serial killer

individual who has killed three or more people over a period of more than a month

A serial killer is typically a person who murders three or more people, usually in service of abnormal psychological gratification, with the murders taking place over more than a month and including a significant period of time between them. While most authorities set a threshold of three murders, others extend it to four or lessen it to two.Although psychological gratification is the usual motive for serial killing, and most serial killings involve sexual contact with the victim, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) states that the motives of serial killers can include anger, thrill-seeking, financial gain, and attention seeking. The murders may be attempted or completed in a similar fashion. The victims may have something in common, for example, demographic profile, appearance, gender or race. A serial killer is neither a mass murderer, nor a spree killer, although there may be conceptual overlaps between serial killers and spree killers.
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