Serial and mass murders

Adrian Needs

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review


While popular interest in serial and mass murder continues, in their formal study there is still some divergence over matters such as definitions and typologies. However, the last 20 years have seen a shift from an almost exclusive emphasis on top-down categorizations, based on personal judgment. The shift has been to detailed empirical studies of behavior in crime scenes, in surrounding phases and in relation to situational factors. There have also been important developments in understanding the origins, nature, and dynamics of factors behind the behavior, including its seemingly compulsive quality and the role of societal context.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEncyclopedia of Violence, Peace & Conflict
EditorsClaire Byrne, S. Gayathri
Number of pages11
ISBN (Electronic)9780128203125
ISBN (Print)9780128201954
Publication statusPublished - 20 Jan 2022


  • anger
  • behavioral consistency
  • compulsiveness
  • cooling-off period
  • criminal spin
  • definitions
  • dimensional approach
  • fantasy
  • narrative identity
  • precrime phases
  • school shooting
  • sexual arousal
  • situational factors
  • typologies
  • victim roles

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