Mobility : These are the classifications for the stable killer and the transient killer.

The Stable Killer (eg. Gacy, Dahmer) -

The Transient Killer (eg. Bundy, Lucas) -


The last few decades of serial killers has brought the FBI to classify serial killers in different ways.  This is based on motive, mobility, organization etc.  The transient killer is one like Ted Bundy, travelling around the country seeking new victims and trying to escape suspicion from law enforcement; or the life of a transient serial killer may be one of travelling for work, much like Peter Sutcliffe who had been driving his lorry all around Northern England.  But when there is usually a transient serial killer, police tend to trace the path of victims in different places, this then brings the suspect who has been in both places at the top of the suspect list.  Police knew they were onto something when Ted Bundy had been in Seattle, where a few girls had disappeared, and Utah, where some more girls disappeared just coincidentally on his arrival.  Also with the Transient killer travels the news headlines and an increased danger of detection, especially for the disorganized serial killers who don't usually bother to hide the victim from discovery(organized killers are harder to detect because they may hide their victims).

Then there is the stable killer, who operates in one area.  Jeffrey Dahmer, John Wayne Gacy, Dean Corll, Dennis Nilsen, to name a few, were all stable killers.  Their   victims were taken to a place known to the killer, they were killed and then the killer had to hide or destroy the body.  Stable killers will often have a victim disposal site, like Gacy's basement or Dean Corll's rented shed, at this site they will put all the bodies of their victims.  Their disposal sites may vary, some have needed more because they may have filled them up; their sites may be owned by them or just a place that is well known to the killer(Gacy dumped five boys in his local river when his basement was filled up).  A victim disposal site is an organized trait where the killer does not want to be detected, and usually the society may not be aware of an organized stable serial killer because there have been no discovered victims(the victims are attributed to disappearances which may have not been noticed depending on victim type).  Other stable killers, like Dahmer, just destroy their victims bodies(may have no access or it may be hard for them to get to a disposal site) and may keep body parts in their residence for trophies(this is a mixed organization trait).  Then there is also the other type of stable serial killers, who do not have disposal sites, like DeSalvo, Jack the Ripper, Berkowitz, etc.  These killers make themselves noticed by making attacks in public places, leaving their signatures, or not attempting to hide their victims bodies.  They are stable because they do stay in the one main place where they kill their victims, but because they have no disposal site they may be disorganized or it may be that some of the organized killers can't be bothered moving their victims bodies.  The stable serial killer without a disposal site usually brings on heavy law enforcement, public panic, and a media frenzy.



Go Back


Modus Operandi - Serial Killers