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What Is A Serial Killer And What Makes Them What They Are

Updated on December 15, 2011
What Makes A Serial Killer Is Quite Often The First Question That Comes To Mind When Serial Killers Are Discussed.
What Makes A Serial Killer Is Quite Often The First Question That Comes To Mind When Serial Killers Are Discussed.

What Makes A Serial Killer

The definition of a serial killer is a person who kills three or more people over the course of thirty days with a period of time called a cooling off period between each murder. Often there is a sexual element involved in the killings and quite often there will be something similar about each person murdered. Ted Bundy killed dark haired girls or women who parted their hair in the middle. Or as in the case of Ridgeway known as the Green River Killer each of his victims was a prostitute.

Former FBI Agent Rober Ressler is said to have first used the term serial killer. A serial killers victims may have a lot in common with each other such as occupation , race , age range , sex , hair color or etc. Quite often a serial killer will use tricks to get the victims to go with him. Ted Bundy would use a fake cast to get his victims to go with him and then he would beat them with a crow bar and hide them in his Volkswagen that he had removed the passenger seat from.

Usually but not always a serial killer will kill all his victims the same way. And their may be things that he does to his victims bodies that tips the police off to the fact that this victim is the prey of a individual serial killer. When the murders are completed in a very similar fashion the police or FBI knows they have a serial killer.

Want to read more about Serial Killers. We have a lot more hub pages about several different Serial Killers. Just click the Serial Killers name below.

Pee Wee Gaskins

Ted Bundy

Jack The Ripper

Jack The Ripper In America

Ed Gein , The Real Hannibal Lector

Jill The Ripper

All About Famous Serial Killers

Pig Farmer , Serial Killer , Robert Pickton

The Infamous Gaffney Strangler

BTK Serial Killer , Dennis Rader

The Worst Serial Killer Ever , Albert Fish

Famous Serial Killer , Fritz Harrmann

Harold Shipman , Doctor Death

The Infamous Yorkshire Ripper

Robert Lee Yates

Jeffery Lionel Dahmer


In the United States Serial Killers tend to have the below characteristics.

1. Serial Killers tend to be intelligent with IQ's in the high range.

2. Quite often Serial Killers will have menial jobs and quite often have trouble staying employed.

3. The majority of Serial Killers are white though there have been African American Serial Killers like Wayne Williams , Spanish Serial Killers like Richard Ramirez , and we all remember the Washington DC Serial Snipers John Muhammad and Lee Malvo.

4. Serial Killers tend to come from unstable families.

5. Most Serial Killers were raised in homes with no fathers and domineering mothers.

6. You will find that a lot of Serial Killers were abused sexually , physically , or mentally by a family member.

7. Quite often there will be knowledge or record of a Serial Killer attempting suicide and quite often several times.

8. Pornography usually plays a big part in the life of a Serial Killer.

9. More than 60 percent of all known Serial Killers wet their beds to beyond the age of 12.

10. Many though not all Serial Killers were highly interested in fire and may have started fires as a child.

11. Many Serial Killers were cruel to animals and may have killed neighborhood pets as a child.

12. Many Serial Killers are neatness freaks and many though not all maintained immaculately cleaned homes.

Those will give you some ideal of the make up of the mind of a Serial Killer though there are some exceptions. One that jumps right out at you was Doctor Harold Shipman. Doctor Shipman was a highly successful award winning doctor and people who were interviewed after his capture say that Shipman was completely normal growing up. And there have been others as well.

For the most part Serial Killers appear to be completely normal when approached and many like Ted Bundy fooled people for years into believing they were perfectly normal. Ted Bundy even volunteered along with Crime Writer Ann Rule at a Suicide Hot Line.

After exhaustive studies by Police Agency's and the FBI the Mother appears to play a big part in the development of the future Serial Killer. Sadly maternal over protection and the lack of a father figure in the home has created many sexually violent men. Serial Killer Jeffery Dahmer experienced exactly this type of childhood and we all know how he turned out.

Female Serial Killers are rare though they do happen. Three of the most famous female serial killers are Lavinia Fisher , Elizabeth Bathory , and Aileen Carol Wuornos. Just click the female serial killers names to see the complete story of that female serial killer.

Please feel free to post your comments about Serial Killers below. If you have questions please feel free to ask them.


(C) July 2010 by Thomas Byers aka Crazyhorsesghost
(C) July 2010 by Thomas Byers aka Crazyhorsesghost

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    • tlmcgaa70 profile image

      tlmcgaa70 

      6 years ago from south dakota, usa

      a couple of years ago i came across the FBI show called criminal minds. i became fascinated with how they profile serial killers to help them track them down and catch them. it is intriguing what drives serial killers. one thing i think they all have in common is a mental disorder, which is obvious because normal people just dont do such things. i have learned from personal experience that people with mental disorders can often "play" normal, because they know what is expected of normal people. it always boggles my mind this, how can they "act" normal in front of others when they so seriously arent normal? needless to say, it is a fascinating subject.

    • profile image

      Just wondering 

      7 years ago

      Where is your link on Karla Homolka? She's the second picture, second row. Right beside Ted Bundy.

      She definitely deserves her own link. She's notorious enough that she has several websites (with international followers) devoted to tracking her whereabouts now that she's out of jail.

    • profile image

      danise88 

      7 years ago

      Wow these are definitely true!

    • profile image

      CompuManic 

      7 years ago

      lol! Good read.

    • crazyhorsesghost profile imageAUTHOR

      Thomas Byers 

      8 years ago from East Coast , United States

      Great comments there. Thanks for the comments about What Is A Serial Killer And What Makes Them What They Are

    • Granny's House profile image

      Granny's House 

      8 years ago from Older and Hopefully Wiser Time

      Intresting hub. I like Austinstars comment too

    • Austinstar profile image

      Lela 

      8 years ago from Somewhere near the center of Texas

      Do you know about the serial killer test?

      A man is at the funeral of his mother. He sees the woman of his dreams. Then he goes home and kills his sister. Why?

      The serial killer answer: He hopes to see the same woman at his sister's funeral!

      Weird, huh?

    • Paradise7 profile image

      Paradise7 

      8 years ago from Upstate New York

      Spooky. It's a very weird class of people. It was interesting what they have in common but nothing can explain why they do what they do.

    • profile image

      JJ (pachuca)` 

      8 years ago

      good hub...yeah that Countess Bathory was quite a character. She is what some say the Grim Brothers based their wicked queen after in Snow White. She actually bathed in young girls blood and would stare in the mirror all day long. She was very vain and very cruel...she enjoyed torturing people and even incorporated sexual acts into it...horrible isn't it?

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