This article is not directly about child abuse. But it does, absolutely, deal with an area that I’ve talked about many, many times. Predators are looking for vulnerabilities to exploit. They aren’t necessarily targeting one specific kid, they are looking for the kids with low self-esteem, with poor relationships with parents, who feel unloved, etc.
Those are the kids they can get to, because those are the ones desperate for something, who might fall victim to someone presenting themselves as the things they are missing.
Landru demonstrates this method: Figure out what the target group most desires and become that person. Dissolve their hesitations by using “trust cues” like confidence, helpfulness, reassurance, and an ordinary demeanor. Keep affirming that you offer what they want—you’re perfect for them—and that it’s safe to advance further. Use several steps that gradually engage them, each one proving your sincerity until they commit. Predators know how to work on low self-esteem, loneliness, alienation, a need for love, and even on narcissism (“You are the kind of person who deserves only the best.”).
Yes, Landru was a serial killer. Read more: