|Part of a series on|
Note: Varies by
Note: Varies by
|By victim or victims|
A serial killer is typically a person who
Although psychological gratification is the usual
The English term and concept of serial killer are commonly attributed to former
However, there is ample evidence the term was used in Europe and the United States earlier. The
In his book,
There is the mass murderer, or what he [Brophy] calls the "serial" killer, who may be actuated by greed, such as insurance, or retention or growth of power, like the
Medicisof Renaissance Italy, or Landru, the " bluebeard" of the World War I period, who murdered numerous wives after taking their money.
This use of "serial" killer to paraphrase Brophy's serial murderer does not appear to have been influential at the time.[
In his more recent study, Vronsky states that the term serial killing first entered into broader American popular usage when published in
When defining serial killers, researchers generally use "three or more murders" as the baseline, considering it sufficient to provide a pattern without being overly restrictive. Independent of the number of murders, they need to have been committed at different times, and are usually committed in different places. The lack of a cooling-off period (a significant break between the murders) marks the difference between a
In 2005, the FBI hosted a multi-disciplinary symposium in San Antonio, Texas, which brought together 135 experts on serial murder from a variety of fields and specialties with the goal of identifying the commonalities of knowledge regarding serial murder. The group also settled on a definition of serial murder which FBI investigators widely accept as their standard: "The unlawful killing of two or more victims by the same offender(s) in separate events." The definition does not consider motivation for killing nor define a cooling-off period.