The majority of serial killers’ victims are women. Among them the sex workers are exposed the most due to their “high risk lifestyles”. They are the most convenient targets of serial killers.
A definition of serial murder was settled on by the FBI recently:
“The unlawful killing of two or more victims by the same offender(s), in separate events.”
Known serial killers are rare, but what about the unknown ones?
The two main categories are:
- The fact of serial murder is established.
- The fact of serial murder is not established. There are missing or dead persons, but the cases haven’t been linked yet.
In the US the biggest unsolved serial killing case in the first category is the West Mesa bone collector case (see photos of victims above; my heart goes out to them and their families). According to Dirk Gibson, a professor at the University of New Mexico who has written two books on serial killers, “There hasn’t been the degree of public fear and alarm that you might expect. There has been very little publicity.”
This is what he said about the crime scene near Albuquerque where the police found the remains of 11 victims:
“There’s a sense of physical remoteness—this place was very removed. A combination of remoteness of time and geography made it so that there has been little pressure on the police to investigate.”
And about the seemingly detached public:
“Albuquerqueans don’t relate to the victims; they think they’re just a bunch of hookers and drug addicts. Police budgets are stretched thin. There’s so little money, and there are so many crimes. Investigating a ten-year-old crime where the police think that the victims had it coming—there’s just no incentive for that.”
Darryl Davies, an instructor in criminology and criminal justice at Carleton University in Ottawa, said serial killers will also normally have no relationships with their victims, and will often cover familiar geographical areas (although many do move around).
But how about those who do roam around the world and do have “light touch” relationships with their victims? In my opinion those are the most difficult to arrest, hence the most dangerous ones. The fact of serial murder is extremely difficult to establish in most of these cases. There might be cases on a much bigger scale we don’t know about within the US or anywhere else in the world than the West Mesa one. You can read about one of these in my thriller, THE SEX TOURIST.
“Until these people are actually physically arrested, they will continue to kill,” said Davies. “How many victims do we need before we call it a serial killer? The reality is we just need one more than one.”
I fully agree with him.