LUCY Letby is Britain’s worst child serial killer after callously murdering seven and attempting to end the lives of at least six others.
Neonatal nurse Lucy Letby was sentenced to a whole live term for murdering at least seven babies[/caption]
Kerry Daynes, from TV show Faking It, has worked as a forensic psychologist for more than 20 years[/caption]
But forensic psychologist Kerry Daynes says there is one trait she sees in serial killers time and time again.
She tells The Sun: “While there isn’t a core set of characteristics among serial killers, the one thing that binds them all together is a deep sense of inadequacy.
“Why else would someone feel the need to take another person’s life in order to feed their need for power, control, or whatever else it might be?
“The same could be said for Lucy Letby. I think that deep down she had a real sense of self-loathing, inadequacy and worthlessness.”
Kerry believes there is a lot more to be learned about Letby and that the killer will “spend years excavating” what she’s done in therapy.
She says: “I think she derived a lot of her sense of identity and self-worth, if not all of it, from her role as a nurse role, which is something society really values.
Letby being interviewed by Cheshire police back in 2018[/caption]
“But it wasn’t enough for her to do what she was entrusted to do, which was to take care of those children, she had to take it further.
“She created situations where she became a key player in a drama and somebody who was important to parents and was important for the role she played in the children’s lives, care and death.
“Killing children fulfilled a psychological function for her. It made her feel more adequate, more powerful and more important – and that she mattered more than she had at other times in her life.
“It wasn’t just the act of killing the children, it’s everything else around that, too.
“It was being seen as important to the parents, being part of that story, somebody who had a heroic and angelic role within that drama.
“The fact she spent hours on social media looking at the lives of these children and families suggests she was comparing herself in some way and wanted to insert herself into this picture.”
One of many handwritten notes police found at Letby’s home[/caption]
Kerry believes notes written by Letby are “open to interpretation” but definitely reinforce how she felt about herself.
In some of them, words including ‘hate’, ‘panic’, ‘fear’ and ‘lost’ were all written in capitals, in bold, circled or underlined.
Kerry says: “We see the self-loathing, inadequacy and worthlessness in the note where she wrote, ‘I killed them on purpose because I’m not good enough to care for them’.”
Letby caused national outrage when she refused to attend her sentencing hearing at Manchester Crown Court.
It led the Ministry of Justice to change the law to give judges the power to order offenders into court – including by force if deemed necessary.
Kerry says it was “very cowardly” for Letby not to show up and believes her motivation was being unable to accept what she did and what that made her.
She explains: “Everything that she presented herself as – ‘I am caring, I am a nurse, I would never hurt these children’ – has all fallen around her.
“She hasn’t got the psychological defence either because that was broken down too.
“She couldn’t stand the eyes and everyone viewing her as what she truly is – which is a deeply, deeply disturbed and thoroughly destructive woman.”
Many have branded Letby a “monster” for her abhorrent actions – but Kerry says it’s a dangerous word to use.
She tells us: “Letby was described as hardworking, dedicated and ‘Oh so lovely and nice’, if not somewhat colourless.
“People couldn’t accept that those descriptions could also apply to somebody who was wilfully killing children – because she didn’t fit the stereotype of a monster.
“I always tell people I hate the use of the word ‘monster’ because if we’re only looking out for monsters, we’re missing people around us who are doing terrible things.
“We have to abandon the word ‘monster’ and address red flags when we see them rather than saying, ‘This person doesn’t meet the stereotype of a monster’.”
Kerry raises concern about the popularity of true crime TV shows – believing they “glamorise, fetishise and feed into the mystique” of serial killers.
She tells us: “If something frightens us we try to learn about it to make us feel that we can control it better and the things we don’t understand frighten us the most, like Lucy Letby.
“But I think a lot of the true-crime programmes and sometimes crime dramas fetishise violence towards women and put serial killers on a strange and warped pedestal.
“They are almost viewed as celebrities. It’s like, ‘If you kill enough people you get your own Netflix series and fanmail’.”
Kerry says there are a lot of myths about serial killers and she’s often baffled by the public’s fascination with them.
She claims the majority she has met are dull, have an average IQ and are the least interesting people she has worked with.
Kerry adds: “I always think it’s funny that we give serial killers names like the Yorkshire Ripper and the Suffolk Strangler.
“If we start calling these people by their names then they suddenly lose an awful lot of power.”
When working with serial killers, Kerry has to put her emotions aside and see them “as a whole person and not just their offenses”.
“I don’t excuse their actions in any way, shape or form,” she explains.
“I have to bear in mind that often – but not always – they have been victims before they have been offenders.
“I don’t know what happened in Lucy Letby’s past or what factors affected her personality formation, that is all yet to come out.
“I’m not sure we have enough information to provide a definitive set of answers but people are clamouring for answers because what she did was so hugely shocking.”
Kerry believes Letby’s crimes shocked many because she is a woman[/caption]
While many have compared Letby to Harold Shipman, Kerry says Beverley Allitt is a ‘better comparison’[/caption]
Many have compared Letby’s crimes to the atrocities committed by the late Harold Shipman.
The doctor, from Nottingham, murdered at least 250 people under his care – typically giving his victims a fatal dose of drugs.
Like the neonatal nurse, Shipman also received a whole life order and theories have emerged that they both “enjoyed playing God with people’s lives”.
But Kerry believes a more accurate comparison can be made between Letby and Beverly Allitt, who was nicknamed ‘The Angel of Death’.
She was convicted of murdering four infants, attempting to kill three others and six counts of grievous bodily harm at Grantham and Kesteven Hospital, in Lincolnshire.
Allitt’s crimes took place in 1991 and she too used large doses of insulin and a large air bubble to kill some of her victims.
Kerry stars in the new series of Faking It, a true crime show that analyses high-profile criminal cases where killers have tried to deceive police.
Alongside body language expert Cliff Lansley and linguistics professional Dawn Archer, they reveal some of the tell-tale signs that a criminal is lying.
But detecting deception isn’t as easy as it appears according to Kerry, who claims the public is often duped by simple hacks that aren’t scientific.
She says they look for “a cluster of tells”, which are unconscious actions or reactions, and claims there’s not just one thing that identifies a liar.
Kerry explains: “What we are looking for is three tells over two communication channels in a seven-second window before we can reliably say there is deception.
“The six communications channels are facial expressions, body language, physiology, voice, general interaction style and content.
“It’s incredibly technical but they are the ways that people unconsciously reveal things that they don’t want to come out.”
Faking It series 7 is available to stream on Discovery+
Kerry stars in the Discovery+ show Faking It alongside Dawn Archer and Cliff Lansley[/caption]