"Welcome to Thursday.” said the weathered sign. There were two problems with this, from George's perspective: firstly, it was Monday today, and secondly, he was in the middle of the desert. That there was a sign there at all was extraordinary; that it was in English was, frankly, insulting. He struggled towards it. Effort conservation be damned, he had to know more about the cryptic message. As he neared the sign he noticed something; where there had formerly been an infinite, unbroken plain of sand, there was now an irregular dark crack running across it. He looked to his right; the crack seemed to go on forever. He turned and looked the other way; again, there seemed to be no end to it. Curious, he moved closer. The crack yawned ever wider as he approached it. From the tiny crack in the earth he had first noticed, it now gaped five or ten feet wide – the sign that had drawn him in that direction was on the opposite side of the crack to him. Timorously, George peered over the cusp, then jerked back in shock and vomited profusely on the sand. What George had seen was this: the crack, though at most only ten feet wide, led to a drop immeasurably deep. At the bottom of the crack he could see a series of lights extending far beyond the edges of his vision.
For George, who had been afflicted with vertigo since the age of seven, this was not a good scenario.
I am lost. Lost in darkness, in utter, total, all-consuming darkness. I cannot see; I'm blind. I don't know where this darkness came from or whether it will ever recede but oh god I'm blind. The night is closing in fast and I'm blind. The groans of wild beasts surround me and I'm blind. What do I do? My mind is a blank, as blind as my eyes, I am slipping, slipping into the void, and nobody can save me now.
Or can they?
The tendency, when a brutal murder occurs, is to immediately blame someone – the right-wing press pin all the blame on the assailant, and the left-wing press place all onus on the conditions surrounding the assailant: that is, on capitalism. Both approaches are equally flawed and equally a product of the journalist's political convictions. Sometimes the only thing to blame is chance. If he hadn't become drunk that night... if he hadn't had a knife to hand... if the victim hadn't been exhibiting their wealth, making him jealous... if he hadn't been sexually abused by his parents... there are, in most circumstances, far too many factors in play to pinpoint one or another as the cause of the crime.
Certain humans will always be born mentally ill. There is substantial proof that some forms of mental 'illness' are promoted by evolution. For example, the psychopath and the narcissist are more sexually promiscuous than the average human being; thus, the likelihood of them impregnating someone, or being themselves impregnated, is higher than the likelihood of a neurotypical person. Assuming psychopathy and narcissism have genetic factors behind them, some forms of mental 'illness' actually increase an individual's evolutionary fitness.
In Oedipus the King, the fated Jocasta declares “It's all chance! Chance rules our lives!” and is summarily punished. But in more modern modes of literature, such as absurdism, the influence of chance on our lives is increasingly being recognised as not only significant, but crucial. In the sciences, too, we observe seeming order emerging from chaos (in the case of evolution), and seeming chaos emerging from order (in chaos theory).
Why not apply this to the phenomenon of murder? The breeding of at least a few serial killers and many more who are predisposed to violence in each generation is inevitable: neither the right-wing calls for harsher policing nor the left-wing calls for greater opportunity in deprived areas will reduce the murder count to nothing, though they may efficacious to a certain extent.
From here, from the doctrine of the inevitability of murder, we can begin to see from the view of Thomas de Quincy and other aesthetes: “What's done is done, the only thing left is to appreciate it aesthetically.” I am neither sick nor insane; I merely reject your tediously simple causes.