U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government, Department of Justice.

Serial Killers: The Growing Menace

NCJ Number
J Norris
Date Published
Serial killers fuse the most regressive aspects of sexual and aggressive conflicts into their criminal behavior.
Current knowledge of experts in the fields of neurology, internal medicine, psychology, and criminal justice shows that serial murder is generational. It is passed on through child abuse, negative parenting, and genetic damage and is activated by the environment through injury to the head, heavy drinking and drug use, and prolonged malnutrition. The Federal Bureau of Investigation estimates that there may be as many as 500 serial killers currently at large and unidentified in the United States. For every one serial killer that is apprehended and brought to trial, three more emerge and begin their careers. In presenting insights into the serial killer's private world, the author focuses on the killer's pattern, profile, and purpose. Candid interviews with and personal statements of serial killers illustrate their pathological behavior, social deprivation, and organic dysfunction. A controversial crisis intervention plan is proposed to deal with serial killers that requires monitoring and predicting certain types of underachievers, the learning disabled, and abused children.