Serial killers fascinate and terrify people for many reasons. Some people are drawn to the mystery of their crimes, while others are interested in the psychology of the killers themselves. Still, others may be fascinated and terrified by the violence and brutality of the crimes. Over the course of the next several weeks, we are going to delve into the profiles of many well-known and lesser-known serial killers. In this article, we will discuss some general serial killer topics before deep diving into some specifics about individuals.
One reason why serial killers are so fascinating is that they are often seen as monsters. They are people who have committed horrific crimes, and they often seem to be beyond our understanding. This makes them all the more intriguing to us.
Whatever the reason, there is no doubt that serial killers capture the public’s attention. There are countless books, movies, and TV shows about serial killers, both fictional characters and real-life monsters. They are also a popular topic of discussion on social media.
Of the many reasons why serial killers are fascinating to people, some of these reasons include:
- The unknown: Serial killers are very good at hiding their crimes, which makes them seem mysterious and elusive.
- The violence: They often commit very violent crimes, which can be shocking and disturbing to people.
- The psychology: Serial killers are also very complex individuals with a variety of psychological issues.
- The media: The portrayal in the media can make them seem even more fascinating to people. This is especially true when the media focuses on the killer’s crimes, their psychology, or their capture.
It is important to note that not everyone is fascinated by serial killers. Some people find them to be disturbing and repulsive. However, there is no doubt that serial killers are a fascinating topic that has captured the attention of people for centuries.
Finally, serial killers are fascinating because they represent the dark side of human nature. They are a reminder that there is evil in the world and that even the people we think we know may be capable of terrible things.
It is important to remember that serial killers are not just characters in a book or a movie. They are real people who have caused real pain and suffering. It is important to be aware of the dangers they pose and to take steps to protect ourselves from them.
What is a Serial Killer?
By definition, a serial murder is “a series of two or more murders, committed as separate events, usually, but not always, by one offender acting alone”. This is different from a mass murder, which is typically a single event with multiple victims all at one time. The United States murder rate increased by 27% in 2020, reaching a rate of 7.8 homicides per 100,000 people. This means that there were around 21,570 murders in the US that year.
So you are saying there’s a chance?
Of these murders, it is generally believed around 2% were committed by serial killers. This means that there were about 0.156 serial killer homicides per 100,000 people in the US in 2020. This equals a 1 in 645,000 chance of being murdered by a serial killer. Although approximately half of these murders go unsolved, so these numbers could be greater.
For comparison, the risk of dying in a car crash in the US in 2020 was 1 in 8,547. This means that you are much more likely to die in a car crash than you are to be murdered by a serial killer. It is important to note that these are just statistics. The risk of being a victim of a serial killer is still very low, but it is important to be aware of the dangers and to take steps to protect yourself.
The motivation of serial killers is usually a combination of factors, including a need for power and control, a sadistic desire to inflict pain and suffering, and a sexual thrill from the act of killing. They may also be motivated by a desire to eliminate people they see as inferior or a threat to them, or by a need to escape from their own psychological pain.
Serial killers can be found in all walks of life and from all backgrounds. They may be men or women, young or old, rich or poor. No one profile fits all serial killers. However, there are some common traits that many serial killers share, such as a history of abuse or neglect in childhood, a lack of empathy for others, and a tendency to be loners.
Victims are often chosen based on their vulnerability. They may target people who are young, old, homeless, or otherwise unable to defend themselves. They may also target people who share certain characteristics, such as race, gender, or sexual orientation. Serial killers typically kill in a way that allows them to feel in control and avoid detection. They may use weapons that are difficult to trace, such as knives or blunt objects. They may also kill their victims in secluded areas where they are unlikely to be seen.
Serial killers are often very difficult to catch. They are often intelligent and cunning, and they may be able to blend in with society and avoid detection for years. However, with the help of modern technology and investigative techniques, law enforcement is becoming increasingly successful in catching serial killers.
Notorious Serial Killers
Here are some of the most notorious serial killers in history:
- Jack the Ripper: A serial killer who operated in London’s East End in the late 1880s. Jack the Ripper’s identity has never been definitively established, and the case remains one of the most famous unsolved mysteries in history.
- Ted Bundy: A serial killer who confessed to killing at least 30 women across the United States in the 1970s. Bundy was a charming and charismatic man who was able to lure his victims into his car before abducting and killing them. He was executed in 1989.
- Jeffrey Dahmer: A serial killer who murdered 17 men and boys in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, between 1978 and 1991. Dahmer dismembered and cannibalized some of his victims, and he kept the remains of others in his apartment. He was sentenced to life in prison in 1992, but he was beaten to death by a fellow inmate in 1994.
- John Wayne Gacy: A serial killer who murdered 33 young men and boys in Chicago between 1972 and 1978. Gacy buried most of his victims in the crawl space of his home, and he would often dress up as a clown to entertain children at parties. He was executed in 1994.
- Aileen Wuornos: A serial killer who murdered seven men in Florida between 1989 and 1990. Wuornos was a prostitute who shot her victims in self-defense, she claimed. She was convicted of murder and sentenced to death in 1992, and she was executed in 2002.
These are just a few of the many serial killers who have terrorized communities around the world. Serial killers are a complex and fascinating group of individuals, and their crimes continue to fascinate and horrify us.
Could one of Ted Bundy’s victims have survived if they had a canister of pepper spray? Could a stun gun have incapacitated Samuel Little long enough for the police to arrive and end his reign of terror? I guess we’ll never know. However, Jeffrey Dahmer was finally apprehended after one of his victims managed to escape after being drugged and restrained, but not yet murdered. So apparently that works at times if you are lucky.
Check in with us for our ongoing series of upcoming serial killer profiles and self-defense and safety tips. As always, be safe and be prepared.