The phenomenon of lust killers has always attracted strong interest from the scientific community despite the lack of a copious literature on this topic. Over the years, the focus in this regard has found rich soil among the experts, who have presented the phenomenon as bio-psycho-social, since the personality of a serial killer can hardly be drawn within a single standard profile. The phenomenon has therefore also been described as multifactorial: not only mental aspects have been considered, but also psychosexual and developmental ones, all related to the serial murderer's life history. What has been universally recognized in these individuals is a significant deficit of empathy that would lead them to act in a brutal way just because unable to perceive the pain of the victim. This article aims to investigate and explain in depth the true nature of persons who commit crimes of sexual nature, that is not only the psychological factors, but also the developmental and environmental ones. In this respect, the Kleinian theories are an interesting food for thought on what are the sexual patterns accrued during child development. The inability of the lust killer to feel empathy towards the victim would, in some way, be associated with a missing developmental step: the one that brings the child to move from the partial to the total object.
Keywords: Serial killer, deviant sexual schemas, malignant narcissism, Gianfranco Stevanin, empathy deficit, part-object