Serial Killer Characteristics :

1. Killings are seperate ('serial'), occuring with greater or less frequency, often escalating over a period of time, sometimes years, and will continue until the killer is taken into custody, dies, or is himself/herself killed.

2. In common with normal homicides, killing tends to be one on one.  There are however instances where a serial killer has struck down more than one victim in a single incident.

3. There is no (or very little) previous connection between the perpetrator and the victim, the persons involved rarely being related.

4. Although there may be a 'pattern' or 'victim trait', individual murders within a series rarely display a clearly defined or rational motive.

5. An increasingly greater spatial mobility (since the advent of the automobile) has enabled killers (if they wish) to move rapidly from one place to another, often before a murder has even been discovered.

6. There is usually a high degree of redundant violence, or an 'overkill', where the victim is subjected to a disproportionate level of brutality.


A serial killer is a typical white male, 20-30, and most of them are usually in the USA.  Their main motives are sex(even though the act of sex may or may not take place), power, manipulation, domination and control.  The sex motive is usually rape for an organized killer and sadism for a disorganized killer.   They act in a series of  5 or more murders with a cooling off period between each murder.  Serial killers can go on for months and years before they are usually caught.  The victim is usually the same for every killer - prostitute, hitch-hiker etc.  Their victims may also have the same or similar attributes in gender, age, race, general look, residence etc.  Serial killers also stick by their modus operandi very closely and may change it with experience.  Most murders occur by strangulation, suffocation, stabbing etc.  Serial killers act by a sex-murder fantasy based with their control, they usually live in this dream world in their teens until they act it out for real when they get into the adult stage.  As each murder occurs a serial killer may be disappointed by his murder fantasy and may act it out again to achieve it to their own satisfaction.



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Modus Operandi - Serial Killers