Is there a way to tell if a child will grow up to be a serial killer?

There are signs, behaviours that act as 'red flags' to warn that all is not well. Most serial killers, no matter their geographical location or social standing, the warning signs are pretty constant.

Bed wetting even into the early teens. Fire starting. Cruelty to animals, even their own pets. Trouble in school or with peers. Telling lies or stealing. If children have these behaviours it does not mean they will grow up to be killers. But any of the above problems may not just be 'kids being kids'. Ted Bundy, when he was a pre-schooler, took all the kitchen knives and layed them on the bed where his aunt was sleeping. When she woke up, she was surrounded by knives pointed toward her and little Teddy smiling down at her.

It is hard to tell whether this upset the other family members, but I can imagine it must have raised some eyebrows, since it was remembered decades after it happened. The Son of Sam, David Berkowitz, was big on starting fires. He confessed that he had started hundreds of fires as a teen. Jeffrey Dahmer would kill animals and mount their heads on stakes in the woods by his home.

Hindsight is 20/20, and its always easy to predict something after the fact. But more research needs to be done and hopefully someday we will not only understand the killers but may be able to prevent them from ever killing in the first place.