Murder: Serial Killings

Kayla Bennett

"Normal" vs. Serial Murder

  • For police, finding a "normal" murderer is much more simplified because the majority of these murderers kill someone they know.
  • Serial murders are much more complex than that. Missing persons cases that end in murder can be a clue that a serial killer is at work. A murder that is random, motiveless, or sexually motivated is also a clue.

Mass vs. Serial Murder

  • Mass murderers kill multiple victims at one time, with no distinction among the victims.
  • Unlike a serial killer, a mass murderer usually uses large weaponry, such as bombs or semiautomatic guns.
  • Also unlike serial killers, many mass murderers commit suicide immediately following their crime.

Families: How They Affect The Killer and How The Killer Affects Them

It is always different with every killer. The most common affect that families have on serial killers is when they are young children, when they are just starting to get an understanding of the world. A very triggering event in a child's life growing up is how their parents treat them. One thing that can make a person become a serial killer is their parents abusing them mentally, physically, or sexually. This gives a person the drive to want to take their anger and pain out on the victims they choose to kill. When they grow older, they start to build up their own fantasies about killing for pleasure. Serial killers normally separate themselves from their family after they are young into adulthood.

Characteristics of a Serial Killer

An overwhelming majority of serial killers are white males, although there occasionally are female serial killers (normally targeting husbands or lovers), but a huge different between male and female serial killers is the violent sexual nature of the killings. Most serial killers are strikingly similar, but at the same time their victims share the same physical characteristics.


  • Lassieur, Allison. Serial Killers. San Diego, CA: Lucent, 2000. Print.
  • Grant, George. Killers. Edison, NJ: Chartwell, 2006. Print.