01/24/2013 01:06 pm ET Updated Mar 26, 2013

What Is It Like To Talk With a Serial Killer?

This question originally appeared on Quora.

Answer by an Anonymous User on Quora:

The truth about evil, and the people who commit serial murder, is both scary and eye opening.

I spent some time incarcerated at the same prison as Orville Lynn Majors. He is suspected of having murdered in excess of 130 people while he was employed at a rural Indiana hospital. To put things in perspective, one out of every three people admitted to the hospital during his employment ended up dying. He was directly implicated in a minimum of 130 deaths, though convicted of only a handful, which was all that was needed to give him a 360 year sentence.

My conversations with him started out as function of my job as warehouse and inventory clerk at the license plate shop. I knew who he was from news accounts and wanted to find out what kind of a person could do such things.

Prison politics are strictly enforced by the offenders, and you do not ever ask another inmate questions about why they are locked up, or if they actually did the crime, etc. To do so is to risk your life. Literally.

I had made it a policy to carefully observe people I considered to be dangerous and find out what motivates them. I wanted to learn what their mode of operations are like and what can potentially trigger violence in them.

Orville is an extremely polite, congenial gay man, who is easy to get along with and instills a level of trust in his co-workers. He worked closely with guards, Pen Products (a prison based industry) staff members, and other inmates. His conversations were jovial, he would give you the shirt off his back and be willing to help with anything and everything. A very likable guy.

Just like anyone else there, he had his moments of anger, disagreement with others, and the like. He did not appear to be any different from anyone else. On the surface.

My observations of his behavior, however, chilled me to the bone. When people work closely together, they end up lowering their defenses around their co-workers. Orville is a very smart individual, and he knows this about human nature. You would never guess from casual observation and interaction that this man is a serial killer.

I was struck by how casual the staff members acted around him, the level of freedom he enjoyed, and how carefully he manipulated people into giving him ever increasing levels of latitude and freedom.

When watching him, I had to be careful and do it from a distance. You do not want him to suspect you as a potential danger. I am a little apprehensive about it still, as I write this answer.

Whenever a staff member would lose focus on him, his entire demeanor would change, and he would make every attempt to do what he was actually wanting to do, without discovery. Yet, he was back to good old Orville the minute someone refocused on him. Instantly. As if there were two completely different people in charge of his body. What he was really doing was plotting on the guards, staff, and other inmates. He was procuring items to make weapons, making certain things disappear on paper so that the prison would lose track of inventory. I have just crossed the line on convict behavior by sharing this, and he will likely be punished for what I am saying. This is not my intent, I have no personal animosity toward him.

I guess I relate this to you because he is the most dangerous man I have ever met. Yet, if I hadn't been exposed to other dangerous people before him, I would have never guessed, and would not have been as diligent in my efforts to keep an eye on him.

I could not believe how the guards and staff lowered their guard around him. It was an insanity to allow him near deadly tools and things that could be used to cause serious bodily harm, and yet, he was in close proximity to these things, unsupervised, much of the time I observed his behavior.

There was a quality about his demeanor that I had rarely, if ever, seen before. We were not real to him. We were just objects to be used and discarded as he saw fit. If he could use you, he was your dearest friend, until he was done, or you were exhausted, at which time you were just another object in his way.

In short, he was evil. I don't scare easily, but with this guy, I was constantly on alert. There was nothing to trust in him.

You'd never guess how much he hates people from talking to him.

I am making this anonymous because there are certain rules that prisoners must follow, and I have broken just about all of them with this answer. While I do not plan on ever going back to any prison, if I was that unfortunate, this answer would carry a death sentence. Those who know my writing can guess who I am, the rest do not need to know.

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