Serial killers have been a major problem in the United States for a long time. We don’t know why they kill human beings, but many people are trying to figure out why. A serial killer is a person that has murdered three or more people over a period of a month. There is also a period of time between the murders know as the “cooling off period”. According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, there have been approximately four hundred serial killers in the United States within the past century. The number of these murderers have increased over the past thirty years, with around eighty percent of them emerging since 1950.
The term “serial killer” was created in the mid-1970s by a man named Robert Ressler, a former director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Violent Criminal Apprehension Program. “He chose "serial" because the police in England called these types of murders "crimes in a series" and because of the serial films that he grew up watching.”(Freeman). Before this term was created these murders were known as mass murders crimes. Serial killers can be act-focused, who kill quickly or process-focused, who kill slowly and torture their victims.
There are two types of serial killers. The visionary serial killers who murders people because they hear voices or have visions that direct them to do so. Then there are the missionary murders, who believe that they are meant to get rid of a particular group of people. Inside these two groups of serial killers, there can be four different types of serial killers. The Lust serial killers, the thrill serial killers, the gain serial killers, and the power-seeking serial killers. Lust killers derive sexual pleasure from killing, thrill killers get joy from it, gain killers murder because they think they will profit in some way, and power-seeking killers wish to pretend they are a God or be in charge of life and death.
Serial Killers can also be classified by their organizational and social skills. They can be organized or disorganized depending on the type of crime scene. They can also be classified as social or nonsocial depending on whether they are excluded by society or exclude themselves. The majority of identified serial killers are organized and nonsocial. Most of them also follow some other basic patterns.
More than eighty percent of serial killers are male, caucasian and in their twenties or thirties. Serial killers are generally intelligent. A serial killers victim is usually women. The motivation for a serial killer is usually psychological pleasure. In serial killing, the murders have been attempted or completed in a similar fashion, the victims may have had something in common such as age, occupation, appearance, etc. Serial killing is not the same thing as mass murdering or a killing spree. In mass murdering or in a killing spree there is no “cooling off period” in between murders as there is in serial killing.
Serial killers may exhibit varying degrees of mental illness and/or...