Serial killers and the crimes committed by them are of significant interest to scholars. People involved in the unlawful killing of more than two individuals are referred to as serial murderers (Marono et al., 2020). Understanding the reasons behind criminal behavior is a crucial task performed during profiling (Marono et al., 2020). The creation of specific profiles allows the researchers to understand the offender’s characteristics and reduce the amount of time required to solve the case (Marono et al., 2020). Recent scientific advancements divide profiles into various typologies, for example, mission-oriented, control-oriented, and thrill-motivated (Marono et al., 2020).
Additionally, it is possible to distinguish serial homicide into geographic subgroups, such as traveling and place-specific killings (Marono et al., 2020). Altogether, various options for examining homicidal behavior are available for crime investigators.
Serial murders have largely influenced multiple societies, occurring in literary works and social representations. Various myths regarding these people exist in modern society, such as a misguided understanding that most of these offenders obtain a high IQ score (Hodgkinson et al., 2017). Moreover, individuals conducting serial homicides are often portrayed as white, male, middle-aged people who primarily focus on random representatives in their community (Hodgkinson et al., 2017).
These statements’ falsehood can be proved by the example of Samuel Little, who reported targeting women who would be missed by other people, thus choosing a specific victim (Lowery et al., 2020). Little is an older African-American criminal who was 72 years old during his initial trial in 2013 and confessed to traveling to different cities to commit his crimes (Lowery et al., 2020). Overall, Little’s profile is strikingly different from the social representations related to serial offenders.
Hodgkinson, S., Prins, H., & Stuart-Bennett, J. (2017). Monsters, madmen… and myths: A critical review of the serial killing literature. Aggression and Violent Behavior, 34, 282–289. Web.
Lowery, W., Knowles, H., & Berman, M. (2020). How America’s deadliest serial killer went undetected for more than 40 years. Washington Post. Web.
Marono, A. J., Reid, S., Yaksic, E., & Keatley, D. A. (2020). A behaviour sequence analysis of serial killers’ lives: From childhood abuse to methods of murder. Psychiatry, Psychology and Law, 27(1), 126–137. Web.