is thinking about her. She can say that there is someone who loves her but does not have to deal with the daily problems present in most other relationships. ".

The fact that the criminal is behind bars makes them feel safe. The strength and virilization that they perceive attract them to these types of violent men. However, they are certain that being in jail, they are not in danger, so the tendency to idealize them increases. If the followers of these types of criminals knew they were in danger, this romantic love would possibly disappear and they would see it as a threat.

But ... Does it only happen with women?

As there is no scientific literature on this subject, it is difficult to answer the question of whether it only occurs with women. Some authors point out that the possible reason why it predominates in women is because men's prisons are still a majority, that is, there are more criminal men than women. While it is true that there are women's prisons and many of them have been able to commit atrocious acts, their media level is lower than that of men, so they go more unnoticed.

Beyond this data, it is still complicated and risky to throw a conclusion without a firm investigation on the table. Too It is worth asking if the education received influences the type of sexual attraction that we can feel. For example, if a woman or a man is educated on the need to find a strong partner in their lives, can this aspect influence the feeding of this paraphilia?

Final reflection

Undoubtedly, the admiration and sexual attraction to characters who have committed all kinds of crimes leaves no one indifferent. It is one of the most controversial paraphilias in terms of ethical and moral limits. There are still many questions to reveal. That is why it is necessary to continue investigating these types of phenomena and those that are necessary to better understand the human mind.


Hickey, Eric W. (2006). Sex crimes and paraphilia. Upper Saddle River, N.J .: Pearson Education