Serial killers, those who kill more than once, cause a special problem for crime investigators because their motives are often far less palpable than those of the person who commits a single killing. Investigators describe three types of killers who commit multiple murders. The first none is the mass murderer who kills several people at one time. Often, these killers turn out to be bent on revenge. There are also spree killers who often go berserk with dangerous weapons killing one person after another. Such people are associated with mental problems. However, the serial killer dispatches one victim at a time, with a time an unpredictable time interval (American Psychiatric Association, 1994).
Dated back in the 1960s, the psychological therapy is a tool that was developed by the FBI’s Behavioral Science Unit in order to understand violent criminal behavior through a process known psychological profiling. A profiler gains information from physical evidence, photography and autopsy findings from the crime scene. What are some of the clues about the behavior and personality revealed by the study of the scene? Below are crucial clues from a modus operand (method of operation) of a typical serial killer.
Condition of the crime scene and evident efforts to conceal evidence
If the crime scene is organized, chances are that that the perpetrator has a high intelligence and has a stable lifestyle. He or she is likely to be married and employed. Such killers will go to the extent of concealing all evidence by hiding the body or disposing it. On the contrary, if the crime scene is disorganized, normally, the killer will not have brought tools (Holmes & Holmes, 1996). Such murderers are likely to be of low intelligence, unemployed, living alone or with a relative. In addition, chances are they have a history of a mental illness. A typical; serial miller will go to great depths of concealing evidence since he or she is aware of some of the leading clues used by investigators probably from a past arrest.
Race and gender of the target
Normally, serial killers target members within their own race. They are usually not comfortable with strangers. In addition, the victim is usually a female.
Motive of the murder
Though the motives behind the perpetration of a murder by a serial killer are not clear, most of them are sexual. This explains why most of the victims are female (Ressler et al, I988).
Weapon used in the murder
Serial murderers prefer to kill with hands-on methods like strangling and stabbing. This is because they are usually interested in sadistic fantasies involving dominion over the victim.
Location of the crime scene and missing items in the crime scene
Since as mentioned earlier that the motives of a serial killer is not a well defined one like robbery, they usually do not anything fro the scene (Wilson & Soothstill, 1996). However, they may carry with them a token or a souvenir that may remind them of the incident or satisfy their idiosyncratic motives. Normally, serial killers prefer killing within the same area usually near their home. However, some may travel and murder in several locations.