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Contemporary Perspectives on Serial Murder

NCJ Number
R M Holmes, S T Holmes
Date Published
255 pages
Sixteen papers on serial murder are grouped under the topics of the character and extent of serial murder, the mind of the serial killer, the investigation of serial murder cases, and future trends in serial murder investigation and research.
Four papers pertinent to the character and the extent of serial murder focus on the general social and psychological factors that have influenced the development of serial murderers. Other papers in this section challenge the stereotype of the serial murderer as a white male. Although the more publicized and notorious serial murderers have been white males, data are presented to show that African-Americans and women have been significantly represented in the annals of serial murderers. Five papers are presented under the topic of "The Mind of the Serial Killer." The subjects addressed include the application of learning theory to serial murder; the complex, divided personality of the serial killer; the elements of serial fatal victimization; and the serial killer's perspective on his/her behavior and killings. Four papers on the investigation of serial murder cases consider types and methods of criminal stalkers, the importance of collaboration among agencies in serial murder investigations, the use of psychological profiling in serial murder cases, and the work of "cold case" police squads in the context of serial murder investigations. Three papers discuss future trends in serial murder investigation and research. They focus on a methodological research model, prospects for police networking in serial murder investigations, and selected problems in serial murder investigations. Chapter references and tables and a subject index