9 Grim Facts About Serial Killers You Wish You Never Knew

1. The U.S. had 20x more serial killers than the next most country, England.

Okay, the U.S. is big, but can’t we all just get along? I really wanted to look at this as a percentage of the population, but since the data spans across multiple years, it makes it very difficult to calculate.

If you’re not spooked yet, keep reading.

Serial Killers By Country

Serial Killers By Country

2. 48% of serial killers kill for enjoyment…

This is sobering. When we watch movies, like American Psycho, we take solace in knowing the pleasure Patrick Bateman derives from killing is fiction, but is it? Half. Yes, Half of serial killers are killing for their own twisted pleasure.

Broad Motives of Serial Killers

Broad Motives of Serial Killers

3.…and most kill more than 5 times

This kind of makes sense – which is a statement I was hoping to avoid when writing this, but half kill for enjoyment and, well, they have to kill more than one to be a serial killer.

Number of Kills from Serial Killers

Number of Kills from Serial Killers

4. Serial killers are more likely to be financially motivated than kill out of anger

I guess that’s comforting.

Broad Motives of Serial Killers

Broad Motives of Serial Killers

5. Strangulation and guns are the two most prevalent methods of murder

I was bit surprised by this one, but I blame pop culture for the misconception. I always envisioned serial killers with chainsaws, machetes, or a cattle gun -> name that movie. (hint).

Killing Method of Serial Killers

Killing Method of Serial Killers

6. Very few serial killers use poison to kill their victims

Think twice if the soup makes you sick. Ask for a bagel.

Killing Method of Serial Killers

Killing Method of Serial Killers

7. California has had the most victims.

Big place. Take your chances.

Total Serial Killer Victims By State

Total Serial Killer Victims By State

8. However, the odds are against you in Alaska.

Ah, this makes so much sense. If you’re going to kill people why not move to the most remote of all remote places in the U.S. When you look at serial killer murders as a percentage of total population, Alaska, Louisiana, Washington, and Indiana are not the places to be. Ironically, I just watched a series on Netflix called Alaska, Ice Cold Killers. It wasn’t bad for Netflix streaming.

Serial Killer Victims As Percentage of Total Population

Serial Killer Victims As Percentage of Total Population

9. Hawaii, without question, is your best chance for staying alive

At this point, I’m sure you’re wondering how to avoid serial killers. With only 5 victims, Hawaii ranks second lowest in total victims and has the lowest victims as a percent of their total population.

Serial Killer Victims by State

Serial Killer Victims by State

View all charts and graphs in a slideshow

3 Responses

  1. katriye says:

    what about the biggest serial of all in america ! the american government ! the genocide of 18 million native americans !

    • A l'ouest says:

      @katriye
      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 (This definition has been copy and pasted directly from the FBI’s website). You can claim that the United States government was a serial killer or a group of serial killers (whichever you meant in your comment). However if you take a look at the definition provided, it clearly states that the crimes committed must be by the same actor or actors. The keywords in this definition being ‘same’ and ‘actor(s)’. It does not state in the definition that an organization or in this particular case, a government can be called a serial killer. Even if you were to argue that the people in the United States Government at the time were serial killers, you would still be wrong, as they act under the rule of the government whenever they carried out these decisions and they did not carry out the actions as individuals or referencing back to the definition, actors.

  1. January 25, 2015

    […] Data visualizations showing what motivates serial killers, where they live, how often they kill, and what they use to do the job.  […]

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