“I looked into his eyes and I saw the eyes of a killer.”

I’m sure you’ve heard some variation of this line in the past. What do “killer eyes” look like? Is there some indicator of soullessness? Is there some look on a man’s face or some mannerism that signals his thirst for blood?

Having known many killers from many walks of life (who are not soulless), from the most honorable Rangers I had the pleasure of serving next to, to the most despicable and twisted Taliban leadership, I can say with certainty: they don’t look any different from anyone else. They might have a rough face with a thousand yard stare — they might also have a round, unthreatening face with kind eyes and a gentle touch. They are regular people with regular faces.

If you’re looking into the eyes of a human being, you’re looking into the eyes of a killer. Everyone is capable of anything when pushed to the brink. Some people are willing to step up and defend those who are not so capable, and that sometimes means killing someone (think of a police officer rescuing a hostage). It’s disturbingly easy to take a human life, and if you starve someone and then threaten their children, they will likely not hesitate to end you. Everyone has their line.