The Serial Killer Living Next Door...
You'll never know the killer living next to you until it's too late.
That's just it, not only do you NOT know the serial killer down the street or next door to you, but you're not even sure if there is one. Likewise, just like with sex offenders and child predators, you only have the privilege of knowing where the ones are that have been convicted and have been placed on a sex offender map for you to see.
But you don't know anything about the ones that have NOT been caught, captured, convicted, and whom are walking freely around our society looking for their next victim like a hawk flying over an open field looking for a mouse or a snake to snatch up for his afternoon meal.
Definition of a Serial Killer
The term ‘serial killings’ means a series of three or more killings, not less than one of which was committed within the United States, having common characteristics such as to suggest the reasonable possibility that the crimes were committed by the same actor or actors.
Although the federal law provides a definition of serial murder, it is limited in its application. The purpose of this definition was to set forth criteria establishing when the FBI could assist local law enforcement agencies with their investigation of serial murder cases. It was not intended to be a generic definition for serial murder.
- Look at this long list of serial killer murders on Wikipedia.
The FBI says:
• Predisposition to serial killing, much like other violent offenses, is biological, social, and psychological in nature, and it is not limited to any specific characteristic or trait.
• The development of a serial killer involves a combination of these factors, which exist together in a rare confluence in certain individuals. They have the appropriate biological predisposition, molded by their psychological makeup, which is present at a critical time in their social development.
• There are no specific combinations of traits or characteristics shown to differentiate serial killers from other violent offenders.
• There is no generic template for a serial killer.
• Serial killers are driven by their own unique motives or reasons.
• Serial killers are not limited to any specific demographic group, such as their sex, age, race, or religion.
• More research is needed to identify specific pathways of development that produce serial killers.
Why are we writing about serial killers on our spy and security website?
Our main reason for writing this blog post is to give people, our site visitors and our existing or potential customers, a "wake-up call" so they can snap out of it and begin to really watch and to be aware of their surroundings and the people that they deal with from day to day.
We say this openly because far too often, people (our customers) only come to us AFTER they've become a victim of a random act of violence or a senseless crime. Over the years, we've heard some heart-breaking stories from people that:
- were just a little bit naive in the "trust" department
- were too willing to trust loved ones
- were too willing to trust friends
- were too willing to trust neighbors
- were too willing to trust door-to-door salespeople or solicitors
- were too willing to trust people at church
- were too willing to trust people at work
- were too willing to trust maintenance workers that came into their house
- were too willing to trust construction workers doing odd jobs around their house
- were too willing to trust the local pesticide sprayer that was killing bugs outside of their house
- and far too many more to list here....but keep reading for some eye opening stories.
The sad thing that also prompts us to write this blog post is that these very same people that were too naive or trusting in various areas - also did not think that it was important to carry around a simple self-defense weapon - just in case they should ever need one.
Here are seven common myths about Serial Killers...
These "serial" murders and the nom de guerre “Jack the Ripper” have become synonymous with serial murder. This case spawned many legends concerning serial murder and the killers who commit it. In the 1970s and 1980s serial murder cases such as the Green River Killer, Ted Bundy, and the BTK killer sparked a renewed public interest in serial murder, which blossomed in the 1990s after the release of films such as Silence of the Lambs.
Much of the general public’s knowledge concerning serial murder is a product of Hollywood productions. Story lines are created to heighten the interest of audiences, rather than to accurately portray serial murder. By focusing on the atrocities inflicted on victims by “deranged” offenders, the public is captivated by the criminals and their crimes. This only lends more confusion to the true dynamics of serial murder.
The relative rarity of serial murder combined with inaccurate, anecdotal information and fictional portrayals of serial killers has resulted in common myths and misconceptions regarding serial murder. An article on the FBI website, www.FBI.gov, talks about some common myths about serial killers. We'll briefly talk about seven (7) of them below:
Critical Incident Response Group, Federal Bureau of Investigation
Myth 1: Serial killers are all dysfunctional loners.
The FBI says the majority of serial killers are not reclusive, social misfits who live alone. They are not monsters and may not appear strange.
- Many serial killers hide in plain sight within their communities.
- Serial murderers often have families and homes, are gainfully employed, and appear to be normal members of the community.
- Because many serial murderers can blend in so effortlessly, they are oftentimes overlooked by law enforcement and the public.
Robert Lee Yates killed seventeen prostitutes in the Spokane, Washington area, during the 1990s.
- He was married with five children
- He lived in a middle class neighborhood.
- He was a decorated U.S. Army National Guard helicopter pilot.
- Yates was eventually arrested and pleaded guilty to thirteen of the murders.
The Green River Killer, Gary Ridgway
Gruesome Gary confessed to killing 48 women over a twenty-year time period in the Seattle, Washington area.
- He had been married three times and was still married at the time of his arrest.
- He was employed as a truck painter for thirty-two years.
- He attended church regularly
- He read the Bible at home and at work
- and he talked about religion with co-workers.
The BTK killer, Dennis Rader
Ol' Dennis Rader was quite a busy guy but he took enough time out of his schedule to kill ten victims in and around the Wichita, Kansas area. His wife and children had no idea what he was doing; some say his wife was "the safest woman in Kansas" at the time of his killings because after nearly all of his killings - he'd come back home to bed with her for a normal night's sleep.
He sent sixteen written communications to the news media over a thirty-year period, taunting the police and the public. He...
- was married with two children
- was a Boy or Cub Scout leader
- served honorably in the U.S. Air Force
- was employed as a local government official
- was president of his local church.
- Destructive Dennis also worked as a pesticide sprayer (or exterminator) "like Orkin Pest Control."
- He even worked for the trusted security system provider and installer "ADT Alarm Services."
Okay, here's a video that includes the full confession from Dennis Rader, the BTK Killer.
>> Pay close attention to the fact that he would almost always "case the situation - the house - or the neighborhood."
- He always lied about who he was or what he needed. One time he even lied that he was a "private detective" at a victim's front door and then showed them a fake badge so he could force his way into the house.
- He also explains a "trolling stage" where he looks for his next victim, then he moves into "stalking", and then he says that is when he knows for sure that he's found his next victim. He says that the "trolling phase" of finding a next victim could take days, weeks, months or even years.
- He said that one time he was ready to walk into a victim's home and he even knocked on the door preparing to lie to them so he could force his way inside, but that specific victim did not answer their door. Because they did not answer the door, it blew his cool and his tempo (as well as his plan) - so he left the house immediately. HOWEVER, because he says that he was "already in the mood" and ready to kill, he used his past trolling and casing of the neighborhood to quickly select another victim just minutes later.
- The bullet just above gives proof that - "you don't always have to answer your door when someone knocks on it, rings the bell, or is trying to sell you something. Bottom line: If you're not expecting company, then don't answer your door and teach your children to do the same.
- Very Important: As you listen to him recount the way he killed people - think about how a simple can of pepper spray, a stun gun, a Taser, a steel baton, or some other form of self-defense weapon could have helped these people. It sounds like each and every one of them had a chance to spray him, to not let him into their house, and that each one of these people (victims) could have been alive today with a simple and inexpensive self-defense weapon.
Also, remember as you watch this, that he...
- carried and presented the typical image of a normal family man with a job
- was president of his church
- had a job as an exterminator
- had a job as a security alarm system installer (with ADT alarm systems)
- had a wife and children
- and he interacted with unknowing people for years as he was silently killing strangers in his town and surrounding area.
Let's break this down more and meet the serial killer next door to you...
Yes, did you catch those last few positions Dennis Rader held in his local community? You call in the local alarm system company to keep out the cold blooded killers and criminals...but in walks one of the most notorious serial killers ever to install your home security and alarm system.
Or maybe you've got a problem with ants, or bees, or bugs of any kind. So you flip through the phone book (back then) or your cell phone (now) and find a local pesticide or exterminating company. Again, in walks good Ol' Dennis Rader to kill your bugs, to case out the layout of your home, and to maybe even come back and exterminate you and your family.
Heck, you're getting the point now - you're still reading, let's just say that you have a few problems and you need to go work on your faith at your local church. You say a few prayers, you talk with a few of the elders, and then over walks Dear Ol' Dennis to put his hand on your shoulder and to wish you the best as you go through these trying times.
Ahh, hell, we're really on a role now - so let's just push forward and suppose that since you now have a security system, your bugs are dead, and your prayers are being answered - that you want to set your kids up for some fun in the great outdoors. Why not march them down to the local Boy Scouts Troop and sign them up for a camping trip.
C'mon, they're all great guys, great Dads, and they have a real sense of pride and passion for what they do...so you drop off little "Timmy" - give him a peck on the cheek and tell him to make sure and brush his teeth before bed. Little did you know that you just left him in the hands of one of the most notorious, cunning and ruthless serial killers of all time.
Myth 2: Serial killers are all white males.
The FBI says that contrary to popular belief, serial killers span all racial groups. There are white, African-American, Hispanic, and Asian serial killers. The racial diversification of serial killers generally mirrors that of the overall U.S. population.
- Charles Ng, a native of Hong Kong, China, killed numerous victims in Northern California, in concert with Robert Lake.
- Derrick Todd Lee, an African-American, killed at least six women in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
- Coral Eugene Watts, an African-American, killed five victims in Michigan, fled the state to avoid detection, and murdered another 12 victims in Texas, before being apprehended.
- Rafael Resendez-Ramirez, a native of Mexico, murdered nine people in Kentucky, Texas, and Illinois, before turning himself in.
- Rory Conde, a Colombian native, was responsible for six prostitute homicides in the Miami, Florida area.
Myth 3: Serial killers are only motivated by sex.
The FBI says all serial murders are not sexually-based. There are many other motivations for serial murders including anger, thrill, financial gain, and attention seeking.
In the Washington, D.C. area serial sniper case, John Allen Muhammad, a former U.S. Army Staff Sergeant, and Lee Boyd Malvo killed primarily for anger and thrill motivations. They were able to terrorize the greater Washington, D.C. metro area for three weeks, shooting 13 victims, killing 10 of them. They communicated with the police by leaving notes, and they attempted to extort money to stop the shootings. They are suspected in a number of other shootings in seven other states.
Dr. Michael Swango, a former U.S. Marine, ambulance worker, and physician, was a health care employee. He was convicted of only four murders in New York and Ohio, although he is suspected of having poisoned and killed 35 to 50 people throughout the United States and on the continent of Africa. Swango’s motivation for the killings was intrinsic and never fully identified. Interestingly, Swango kept a scrap book filled with newspaper and magazine clippings about natural disasters, in which many people were killed.
Paul Reid killed at least seven people during fast food restaurant robberies in Tennessee. After gaining control of the victims, he either stabbed or shot them. The motivation for the murders was primarily witness elimination. Reid’s purpose in committing the robberies was financial gain, and some of the ill-gotten gains were used to purchase a car.
Myth 4: All serial murderers travel and operate interstate.
The FBI says most serial killers have very defined geographic areas of operation. They conduct their killings within comfort zones that are often defined by an anchor point (e.g. place of residence, employment, or residence of a relative). Very few serial murderers travel interstate to kill.
However, within their "pre-defined" territories in their mind, you can be sure that they will troll and search like a hound dog within those specific areas. If you listen to the video above about the BTK killer, you'll see that he talks in fair detail about "trolling" and searching for his next victim. For him, Dennis Rader, he didn't even call them "victims or people" - he called his potential victims "projects" and he often assigned them a color or a number. It's true, he says in his own words that he would label people as "project green or project blue."
Myth 5: Serial killers cannot stop killing.
The FBI says it has been widely believed that once serial killers start killing, they cannot stop. There are, however, some serial killers who stop murdering altogether before being caught. In these instances, there are events or circumstances in offenders’ lives that inhibit them from pursuing more victims.
Remember, again, most of these serial killers have normal lives, normal jobs, a family and kids - so if they're smart enough they will take measures to keep their lives "looking normal" from the outside. Part of them knows that if they are sloppy and they get caught - then they won't be able to kill again.
But since "killing" is what drives them; the smart ones will do all they can to not get caught - even if it means taking a break for months or years while they plan the next one.
Myth 6: All Serial killers are insane or are evil geniuses.
The FBI says another myth that exists is that serial killers have either a debilitating mental condition, or they are extremely clever and intelligent.
As a group, serial killers suffer from a variety of personality disorders, including psychopathy, anti-social personality, and others. Most, however, are not adjudicated as insane under the law.
The media has created a number of fictional serial killer “geniuses”, who outsmart law enforcement at every turn. Like other populations, however, serial killers range in intelligence from borderline to above average levels.
Scroll back up and listen to the confession of Dennis Rader, the BTK killer, and you will see that he is a very cunning, determined and intelligent person. Remember, he was the president of his church board, he installed security systems, and he managed to raise and support his children and wife - even while he was killing on the side. He certainly was not "insane" and he never claimed to be - he just enjoyed the killing to support and to carry out his sick fantasies.
Myth 7: Serial killers want to get caught.
The FBI says offenders committing a crime for the first time are inexperienced. They gain experience and confidence with each new offense, eventually succeeding with few mistakes or problems.
While most serial killers plan their offenses more thoroughly than other criminals, the learning curve is still very steep. They must select, target, approach, control, and dispose of their victims. The logistics involved in committing a murder and disposing of the body can become very complex, especially when there are multiple sites involved.
As serial killers continue to offend without being captured, they can become empowered, feeling they will never be identified. As the series continues, the killers may begin to take shortcuts when committing their crimes. This often causes the killers to take more chances, leading to identification by law enforcement. It is not that serial killers want to get caught; they feel that they can’t get caught.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation and Serial Killers
The National Center for the Analysis of Violent Crime (NCAVC) is a component of the FBI’s Critical Incident Response Group (CIRG), located at the FBI Academy in Quantico, Virginia.
The primary mission of the NCAVC is to provide behaviorally-based, operational support to federal, state, local, and international law enforcement agencies involved in the investigation of unusual or repetitive violent crimes, communicated threats, terrorism, and other matters of interest to law enforcement.
The NCAVC is comprised of four units: Behavioral Analysis Unit-1 (Counterterrorism/Threat Assessment), Behavioral Analysis Unit-2 (Crimes Against Adults), Behavioral Analysis Unit-3 (Crimes Against Children), and the Violent Criminal Apprehension Program (ViCAP).
The topic of serial murder occupies a unique niche within the criminal justice community. In addition to the significant investigative challenges they bring to law enforcement, serial murder cases attract an over-abundance of attention from the media, mental health experts, academia, and the general public.
While there has been significant, independent work conducted by a variety of experts to identify and analyze the many issues related to serial murder, there have been few efforts to reach a consensus between law enforcement and other experts, regarding these matters.
Serial murder is neither a new phenomenon, nor is it uniquely American. Dating back to ancient times, serial murderers have been chronicled around the world. In 19th century Europe, Dr. Richard von Krafft-Ebing conducted some of the first documented research on violent, sexual offenders and the crimes they committed. Best known for his 1886 textbook Psychopathia Sexualis, Dr. Kraft-Ebing described numerous case studies of sexual homicide, serial murder, and other areas of sexual proclivity.
Serial killings not ruled out after four women found dead, two missing in Ohio
(CNN) Word gets around in a small town, when six young women go missing in little more than a year.
One by one, four of them have turned up dead in and around Chillicothe, Ohio, sending chilly rumors of a serial killer drifting through the city of 21,000 people.
But police say they aren't convinced that one person is behind the deaths.
"There's nothing we found in the evidence that would link these ladies' deaths together," Chillicothe police spokesman Bud Lytle told CNN affiliate WSYX. Then again, he's not ruling anything out.
And some common threads are making the serial killer theory stick with locals. The women went to some of the same places and knew some of the same people, a prosecutor has said.
But the big one is that all four of the dead women were found in or near bodies of water. One was wrapped in a sheet. Another had been shot in the head.
Another similarity: hard knocks. "Obviously the link to them is heroin addiction," Lytle said. "And some of them were ... known to be involved in prostitution." Heroin has become more available in some areas of Ohio, according to a state government analysis.
Some of the women reportedly knew each other from having attended the same drug rehab center.
To wrap this up - here's a list of serial killers in the United States...
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