New research is first to explore regional differences in US serial killings

Jan 25, 2007

Did you know that people living in the Western region of the United States are more likely to become victims of a serial killer than people living in the Northeast? The February issue of Homicide Studies, published by SAGE, is the first to explore research looking at the considerable interstate and regional differences in serial killer activity.

The study led by University of Connecticut Emeritus Sociology Professor James DeFronzo examined male serial killers in the United States from 1970 to 1992 using sociological perspectives long used to understand other crimes.

The study found that social structural factors, such as the percentage of a state's urban population, divorced residents, one-person households and unemployed residents, all helped to explain why some states and regions are home to more male serial killers. The study also found that cultural factors, such as a high ratio of executions to homicides and classification as a southern state, correlated with a higher rate of serial killers.

"Experts traditionally have used psychiatric analyses to understand male serial killer activity, but that approach has not been able to explain the considerable geographic differences that exist with serial killings," said DeFronzo, who led a team of researchers from UConn, Northeastern University, Villanova University and Massey University. "This appears to be the first study to show that both cultural and social structural factors play a role."

Source: SAGE Publications

Explore further: Can science eliminate extreme poverty?

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Image: Galactic serial killer

Apr 02, 2014

This new image from the MPG/ESO 2.2-metre telescope at ESO's La Silla Observatory in Chile shows two contrasting galaxies: NGC 1316, and its smaller neighbour NGC 1317. These two are quite close to each other ...

Vampires and Shades of Grey: How media shapes who we are

Jan 08, 2014

Are you a Homer Simpson or a Dexter? How about a Clair Huxtable or a Carrie Bradshaw? Chances are you don't think of yourself as a doughnut-loving oaf, a brilliant serial killer, an unflappable power-mom/lawyer ...

Bright ideas chase investor dollars at forum

Dec 24, 2013

A company that can generate electricity using low-temperature waste heat was the big winner at the recent 26th annual Industry Growth Forum in downtown Denver, a gathering of people who have no qualms about ...

Recommended for you

Egypt archaeologists find ancient writer's tomb

21 hours ago

Egypt's minister of antiquities says a team of Spanish archaeologists has discovered two tombs in the southern part of the country, one of them belonging to a writer and containing a trove of artifacts including reed pens ...

Study finds law dramatically curbing need for speed

Apr 18, 2014

Almost seven years have passed since Ontario's street-racing legislation hit the books and, according to one Western researcher, it has succeeded in putting the brakes on the number of convictions and, more importantly, injuries ...

User comments : 0

More news stories

Egypt archaeologists find ancient writer's tomb

Egypt's minister of antiquities says a team of Spanish archaeologists has discovered two tombs in the southern part of the country, one of them belonging to a writer and containing a trove of artifacts including reed pens ...

Easter morning delivery for space station

Space station astronauts got a special Easter treat: a cargo ship full of supplies. The shipment arrived Sunday morning via the SpaceX company's Dragon cargo capsule.