Serial killers are of interest across generations. How a person becomes a serial murderer, what drives them, how they are identified, investigative techniques, and prosecution strategies are central to the fascination. There are many misconceptions when it comes to serial offenders because the intricacies of the criminal mind that engages in repetitive murderous activities are so hard to understand.
Fortunately this type of killer is not in the news often. In fact serial homicides are rare when compared to other homicidal acts. A lot of misconceptions arise from general discussions when comparing the myths that are frequently heard to the outcomes of professional studies from those who deal directly with the cases. Reviewing a case file by all means would be more informative than the news and general discussions of serial cases.
Unsolved cases sometimes bring up unsubstantial serial murder theories which can divert attention from the actual investigation of a
crime. Fiction stories and dramatized
depictions related to this type of crime rarely are comparable to real cases,
although real crime cases are sometimes used as a basis for true crime stories.
Biological, social, psychological, and environmental factors have been studied by professionals in an attempt to identify the causes of this criminal behavior. Developmental factors are considered along with the choice to act on such criminal tendencies.
When reviewing real life cases it is clear that serial murderers are often misunderstood, which attributes to some of the myths that exist. When viewing cases of women serial offenders and comparing them to serial murders committed by men it becomes evident that this type of killer simply cannot be put into a mold.
Some exhibit noticeable strange behavior while others fit perfectly into society and appear to be totally harmless. People who know a perpetrator personally are often shocked to find out that they commit such crimes, while others are not so surprised.
The classifications under which such crimes are viewed in include organized, disorganized or mixed. This is determined by whether the criminal exhibit methodically conducted crimes or they act out of impulse. Over a span, a killer can change between these categories.
Of known serial murderers, many characteristics have been identified along with various motives. The characteristics are numerous, but basically, the motives fit into one of four categories: visionary, mission-oriented, hedonistic, or power and control.
While a general cause of such horrible crimes can't be
specifically identified, the studies of serial killers has produced much
information that contributes to investigations through the process of
identifying, arresting and ultimately convicting these criminals and bringing
them to justice.