Dennis Rader the BTK Killer

The 40th Anniversary of ‘The Year of Fear’

by Diane Dimond on March 31, 2014

They Command Our Fascination

There is no subject that brings in more reader reaction than when I write about serial killers. The answer to why we are so fascinated by these multiple murderers is mercurial depending on who you ask.

Dr. Scott Bonn, a professor of criminology at Drew University says, “Serial Killers seem to be for adults what monster movies are for children. It’s exciting -– it’s arousing,” to learn about their exploits.

Dr. Casey Jordan, a criminologist, behavioral analyst, and attorney in private practice says we are captivated by stories about serial killers because, “We wonder to what extent they are just like us.”

I would take it one step further and say we are riveted to details about serial killers because we wonder if we might ever reach a point where we could do what they do. [click to continue…]

{ 11 comments }

America’s Serial Killers – How Many?

by Diane Dimond on January 16, 2012

How Many Are There in America?

It was a small but horrifying item in the Los Angeles Times. “Police are asking for the public’s help in identifying what they call a ‘serious, dangerous serial killer operating in Orange County. Police believe one person is responsible for stabbing three middle-aged homeless men. He is (considered) extremely dangerous to the public.” Another serial killer, I thought. And then the question: How many serial killers are out there in America? John Douglas, a former Chief of the FBI’s Elite Serial Crime Unit and author of “Mind Hunter” says, “A very conservative estimate is that there are between 35-50 active serial killers in the United States” at any given time. Often, Douglas told me, they will, “kill 2-3 victims and then have a “cooling-off” period between kills.” [click to continue…]

{ 20 comments }