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: Best of Last Week—Confirmed Earth-sized planet, testing twin paradox w/o a spaceship and news we all peak at 24

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

Bloody souvenir not from decapitated French king: DNA

1 hour ago

Two centuries after the French people beheaded King Louis XVI and dipped their handkerchiefs in his blood, DNA analysis has thrown new doubt on the authenticity of one such rag kept as a morbid souvenir.

Residents of 'boom time' suburbs face unsustainable commutes

3 hours ago

People living in the 'boom time' suburbs of Dublin are more likely to endure unsustainable commutes to work than those living in older accommodation. Research shows that people living in newly constructed housing in the Greater ...

User comments : 0

More news stories

Male-biased tweeting

Today women take an active part in public life. Without a doubt, they also converse with other women. In fact, they even talk to each other about other things besides men. As banal as it sounds, this is far ...

New breast cancer imaging method promising

The new PAMmography method for imaging breast cancer developed by the University of Twente's MIRA research institute and the Medisch Spectrum Twente hospital appears to be a promising new method that could ...

Research proves nanobubbles are superstable

The intense research interest in surface nanobubbles arises from their potential applications in microfluidics and the scientific challenge for controlling their fundamental physical properties. One of the ...

Using antineutrinos to monitor nuclear reactors

When monitoring nuclear reactors, the International Atomic Energy Agency has to rely on input given by the operators. In the future, antineutrino detectors may provide an additional option for monitoring. ...